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AFZAL GURU AND YAKUB MEMON – A TIMELINE OF POLITICAL VENDETTA

Afzal Guru was a Kashmiri.  Kashmiris are Indians. His complicity in the attack on Indian Parliament was established, as admitted by Supreme Court, on circumstantial evidence. While admitting that the evidences were only circumstantial, the Court confirmed the death sentence awarded to him. He was hanged on 13th January 2013.

On 17th January 2007, a bench of the Supreme court unanimously ruled that “there are authorities for the proposition that if the evidence is proved by circumstantial evidence, ordinarily, death penalty would not be awarded”Afzal Guru

Quoting that authority, the Court commuted the sentences awarded to a man accused of rape of a minor girl and her gruesome murder.

What is pronounced by the Supreme Court is law unless it is turned down by another pronouncement. If there is a pronouncement reversing that ruling, I have not heard of it.

On 16 November 2006, President Pranab Mukherjee returned seven cases of mercy petitions for review. His predecessor, Pratibha Patilpratibha Patil, had commuted death sentences of 35 criminals – those who raped and killed five-year olf girls, teenagers, Four of those pardoned had jointly gruesomely massacred an entire family of seventeen. Earlier than that, when mercy petitions were forwarded to President APJ Abdul Kalam, he asked the government  why it was that only people from the marginalized sections of the Society faced capital punishment. President APJ Abdul Kalam, Patil’s predecessor, was against capital punishment although prompted by the cabinet, he rejected the mercy petition of Dhanonjay Chatterjee, a security guard who raped and killed a little girl while she was alone in the building. Some of his writings show that he regretted the decision forced on him.  Circumstantial evidence points to the possibility that the most popular and non-controversial President who ever occupied the Rashtrapati Bhavan was not given a second term was bolstered by the political necessity to hang the man from Kashmir with nothing but circumstantial evidence produced by an incompetent and corrupt police force

On 16 November 21012, President Pranab Mukherjee, returned for review by the Home Ministy  government’s Pranab Mukherjeerecommendations  to reject the mercy petitions of seven accused, including that of Afzal Guru When the recommendations came back without a change, the constitutional law made it necessary for the  President to reject the petition. The  life and death of men and women hung on the thin thread of legal niceties. Those who raped killed were pardoned; but those who might have taken part in killing by circumstantial evidence were to hang.

None of those who took part in the killings of hundreds in Bombay (other than Yakub Memon was hanged; Bal Thackeray who exhorted Hindus to kill Muslims was honoured all through his life and death. Those who were responsible for the 1984 genocide of  Sikhs roam free. Rioters who caused the death of Muslims and Hindus in 2002 under Mr. Modi’s govenrnent too escaped the noose by a wide margin – though a few including a minister in Modi Government  were convicted. The state Chief Minister Mr.Narendra  ModiModi My governments only religion is Indian first, now the Nation’s Prime Minister  said that he entertained no guilty feelings; he would have felt sad even if a puppy were to get killed.

There were loud cries for and against hanging Afzal Guru. Intellelctuals and eminent lawyers were against it. Time reported: “Khurram Pervez, a social activist in Srinagar. “Still he became the hero … [Guru] has lived in [the youth’s] heart as they have themselves witnessed everything. His death has only cemented the belief of hatred and radicalization among Kashmiris.”

Prakash JavadekarHowever, 74% of those from India who sent in their entries to a poll conducted by NDTV wanted Afzal Guru hanged.

Hindu-extremist Bharatiya Janta Party’s spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said:

Those who are supporting Afzal by demanding that he should not be hanged are not only acting against public
sentiment in the country but are giving a fillip to terrorist morale

(Times of India, 23 November 2006)

The afternoon before hanging, Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Afzal’s home State, was informed onOmar Abdullah phone by the then Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde that the convict would be hanged and that the death warrant had been issued. Abdullah told Shinde that it was a political execution. The Congress government had in mind Hindu votes in the general election that was due next year. It did not help. 74% who voted for Guru’s hanging also wanted more hanging – it is not unlikely that many of them had Yakub Memon in mind. For the better or the worse, Congress ploy didn’t work Sushil Kumar Shindethis time.

On 9th February 2013, Afzal Guru was secretly hanged and buried. At that, he had jumped the line by 28 convicts who were awaiting the noose. There was a big hurry. Hindu versions of Islamic extremists were baying for his blood.

On 6th March 1992, a huge horde of Kar Sevaks (roughly, hand-volunteers) mounted the dome of an ancient and little used but already controversial mosque, Babar Masjid, with axes, pick-axes and other implements and weapons and Babar Masjid demolitionbrought it down. The act was encouraged by the speeches of LK Advani, a leader and permanent Prime-Minister-in-Waiting, senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Chief Minister of the State Kalyan Singh, former Rani of Gwalior Vijay Raje Scindia, firebrand-in-saffron-clothes  Uma Bharati, and Sadhvi (Saint) Ritambara. Perhaps speeches and a chariot-expedition (Rath-Yathra) by Advani ADVANI-VS-RSS-1 across the Country gave the maximum fillip to  the dangerous act.

What followed was spontaneous riots all across the Country (not to mention Bangladesh, where thousands of Hindus were killed, mutilated and burnt – which inspired Taslima Nasreen’s poignant novel Lajja (Shame). In Bombay, where Muslims have a sizeable number, a Lajjaleaderless mayhem of riot and arson started, which resulted in a well-organized retribution launched by Bal Thackeray, already feared in the state of Maharashtra for his gangster-like ways supposedly designed to protect Maharashtrian interests. Nearly six hundred Muslims, and half that many Hindus lost their lives – often in the most heinous conditions. A Commission instituted by the government and headed by former Supreme Court Justice Srikrishna squarely blamed Bal Thackeray, his Shiv Sena and other Hindu zealots. When the line of findings of the Commission became obvious In 1996, the Shiv Sena Chief Minister disbanded the Commission, but Bal Thackeray- I call it Land of Hindusat the instance of the Prime Minister AB Vajpayee (a noble statesman among the communal zealots) was resumed. The report that was finally placed on the table of the Assembly never saw the light of the day.

The worst-known Muslim counterpoise to Thackeray’s Shiv Sena was the D-Company, headed by Dawood Ibrahim, a former policeman. Dawood was perhaps a few steps ahead of Thackeray in extortion and murder and other rackets. It is quite probable that he Tiger_Memonsponsored the Tiger Memon gang (real name Ibrahim Mushtaq Abdul Razak Nadim Memon) team with quite a few Muslim men to execute a massive retaliation. Inevitably, Tiger Memon’s family got involved. Chhota Rajan, a minor Hindu partner in crime with Dawood, separated from the “Company” and was later hounded by the Company. Incidentally, Dawood’s trusted finance manager was a Hindu named Sharad Shetty, whom Rajan  killed after escaping a murder bid by Dawood gang.

The coordinated  bombing of Bobmbay by Tiger Memon’s gang  was of a scale that no SIS or Pakistani militants trained by ISI or BokoMumbai Bomb Blast Haram  could replicate. (Click to watch the video if you have the stomach). Tons of RDX and weapons like AK56, grenades and ammunitions were landed in Raigad on the West Coast and transported by road to Bombay,some 112 kilometres away. Five policemen (All  Hindus) and at least  three customs officers (one a Hindu) facilitated the landing of the move by closing their eyes – in return for 780,000 rupees each. So much for  love of one’s own Country. Those were the ones that figure among the 100 convicted. They were as much accomplices – even worse donsidering their job –  as Yakub Memon, but got away with a few years in prison.

Two days before the actual blast, a man named Gul Noor Muhammad Sheikh (‘Gullu’) “sang like a canary” to the police of what was going to happen. He was earlier  apprehended by the police while he landed in Dubai allegedly after training in Pakistan. Gullu squealed about the impending bedlam – probably naming those involved, and the nature of the operations on the anvil. Police chose to ignore the tip – those who did, which included then Defence Minister Sharad Pawar,  were never questioned.

D-Company (or whoever) did not ignore the squeal. It advanced the date of the bombing from April to a couple of days after the revelation – on March 12, 1993. Ten underlings  were entrusted with the task of placing bombs in 13 strategic places – Five Star hotels, crowded bazaars, Stock Exchange, Passport office and a bank. Grenades were thrown at a Fishermen’s colony, International Airport and a bus. The bus attack  alone resulted in the death of 90 people. The total pogrom that lasted two hours and ten minutes; 257 persons including women and children lay dead; several hundreds were injured.

sanjaydutt-480The impending operation was so well known that film actor Sanjay Dutt, a former drug addict and son of the famous (and noble) film celebrities Sunil Dutt and Nargis, ordered and procured at least two AK-56 rifles, RDX, grenades, revolver and ammunition. When things got hot, Dutt got his underlings to destroy them who obediently did and were caught as well.  129 people were accused and a 100 were convicted for the attack.Dawood wants to surrender

Dawood Ibrahim and his lieutenants in crime escaped abroad – presumably to Pakistan en route Dubai – before the operation. (Watch Yakub’s confession in the interview). At a later date Dawood Ibrahim made public statements that he was a patriot, that though guilty of other gang crimes, he did not organize planting of the bombs. He phoned senior advocate Ram Jethmalani that he was willing to surrender provided he would not be tortured and that he would be retained under house arrest and not housed in a jail. Jethmalani conveyed this to the authorities – including Sharad Pawar. The response was that it was too early; conditional surrender could not Sharad-Pawarbe accepted. Jethmalani was not asked to negotiate the conditions. Thus a golden opportunity to get at the root of the operation and to put an end to the menace of operations by D-Company (which goes on till date) was conveniently,(and quite profitably for many) lost.

Jethalani made it clear that ‘they’ do not wish to bring Dawood to India. Why don’t they demand his extraditions proceedings, he asked. His interview with the ABP News was an indictment on the government of the day.(Click the image for full interview)Jethmalani interview on Dawood surrender

Why was the Don’s offer of surrender not accepted? He held too many secrets. Too many politicians, bureaucrats and police officers apart from film personalities were on his pay roll. At least two upcoming actresses died by suicide or murder; two live in voluntary anonymity. . Dawood continues to finance Hindi films at exorbitant rates of interest, arranges extrortion and decides which builder would buy building materials from whom. When Dawood’s daughter married Junaid, son of Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad, many Indian celebrities, journalists  and politicians were invited but perhaps only sent them good wishes. FBI and Interpol attended uninvited presumably in disguise.

India accepted the conditional extradition of one of the gangsters, Abu Salim. Abu SalemThe conditions were  that he would not be tortured nor face capital punishment. He was convicted for his direct involvement in Bombay blasts and several other murder cases – but escaped the noose. He lives in relative comfort in Arthur Jail and had married a woman – who claimed to be his ardent fan – while in jail.

18 months after the blast, Yakub Memon returned to India. His story, later corroborated by B. Raman, then of the Indian intelligence organization R&AW, is that at Kathmandu in Nepal  he was assured of a fair deal and was coerced to surrender. When he landed at Delhi,with his family he was arrested by the police who took credit  which, every court knows, is their wont. Yakub claimed in an earlier interview with Madhu Trehan that he had no contact with his older brother Tiger Memon; he could possibly not have spoken to him for more than a hour at a stretch  in his life.What is more important, Yakub made startling disclosures about Pakistan’s direct complicity in the crime that resulted in the death of 257 innocents.
Yakub- I had concluded that Pakistan was involved The interview is interesting.

Yakub is said to have confessed to participating in the blasts to a police officer, which he later retracted on the ground that it was made under torture. The Supreme Court in its long judgment commented adversely on confessions to police, quoting the eminent former judge,VR  Krishna Iyer. Krishna Iyer in an article published after his retirement termed POTO (Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance) under which Yakub was convicted as State Terrorism that would lend legitimacy to (private) terrorism.

However fair the jurisprudence of a court might be, a government can thwart the moral nature of a  judgment, which is what happened in the case of Yakub Memon. After deliberating for a few hours in an apparent display of extreme fairness in the wee hours of the morning of  30th September, the Court ruled that there was no reason why Yakub should be given further fourteen days for preparing for his hanging. So by design or coincidence, the man was killed by the State on his fifty-third birthday. He had, certainly by design,  supercAPJ Abdul Kalam opposed death penaltyeded some three hundred fifty persons on the death row in the Country. His hanging was done three days after the death of  APJ Abdul Kalam, the former scientist-philosopher-teacher-President who had appealed to the Law Commission to abolish death penalty on the ground that  “Man can’t take away life given by God”. Ironically, a few Hindu godmen  bayed for Yakub’s hanging and smacked their lips with glee when the deed was carried out.

Yakub was pushed ahead of a queue of some 350 convicts who were awaiting the noose. Two of the convicts who were due to be hanged were spared the noose because they had served more than 2o years. Surinder Kohli, who raped forty children or more (figure given out by Nithari villagers) was not hanged because the President did not reject his appeal within 3 years. Moninder Singh Pandher, the man who made Kohli procure those children for his first use is still walking free because FBI could not find any evidence against him. My driver from Nithari believes that FBI would burn in God’s crucible. He believes, like his fellow villagers, that Rupees twenty-eight crore exchanged hands before FBI suddenly came to that finding.

Murli-Manohar-Joshi_1Hindu reported : Retired Justice Amir Das, who inquired into the massacre of 58 Dalits in Lakshmanpur Bathe village in Jehanabad in 1997, has stated on record that BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and C.P. Thakur, were responsible for instigating members of the Ranvir Sena, an armed private militia of landowning upper caste men, to commit the murders”. The entire lot of murderers were aquitted; thec-p-thakur_3 instigators continued as top leaders of the current ruling party, BJP.

