Blinding Belief

(English version of the original Nepalese language post आस्थाको दासता)

It is understandable that the level, type and extent of our thought and understanding are modeled and formed by the accumulated knowledge passed on to us by others and also acquired first hand through our own experience. When such layers of thoughts keep piling up in us, their contributing views, instances, concepts and precepts get so petrified that they take the position of our strong and immovable belief system. So far there is no harm because it is perfectly normal and natural for anyone to learn from their own and from others’ experiences. But when people develop an attitude of arrogance by considering their accumulation of knowledge as very big and tend to show that they have reached the pinnacle of learning, thereby ceasing to learn anymore, then we see belief based fights growing in our society.

No boundary can limit the expanse of truth and its ever growing novelty. But the people who have been blinded by the deceptive and arrogant thought of having got hold of the unlimited truth by their handful of knowledge, display their ignorance in expression and action. In doing so, without even realizing it, they are already in the slavery of their own belief. We tend to promptly resist the physical and visible slavery around us. Even if we may not be able to express our resistance openly against the compelling slavery from a power much stronger than us, our minds continually resist it because human by nature are free beings. But when a person has converted the pile of accumulated knowledge into a solid belief, there is no thought of resisting the slavery of such belief, because there is no realization of such a slavery. The story of the famous poet Kalidas is contextual here, where he was found to be cutting the very branch of a tree on which he was sitting, without realizing his imminent fall along with the branch. Such absurd behaviour is found to be normal for those with philosophical attributes and those who have acquired an unmanageably large volume of knowledge, because their thoughts are always hovering much above the basic level of normal thought pattern.  

It is necessary here to see the clear difference between slavery to one’s belief and slavery or bondage due to one’s belief. In the cruelty of our society, especially when there is a series of social and/or political changes taking place, the powerful ones impose social discrimination or even set up judicial provisions to confiscate the basic rights of those people who hold on to a belief system that is different to that of the people weilding state power. They are prisoners due to their belief. It is imposed forcefully on them by an outside power. But in the slavery of belief, the person is strongly bound by his own belief systems, inculcated and established by the self acquired knowledge and thoughts. The person does not even realize the presence of that bondage. And does not even see any truth in the thoughts and advice of any other person. It has a blinding effect in the mind of such persons therefore, is a blinding belief. The increasing acts of extremism being frequented in the contemporary society are the outcomes of the lopsided philosophy and destructive work plans of people who are under the slavery of such blinding belief. We might be tempted to attach the issue of such blinding beliefs with the large scale terrorist activities of huge hypes and find it easy to think that it is of no concern to the general public like us. But that is not so. Those highly publicised visibly damaging acts of terrorism get automatically disapproved by the civic society. The purpose of this presentation is to bring home the existence of a different type of extremist activities which quietly infiltrate our daily life, without any noticing, due to the blinding beliefs which have scrupulously enslaved us. If the reader can see its damaging effect on the areas exemplified below, this will facilitate to see other affected areas as well, thereby help to find out ways to break free of such slavery of thoughts.  It may be a good exercise to begin with our own state of mind.

How open are our thoughts, views, value system, belief, precepts on different subjects and things of mind and action?

Are we listeners or find enjoyment in hearing our own voice?

When did we last find a welcome aspect in the thoughts presented by someone else – how many days, weeks, months or years?

When was the last time you genuinely enjoyed a song presented by a junior artist? 

When you get up in the morning, what is the first thought that engages you?

When you face your students or juniors today, do you desire to know their queries or do you want to enrich them with all that you know?

There can be an ever growing list of such queries of self reflection and inner-viewing. In summary, do you experience a thirst to learn something good and new at every situation you encounter? Or do you always look for a chance to give a piece of your mind to whomever you meet?

The inquisitive thoughts of above mentioned natures can reveal for ourselves, whether we are open to convincing improvements on our set of beliefs, thereby getting closer to the truth in its perfection, or we are holding on to a strong stand that our present set of beliefs are already perfect and there is no space for improvement on it. Is our belief system helping us to move towards more and more peaceful and satisfied living or are we living under the heavy burden of the slavery of our own set of blinding beliefs? 

The targets of the extremism developed in the person under the spell of blinging belief are even from their own family and from the different groups of people in their own society. Those who don’t give any value to the advice of their family members, having no ear for other people and always wanting to win their argument, are the people who always breed enmity and strife. Such tendency is seen working in professional, social and religious groups as well. 