Referring to the appeal of over three hundred intellectuals to the President not to hang Yakub, Sakshi Maharaj, a ‘Sadhu’ (divine person) in saffron clothes said : “Those who oppose Yakub Memon should go to Pakistan“.

If anybody suspected that Yakub’s hanging had something to do with religious bias, that was nailed with that pronouncement.

Sakshi Maharaj (His name means Witness -Cook. Sakshi means witness;  Maharaj is an honorific accorded to Brahmin cooks) is now a member of Parliament in Mr. Modi’s party. This is what the renowned Insakshimaharaj-narendrmodi-fulldian Express had to say about him:

Along the way, Sakshi Maharaj has had several criminal cases lodged against him. He is an accused in Babri Masjid demolition case and named in the murder of Sujata Verma, a BJP leader, in 2013 at Etah along with his brother and two nephews. He was in Tihar Jail on rape charges but later acquitted. In 1997, his name had figured in the murder of BJP MLA Brahmdutt Dwivedi, who too hailed from Farrukhabad“.

So you know who hangs, and who doesn’t. Afzal Guru’s hanging alienated Kashmiris even further than before – their gradual alienation has been the result of unimaginative policies starting  from 1962; this one topped the list in bitterness.. Guru’s family’s got the information two days too late; they were not even allowed to see his body which was buried in secret.

Yakub’s family can at console themselves that they were told of the impending hanging, and were allowed to bury the body beside his father’s grave.  ..

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The Powerful Arguments of St. Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was a great thinker, philosopher and a scholastic aquinas-prayerteacher. Scholasticism is critical thinking and debating religious issues as was practiced in the European Universities in the middle ages. it was not enough to prove that God existed by reading from a passage from the Bible. He was reputed to have had direct communication with Jesus more than once. However, being a man of great intellect and learning, he had to prove the existence of God  by sound reasoning. Hardly any other Saint in the Catholic religion could be considered equal to Aquinas in his intellectual and theological mastery.

Aquinas’s urgency and strenuous efforts at giving a logical proof for the existence of God without having to refer to the Bible tell us that there were sceptics in Europe in the 13th Century who put doubt into the minds of ordinary folks.

Witch-scene4Aquinas’ arguments were presumably a supplement to the inquisition proceedings for disbelief ordered by Pope Gregory IX (1145 – 1241; Papacy 1227-1241). Inquisitional torture (breaking wheel, limb-tearing racks etc.)  and murder on burning stakes must have become common place by the time Aquinas became a Dominican monk.

Though he lived for less than 50 years, Aquinas’s fame rose as a man of God and a miracle worker. While alive, his disciples had claimed to have seen him floating around in the room in a state of levitation while in communication with his master, jesus Christ. If levitation was a prerequisite for communication with the living God  is not known. Nor is it clear whether Aquinas made such claims about himself.

Stories of Miracles of Aquinas after he died far outstrip the miracles of Satyanarayan Katha (Legends of Satyanarayana, a devotee who attained the status of God himself) recounted by Hindus of Northern India to bring about good tidings. A comet that shone over the monastery where Aquinas lived shone for more than three years until the day he died. Years after he was buried, it was decided to move his body to another site. When the grave was opened, they found the body intact and a sweet perfume permeated the air. (A claim that probably inspired the Islamic claim that bodies of Muslim martyrs remain fresh even after 14000 years

Aquinas’s sister had a grisly desire to keep the right hand of her deceased brother as a souvenir. So his second grave was opened to oblige the lady; the same fragrance filled the air, and she piously sawed off the hand and took it home with the fragrance trailing her. A few years later, having had her fill of the eerie perfume, she gifted the holy limb to a chapel. A priest who wished to see this miraculous hand laughed at the stupidity of the superstition, and was immediately struck with a terrible disease. The man had to repent and promise to tell the story of his experience wherever he went, and was thus cured. It is believed that public recounting the miracles of Thomas Aquinas would cure incurable diseases, and could bring one good tidings. Sceptics conclude that all religious claims are underpinned by stupidity.

Every ten years between November and January next year, the supposedly well-preserved body of St. Francis Xavier (1506  1552), the man who introduced inquisition among the peaceful fisher folk of Goa, is exhibited in a church in Goa. What you see is a ghastly head with its skin shrunken st-francis-xavier_01to the bones, and the rest of the ‘body’ covered in a shroud. The body parts of saints are in great demand; Saint Xavier’s toe was bitten off by a devotee. Hence nobody is allowed to put a hand inside the sealed casket.  Of the body of St. Aquinas, we no longer know where it is preserved to radiate divine fragrance we do not know.

Many were cured by the very mention of Father Aquinas.  Aquinas’s miracles were carefully documented by the monks; the messengers of the monastery carried these documents to Pope John XXII (1244-1334, Papacy 1316-1334). On their way atop a hill, they watched a donkey straining under a heavy load, its legs giving way under the strain and it falling down the precipice. Out of pity, they invoked the name of Father Aquinas whereupon the donkey promptly stood up and walked on as if nothing had happened while  the heavy bundle on its back repositioned itself safe and intact. We hear no story of Aquinas or his disciples taking pity on anyone whose limbs were being methodically broken while he or she revolved on a breaking wheel as a result of an inquisition.

The Pope did not subscribe to the idea of beatification of anyone after death – he thought it should be left to God on the Day of Judgment.  Aquinas was a Dominican who practised poverty and lived as a mendicant; Pope John loved to live an ostentatious life and had issued a Papal Bull against Franciscans who, like Dominicans, practiced poverty and frugal living. However, Aquinas’s fame was far too profound to resist; the Pope canonized Aquinas probably under duress from his cardinals. Even today, Catholicism largely follows the theological writings of Thomas Aquinas, which are taught in their seminaries.

Though Aquinas was a Catholic Saint and a doyen of Catholicism,   Protestant apologetics do not care for his sainthood and fame, but freely use his arguments of the Prime Mover and the First Cause to prove the existence of their God. It is a given that once the arguments succeeded and one accepted the existence of a Prime Mover or a Prime Cause, there is no further question that such a God  was the God of the Bible, the Trinity –  the three gods in one person or three persons in one God – not the multiple gods of pagans.

The science that Aquinas relied on was of Aristotle (384–322 BC), who was a brilliant logician-philosopher-scientist of his time  Nobody knew till the advent of modern science in the 17th Century that in his time Aristotle had a wrong set of data to base his arguments on, and  had arrived at wrong (as we see it today) conclusions. Bible gave no clue as to why and how God did what he did – apart from his childish ambition that he alone be worshipped and none else. Another source of scientific data for Aquinas was the Muslim polymath and philosopher Ibn Sina (980 –1037; Avicenna to Europeans) who did not contradict Aristotle on matters such as motion of celestial bodies. The First Cause argument of Aquinas is a direct take-off – or at least influenced by – the logic of Ibn Sina which goes thus:

Things come into and go out of existence – which means that they are not a necessity. Contingent existence cannot arise unless it is made necessary by a cause. A causal chain in reality must culminate in one un-caused cause because one cannot posit an actual infinite regress of causes (a basic axiom of Aristotelian science). Therefore, the chain of contingent existents must culminate in and find its causal principle in a sole, self-subsistent existent that is Necessary. This, of course, is the same as the God of religion.”

(Quoted  from http://www.iep.utm.edu/avicenna/).

We find that there is sufficient cause for his peers to allege that Aquinas was influenced by the Muslim Philosopher Ibn Sina  or Avicenna. Aquinas’s attempt at presenting his argument in syllogistic steps also appears to be borrowed from the works of Avicenna.

Next : II. The Five Arguments

THE COCKROACH AND THE LAST NUKE

At four in the morning, only three-quarters awake, I switch on the kitchen light. A big, rum-colored cockroach, which was probably at work on the remnants of sugar on a spoon that was left unwashed, scurries  across  and hides under the water pot.

I gingerly pick up a slipper. I hate to kill. But killing these little six-legged monsters I shan’t mind.  I do not wish to share my world with roaches that are supposed to spread diseases and cause food poisoning. Never mind that Bear Grylls, the survival specialist in Discovery television munches on living cockroaches to demonstrate the technique of survival and seems none the worse for it. Presence of cockroaches and rats in the house – especially in the kitchen – is a sure sign of bad sense of hygiene. Bad sense of hygiene is related to what is known as the third world, even if you believe that New York, the headquarters of the First World, has more rats and cockroaches than in New Delhi and Bombay counted together.

In the meanwhile, I am contemplating the next action, the slipper poised in my hand. The cockroach is thinking too, for I can see its antennae, which jut out from underneath the water-pot, rubbing together as if relishing a challenge. The cockroach’s horizon of vision must be quite small, much smaller than mine, but its perception of details has to be large, much larger than mine. It probably never sees me as a whole, but only a part of me when I am this close, like I would only see every blade of grass when standing close to the mountain but not the mountain itself. Its tiny equipment of sensory perception is probably sharp enough to sense the urgency of blood movement in my veins, indicating the degree of my agitation, just as the movement of its antennae gives me a clue of its own state of mind.

The cockroach aims at survival and is rather sure of it. I plan destruction, but am yet unsure.  I do not want cockroaches in my house. If I do not kill it, but pick it up and throw it away, it will come back with its brood and cause me bigger embarrassment or raise the chance of my children getting sick.

By now there is a steady stream of hostile communication happening between me and the cockroach. Both of us are assessing the probability of success. It, of survival under such an adverse circumstance. I, of destruction under a different circumstance. I am annoyed to notice that it is not half as agitated as I am, but is playing a game.

I move to lift the pot, simultaneously banging the slipper down on where I estimate the cockroach to be.  The hateful insect dashes before the footwear touches the ground, and hides behind the tea kettle, this time positioning itself in the corner where the flat slab of the cooking table meets the tiled wall. Intuitively or by careful computation, it knows that my slipper cannot crush it flat in that corner.

The kettle is on the boil by now. I consider flushing it with boiling water, but decide against the cruelty involved. I do not eat at high-flung restaurants where the chef brings a huge living crab or throbbing lobster for your approval. You nod in appreciation, and he throws the living thing into boiling water. No. I cannot cause that much pain. A slap with my slipper would cause quick death, not a slow and painful halal. I had never considered joining the Islamic State for the vicious pleasure of cutting throats.

Not aware of my dubious philosophy of non-violence, the cockroach is still computing the probabilities of success in dodging my next murderous move. Its antennae still rub together cheerfully, but the heat of the kettle must be getting on its nerves by now; it has to move away quickly.

I know I can prod it out of the corner and then try to kill it. The cockroach knows it must move faster this time and find a safer and cooler place or be killed. It’s a battle of wits between a presumptuous self-made electronic engineer and an apparently simple cockroach with no schooling, but a tremendous amount of intuitive skills. Perhaps mother cockroaches do home-school their little ones before sending them out to match their wits with human demons.

The cockroach wins. I give up. I will get you next time, I murmur under breath. Next time is another time, you loser, says the cockroach in its ultrasound roach-speech, showing me the victory sign with its aerials.   I pour the boiling water into my coffee cup and move away.

The ultra-sonic call of Loser, loser, reverberates in my mind.

Nicholas Strausfeld, celebrated neuroscientist, had said  that insects possess the most sophisticated brain in the planet;  yet that brain is no larger than a grain of salt. Had  my own brain been created with a network of a million such insect brains, I could probably be much smarter than I am right now.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the theorist of Natural selection were to conclude that a cockroach is a result of nature’s attempt at miniaturization – that at this point of time it is the cockroach that stands at the tether end of evolution, not us humans. If survival and propagation of species are the prime aims of life, cockroaches get a walkover on humans.

A human tries to get maximum benefits from least amount of work; the cockroach is already doing it. A human exploits the labors of other humans to make a living; cockroach exploits as many humans as it can find to make a cozier living.  The cockroach stands a better chance of living out a full life span than one born human. Cockroaches are not known to make racial or religious wars or to commit genocide- not even suicide-bombing. It is capable of raising a deadly stink, but is not known to have gassed its own species of a different race. They do not invent gods and then kill each other in the name of those weird products of imagination. They are, I mentally give in, nobler than the average human; even smarter. Humans took several millions of years to develop an unwieldy and potentially dangerous flying machine to flit across their places of interest, the cockroaches that needed to move fast simply developed a set of wings to achieve the same end.

If human efforts at progress end up in a nuclear holocaust, cockroaches, they say, would be the only ones to survive. This could be true, for I once tried to bake a loaf of bread in a microwave without noticing a cockroach that had crept in beneath the loaf. After a few minutes of ‘baking’, the bread came out charred at the top, the cockroach slunk away from underneath as if nothing had happened.

Humans live in a fool’s paradise. Only they have consciousness, they say, the rest of the animal kingdom are zombies doing things by ‘instincts’ – whatever that might mean. Humans get a soul on the forty-second day of gestation in the womb, or may be as soon as one is born, but then the souls live on forever – whether to go to heaven and have fun with houries  (or maybe play a harp to God which is not much fun), or in hell to be burnt, pulled out when nearly burnt-out  and still screaming, hung up on skewers, brushed with chili paste and oil, and then put back into the flaming barbeque, again and again, on and on, till the end of time which has no  end in time. As for my own kind,  since I was born a Hindu whose souls never die, they just change the body the way you change worn-out clothes. To beat the Abrahamic God at his own fire-boarding game, my relations would burn my dead body to ashes before His agents thrust their skewers into me.

If evolution means the progressive improvement of destructive power, then alone, it would seem, humans stand at the final end of progress – exploding a series of fusion bombs in each other’s’ front yard to utterly destroy all that mankind has,  putting to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey, sparing nothing, as once the God of the Bible demanded of man.