If we live with an attitude that none of us has already mastered the whole truth, there are many things yet to learn and if we develop an attitude of always seeking to learn from outside of us, then for certain, our personal, family and social lives will be practically easy, pleasantly beautiful and spiritually at rest.

Creation Overpowering the Creator – A Deception

(English version of the original Nepalese language post कृतिले कर्ता छिचोलेको भ्रम)

The day the creation overpowered the creator

The day the material overtook the maker

The day the pot wheeled the potter  

The day the moon hid the sun 

The day of mid-day eclipse – the dark day 

The day of deception that the darkness had won over the light 

Oh no! How come I got deceived 

Deception empowered, lost the straight sight 

How to call the darkness a day – it’s a night 

A time of blinding darkness – a night 

Unable to see the self – so dark a night 

A night of fooling pride of deceptive knowledge 

A night of ignorant state of deception 

A night where the darkness is identified as illumination

But a tiny firefly tears down a huge mass of darkness 

A passing eclipse cannot deny the pervading power of the sun

Light need not chase out the darkness, it automatically disappears 

The night the pot wheeled the potter 

The night the material overtook the maker 

The night the creation overpowered the creator 

The night humans analysed God

Let’s hope the night disappears at the dawn 

The warm light illuminates the vision clear 

Deception of night succumbs to the light of truth 

Then the celebration of joy ushers – 

The day the pot submitted to the potter

The day the material uplifted the maker

The day the creation praised the creator

The day humans worshiped God

Why Question The ‘What’ Question?

(English version of the original Nepalese language post प्रश्न के? प्रश्न किन?)

There are questions, plenty of them, but confusions as well in plenty – 

how to present the question, what to say, in which format.

Scribes of varieties of scriptures are in plenty, 

abundance of replies queue up even before the question is completed, 

but there is an acute shortage of answers. 

Abundant replies didn’t answer the question, question hasn’t even been addressed, 

status quo continued, answer remained a far off  stranger.

Scribes of the scriptures presented their self contemplated explanations on the subject matters 

just only for their own satisfaction, no care for the inquirer’s question.

Found out many teachers who love to lecture on the knowledge of their own likes, 

but none to give ear to the inquiry of the inquisitor. 

Life or a series of lives? What? How? By whom? (By What?) Why? 

For Whom? (For What?) Where from? From What? What First? What After? 

Questions to no end, mind disturbing, confusions piling up quickly, 

inquisitor lost in finding a teacher, teachers’ pick up easy followers.

Serious thinker looked up and down, inside out, all around in deep thought, 

wondering impartially got to some vague picture,

– There has to be somebody or something, 

establishing the perfect plans and meticulous running systems 

of celestial structures in geometrical accuracy and vibrant earth bearing the continuity of life.

This thought bringing some consolation on the burning question, 

the thinker attempted to give a name to that somebody or something,

To give a name to his thought he needed a word in his voice, 

and took a deep breath in and breathed out an audible air from the depth of his living heart 

– Oohhhhh, a word coined by the thinker, now said God.

The creator of all creation created the conscious men, 

they utilized the same consciousness to identify the creator with a name, 

In different times, as per the need of the situations, 

in accordance with their understanding and backgrounds, 

the created beings gave various names to the creator. 

Not only names, they even gave looks, colors, shapes and sizes; 

also allotted place, boundary, background and family; 

even painted with the emotions of anger and grace,

The feeble worked hard to please the fearsome due to scare, 

the greedy praised the provider with flairs of flattery songs, 

named innumerably as male and female, as father and mother, 

single creator decorated with many names.  

— 

Various places, varieties of names, disunity soured the unity of thought; 

due to the very act of naming of the creator of all 

A chasm entered in the society assembled in unity by the unseen God, 

differences set in as mine and thine, 

the giving of name became the very reason for communal division. 

The original question remains as it was, has not moved a bit:

Life or a series of lives? What? How? By whom? (By What?) Why? 

For Whom? (For What?) Where from? From What? What First? What After?   

Questions to no end, mind disturbing, confusions piling up quickly, 

inquisitor lost in finding a teacher, teachers’ pick up easy followers.

Answer seeking thinkers were trying to take pleasure in the self coined name, 

but the society got divided by allotting multiple looks and qualities to the same name.

Every divided section defined its coterie as per its own speciality, 

divisive groups were formed in the name of uniting God,

Every group kept a select name for itself – this religion, that religion, 

the righteous word “religion” acquired a very bad reputation.

Irreligion, non-religion, bad religion, mean religion, sprouted plentifully; 

pity that the original meaning of the  prestigious word “religion” went to oblivion.

In the many religions established in the veracities of thoughts, 

the name God remained limited only in slogans, 

the very creator of all was put in place by the created,

No care about the all caring God, has been kept neglected; 

divisive selfish religions started dominating, getting stronger, the religion ruled. 

Thought about God got oblivious, preaching of religion held the day, 

preaching became a lucrative profession of honour, 

trading entered in, treachery infiltrated, power ruled; religion went to war.

In the name of compassionate God, 

the arrogant religious zealots constituted rules and regulations, 

huge volumes of scriptures were put in place with exaggerated, self-benefiting interpretations, 

Rulers were appointed to enforce religious rules,

 judges to ensure adherence to the rules 

and scribes to open and explain the scripturized rules.

Therefore, with the passing of time, as the religious groups accumulated power, 

power was preferred, God got shelved, religion recognized,

Misled men in ignorance, stood for religion instead of God, started vouching for religion,

 in the pride of selfish religiosity got lost under the pile of unrighteousness. 

Albeit, the original question remains as it was, has not moved a bit:

Life or a series of lives? What? How? By whom? (By What?) Why? 

For Whom? (For What?) Where from? From What? What First? What After?   

Questions to no end, mind disturbing, confusions piling up quickly, 

inquisitor lost in finding a teacher, teachers’ pick up easy followers.

शहर अरुको गाउँ आफ्नै

In Nepalese Language

व्यस्त विश्व फराकीलो फुरसतमा छ 

फुरसत चाहिं बौलाउने व्यस्ततामा छ। 

बन्दाबन्दी फराकीलो गरी सर्वत्र फैलिएको छ 

फराकीलो बाटो पाइला नछिर्नेगरी साँघुरिएको छ। 

अदृश्य भाइरसे अनुवस्तु कता छ कता छ

त्यसको सुलसुले त्रासमा चुर्लुम्म विश्व नै हतास छ। 

कलकारखाना घोर निंद्रामा, आफिस अड्डा हल्कामा 

व्यस्तता घर बिदामा, आर्थिक पाटो बिरामी बिदामा। 

धनी-मानीलाई सरकारी पास, गरीबहरुलाई न बास न गाँस 

नेता हाकिम भ्रष्टाचार पास, बिरामी बटुवालाई भाटाको त्रास। 

भरिभराउ शहरको एक्लोपनमा हरेक प्रहर तनाव र डर 

स्नेही छर-छिमेकमा गाउँको सानो झुपडी ठहर्छ न्यानो घर।       

प्रकृती सित संगतीमा

In Nepalese Language

प्रकृती हाम्रो दास होइन, तर हामीलाई हुर्काउँदै अघी डोर्याउने अविभावक हो। भलो चाहने अविभावकले हठी सन्ततीलाई उपयूक्त अनुशासनको प्रयोगद्वारा सच्याउने अविभारा पनि इमान्दारीपूर्वक निभाउँदछ। यसकारण हाम्रो संस्कारले सिकाएको नैतिकताको आधारमा हामीले प्रकृतीको कदर, वास्ता र देखरेख गर्नुपर्दछ। हामीले प्रकृतीको चालमा चाल मिलाएर संगसंगै हिडनु पर्दछ, न कि यसलाई उछिन्ने महत्वाकांक्षामा यसको अती-दोहन गर्ने। प्राकृतिक ठहरको गतीलाई बेवास्ता गर्दै, लालची महत्वाकांक्षाको पासोमा झुण्डिएर, द्रूत-उन्नतीको चोरबाटो छिर्नेहरु कसैले पनि, दीगोपनको दूरगामी उन्नती हासिल गर्न सक्दैन। जीवनादाताले हामीलाई सुख र शान्तीको सामाजिक जीवन प्राप्त हुन सकोस् भनेर, स्थापित गरिदिएको प्राकृतिक व्यवस्था अनुरुपको चालमा अघी बढ्दै, प्रकृतीले प्रदान गर्ने प्रशस्तीको शितलता रसपान गर्ने वा त्यसको बेवास्ता गर्दै प्राकृतिक विपदाको पीडा निम्त्याउने, छनोट हाम्रो आफ्नै हातमा छ। 