Yet, I guess, after all those nukes have fallen and this globe had become a bleak landscape of tree-stumps and blackened  hills, ashen waves rolling sky-high under a sun hidden by  spreading mushroom clouds, the cockroach would live on, hiding behind charred  wood and rocks, rubbing its antennae together, confused but already scheming to start life again after things cool.  There will be many such lucky roaches roaming the landscape, looking for burnt flesh under human and animal skin, but also for mates to mate with. Life would go on in the roach world; there will soon be evolutions and mutations that would go on for millions of years, and after thousands of such millions would emerge humans with their multi-cellular brains, soon  fashioning  swords and axes, bows and arrows, nukes and missiles, prodded on by their imaginary Gods and Godlings.

I guess that’s how the cycle of life would keep spinning. Good thing I did not kill that cockroach.

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CREATION IN ISLAM

The Book, meaning the Bible –  Old and New Testaments –  recorded by Prophet Musa (Moses) were corrupted by Jews and Christians. It took Allah more than six hundred years to realize that it happened. As soon as He did, he sent his angel Jibril (wrongly called Gabriel by the Jews and Christians) down to meet a wise man, Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim (570-632), traditionally known and celebrated as Muhammad Nabi PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him), created and despatched to this world as the last and the greatest Prophet of all times for mankind.

Having been brought up as an orphan by his uncle, Muhammad, the last Prophet for all mankind, never learnt to read or write.  Yet he proved himself an unusually clever youth who married a renowned businesswoman, his employer named Khadījah bint Khuwaylid (555-620), also known as Khadijah the Great,  over 15 years older than himself.  He was a natural leader of men and far too wise for his age. Yet, although faithful and dedicated to his ageing wife till she diedIslam Gabriel and Muhammad,  it  was his nature  to spend his spare time in a lonely cave named Hira and contemplate the universe and its mysteries. This gave God a chance to send many revelations to mankind with this thoughtful man as his Messenger.

One day, in the year 610 AD in this cave, the Archangel Jibril (or Jibrail) appeared before him in a flash of light and commanded : Read.

Read Muhammad did, first with trepidation, then with enthusiasm because the later revelations came in welcome trickles just in time, as and when the occasion demanded, even to save his own reputation, over a period of 23 years. What the Prophet heard from Jibril, he dictated at the first opportunity to his companions, who wrote it down on parchments, camel skin, on their own shoulders, stone slabs or whatever came handy. Twenty years after his death, after many of those who had taken down the prophesies on various media of the aforesaid kind had died or were killed in various battles fought for the advancement of Allah’s revelations, it was decided that the verses had to be collated and  compiled into the greatest work which had no parallel, and which God himself challenged all mankind and Jinns (anticipating the compilation which was to be achieved two decades later) to come together, jointly or severally, to try and produce something similar. God had told Muhammad in no uncertain terms:

Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.””(Q.17:88)

So far, both mankind and Djinns have failed miserably to take up this challenge. Hence the correct record of the creation remains only with the Quran – words of Allah, the greatest of all Gods, God with no partners, as mouthed by Jibril the angel, heard and repeated by Prophet Muhammad, recorded by whoever was immediately available, verified by Zayd bin Thabit (610-660) who had worked as an ex-officio secretary of the Prophet, and compiled  under the supervision of Caliph Uthman Bin Affan (576-656), the third Caliph of Sunni Islam. True Quran remains in Arabic, language of Allah, and since no translation could be just as true, any such translation has to be printed with the Arabic version alongside.

HADITH AND SUNNAH

Yet Quran, the most perfect and faultless record of Creation and its aftermath, did not answer all the queries that the doubting companions of Muhammad would come up with, so Muhammad intuitively answered those queries either by sudden enlightenment or of his own knowledge. These Muhammad’s private sayings came to be called Hadith. Thus Hadiths are secrets that Muhammad whispered into the ears of some of his trusted companions, re-visited 200 years later by Sahih al-Bukhari (810-870) and another trusted person, Imam Sahih Muslim (817-874). There are other sources of Hadiths, but they carry lesser certification of authenticity. Inconvenient or embarrassing hadiths are to be selectively disclaimed as false and fraudulent, even if they are included among the several thousands recorded by al-Bukhari.

The Hadiths were further supplemented by Sunnah, traditions set by Muhammad. There is presumably nothing on earth that cannot be accounted for by these three documents. Creation of Hadiths and Sunnas, combined with the Quran itself, serve as a source for the Shariah Law, the law under which it is the dream of all true Muslims, even though it sometimes led to your hand being chopped off or your neck sliced by a clean sweep by a trained sword man. However, unlike the Bible, Quran offers forgiveness as an alternative, and blood money for murder as a recompense, with the consolation that Allah will remember such kindly gestures. Only crime for which there is no redemption is blasphemy – questioning or insulting the Quran or creating a caricature or even a portrait of the Messenger of God, Muhammad.

SERIOUS INACCURACIES AND OMISSIONS IN THE BOOK ( The Bible)

Quran ratifies the original Book, meaning the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, but not the alleged inaccuracies and errors introduced by Jews and Christians for their own nefarious purpose. The Book (Bible) itself is incomplete because the Prophet Musa ((Moses to whom God dictated the Bible)) did not write down everything or because, although all Prophets including Musa where Muslims, there was no tradition of Hadith during Musa’s time. Thus from Quran which is the full and final version of God regarding Creation, we find that who tempted Eve was not the allegorical snake, but the real Shaytan whose name was Ibilis.  Ibilis came in the garb of, or on the back of the snake. The Book had made terrible omissions of describing how Jannah (heaven) was created in the first place, and how angels came into being. The book does not mention at all the Djinns, to which tribe Satan (Shaytan or Ibilis) belonged. Quran corrects these errors and fills in the omissions.

CREATION OF HEAVEN

“I (A companion of Muhammad) said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! From what was the creation created?’

He said: ‘From water.’

We said: ‘Paradise, what is it constructed of?’

He said,’Bricks of silver and bricks of gold. Its mortar is musk of a strong fragrance, and its pebbles are pearls and rubies, and its earth is saffron. Whoever enters it shall live and shall not suffer, and shall feel joy and shall not die, nor shall their clothes wear out, nor shall their youth come to an end.’

Volume 4. English Reference: Book 12, Hadith 2526 / Arabic reference : Book 38, Hadith 2717

Source : https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/38

 CREATION OF ANGELS

Before God made Man, during the process of creating other things in nature or immediately thereafter, God created Angels and Djinns. He didn’t make a grandfather Islam - Angels of Allahangel from whom other angels were born, as was what he did with mankind, but made angels wholesale. Presumably He made 70,000 for visiting Holy Mecca  each day of the year  by turn and thus, for a whole year, at least 70,000 x 365 =25,550,000 of them were created at one go and assigned different chores which, as you could imagine, are many. This total number is my guesswork, the exact number of angels is only known to Allah. (al-Bukhari)

Allah made the angels from light. They are very beautiful though invisible, equipped with two, three or four pairs of wings according to need,  living in heaven or flying around for the sole purpose of obeying Allah’s commands, for carrying Him around, for deciding the sex and fortune of every baby in the womb (as we shall see forthwith), for dragging the dead to their graves, interrogating them while in the grave and then for knocking them awake on judgment day, for blowing the trumpet when it is time to start the judgment and for a million other chores and, without fail,  for praising His glory at all times.

The most significant among angels are Archangels –  Jibril (wrongly called Gabriel by Jews and Christians) the one who brought revelations from Allah to his Messenger among them.  When Muhammad had an occasion to see him in his true form (and not in the disguise of a human preacher), Jibril had six hundred wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls and rubies, only Allah knows about them.” (Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood). You’d notice that Allah and his brood have great affinity for material riches – Gold and silver, pearls and precious stones.

Jibril was so large that he filled the space between earth and heaven.(Hadith : Sahi Muslim), but could take the puny human form which is how he visited Prophet Muhammad in several disguises, and Mary (Mariam) in a single disguise (Q.19:17-21) before announcing that Allah had decided that she would get pregnant and deliver Jesus, the other Messenger of Allah though He would have no direct part in the conception. This very fact that we find in the Hadith of Sahih Muslim proves that Jesus was not a son of God, but like Muhammad himself, a special (but less special than Muhammad) messenger of Allah.

He (Jesus) said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet. (Q.19:30)

Archangels had more profound work than the ordinary ones. It was Archangel Jibril, we noted before, who enlightened Muhammad on the Quran. Mikail is another archangel who is to nourish human body and soul;  Israfil is for blowing the trumpet on the Judgment day, (whose creation so well in advance shows how God plans well ahead) and  Malak-Al-Maut is the  the angel of death.  These four constitute the middle circle directly reporting to Allah. A couple of guardian angels for each human  – their duty being noting down their deeds every moment of the day and thus preparing a huge file for the Judgment Day –  angels who move clouds, those who provide food and water, and, among other many chores, the four Hamalat al-Arsh angels who surround continuously praise Allah, nursing His ego and carrying His throne when He decides (if He decides) to move from his place on top of the seven layers of heaven. God made angels like  modern robots capable of great work with no free will; they needed no food, suffered no hunger, thirst or sexual desire, had no need at all to defecate or urinate. They remain completely at the command of Allah, ever ready for action like operational fighter pilots waiting and poised for a call to scramble whether or not a war is on.

Jibril  was  God’s favourite;  there is a standing decree that  whoever was an enemy of Jibril  was an enemy of God.( Q. 2:97-98). One should be careful not to cultivate enmity with Jibril if ever one happens to come across him. Though Jibril enjoys such a high station, you must never imagine that he is a partner of God. If you do, you are doomed to eternal hell fire, and would be made to drink pus from the washing of wounds. ((Quran 69:35-37)

CREATION OF DJINNS

A slight variation from angels, which in all probability God made as an afterthought, and whom God created from smokeless fire, are Djinns who have free will but are presumably prevented from using it. Of them, Ibilis, the Shaytan (Satan), dared to use his free will to rebel with Allah by refusing to prostrate before Adam (or Adaam) as described later below. Shaytan is so dangerous that every Muslim should start with a plea for refuge from him even before reciting  Bismillaahhir-Rahmaanir-Raheem (In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful). in each of the Islam Shaytanmandatory five prayers (Salaat) a day. While Angels live in heaven when not in need, Djinns wander on earth invisible, and some of them are up to mischief. Ibilis, needless to say, is the worst of all of them, and has the permission from Allah himself to try and corrupt those (including children above ten years of age) who do not say the  five daily prayers and those who had been destined for the hell while they were a thumb-sized foetus in the womb (see below).

Prophet Muhammad has said that some snakes are poisonous while some others could be djinns in disguise.  However, Bible is wrong to say that Satan was the snake. Iblis, the Shaytan, travelled on the back of a snake to tempt the couple. Snakes had not been cursed to eat dust, a fact that proves how wrong the Bible could be and how right Quran is. When you notice that snakes eat frogs and rodents, but not dust, you learn for sure that Quran is right; Bible has been corrupted by Jews and Christians.

WHY MEN COME IN DIFFERENT COLOURS

Adam was shaped by Allah with his own hands and was given a soul with his own breath. Thus he was a uniquely honourable being: Before beginning the task of his creation, God had warned the angels and djinns:

“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am going to create a human (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.  So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” (Q. 38:71-72).Islam people of different colors

Bible fails to say how, if all of us are the children of the same Adam, some who call themselves white are blond resembling Albinos, or are tanned pink or pale, some others  are olive-coloured, yet others are chocolate-brown to coal black and, as if that many varieties aren’t adequate, there are cream-coloured ‘ýellow’ people as well. This conundrum is resolved in Islam by a Hadith:

God created Adam from a handful of soil containing portions from all its varieties on Earth.  Angels were sent to earth to collect the soil that was to become Adam.  It was red, white, brown, and black; it was soft and malleable, hard and gritty; it came from the mountains and the valleys; from infertile deserts and lush fertile plains and all the natural varieties in between.  The descendants of Adam were destined to be as diverse as the handful of soil from which their ancestor was created; all have different appearances, attributes and qualities.

We presume that Eve (Hawwah)  was made from the same admixture of clay as Adam. One of the Hadiths reveals that Adam was 60 cubits (30 metres)  in height when created (al-Bukhaari, 3336; Muslim, 7092) and since then mankind has been diminishing in height. Although how a female was made is not important, we must imagine that Hawwah was of proportional, though lesser, height.

Muhammad (PBUH) reportedly said, “God created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall” and, “Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure)”. ( Abu Hurayrah).

Thus if you are a good Muslim with a good record from your guardian angel, you’d be surprised to find yourself 30 metres tall and exquisitely handsome when you enter heaven. It points to a possibility that all those who are in paradise would look exact clones of Adam, which, I’m afraid, could be quite a bore. If you wish to be in paradise, it is no big deal that you lose your own visage but get an Adam mask, just as election campaigners don the mask of their leaders.

Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.”

They (Angels) said: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, – while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You.”

He (Allah) said: “I know that which you do not know.” (Quran 2:30)

Allah did not reveal what he knew, because He knew that the most pious and beloved of Allah would make the most troubles for mankind.

RESPITE FOR SHAYTAN

After teaching Adam the names of all other created beings, God told the angels to prostrate before him. All the angels obeyed the command as any robot would, but Satan, whose name is Ibilis, baulked. “You made this man from clay, but made me from fire. I’m superior. How could you ask me to bow to him?”. He asked with temerity.

Now, such audacious logic was not expected of any djinn whom God had created without the urge for argument, free will, desire for food, need to defecate or engage in sex even in heaven where free (but legitimate) sex flows only for faithful humans and martyr. So obviously Satan was a defective product.  God cursed him to vanish to hell.

It’s Man who put me in this predicament. Give me eternal life so I could make him sin at every turn,” pleaded Ibilis.

(Iblees (Satan)) said: “O my Lord! Give me then respite till the Day they (the dead) will be resurrected.”

The argument evidently impressed Allah. He said: “Then, verily, you are of those reprieved till the Day of the time appointed” (Q.15: 36 – 38).

Thus God, being merciful, readily agreed to give Ibilis  reprieve till the day of judgment by which time he  could gather a huge crop of candidates as fuel for hell fire which would keep burning till eternity.

[Ibilis] Promised,

“My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all

Except, among them, Your chosen servants.”

 [ Allah ] said, “This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight.

Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators.

And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all. (Q:15: 39-43)

Thus a Memorandum of Understanding was reached between Allah and the Shaytan which would expire only on the day appointed – the Judgment Day

Why Allah so readily agreed to Satan’s request at man’s peril  is a mystery known only to Allah, says Quran. However, there is no mystery in it, because Allah always made it clear that He guides only those whom he willed, and that decision is made in the womb.Ayatollah Khomeini saying

….For indeed, Allah sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. So do not let yourself perish over them in regret. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of what they do. (Q.35:8)

Satan keeps using many tricks of his trade, making you committing all sorts of sin – like, for instance, making you say that God has other gods for  partners,  not letting you pra five times a day, making you pray to other gods, letting you eat flesh without making the prey suffer till all its blood is shed, encouraging you to eat pork and at other times and not reminding you to shout Allah is the greatest and Muhammad is his Messenger at all times. Satan allows you to  me friends with kafirs or non-believers or to wal away from a battle being fought in the name of Allah. Neither does he allow you to  do  Jihad (whether it means conversion of oneself or that of polytheists like Hindus and Yazidis and even Jews and Christians who do not surrender to Allah but pay obeisance to other gods).

One way to keep a woman out of heaven and in perennial hell is to rape her. It does not matter who is at fault, but if she is raped, she belongs to Shaytan. In any case, a majority (something like 99%) of those charring and wailing in hell are women.

The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.”  Sahih Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 2 :: Hadith 28

HOW ALLAH WILLS YOUR FATE

This is how Allah made the job of Iblis lighter by pre-deciding who would sin and who wouldn’t. (al-Bukhari: 3036). On the fortieth or forty-second day after conception, one of the angels assigned with this skilled job enters the womb and shouts,

Allah, what gender should I carve on this foetus?”

God shouts back the sex of the foetus, and the angel does a surgical job on the foetus, which is yet a lump of flesh.

Allah, does this grow up to be a sinner or a good Muslim?”

Allah determines on the spot who would be fit to be the companion for Iblis and a victim for the raging fire in hell and who could go to paradise and live in a bed with rivers flowing beneath and virgin women constantly staring at him.

We notice here that Allah does not depend on his omniscience and omnipotence in taking note of human frailties and sins, but has angels as back-office clerks to do this tedious job.

Although God hates partners, Iblis works as his alternative in the lowly hell presumably stoking fire and cultivating putrid pus for use on sinners after the day of Judgment while God himself resides on a throne in a beautifully furnished room on top of all layers of heaven. We know this, not because of the gory scenes in Revelations in the New Testament, but because Muhammad, the final and most esteemed Prophet was allowed to go and see it with his own spiritual eyes (but not the eyes on his head) shortly before his death.

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q.17:1)

FALL OF ADAM AND EVE

God, in his mercy, initially decided to keep Adam and his companion Hawwah in heaven. Though supposed to be  omniscient, he had not anticipated disobedience. The disobedience of eating the prohibited fruit, however, got them thrown down to earth.

Adam expressed regret for being banished from heaven and the Garden of Eden, but Allah consoled him and promised to send him guidance from time to time (Q. 2:38). The last such guidance sent down was Prophet Muhammad himself. There will be no further guidance from above because, for one thing, Quran has all the guidance you need, and for another, Yawmal Qiama or the judgment day, is very near.

But that is no reason to worry. “Narrated Abu Huraira:  The Prophet said, ‘The Israelis used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.’

The people asked, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! What do you order us (to do)?’

He said, ‘Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship.’ (al-Bukhari, 4:6:661)

We see that Muhammad was right. Israelis are ruled by a prophet called Benjamin Netanyahu these days. There are many claimants to the Caliphate of Islam, but a man named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claims the top spot because he says he is from the same tribe, Quraysh, as the Prophet. Muhammad, in his kindness and probably with the intention that the circle of claimants should be of limited radius, had decreed before death that all Caliphs should come should be from the same tribe as himself. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is doing a good job of creating true jihadists  and martyrs to populate paradise; it is not clear why he finds no favour with much of the Ummah or Muslim community.

UNLIKE THE CHRISTIAN, MUSLIM IS PURE AT BIRTH

Allah had a better sense of fairness than Jehovah (YHWH) alleged father of Jesus Christ,  the Christian version of God. The wrath of God for the sin of disobedience committed by Adam (Adaam) and Eve (Hawwa) would not visit on his Muslim progeny. On the other hand Christians, whatever their good deeds while alive, are born sinners because of the misdeeds (making love after eating the fruit of temptation) of Adam and Eve; they need to atone for their sins in Jesus Christ, who alone was born outside the sin of sexual intercourse, which is a divine magic called Immaculate Conception. Quran grudgingly accedes to immaculate conception, but baulks at the claim that Jesus was the son of God. Unlike Protestant Christians (and Christ himself – Matthew 12:46) ) who care a hoot for Mary, Quran dedicates a whole Surah (19) for her, named Maryam therein.

ONLY THOSE WHOM ALLAH WILLS

Chosen Muslims are born good and pure (except when decided otherwise by Allah when they are in the womb), but are prone to be corrupted and to become fit to occupy the terrible hell if only they fell prey to the persuasion of Ibilis, whom God had kindly authorised to do the task of corrupting them. Which is why, to make it easier for Ibilis, God sends a couple of angels to visit the forty-days-old thumb-sized lump of meat (or clot of blood) that is  foetus in the womb and to record who will fall prey to sin and who would remain pure Muslim, how long the foetus would live after taking birth, and how well it would be provisioned while also deciding the sex of the piece of flesh who begins to take shape from that day. Soon the foetus gets its supply of bones and is clothed in flesh and skin; ready to enter this world, not knowing he or should would be a sinner or a peer (saint) until it is too late and the fireplace starts yearning for his(or her) flesh.

“Each one of you is constituted in the womb of the mother for forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him…” (al-Bukhari: 3036).

ALLAH CREATES EVERY INDIVIDUAL

Unlike the Christian God, Allah did not leave off the business of creating his progeny  after making Adam. He personally creates every man and woman born till this day.

“And verily We did create man from a quintessence (of clay). Then We placed him (as a drop of sperm) in a place of rest, firmly fixed. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood. Then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump. Then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh. Then We developed out of it another creature (by breathing life into it). So blessed be Allah, the most marvellous Creator” (Q. 23:: 12-14).

Here we note that women have no role at all in procreation except offering a space, firmly fixed,  for the lump to grow and get clothed into a human being – sinner or saint as decided by Allah.

JANNAH OR PARADISE

Describing the soil of Paradise, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “I entered Paradise, where I saw lights of pearl, its soil was musk.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And beside them will be chaste females (virgins) restraining their glances only for their husbands, (and) of equal ages. (Quran 38:52)

But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.)) and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening (Paradise) (Q.4:57)

Wherein both will be those (maidens) restraining their glances upon their husbands, whom no man or jinn yatmithhunna (has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse) before them. (Quran 55:56)

And, for further pleasure and status in heaven for martyrs who died in the cause of Allah,

The  Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head—and its gems are better than the world and what is in it—he is married to seventy two wives among Al-Huril-‘Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives. (Jami al-Tirmidhi, “The sayings of Muhammad, Sunnah.com).

A martyr could recommend seventy of your relatives into heaven. Evidently, nepotism is a virtue in Paradise.

And

Whilst I was walking in Paradise, I saw a river whose banks were domes of hollow pearls. I asked, ‘What is this, O’ Jibreel?’ He said, ‘This is Al-Kawthar which your Lord has given to you.’ Its scent – or its mud – was of fragrant musk.” Hudbah, may Allah be pleased with him [one of the narrators] was not sure if he said Teeb (scent) or Teen (mud). [Al-Bukhari]

“The martyrs are in a green dome beside the river of Baariq, by the gate of Paradise, from which provision comes to them morning and evening.” [Al-Jaami’]

And for those who come with special preferences,

There will circulate among them boys [especially] for them, as if they were pearls well-protected. (Q.52:24)

 CIRCUMCISION :  POST-CREATION REPAIR WORK

It is probable that Jibril forgot to pass an instruction on circumcision to the Prophet, or the latter forgot to note it down. However, Allah says in many verses that He made everything perfect, implying no intervention or repair work needs to be done by man whom he made in his own image, which means that Allah is not circumcised.  There is no record if and when Adam was circumcised.

Although nowhere in  Quran does Allah demand that men and/or women be circumcised; since it is written in the discredited Book that God made a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17:19) that all males should be circumcised by decapitating the top of their genital skin, Islam decided to follow this Jewish practice. Furthermore, when specifically asked, the Prophet said:

Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra (common sense or common practice) : circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the moustaches short, clipping the nails, and depilating the hair of the armpits.” (al-Bukhari).

The suggestion is that since people are doing it, you do it as well.

Since girls are not to be let off scot-free, it was decided by many Muslims (though not Jews)  to carry out an even more brutal kind of circumcision on little girls –the removal of the clitoral prepuce (hood of the clitoris), which is supposed to be similar to the prepuce of a penis which is what is removed in male circumcision. The other procedures, “/ known as female genital mutilation types 2 and 3, where the labia minora, labia majora and clitoris may be extracted. These are considered forbidden but are done anyhow among Muslims residing in several regions closer to the Middle East – Allah’s favourite region – where Mecca, the centre of the universe exists and wherefrom the uniform CMBR (Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation) is supposed to be radiated.

To those who argue that female circumcision is not warranted, an Islamic education site has this answer:

In truth, it would be incorrect to say that female circumcision has no place in Islam regardless of whether it is allowed or not allowed simply on the grounds that there is not enough evidence supporting either position.

The Prophet evidently had no instruction from above, but he expressed his personal opinion in one instance:

A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. (Dawud ; Narrated by Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah

Thus Islam ensures gender equality at least in the matter of genital mutilation which is not true of Christianity or Judaism.

LIFE AFTER DEATH

Every man and woman is individually created by Allah. He or she eventually goes to grave and awaits his or her fate. Being a true Muslim give you considerable hope for a bed in heaven with a tray bearing dates and pomegranate by your side, rivers gargling away beneath,  a couple of wives sitting beside you with their eyes only on you.  This is if you are a man – who stares at you if you are a woman is not clear.  Perhaps a woman’s reward is to keep staring at her husband until he’s finished deflowering the other wife and then turns to herself for repeating the same painful process on her.

However, you’d need to await the judgment which needs to come from God, and Muhammad, who would conduct the proceedings and  read your scroll – your charge sheet.  It is no consolation that the hellfire comes  after a long sojourn in cold and forgotten graves, because, after the day of judgment, and the stars and the moon and the planets had fallen on earth, the condemned will be led to hellfire to burn and to drink putrid pus, again and again, till eternity with no return and no end to the torture.

Then you will wail loudy, but Muahammd will say : You did not believe. Now “Taste you the torment of the burning (Fire).” (Quran 3:181) till the end of time – and, ha ha,  there is no end of time

So whatever you do, you are trapped.

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CREATION IN THE HOLY BIBLE

This simple and hence,  by definition elegant, theory of creation originated in the mind of ancient Jews but is now owned, defended and often celebrated by Christians of all shades.

James Ussher (1581 –1656), Anglican Archbishop of Ireland calculated that Creation began at 9 AM on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC – some 6012 years  ago. With such precision in the calculation, one could hardly go wrong.

  • Day one (Sunday, Oct 23) : God created the heaven and earth; divided light from the darkness
  • Day 2: Built a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from waters – under the firmament (sea) and above the firmament (source of rain?)
  • Day 3. Dry land was named earth; Water under the heaven was gathered together into one place and called it the seas. Earth brought forth grass, the herb-yielding seed, tree  yielding fruits of its kind
  • Day 4. Lights (sun and moon and the stars) in the firmament of heaven dividing day and night and be signs for seasons, for days and years, and to give light on earth.
  • Day 5. Waters brought forth moving creatures, fowls that may fly above earth in the open firmament of heaven and told them to multiply.
  • Day 6: Earth brought forth living creatures of their kind and everything that crept on earth.
  • Day 6: God created man in his own image, male and female, to replenish earth and to multiply, and to have dominion over the fowl of the air and everything that moves on earth Every fruit of a tree yielding seed, every fowl of the air, everything creeps upon earth and every green herb for meat.
  • On day 7, God decided to take rest. (Having discovered that rest is good), God later made that day holy, named it Sabbath, and ordered that none of his human creations would do any work on that day.

God created Adam in his own image, shaping him in clay and blowing Eve the sidekickHis breath into him. A little while after Adam stood up as a full-grown man with a naval that served no purpose and all the other paraphernalia and genitalia in God’s own image, God decided that Adam needed a companion to while away his time.  So He put him to sleep and removed a rib of his to create one, but not exactly in his own image. We do not know why God formed this companion with different sexual endowments. That God made Adam in his own image is well known, and was recently certified by Pope Francis, the most liberal Pope in History.