प्रकृतीलाई पछार्न खोज्ने प्राणी आफैं पछारिन्छ, यसलाई पछ्याउनेलाई यसैले परिपूर्ण पारेर पहि~याउंदछ। 

प्रकृतीको विधीलाई पछ्याउने साधारण अनि क्षणिक अस्तित्वको फूल हेर्नोस् त, कति सुन्दर, निश्चल र सुखदायी छ। मानिसमा मुस्कान भर्ने जिम्मेवारी पूरा गर्छ अनि आफैं बिलाउँछ। 

अदृष्य वाचक – प्रष्ट प्रसार

In Nepalese Language

हालको विश्वव्यापी विपदाले, अहिलेको अती-शहरीकरणको गती विरुद्ध, 

चिच्याउँदै प्रसार गरिरहेको सचेतना-संदेश सुन्दै हुनुहुन्छ? 

प्रकृती प्रदत्त दिगो उन्नतीको बाटोमा उक्लिँदै जानको निम्ती 

विवेकशील बनेर नैतिकतालाई आधार बनाउन जरुरि बन्दछ। 

यसभन्दा अलग आधारमा परिकल्पना गरिएका 

द्रूत, क्षणिक, स्वार्थी  र प्रकृती सित जोरी खोज्ने प्रकारका 

उन्नतीका योजनाहरुले, ढिलो-चांडो स्वभावत: 

विकास होइन हतास विनास, सम्पत्ती होइन आपत्ती विपत्ती, 

शान्ती होइन भ्रम भ्रान्ती, विश्राम होइन आकूल व्याकुलता, 

शितल स्वास्थ्य होइन तनावको जलन ल्याउँदछन्। 

विकल्प हाम्रै सामुन्ने छन्, रोज्ने हामी आफैंले हो –

प्रकृती संगको गती वा उग्र महत्वाकांक्षाको मती?

सहयात्रीलाई उछिन्ने बिमती वा सहमतमा हुने उन्नती?

खतीको निती बोकी आफैंलाई क्षती वा मिलापको सुमती?

फूलहरु तोकेको याममा फक्रंछन्, दिइएको लयमा झुम्दछन्।

Natural Gift

धर्म कि धन-कर्म?

In Nepalese Language

हामी धेरैको आदर्श बन्नुभएको एकजना अग्रणी सर्जकले, केहि समय अघी, उहाँको सामाजिक संजालमा, ठट्यौली पारामा एउटा मुद्दा प्रस्तुत गर्नुभयो। त्यहाँ केहि नेपाली उखान टुक्काहरु उद्धरण गरिएका थिए, जसका शाब्दिक अर्थ अबका दिनमा बेअर्थ भईसकेका छन्। जस्तै, मेरो गोरुको बाह्रै टका, उपियाँ फड्क्यो जुम्राको घान, घोड़ा बेचेर निदाएको, आदि। व्यवहारिक असान्दर्भिकताको कारण प्रयोगमा कमी हुँदा, यस्ता वाक्यांशहरुको शाब्दिक मात्र होइन, भविक अर्थ समेत लोप हुने अवस्थामा छन्। बाह्र टका (रुपियाँ) भन्दा कममा मेरो गोरु बेच्दै बेच्दिन भन्ने अडान लिने व्यापारीलाई अचेल हाँसोको पात्र मात्रै होइन, बौलाहा नै भन्लान्। 

यसो सोच्दा, ती पुराना उखानहरु जस्तै हाम्रा प्रयोगका कतिपय शब्दहरुले पनि तीनका शब्दार्थ र भावार्थ दुवै हराई सकेको अवस्थामा भेट्टाईन्छ। शब्दकोषमा त तीनको अर्थ जस्तो हुनुपर्ने हो त्यस्तै छ तर व्यवहारमा भने आकाश-जमीनको फरक आईसकेको भेट्टाइन्छ। झट्टै मनमा आउने त्यस्ता शब्दहरुमा व्यापार, विज्ञापन, राजनीति, जन-प्रतिनिधी, स्वयंसेवा, सेवा, जागिर, धर्म, दान, यस्तैहरु पाइन्छन्। यस्ता शब्दहरुलाई केलाएर हेर्ने हो भने, यिनीहरुको अर्थले व्यवहारिक बाटो बिराएको बुझ्न केही कठीन पर्दैन। 