God also made cherubs, winged and baby-faced tough cookies. Some of them guard the tree of eternal life lest a medical graduate finds it while researching for his PhD. There are other angels who do small chores for God and man. Six of them, Seraphim their name, position themselves around God’s throne to hide His face and feet  and to generally serve as body-guards (Isaiah, 6: 2-4). Another two of these winged angels  provide the motive force to make the throne fly.  Job of another couple of these winged guards is to keep chanting ‘Holy, holy, the whole earth is full of glory‘ when God flies while sitting on his throne, the train of his robe filling an entire temple (Ibid).

When God made all the grass, plants  and trees on day three, even before he created the sun, the Garden of Eden must have come into being which was where Adam and his companion were created. In that garden, there were two fruit-bearing trees – one had aphrodisiac fruits while the other had fruits that gave one eternal life. Being a jealous God (whose name was ‘Jealous’ – Ex. 34:14)), He warned Adam not to eat from the tree of Kamasutra knowledge. If you ate its fruit, God lied, you’d die. Actually it was not an entire lie because Adam did die some 900 years later. Since females are insignificant. We are not told when his female companion – whom he later named Eve- died.

Of the tree of life, God wisely refrained from saying anything for fear that Adam would become equal to Him. To be doubly sure, He put cherubs on guard around the tree of eternal life which presumably still stands unnoticed somewhere in the Middle East.

Now they were naked, and being feminine with that special set of genitalia that God equipped her with for whatever reason,  Adam’s surgically created ‘sidekick‘ was filled with curiosity. She set her eyes on this allegorical snake. Being the first woman on earth, she neither knew nor cared about death.

“You won’t die, the Old Man was lying,” said the snake, by now erect and standing. Adam too was tickled by the situation. So they ate the fruit of sin. Stripped of the allegory, they screwed and loved it. As it was to happen forever in future, they dressed after eating the proverbial fruit of sin.

This leafy apparel that they wore gave them away when God arrived in the garden to
enjoy the cool breeze. (Apart from loving a walk in the garden, God also loved to smell burning flesh and the smell of incenses, wanted gold decorations on his tabernacle, and hated all other gods whose existence He  recognized by sitting in judgment over them). God, being a jealous God (whose name was Jealous) immediately knew from the hurried dressing that the original sin had been committed. He threw the couple out of Eden, cursing the man to work hard, and the woman to bleed and to suffer pain before, after and during child birth. The snake was told to eat and crawl on dust and to be enemies with the descendants of the woman and be stamped to death by her sons (Gen 2:14-15)

Now whether eating and sharing an apple or the nefarious act of making love – concupiscence – employing the biological equipment provided by God himself constituted the original sin shall remain an indeterminate factor in Judaic-Christian history. The punishment for the original sin, however, shall keep visiting the descendants of the original sinners – Adam and Eve – till eternity.

Having not read the Bible, nor being unable to hear anything unless it came as  a vibration on earth, snake cared a hoot for God’s command and has since then been eating frogs and rats instead of dust. Offspring of women have reconciled their enmity with snakes; many believe that killing a snake would affect the ecological balance. Huge snakes called Anna Conda do roam the wild, and have known to be dangerous. At least one Anna Conda is known to have swallowed a man without bothering to persuade him to sin.

Man and woman, of course, heard and understood the command (Gen 2: 14- 19).  Till recently, women have been suffering the terrible pangs of child birth. Now priests and Pastors curse the doctors who give them spinal injections to relieve the pain. Men have been working hard just as God had cursed them  – some breaking stones in the baking sun, some toiling in dangerous coalmines and  many others blabbering away in boardrooms and yet others hitting golf balls on soothing green fields while lesser workers carry their clubs for them. One curse that man and wife could not escape is that of death. We do not know why animals, of whom concupiscence was not forbidden and were also told to go and multiply, also suffer death.

Creationism - Billy GrahamHowever,  you cannot say that Biblical creation is a myth, it is a living ‘history’ whose credibility to old women and children has been boosted greatly by preachers, pastors, Bishops, writers, radio jockeys and movie makers.  A very impressive ‘The Bible: In the Beginning’ extravagantly created with stunning effects in the pre-digital era of 1966 was preceded and followed by several other movies and videos in several languages. The sex content implicit in the story of Creation was exploited in a Malayalam movie Adhya Papam (The Original Sin – 1988) by a little known director and even two lesser known actors who played Adam and Eve, naturally in the nude.  This was one movie that was loved by the pious and the connoisseur of the lurid. Needless to say, the producer made money and the actress went on to get a role in a hundred soft-porn movies in South Indian languages.

One way to escape death in which you’d  roast alive in hell till eternity  on account of sexual crime by Adam and Eve  is to trust the person who alone was born without the heinous and despicable original sin, the act of making love. Such a  person was Jesus Christ, a product of what is known as Immaculate Conception. In this mode of conception –  which took place only once in human history – God sent his spirit (also known as Holy Ghost) to impregnate an innocent virgin named Mary, already betrothed to a young carpenter named Joseph. To ensure that her virginity remained intact, this ghost entered Mary’s womb through an unknown alternative route and lodged God’s seed therein. It is not clear by what passage the baby took birth without disturbing the lady’s hymen, but it’s  not polite to ask.

Not being born of sin, Jesus became the redeemer of all those who were born from the original sin. Thus all those who put their faith in Jesus and believe this cock-and-bull
story escape death and hellfire.

Kent HovindIf you carry the impression that this Biblical story of creation is no longer believed in this age of science and reasoning, you couldn’t be more wrong. Thousands of preachers, pastors, Bishops and Evangelists in the United States demand that Creation be taught in schools. ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) group of schools teach it in the United Kingdom. In 2004, a teacher in Grace International School (which was graceful enough to warn me that they teach Christian principles when I went to enrol my child) angrily forced my six-year old grandson to retract his first project – a half-page scribble on Dynosaurs.

Do not bring such nonsense to class,” the teacher warned him. “There never was any such thing as dynosaurs. It finds no mention in the Bible.”

Creationism - Mark Stern on HBO DocumentaryScientists in general say that a theory to be elegant, it has to be simple and compact. The Biblical theory of the origin of the universe, known as Creation, is simple; easy enough for a child to understand, and compact – packed and shipped in six days flat. Einstein said that a theory should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. There is nothing simpler than : God said let there be, and there was, and good saw it was good (since God did not know that it would be good).

Nobody says that a theory should be intelligent, reasonable or testable – at least in a mathematical or empirical model. There lies the success of Biblical creation, supported by at least three major religions and their hundreds of break-away sects, albeit with minor variations.

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THE MANY HINDU THEORIES OF CREATION

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  1. THE VEDAS

The oldest of the Hindu scriptures is the Rig Veda, presumed to date back to eternity by Hindu puritans and to BC 3000-1500 by conservative historians. This Veda, the first of four, is actually a series of poetic incantations by the ancient nomadic tribe of Aryans.  (Believed nomadic because there is no mention of a grand temple or a house, only of cattle and food and fire places for worship – just as the Jews of Old Testament can only think of portable tents with golden pillars for their tabernacles. Most of those incantations, as if they are the forerunners of psalms, are aimed at getting material help from elemental gods in securing  booties like cattle  from battles with the tribes of indigenous enemies called Dasyus – so much like the prayers that must have echoed in the makeshift churches in the Americas when white men were determined to eliminate native Indians and to steal their land and cattle

The Vedic chants were addressed  to what you might call the elemental Gods – Indra, the philandering and powerful God of earlier times who wielded the thunderbolt,  Fire or Agni, the immediately accessible God who could be expected to  faithfully relay the offerings of the sacrifice to other Gods, Air or Vayu,  the other disernible though not visible God,  Rudra, the fierce God of the storm ,  Adityas – Suns of several seasons and times –, Savitr, Vishnu etc. ,  Ashwins, the twin horse-headed Gods and, not too surprisingly, Mithra, the ubiquitous God found across regions of same latitudinal width  from Greece through Rome, Iran and Northern India. There are also other Gods who make cameo appearances.

There is no mention of any of the later anthropomorphic Gods of the scriptures except of Vishnu. This Vedic Vishnu, who is one of the twelve aspects of Aditya the Sun, has a mere character role in the Vedas. He has little resemblance to the supreme God Vishnu who was to come later into Hindu beliefs. However, in Bhagavad Gita, another much celebrated scripture, Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu, does say that among the many Adityas (suns)  the Vedas, he is Vishnu (Gita 10.21). A Vedic verse that says allegorically that this Vishnu (sun) measured the earth in three steps (dawn, noon and evening) is adopted in a story where the scriptural Vishnu, in the disguise of a dwarf  named Vamana, measured the whole universe in two  steps and then for the third steip stamped down a genial demon king Bali into the netherworld so that his spreading popularity did not end up in the dethroning of Indra, the favoured god-king. Some say that another God that makes occasional appearance, Rudra, alludes to Shiva of the later scriptures, which is an unfounded claim. Vedic Rudra is the God of storm, father of Marut the wind,  and a dispenser of medicines

There is much philosophy in the Vedas (Rig Veda in particular), advice against gambling and womanizing, solace for wives who lost their husbands in battle and Confucius-like words of advice intermingled with solicitation to Gods we mentioned. Interestingly, there is also a couple of verses where a woman chants for the elimination of her mean co-wife. One thing that is common to the nature of all these semi-personal Gods to whom sacrifices are offered is that they all rejoice in Soma, the pressed (apparently not brewed or distilled) juice of some hallucinogenic plant. Indra, naturally, is the champion in imbibing Soma, and he alone gets totally inebriated with it. Others just enjoy it much like another of the many sacrificial offerings. Interestingly, there are verses that offer sacrifices to Soma as if it were also a God.

In ancient India,  there is no such word as one that means religion.  Dharma, which was later translated as religion by Western scholars actually meant virtue combined with observance of one’s duty. The word Hindu was first used by trading Arabs, probably rather derisively to refer to the people who settled around the Sindhu River, just as North Indians call Southerners Madrasis  and  the latter return the compliment with such phrases as Vadakkans (Northerner) with a taint of contempt.  Vedas probably started out as spontaneous songs of piety and appeal for security  and special favours,  but later transformed into symbols of knowledge and power of the priestly community just as TaNaKh was produced for the sole benefit of Jewish priesthood (Moses’ brother Aaron and his progeny to begin with) as a favoured people of God.  The difference is that while the favouritism of gods towards Brahmins sustained them in high financial and social status through centuries and this privilege is not yet entirely abated, all that the Jews received in return from being the favoured race of their God was persecution from God as well as men through the same centuries.

The Vedic incantations and promise of sacrificial offerings to these multiple Gods were interspersed with occasional  philosophical musings, eulogy of austerity and ethical exhortations, even paeans to the joy of love and sex. Claims regarding the creation and sustenance of the world by a God or Gods and the need for praising this God or Gods without interruption had a few dissenting voices among the verbal avalanche.

One version of creation in the Rig Veda goes thus:

These Brahmanaspati produced with blast and smelting, like a Smith, Existence, in an earlier age of Gods, from Non−existence sprang.

Existence, in the earliest age of Gods, from Non−existence sprang.

Thereafter were the regions born. This sprang from the Productive Power Earth sprang from the Productive Power the regions from the earth were born.

(Rig.Veda 10. LXXII.2-4.Trans. R.T.H. Griffith (1826-1906); www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/)

The reference to blast and smelting and the productive power energises a few well-meaning Hindus to claim that the Vedas always knew of the Big-bang origin of the universe of which modern science learnt barely a century ago. Hindus rarely have a quarrel with modern science; they can always find a verse or two among their numerous scriptures that vaguely hints at one scientific theory or another. “Scientifically proved” is a constant claim you hear from priests, Astrologers, self-styled Babas and laymen.  The claims may be as bogus as Zakir Naik’s claims of science in Quran,  or of  Dr. James Frederick Ivey that “the ways in which the application of science, especially modern physics, quantum mechanics, and relativity have important applications in our thinking about God, the Bible, and Judeo-Christianity” – but the believers have no qualms about repeating the refrain that any truth in science can be found in their scripture. You are very unlikely to hear a Hindu preacher, the Guru or the Baba, denouncing science itself while cursing materialism over an electronic microphone,  having come down first class in a Dreamliner from his palace-like Ashram in India or the United States,  transported from the airport to an LED-decorated stage in a Rolls Royce and seated on shiny synthetic cushions. Instead, he would speak of ‘vibrations’, resonance of the word Ohm through millennia, Brahamanda, the egg-shaped universe and paramanu, the smallest matter – atom or even a quark. The multiple theories of Hinduism, devoid of any inflexible dogma can fit into a church or a mosque except when confronted by blatant bigotry of Abrahamic religions.

In a  verse  that vaguely recalls the morbidity of crucifixion and the fate of the “Living Christ’ thereafter, Rig Veda tells us that real creation began with a pre-existent humanoid called Purusa (literally, the masculine being).

They balmed as victim on the grass Purusa born in earliest time. With him the Deities and all Sadhyas and Rsis sacrificed.

 From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up. He formed the creatures of−the air, and animals both wild and tame.

 From that great general sacrifice Rig and Sama−(Vedic) hymns were born: Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it.

 (Note : Rig, Sama and Yajur are the first three noble Vedas. The fouth, Atharva Veda, is  considered disreputable.)

 From it were horses born, from it all cattle with two rows of teeth: From it were generated kine, from it the goats and sheep were born.

 When they divided Purusa how many portions did they make? What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?

 The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rajanya made. His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet the Sudra was produced.

The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth; Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vayu from his breath.

 Forth from his navel came mid−air the sky was fashioned from his head, Earth from his feet, and from his car the regions. Thus they formed the worlds.

 Seven fencing−sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared, When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Purusa.

 Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the earliest holy ordinances.

 The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sidhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling. (Rig.10. 8. HYMN XC. )

Godman sathyasaibabaThis verse that hints of human sacrifice tells us that the humans were created with caste in their very origin. Earth sky and the celestial spheres were created after  humans were dropped into their respective caste moulds.

Though Purusa (often spelt Purusha) simply means a full-grown man, the sacrificial victim in this verse was a superman like Jesus Christ who was also sacrificed and his blood and flesh are still symbolically passed around as a sacrament and savoured by the pious  in churches of all denominations across the world. Whether this verse refers to an actual human sacrifice  that was held some time in the Vedic period  is a moot point.  If it was, then the sacrificial victim, a God among men (the comparison with Jesus glares)  was believed to have gone to heaven. Perhaps the story was  later interpolated into the Vedic package to show that caste system was not a new invention by Manu the law-giver,  or by the authors of such epics as Mahabharata and Ramayana.

If the so-called  Big Bang Theory in Rig Veda was the whim of one of the poets of the verses, another poet has a different explanation for creation

“SAVITAR (another seasonal name for the Sun)  fixed the earth with bands to bind it, and made heaven steadfast where no prop supported. Savitar milked, as ’twere a restless courser, air, sea bound fast to what no foot had trodden.

 Well knoweth Savitar, O Child of Waters, where ocean, firmly fixt, o’erflowed its limit.

 Thence sprang the world, from that uprose the region: thence heaven spread out and the wide earth expanded.

 Then, with a full crowd of Immortal Beings, this other realm came later, high and holy.

 First, verily, Savitar’s strong−pinioned Eagle was born: and he obeys his law for ever. As warriors to their steeds, kine to their village, as fond milk giving cows approach their youngling, As man to wife, let Savitar come downward to us, heaven’s bearer, Lord of every blessing.

(Rig Veda, 10. Part 11. HYMN CXLIX. Savitar).

In classic Rig Veda, which Hindus believe to be the fountainhead of all spiritual and scientific knowledge, there is at least one verse that challenges the popular concept of God and creation.  Thus  one of the creation theories in Rig Veda is openly skeptic:

 Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the existent’s kinship in the non−existent. Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it? There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder. 

Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation? The Gods are later than this world’s production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?

 He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it, Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

(Rig Veda, 10.10.129)

These famous lines are no prayer, but a rational thought – the first recorded philosophical enquiry into the very existence or significance of a God. Interpolated perhaps centuries after the nomadic Aryans began to chant verses and make sacrifices for their safety and acquisition of booties in their battles against the indigenous people they called Dasas or Dasyus. The expression, Dasa, later came to mean slave.

Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas that is looked down upon by the other three for its references to witchcraft and prescription for medicinal concoctions, speaks of Time as the creator of all. Time is treated philosophically and allegorically, and although the description is  somewhat obscure, I see this as the best among  the theories on creation in any Hindu scripture.  There is no sudden uprising of a fully developed universe here.  Shorn of all verbal ticker-tapes, the verse actually speaks of cosmic evolution of the universe as a function of Time which is vaguely along the lines of what modern science suggests.

Time, the steed, runs with seven reins (rays), thousand−eyed, ageless, rich in seed.

 The seers, thinking holy thoughts, mount him, all the beings (worlds) are his wheels. With seven wheels does this Time ride, seven naves has he, immortality is his axle. He carries hither all these beings (worlds).

Time, the first god, now hastens onward. …. He carries away all these beings (worlds); they call him Time in the highest heaven. He surely did bring hither all the beings (worlds), he surely did encompass all the beings. Being their father, he became their son; there is, verily, no other force higher than he.

 Time begot yonder heaven, Time also (begot) these earths. That which was, and that which shall be, urged forth by Time, spreads out. Time created the earth, in Time the sun burns. In Time are all beings, in Time the eye looks abroad. In Time mind is fixed, in Time breath (is fixed), in Time names (are fixed); when Time has arrived all these creatures rejoice. In Time tapas (creative fervour) is fixed; in Time the highest (being is fixed); in Time Brahma is fixed; Time is the lord of everything, he was the father of Prajâpati.

By him this (universe) was urged forth, by him it was begotten, and upon him this (universe) was founded. Time, truly, having become the Brahma supports Parameshthin (the highest lord). Time created the creatures (prajâh), and Time in the beginning (created) the lord of creatures (Prâjapati); the self−existing Kasyapa and the tapas (creative fervour) from Time  were born.

 From Time the waters did arise, from Time the Brahma, the tapas (creative fervour), the regions (of space did arise). Through Time the sun rises, in Time he goes down again.Through Time the wind blows, through Time (exists) the great earth; the great sky is fixed in Time. In Time the son (Pragâpati) begot of yore that which was, and that which shall be.

 From Time the Riks (Rig Veda) arose, the Yagus (Yajur Veda) was born from Time; Time put forth the sacrifice, the imperishable share of the gods. Upon Time the Gandharvas and Apsarases are founded, upon Time the worlds (are founded), in Time this Angiras and Atharvan rule over the heavens.

 Having conquered this world and the highest world, and the holy (pure) worlds (and) their holy divisions; having by means of the brahma (spiritual exaltation) conquered all the worlds, Time, the highest God, forsooth, hastens onward.

 Atharva Veda, XIX 53-54 COSMOGONIC AND THEOSOPHIC HYMNS − PART II 175)

You would notice that there is no mention of a personal God in this description of creation – Time is the creator. Isn’t that what Charles Darwin(1809-1882) proposed with his theory of evolution?

 Vedas were too complex and  inscrutable for  the common man. They were in simple enough language – perhaps local dialects of the time –  but an impression was created that they were not for the uninitiated . Naturally,  those who came to be known as the lowest castes – Shudras  born from Purusa’s despicable anatomy called feet – were forbidden not only to recite the Vedas, but also to hear them being recited.

 

  1. MANUSMRITI

Manusmriti, the largest compendium of caste-based laws ever written – its disputed date of origin stretches from second century BC to second century AD – says that to teach Veda to a Shudra is a sin, the verses must not be chanted in the presence of low-castes nor should they learn or recite them. The priests, who later came to identify themselves as privileged and God-beloved Brahmins, kept the verses close to their hearts, passing them on from generation to generation. Orthodox Brahmins claim that this treatise  was written by Brahma the creator himself, thus dating it to the first yuga, the era of truth (Satya Yuga) several million human years ago.  However, it is clear that it was written after coins became a currency of  financial dealings, because  for several punishments, fines are prescribed according to the severity of the crime in a currency called Panas – which is probably what became Annas, sixteenth fractions of a rupee till very recent times..

Like nearly many Hindu scriptures, Manusmriti subscribe to the concept of a cyclical universe:

“. Thus he, the imperishable one, by (alternately) waking and slumbering, incessantly revivifies and destroys this whole movable and immovable (creation). (Manu 1.57)

Manu uses a whole chapter to describe Creation and to elaborate its finer details. Since much of this is also what appears in Bhagavata Purana as well as Mahabharata, we will leave off the details at this point. The introduction to Creation is interesting:

This universe existed in the shape of darkness, subtle, devoid of distinctive marks, incomprehensible to reason, wholly immersed in deep slumber.

 Then the self-born God, indiscernible and subtle, made all elements and energy dispelling the darkness . (“Let there be light”)

 Thus the one who can only be perceived with the internal organs – the indiscernible, subtle and  eternal God became visible. 

If you were a clever Baba like late Chinmayananda (a Shudra Menon,  by the way, who, like myself, is strictly banned against learning or reciting the Vedas by Manu) well-versed in the Big=Bang Theory, you could compare this last stanza  with the  transformation of the universe from opaque plasma-state to visible state some five  million years ago and proclaim that our sages always knew it!

He first created the water and placed the energy (or seeds) of his own body in it. This seed became a golden egg, as brilliant as the sun. Within that egg he himself took birth as the Great Grandfather Brahma, the creator of the rest of the whole world.

 This divine being resided inside this egg for a whole year; then by meditation he cleaved that egg in two. With those two halves he made the heaven and earth; between them he created the eight permanent earthly dimensions (directions).

 Then out of himself, he drew forth the real and imaginary mind, self-awareness and self-pride. From the same soul, he created the three gunas (human traits – Good, Passionate and darkish) and the five senses . He created all beings with little particles of himself.

Further description of Creation includes anatomy of humans and other beings –a-la – Aristotle, and a detailed description of Time.

Although the Vedas do not explicitly prevent women from performing the rituals, Manu does.

“”Women have no divine right to perform any religious ritual, nor make vows or observe a fast. Her only duty is to obey and please her husband and she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.”” (Manusmriti 5. 158)

Disdain for the fourth caste and women is interspersed with noble thoughts and pieces of advice for women. Crimes and punishments are described in detail; capital punishment is reserved for lower castes who killed Brahmins and Shudra men who slept with higher-caste women. As in the Bible or Quran, there are many dos and don’t-dos, detailed admonition on personal hygiene, observance of menstrual periods of women.  the right time to procreate and the wrong days to make love.

Brahmins are to baptize their babies on the eighth day of birth with a name that is holy, Kshatriyas with one of valour,  Vyshyas –  the third cast –  with something related to their trade, but the Shudra babies are to be named with something contemptible. Brahmins are not to eat in the presence of their wives, and must not spend too much time with any women – including their mothers or sisters since flesh is weak. Women do not deserve freedom at any stage of their lives. To mitigate the shock generated by such decrees against females, Manu also says that a house where women are not respected is doomed. For the cursed Shudras , there is no such mitigation.

Modern India is democratic and officially egalitarian, but the humiliatingly discriminatory laws laid down by Manu (referred to derisively as Manu-vad by the champions of the lower castes) rule the mindset of  a good section of upper-caste Hindus till today.

Manusmriti is an unadulterated manifesto of Brahmanism, just as the Old Testament isBrahmin Boy of Judaism. Brahmin, says Manu, is the lord of all creation because of the excellence of his birth – not by training or by chosen profession, as claimed by Hindu apologetics.

“As the Brahmana sprang from Brahma’s mouth, as he was the first-born, and as he bears the Veda, he is by right the Lord of all Creation (1.93)

 And,

“On account of his pre-eminence, on account of the superiority of his birth, on account of his observance of the laws, and on account of his anointment, Brahmana is the lord of all castes.”

To the modern man, Manu’s theory of creation might sound as ridiculous as the six-day miracle of the Bible. Yet in Manusmriti, with all its flaws,  there is no call to wanton killing of other tribes, or of smiting the non-believers with the edge of a sword. Brutal  punishments such as death by stoning, beheading etc. do not find place in Manu’s statute. However, a Shudra who derides a Brahmin would have his tongue cut out (8.270). Manu does not call for the annihilation of the atheists and rationalists, just for excluding them from funeral and other assemblies. To that extent, though not a noble scripture, yet Manusmriti is a little more civilized than the Bible or its later derivative, the Quran.

 

  1. UPANISHADS

Upanishads are supposed to be interpretations of the Vedas, which they mostly are not. They are philosophical musings of wiser men who appeared on the theological scene well into the Gregorian (AD) era. Though many of them pay formal respects to the Vedas, their thought processes are more sophisticated; their philosophies are less material-centred.

While the Vedas enjoy great veneration and can be heard being chanted in sacrifices funded by local governments to propitiate rain gods during periods of drought, Bhagavad Gita, listed among the Upanishads, is supposed to be the words of Krishna (recorded, as one is expected to presume, by Vyasa) who proclaims himself the Supreme Godhead (making no reference to Vishnu, whose incarnation he was supposed to be). Krishna says that the flowery speeches of the Vedas are for the greedy who desire of material things. (Gita Chapter 2, 42-44). There is no need to read Veda for the knowledgeable any more than there is a need for a reservoir in the midst of a flood of waters (G. 2.46).  In the next chapter, though, the same God says that those who do not observe the cycle of sacrifices as prescribed in the Vedas fall into an abyss of sin (G. 3. 16) and that he himself was the creator of the Vedas (G. 15.15).

Of Creation, Krishna has this to say:

By me, in my unmanifested form, this universe is pervaded. All beings are in me, but I am not in them.  Yet everything that is created does not rest in me. Although I am the maintainer of all living things, and even though I am everywhere, my Self is the very source of Creation.  As the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, takes its rest in ethereal space, similarly all beings rest in me (after their work is done).  At the end of the millennium (of the Gods, obviously) every physical being enters into my nature, and at the beginning of the next millennium with my power I create again.” (G. 9.4-7)

Though Krishna’s super ego oversteps the other concepts of creation, it still conforms to the cyclical theory.

Aitreya Upanishad has this detailed, anatomical view on creation:

In the beginning all this verily was Atman (The Supreme Soul) only, one and without a second. There was nothing else that winked. He bethought Himself: “Let Me now create the worlds.”

 He created these worlds: Ambhah, the world of water−bearing clouds, Marichi, the world of the solar rays, Mara, the world of mortals and Ap,

 the world of waters. Yon is Ambhah, above heaven; heaven is its support. The Marichis are the interspace. Mara is the earth. What is underneath is Ap.

 He bethought Himself: “Here now are the worlds. Let Me now create world−guardians.” Right from the waters He drew forth the Person in the form of a lump and gave Him a shape.

One should admit  that this Atman  did more detailed work on his creation that YHWH did on Adam and his wife. Observe the meticulous craftsmanship in carving out a human shape from the lump:.

He brooded over Him (meaning the lump which was given shape). From Him, so brooded over, the mouth was separated out, as with an egg; form the mouth, the organ of speech; from speech, fire, the controlling deity of the organ.