उदाहरणको निम्ति हामीले प्रयोग गरी रहने शब्द ‘धर्म’ लाई लिऔं:

धन्य+कर्म = धर्म 

धर+अन्य  = धन्य

म+आन = मन वा मान   

कर+मर्म  = कर्म 

‘कर’ शब्दले मनमा सोचेर केहि काम गर्नुलाई प्रस्तुत गर्दछ। 

‘मर्म’ भन्नाले कुनै पनि कामको खाँट्टी उदेश्य, भावनात्मक लक्ष, चाहनाको प्रकार, आदीलाई बुझाउँदछ।

‘आन’ शब्दले उच्च महत्वमा हेरिएको वा राखिएको अवस्था वा मान्यता बुझ्न सकिन्छ।   

‘मन’ वा ‘मान’ भन्दा ‘म’ को निम्ति, आफ्नै लागी, ‘म’ उचालिएको चाहना, स्वयं लक्षित सोच जनाएको बुझिन्छ।

‘धर’ भन्दाखेरी केहि कुरो सम्हाल्नु, खस्नु वा नाश हुनबाट बचाउनु, धारण गर्नु, समातेर जोगाउनु, जस्तो कार्यलाई जनाउँदछ। 

‘अन्य’ भनेर आफू वा स्वय: भन्दा बाहेकका, अरुहरु, आफूसंग भएका भन्दा अर्कै भन्ने वस्तु वा व्यक्ति बुझाउँछ। 

यो बुझाईको आधारमा हेर्दा:

‘धन्य’ शब्दले त्यस्तो विशेषता बुझाउँदछ जहाँ आफ्नो होइन तर अरुको असलको निम्ति गारिने भलाई रहन्छ। 

‘कर्म’ भन्नाले पूरा होशमा, जानीजानी, मनैदेखि केहि उदेश्य लिएर गरिने कार्यलाई बुझाएको देखिन्छ। 

अब उपरोक्त सबैको निचोडको शब्द ‘धर्म’ को अर्थ त यस्तो हुनुपर्ने देखिन्छ:

स्वार्थभाव छोडेर, केवल अरुको भलाई र कल्याणको उदेश्य लिएर, कसैको उक्साहट कि आवेशमा नभई, आफ्नै चाहना र सदिक्षामा गरिने असल कार्य। 

के अचेल धर्म शब्दको व्यवहारिक बुझाई यस्तै ढाँचाको छ त?

उपरोक्त बुझाईमा धर्म एउटा कार्य हो, तर अहिले यो शब्दले विभिन्न समूहलाई बुझाउँछ। धर्म भन्यो कि ‘कुन’ भन्ने स्वाभाविक प्रश्न उब्जिन्छ। 

शब्द विश्लेषणले व्यक्ति-व्यक्ति बिचको मिलाप र एकता सुझाउँछ, तर आजको समाजमा त मेरो धर्म र अर्कोको धर्म भनेर चिनारी प्रष्ट्याईन्छ। यसरी यो शब्द, समाजलाई मिलापमा जुटाउनुको सट्टा भिन्नतामा फुटाउने नाम भएकोछ। एउटै नाम भएका ‘धर्म’ हरु भित्र पनि विभिन्न हाँगाबिंगा समूहहरु छुट्टिएर निस्केकाछन्। अनि ती प्रत्येक समूहको एउटै अलाप रहेकोछ – मेरो मात्र साँचो अरु सबैको झूठो; मेरो असली अरुको नकली; मेरो सनातन अरुको नूतन; मेरो ईश्वरशस्त्रमा आधारित अरुको दन्त्यकथामा आधारित; मेरो सुसंस्कारी अरुको दुराचारी। यस्ता अडम्बर र दोषारोपणको परिपेक्षमा पनपनाएका समूहहरु कसरी चाहिं उपरोक्त अर्थ जनाउने ‘धर्म’ शब्दमा नारिन सकेका होलान? तर सबैले आफूलाई त्यही नाम दिन्छन अनि समाजले त्यो मानीआएकोछ।