 Then the nostrils were separated out; from the nostrils, the organ of breath; from breath, air, the controlling deity of the organ.

 Then the eyes were separated out; from the eyes, the organ of sight; from sight, the sun, the controlling deity of the organ.

 Then the ears were separated out; from the ears, the organ of hearing; from hearing, the quarters of space, the controlling deity of the organ.

 Then the skin was separated out; from the skin, hairs, the organ of touch; from the hairs, plants and trees, air the controlling deity of the organs.

 Then the heart was separated out; from the heart, the organ of the mind; from the mind, the moon, the controlling deity of the organ.

 Then the navel was separated out; from the navel, the organ of the apana; from the apana, Death, Varuna, the controlling deity of the organ.

 Then the virile member was separated out; from the virile member, semen, the organ of generation; from the semen, the waters, the controlling deity of the organ.

(Aitreya Upanishad, Chap 1. Part, Mantra 1-4. Esamsmriti.com, 2011)

The next session tells us how the Gods were plunged into the ocean, where they were subjected to hunger and thirst. They asked the creator for an abode to stay in and then eat food.

The Gods were given a cow, and then a horse, which they did not find good enough abodes. Finally, they were given man, inside whom they agreed to reside. Fire entered the man’s mouth and became the organ of speech; air became breath in his nostrils. Sun entered the eyes; the deities of four sections of space became hearing. Moon became the mind of man, plants and trees became his hair (Just as it happened in Egyptian mythology  – so you know why some Egyptians and lighter-skinned Indians look alike!). The God of death entered the navel, and that of water entered the man’s penis and became  semen. Thus reside Gods in human.

That God resides in everyone is a Hindu belief. Tat-Twam-Asi’ (That you are) is a philosophical dictum you find displayed outside the walls of many Hindu temples. The belief that God exists in everything, (though it amounts to a contradiction of  Krishna’s claim in Gita 9.4)  extends to animate and inanimate objects. A Hindu invited to receive an award on stage would touch the floor of the stage to his forehead in a pious gesture before climbing it; he or she  might put a garland on his new motor car before driving it, or a bicycle before he rides it, prostrate before his teacher, his parents  and even before a movie or television actor who is called upon to hand him a monetary award or a certificate.  The phrase of greeting, Namaste (Greeting-to-you), is rather exaggeratedly interpreted to mean ‘I greet the divinity in you’.  God is supposed to be in every object of His creation. This further extends to such sayings as ‘children are Gods’, ‘Teacher is God’, ‘Parents are Gods’ and even “Husband is a woman’s visible God.’  Asked why Sita was made to touch the feet of her husband Rama every time they came face to face in their jungle sojourn, Late Ramanand Sagar, the producer of the television Magnum Opus Ramayan,  proudly told his audience that in his household, all womenfolk touch the feet of the men when they wake up in the morning.  Sagar won an applause from his audience, which consisted mostly of women.

Probably men are believed to be Gods because they carry lingam,  believed to be the tool of creation.

 

  1. CREATION OF GODS : THE HINDU TRINITY

Not being able to get hold of  the glorified but obscure Vedas, and not satisfied with the obscurantism of the Vedic scholars,  lesser men invented personalized Gods. As everywhere else in the world, each race and each tribe in every race invented its  own God – usually fashioned after a heroic, kindly or even merciless and dictatorial ancestor.  In the beginning, these Gods competed and fought among themselves for pre-eminence. Sometimes  the competitions were results of racial or territorial wars; and at other times men fought for saving the fame and dignity  or proving the superiority of their own  one-and-only God – which people still do in the twenty-first century. Biblical wars, wars in Mahabharata and Ramayana, Quranic battles – all represent wars of the kind. Religious scriptures and bloody violent battles are inseparable.
Brahma

At some period before the advent of the Christian era, the three major Gods of Hindus  – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva –  arrived at a truce of sorts and re-allocated  individual departments to themselves in a spirit of cooperation.  Brahma became the creator, Vishnu the sustainer, and Shiva the destroyer. Destruction automatically led to the repetition of the process, thus  they complimented each other and justified the ancient concept of  a recycling universe which  several centuries later Stephen Hawking was to describe as the No-Boundary-condition.  However, these three Gods often overstepped into each other’s  realm of authority.

Each of the the Hindu Trinity or Trimurthy –  had his own purana meaning biographical epic, strengthening one’s claim to superiority among the threesome, and each has His own version of how creation came into being.

Brahmapurana, the story of Brahma, from whose name the universe got its Sanskrit name Brahmanda (Brahma’s egg or, if you will, the egg-shaped universe) describes creation just a little differently from the Manu version:

In the beginning there was water everywhere and the Brahma, the divine essence, slept in the water in the form of Vishnu.  Then there emerged a golden egg. Brahma was born inside that egg, and resided in it for a whole (Brahma’s,  not human) year. Then the egg split in two. The upper half became heaven, and the lower half earth. Skies, eight directions, time, speech and senses were created in both heaven and earth.

 From the powers of his mind, Brahma created seven sages and God Rudra, and, (possibly as an afterthought, an additional sage named ) Santhakumara.

 Brahma’s mind continued to create, giving birth to a man and a woman – Manu and his wife, Shatarupa (woman with a hundred forms). All humans were born from Manu, (and with little regard for his wife’s role), humans came to be called manavas  (or men).

(Brahmapurana, the chapter named the Forest of Time (Nimisharanya)

Note that here, Brahma creates by the power of his mind – by a mental stimulation or imagination, or a kind of holographic projection from his mind. Mayans of the South and Central  America as well as many Australian aborigine tribes believed that creation happened by divine dreams. Author John Jackson’s book, ‘Brahma Dreaming,’ is an interesting, though not very bonafide,  collection of Hindu mythologies where everything happens in Brahma’s dreams. Hindus do subscribe to the belief that everything that happens around is maya – illusion.

Actually, Brahma conceived, but it was his son Vishwakarma, who did the mud-and-stone masonry that did the crafting. He not only created the world, but also the beautiful mansions of the Gods, particularly the palace of Indra, and of the multi-trillionnaire Kubera and possibly his airplane called Vimana. which is the modern word for airplanes in the languages of India.  His son, Nala, poet Valmiki tells us, was the architect-structural engineer of the long bridge built built across the ocean from India to Lanka.

 We  will refrain from going on to who begat whom from that point. Interestingly, man begetting man, with no mention of the woman’s role, appears in all stories of creation – Abrahamic or Hindu, Mayan or Australian, Egyptian or Greek.

Maha Bhagavata, which is the story of Vishnu, who has the most significant role in maintaining the universe, tells the story more differently with Brahma taking on a subordinate role. Thus:

The universe has a cyclical existence that runs through a period known as Maha yuga (the Great Era) which adds up to 4,320,000,000 human years.

At the end of each of these Maha yugas, there happens a gargantuan deluge (which, unlike Noah’s flood which would be like a puddle in comparison,)  engulfs the entire universe – Earth, sun and moon, stars, sky and all are annihilated.

During this period Vishnu, the Supreme God, slumbers on his serpent-bed , his activities totally suspended, and himself absorbed in blissful self-awareness.  He thus spends  a thousand chatur-yugas 0r 4.320 billion years (which, to the great joy of Hindu zealots, compares  with – and hence ‘scientifically proves’ – the modern estimate of the life of the solar system).

 Vishnu and BrahmaThereupon Vishnu  looks within himself and finds the whole universe in its latent form. Stimulated by the power of Rajas (the second, and the lesser of the three passions- Satva, Rajas and Tamas) passion for action,  a lotus bud emerges from his navel. Within that bud appears Brahma, the creator. Not knowing why he was there, and how he happened to appear within the lotus, this Brahma squeezes himself into the hollow of the stalk of the lotus and goes down till he reaches the dark  empty space (a black hole?). He finds nothing and feels lost; so he climbs  back into the lotus and enters into a meditative trance.

 There he finds the magnificent form of Vishnu resting on the coiled bed of the great serpent Adisesha (his name meaning Beginning and the End)  of thousand heads. ‘There he sees (presumably a miniature model of ) the entire universe, Sun, Moon and the Stars, the mountains and the oceans, including himself coming out of the lotus that emerged from the naval of the smiling Lord Vishnu.

 On being commissioned and encouraged by Vishnu, Brahma begins the creation of the universe which was already latent within him, first dividing his lotus seat into three worlds.

(condensed from Maha Bhagavata, Skanda III, Chapter 10.)

Thus began a new Yuga or an era that averages 4,320,000 human years. A thousand such eras is Brahma’s day, thus making 4.32 Billion years. The last of such yoga’s, which is the current era, is Kali yuga, destined to end up in another deluge and destruction.

5. LINGAM, THE REAL TOOL OF CREATION

“The study of phallicism is the study of Religion.”   Thus  wrote author George Ryley Scott (1886-1980) in the introduction to his scholarly work Phallic Worship – A History of Sex and Sexual Rites, Ancient  Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians, Norsemen and far-away Mayans had at least one God with a large generative organ. Large Penis signified greater power. It is a pity that gods of such tantalizing power and incredible anatomy were put away in the dustbins of mythology by Jesus Christ with no such claim, also by Prophet Muhammad of Islam with some claim of his own.

Of the penile prowess of Prophet Muhammad, a Hadith says:

Anas bin Malik said,The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day andnight and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?”Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” AndSa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). (Sahih al-Bukhari,, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268)

It is said that ancient Jews would greet each other with affection by mutual penile shake instead of a handshake.  Bible tells us how Abraham made sure that his servant would keep his promise by placing his (the servant’s) hands únder his thighs.’ (Gen. 24:2-9). Testimony by Testicles was considered sacred and  irrevocable.

Man’s penis was a convenient proxy to his head. To Jews, the Sliced-off foreskin  symbolically represented sacrifice of one’s head to God. Bible tells us how David presented Saul with a hundred   foreskins of Philistine soldiers . The foreskins represented the severed heads of the soldiers. In return, he received Saul’s daughter. (1 Samuel 18: 20-25)

To most Hindu worshippers, the Shivalingam is a simplified image of Shiva himself, nothing more.  Hindus rarely attribute any sexual connotation to lingam worship. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “It was in a missionary book that I learnt that Shivalingam had any obscene significance at all.”  As a child taught to worship at the nearby temple after a bath every morning before starting for school, I had believed that lingam meant a stone image of God.

Lingapurana (Epic of the Lingam) is the life history, ideology, theories, predictions, Shiva lingam 2dream-interpretations and legends of  Lord Shiva, the third of the Hindu Trinity.  While reasonably in agreement with the theory of creation in Vishnu’s biography, Lingapurana carries a terrific twist in the tail. It goes thus.:

After the creation was successfully achieved, and humans were on their own hunting, sowing and harvesting routine, demons were on their mischiefs and the demigods lived in fear of the demons and totally dependent on the unconcealed racial bias of Vishnu, and thus all was well with the universe,  Brahma once went visiting Vishnu who was, as was his wont, reclining on the serpentine bed in the midst of an ocean of milk, being nursed and having his legs massaged by one his wives, Goddess Lakshmi.

“Come in, Brahma, my son, and how are you?” greeted Vishnu.

Brahma took offence, being belittled as if he were a little boy in the presence of beautiful Lakshmi. He said:  “I did all the creation, including the thankless job of creating you, and how dare you call me your son?”

“You were born into a lotus that sprung out of my Naabhi according to my desire, so you are my son,”  retorted a peeved Vishnu.

Now, the Sanskrit word Naabhi could also mean groin. It is translated as naval in this context to be in keeping with the anti-sex pretense of the alleged Abrahamic mlechhas or untouchables, and also giving due respect to the presence of the venerable Laxmi.

The egg-or-chicken argument got heated since the logic of mutual creation was incomprehensible even to the two divinities.  The argument was who created whom, and hence who was the greatest. It came to a stage when the divine beings would come to nuclear blows, which would end up in the annihilation of the world they together built over a period of 4.32 billion years.

Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning, and as if by a movie-camera trick, a huge luminous pillar appeared between them. It appeared to stand rooted well below the earth, and to reach out beyondthe clouds. The enraged contestants were stunned for a divine moment which could be many human years; then they calmed down and agreed to investigate what appeared to be a common challenge.  By mutual consent, Vishnu mounted his eagle Garuda, and went down to see the origin of this pillar. Brahma mounted his swan and went higher and higher to reach for its top. Several human years of exploration later, they both returned to earth to exchange notes. Vishnu confessed he could not fathom the depth of the penile pillar.  Brahma lied that he found its height. However, they both conceded that the pillar, which they recognized as Shiva’s lingam,  was more than what they could ever measure up to, thus conceding the greatness to Shiva. Brahma, having proved himself a liar, lost the status of being worshiped on a regular basis – which is why you rarely find a temple dedicated to him.

The moral of this story is simple : To those who are believers in the power of Shiva, the other two Gods do not even measure up to Shiva’s penile member, the lingam. I suppose the story also obliquely tells the power of Parvati, Shiva’s wife, for managing her sex life with such a massive organ. In an  ode dedicated to the Goddess, supposedly written by sage Adi Shankara (8th Century AD) , describes Parvati’s Naabhi as the bed of her hairline that starts from beneath her breasts; the pit where Kamadeva – the God of love – displays his power of enticement and is the pleasure-house of the Goddess of coitus Rati, and the pit where Shiva, (the God with the lingam), finds the consummation of all his  divine austerities. (Saundarya Lahri, Verse 79). This book of verses addressed to Shva’s wife Parvati could scarcely be written by Shankara, a sage who had taken the vow of total abstinence, but is honoured as such by the pious, and sung by honourable ladies presumably without really comprehending the meaning.

However, Hindus as a rule  do not regard Shiva’s lingam as a penis (usually described as phallus, because of its divinity), but as a simplified idol of Shiva himself. Ease to create with any medium – clay, wood or stone –  is its plus point and cause for popularity, not its erotic suggestion. It is a black cylinder with a domed top –  as opposed to  the penile shapes that  Kanamara Matsuri festival revellers worship in Kawasaki, Japan.  There the Japanese fly balloons, hang temple bells shaped like penis with its glans thrusting and testacles in place. Girls suck the rounded and knobbed ice-cream, relishing the craftsmanship of the organ.

The Shiva lingam, on the other hand,  sits in the middle of a square channel with a long outlet on one side – meant for draining the milk and water with which the lingam is bathed.  The channel and its suitably shaped drain could be interpreted as yoni or vagina. The resemblance, if any, is peripheral.Kanamara Matsuri

Religions of all shades attribute creation (after the first one at hands of God) to the male dildo. The womb is a mere field to sow – the tilth for you to plough and drop your seed. All ancient religions openly worshipped the penis. “Show me your man,” said Edmund Buckley,  “and I will show you his God.”

We shall not deal with Phallus worship here since it is an interesting subject  that calls for another diligently researched  essay.

6. CREATION BY IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Though it is the semen alone that is the cause of reproduction in all religious  beliefs, there is just one story in Hindu mythology that alludes to reproduction by what amounts to female cloning. Goddess Parvati, wary of her husband Shiva walking unannounced into her bath and salivating at her nudity,  decided to put a guard at the door to prevent Him. Before the bath, she created a person by rolling the grime and  dry skin on her body (some say from the dry skin flakes on the soles of her feet) and shaping it.  Parvati being Ganeshachaste, no God, no Sun,  Moon or Vayu the Air  (or for that matter the sons of the Biblical God) – all of whom were well known for procreating heroes in willing women – was called in to help in the process. Shiva, of course, had no clue. When the young man took shape and instantly assumed full-grown size, she anointed him as the Lord of all spooks – ganas,-  that would do guard duty for Gods.  Thus he became Ganesha, the God of spooks.  She instructed this God,  cloned from her own body  and hence most faithful, to stand at the door, and not to allow anyone inside.

Soon thereafter, Shiva tried to walk into his wife’s bath with explicit non-Godly intentions. Ganesha blocked his path. Having had no part in his conception, Shiva did not recognize this insolent young man standing guard  at the door of his wife’s bath.

‘Let me in, I’m her husband, I can see her anywhere and in any form I want,’ said Shiva.

‘I couldn’t care less, not to allow anyone inside is my orders,’ retorted Ganesha.

Shiva grew furious at the temerity of the stranger in his own house, and as is the way of any God of  any religion, beheaded the impious and disobedient man. The heavy thud of the falling head startled Parvati, who came running.

“Put back his head and bring him back alive,” roared the normally docile, but now fiercely angry  wife.

“For one thing, he deserved the punishment for disobeying the greatest God on earth,” said her Lord. “For another, I do not put back the head that I sliced off. Gods neither retract nor regret.” Evidently, He had not heard of YHWH the Biblical God regretting after the flood he created to elimiate all humans but Noah and his family

A furious exchange of words ensued.  Parvati probably looked too alluring, having hastily wrapped a towel only around her waist and thus exposing her other Shakti imageendowments. Furthermore, having experienced the consequences of his wife’s fury  in her destructive form of Shakti or the Goddess of Power, Shiva acquiesced and agreed to replace the severed head with the head of whoever first appeared in his line of vision.

The first scalp spotted was that of an elephant, which he  promptly cut off and fixed atop Ganesha’s bleeding neck. This surgical operation  – the one and only head implant in records – was by divine hands;  hence the effect was instantaneous. Ganesha stood up with a disproportionate elephantine head, long curled-up trunk, a pair of tusks (one of which was broken only later) and broad, self-fanning ears.  Ever since then, this chubby and jovial God roamed the world, inspecting all the spooks  on guard duty, first receiving all visitors into the temple of any Hindu God, accepting sweet lentil balls (called Modak) from his devotees in return for blessing them, and generally removing obstacles from the path of those who sang his praise.

The most significant  moral of this story is that there was somebody in India who knew, or thought,  many centuries before the creation of a lamb named Dolly  that without the sacred but the smelly and sticky substance called male semen, a woman could do the procreation on her own if she  chose.

Shiva had his revenge, though. Ganesha’s brother Kartikeya (Subramanian in the South) was created by having his seed picked up in the forest by a swan (actually, Brahma, the creator himself in disguise) and dropped into river Ganges where it developed into an embryo and finally into a strong young man  who became the chief general in charge of the army of the Gods. This creation, however, could not be said to be a unilateral Kartikeyamasculine achievement – for river Ganges is supposed to be a Goddess – a viscous female. How a drop of Shiva’s seed happened to lie on the earth in a forest shall forever remain a mystery since Gods are not known to masturbate.

 Not being a dogma-based religion invented by an aspiring  leader looking for a cause, but one that evolved through strife and synthesis, primitive imagination and philosophical rumination, Hinduism has a dozen or more theories for creation – So much like the  ancient noble civilizations that lost out to Christian and Islamic conquests – Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian and Persian. In these stories God or Gods work hard at creation, not merely order ‘Let there be.’ The multiplicity of the theories, despite their naiveté and childish levels of conception, are in many ways less ludicrous than the mindless six-day creation theory of the Old Testament, which Islam follows and reveres as ‘The Book’.

7. FINALLY, THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

Whenever virtues are saddened,

And unrighteousness flourishes

And to revive the virtues

I manifest myself

To protect the virtuous

To destroy the unrighteous

And to reinstate the rule of the virtuous

This promise of Lord Krishna, the supposed Supreme Godhead, has justified the rise of several man-gods (including one atheistic man-god) from the Hindu fold. May such man-gods have come an gone over the centuries;  many survive; some of them in jail, some of them teaching breathing exercises as a solution for all the travails of the world.

Gita does not allude to Vishnu, but only to Krishna himself. However, the tradition is that Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, who is the supreme reigning god. He is believed to have taken 10, 18, 27 or several more incarnations; but, for the sake of simplicity and elegance, ten incarnations are the most acceptable value. These are, in the chronological order, Fish, Turtle, pig, man-lion, dwarf, Parashurama (Axe-God) the violent God with an axe for his weapon, principled god Rama with his powerful bow and arrow, either the philosopher god Buddha or skilled god Balarama (pick your choice), god of all knowledge Krishna and finally, the God of termination- Kalki.

It was Helena Blavatsky (1831- 1891), a woman of many interests, founder-member of the Theosophical Society in New York and the spiritual mentor of  Annie Besant (1847-1933) who first pointed out the Evolution Theory hidden in the ten incarnation of Vishnu

1.Fish – the first among sea vertebrates

2. Turtle – the amphibian

3. Pig – the mammal

4. Man-lion : Ape

5. Vamana – the pigmy, the primitive human

6. Parashu Rama – Man with axe, a primitive weapon

7. Lord Rama – the Noble man with his powerful bow and arrow,  surrounded by monkeys (hanuman)  and fighting the cannibals of the forest (Rakshasas)8. Balarama- the skilled human (The alternative, the Buddha, is not preferred by orthodoxy)

9. Krishna – the enlightened, yet powerful human

10, Kalki – the final stage of man , destruction of the world.

The order and extent of the number of incarnations might vary from one school of Hindu thought  to another. Though many laymen are excited by this ‘revelation’ that their sages, the wisest ever, knew that the modern man was a fulfilment of the process of evolution. Dr. Annie Besant, the Hindu of all Hindus, supported the theories of incarnations of Gods and re-incarnation of men and had full trust in the wisdom of the sages of India, possibly supported this theory as well. However, stretching one’s imagination a little further, one could also see evolution in the order of Biblical creation: Plants and trees, creatures of the sea and birds of the air, then animals of their kind, and finally man. It is another matter that the Abrahamic God created the plants and vegetables on day 3 before he made the sun on day 4 to give them light. For one day, after all, the plants could fast and live without photosynthesis.

With so many theories already under their subconscious mind Hindus have no qualms to accept the six-days- six-thousand-years-ago Biblical theory.  This benign acceptance lasts until  provoked by proselytisers,  taunting self-styled theologians or goaded by their own xenophobic leadership. Such a scenario of resistance, like that of a cornered cat, exists today in India. Nevertheless, the six-day creation theory is also taken in the Hindu stride, and most Hindus would recognize the names of the apocryphal Adam and Eve without the kind of smirk that people of Abrahamic religions would display when told of the multifarious (and none the more ridiculous) Hindu theories of creation.

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MAN, THOU ARE NOT GOD’S CHILD

 

If you are a father like I am

Your love and promise of protection for your children are unconditional.

You’d  love your children whether or not they love you back.

You’d never discriminate between your daughter and your son.

Your love for them is not measured by the praise they shower on you from time to time.

You’d try and  put food on their plates even if they don’t thank you for it.

You’d protect them with your life even if you are not sure they would acknowledge your sacrifice.

If your children do something serious, you will admonish  them – not put them in fire..

If  a child falls sick, you find the best way to cure , not wait for her/his prayers.

If you ever think of punishing your child, that would be for reformation, not for  retribution.

Your punishment would be short, minimal and physically harmless. Never for eternity.

In a storm or a squall, if the earth quakes or floods rise, you first think of your children – not about yourself – even though you know that they may not be thinking of you.

If there is any way you could avert an accident to your child, you wouldn’t stand aside and watch it in playfulness. Nor would you wait for the child to plead for your help.

You will not hold it against your children if they don’t put money  in your box.

You would never, never think of putting them into eternal hell and perpetual torture for the reason that  they didn’t praise your parentage, your sacrifice, and your goodness .

You’d never be your children’s shepherd. Shepherds sell their sheep, eat their sheep, kill their sheep.

You would never discriminate among your children in handing out favours.

You would not  re-incarnate to kill a disobedient  child you created.

God of religion was created by mean, vengeful, dangerous, frightening,  greedy-for-power, wrathful men.

If there is a creator, he has nothing to do with the Christian gods (all three-in-one), Muslim god (Allah the Meanest) nor the Hindu gods (One and yet many) or any other god of any scripture yet written.

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WHY MY BHARAT IS NOT MAHAN

Do you know that:

  1. India has 3.57 crore women less than men?
  2. That despite that wide gap in gender ratio, a woman cannot get a husband without paying dowry in cash and kind?
  3. That nearly every marriage in India is a criminal act because by law dowry giving and taking are both crimes?
  4. That 7,000 baby infants are being killed every day in India?(UNICEF Study)

 

  1. That of every 5000 women killed in the name of family honour in the world every year, 1000 are from India, and 1000 from Pakistan?

 

6 That the only states in India that have more women than men are Kerala , and Puducherry,?

  1. That if you allow nature have its way, there would be more women than men at any given time since women live longer than men by 7 to 8 years? (Don’t you notice far more number of widows than widowers?)
  2. That most Northern states – particularly Punjab and Haryana, where female infanticide is almost a social ritual, women number less by 120 or more among 1000 men?
  3. That women justify female infanticide in the light of their own experience in life saying that they do not want their daughters go through the hell that has been their own life?
  4. That in many Haryana villages, you cannot find a single living girl child and that allowing girl child to live brings social shame to the family?
  5. That if you are a Keralite parent, and give your daughter to a Haryana man (because he comes begging for a bride ), you would be giving her away in slavery and you will never see a granddaughter?
  6. That most police stations refuse to register a bride-burning case?
  7. That Sala (wife’s brother) is a filthy abuse, but Jija (sister’s husband) is a huge praise in most North Indian languages?
  1. That. In Northern India, Sasur – Father-in-law (from the wife’s side) is an abusive word?
  2. That many Hindu babas and Muslim Mullahs and political leaders blame rape victims for the rape?
  3. That nearly all Indian men and women blame the dressing style of rape victims while nearly all rape victims were fully clothed women in salwar-kurtas if they were adults; more than 50% of the victims were children or infants, and nearly 50% of rapes take place within the family?
  4. That widows are the worst treated members in their families ?
  5. That the gender ratio in ‘progressive’ Gujarat was 921 women to 1000 men in 2001; 10 years after Modi’s rule, it is 918 to 1000?
  6. That even today Brahmins in the South make widows shave their heads; that it is perfectly acceptable among some of the tribes in the North that widows become mistresses of their brothers-in-law?
  7. That you will rarely find an Indian film or serial where a man does not slap a woman at least once, but never a film or serial where the woman slaps back?
  8. That honour killing of girls by their brothers (“Sali ko maar ke mein jail jaoonga”) is a matter of pride in many communities.?

 

  1. That men and women holding hands, walking together or hugging in a park or any place can lead to your arrest , but not pooping or piddling on the roadside?

 

  1. That Although sex by mutual consent among majors is legal, if a woman stays in a room in a hotel with a male companion in Kerala, a police inspector might barge in, beat you up or arrest you?

 

  1. That a woman is expected to bear signs of her marriage on her body, but not her husband?

 

  1. That gods and goddesses are stated to have fallen in love, film and TV serial characters can fall in love, but falling in love before marriage on the part of a real-life woman is supposed to bring dishonour to her family?

26. That rape victims are taught that being raped is worse than being dead – and that belief leads to many girls committing suicide?

17. That although Sati has been abolished (by the British against strong protestations by quite a few Indian leaders and members under the legislative assembly), women who self-immolated in the pyre of their husbands – including young Roop Kanwar, who in 1987 was forced under sedation to immolate herself in the pyre of her estranged husband )  are still worshiped?

 

 

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