शब्दले मीठो मिलापको परिदृश्य सुझाउँछ तर वास्तवमा यही शब्दको आधारमा परिवार, समाज र देश समेत टुक्रिएर अलग अनि कमजोर भएको इतिहास साक्षी छ। आजको ‘धर्म’ ले जोडेको होइन तोडेकोछ। 

स्वार्थभाव त्यागेर अरुको असल गरेको जनाउने शब्दको आधारमा, यी ‘धर्म’ भनिने समूहहरु र तिनका हर्ताकर्ताहरुले, निती-नियम नै बनाएर, व्यक्तिगत तथा संस्थागत प्रयोजनको निम्ति, आफू भन्दा कमजोर बौद्धिक र आर्थिक अवस्थामा रहेका अनुयायी सदस्यहरुबाट, धन, स्थान र सम्मान आर्जन गर्ने औपचारिक कार्यक्रमहरु नै संचालन गर्दै आएकाछन्। यो ‘धर्म’ ले नहुनेलाई हुनेले पोषण गरेको होइन, हुनेले नहुनेको लगातार शोषण गर्दै आएकोछ।

शब्दले करुणा र प्रेमद्वारा प्रेरित भएर सम्पन्न गरिने सहयोग, भलाइ र शिक्षण कार्यको भाव समेटेको देखिन्छ तर बहुतायत यस्ता समूहहरु, दिनको सट्टा लिनमा तल्लीन देखिन्छन; केहि कसैलाई दिनुपर्ने भयो भने पनि, प्रापकको गर्जो टरेको भन्दा बढी दाताको महानताको प्रचार चाहिं मूल उदेश्य रहने गरेको प्रष्ट देखिन्छ। जब कि यस्ता ‘धर्म’ समूहहरुका शिक्षामा – कर्म गर्दैजानु तर फलको आशा नराख्नु, दान यस्तो गुप्तमा होस् कि दाहिने हातले दिएको देब्रे हातले थाहा नपाओस्, भलाई गरेर त्यसको जस दरिया (पोखरी) मा फालिदिनु; शिक्षा चाहिं यस्ता आदर्शका तर व्यवहारमा भने गरीब र कमजोरको शर्मनाक उपहास हुनेगरी फोटो खिच्ने, पत्र-पत्रिका र सामाजिक संजालद्वारा प्रचार गर्ने, फोटोमा दाताको नाम कि लोगो देखिनुपर्ने, सहयोग कार्यक्रम कुनै गन्यमान्य व्यक्तिको उपस्थितीमा थालनी गर्नुपर्ने; यस्ता प्रचारमुखी क्रियाकलापहरु प्राथमिक चासोका विषय बनिरहेकाछन्। यस्ता ‘धर्म’ को नाममा टेकेर सम्पन्न गरिने सेवा र सहयोगको परियोजनाहरुमा खर्च हुने समय, साधन र अर्थको बाँडफाँड हिसाब गर्नु हो भने, लक्षितवर्गले खाँट्टी उपभोग गर्न पाउने वस्तु वा सेवामा भन्दा, यस्ता परियोजनाको परिकल्पना, प्रस्तुती, प्रमाणिकरण, स्विकृती, प्राविधिक पुष्टी, मानव संसाधन, यातायात तथा प्रशासनिक व्यवस्थापन, कार्य-सम्पादन प्रतिवेदन, आदीमा बढी खर्च भईरहेको पाइन्छ। जसको नाउँ र टिठलाग्दो फोटोको आधारमा परियोजना संचालन गरिएकोछ, उनीहरुको सुविधा भन्दा बढी ध्यान, सेवा प्रदायक व्यक्ति वा संस्थाको सुविधा, सम्मान, तलबमान, सुरक्षा, जस्ता कुराहरुमा केन्द्रित रहन्छ भने, त्यो परियोजना लक्षित समूहको सेवाको निम्ती होला कि सेवा प्रदायकको आम्दानीको श्रोत होला? यस्तो कार्य धन्य-कर्म हो कि धन-कर्म हो, जहाँ एक लगानी गरेर दश आम्दानी गर्ने मुनाफामुखी व्यापार हुन्छ?

यस्तो विकृत अवस्था कसरी सृजना हुन पुग्यो र यसको समाधान के होला?