In the Mughal and British times- due to the oppressive tax regimes- when people met citizens of another city the first question was not how is life in your city but how is tax in your city? I have also begun to ask this question of other city dwellers. How is tax in your city? Why? Because of the newly imposed house tax. Am I scared of paying taxes? No. I pay my taxes. What I fear is interacting with the Government. Whenever I interact with the Government I feel I will enter a morally … [Read more...] about House that for a unique method of collecting taxes?
In the last piece I said how throwing shoes at one’s oppressors is a spiritual act. A reader has asked me he would like to go further and throw stones. Would that be more spiritual? Let me answer his question with a tale from Ramayana. Lakshaman and Sugreeva are deliberating on how to cross the sea and reach Lanka with their army. They thought it is best to begin with a prayer to the ocean-god and submitted their opinion to Rama. Rama accepted their counsel and started his fast and prayers … [Read more...] about What’s spiritual: shoes or stones?
A popular tale about Krishna goes as follows. Krishna is having dinner sitting in heaven. His wife Rukmani is serving him. On the Earth a devotee of Krishna is surrounded by some thugs who are moving menacingly towards him to rough him up. Krishna watches this and gets up to go to his aid. Rukmani is disappointed that her husband has to leave suddenly and tries to stop him but Krishna is determined to leave. Suddenly he sits down again and resumes dinner. Rukmani asks him, “What happened, My … [Read more...] about Are we becoming more Spiritual?
Bhay se bhakti karen sab, bhay se puja hoye Bhay paras hai jeev ko, nirbhay hoye na koye (Kabir says that ‘fear’ (probably of the unknown) is instrumental in moving people towards prayer and taking to devotional practices. Fear works like the philosopher’s stone that causes people to tread on the right path). Kabir reaches the heart of the matter. He says, fear is instrumental in moving people towards prayer and taking to devotional practices. How was prayer or religion born? Imagine the … [Read more...] about Fear and Religion
Saint Kabir has been one of the most unique Indian poet – thinker. Kabir was a peak in spiritual consciousness. Let us explore his wisdom. Kabir is a man of candor. He has spoken extensively on the guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationship. In the whole world, I doubt if anyone has written so extensively on the teacher-student relationship as Kabir has. Most of his writings have been polluted by compilers. They wax eloquent about the guru. In the following verse, which having read him … [Read more...] about Poor teachers have readymade answers
As the International Women’s day draws near I was asked by an activist what are your comments on domestic violence against women? Here is my view. Domestic violence by man against woman is not so much a gender issue as it is a power issue. An unbiased study of history will demonstrate that often when one group is powerful enough to control another group and profit from that domination, they will do so regardless of gender. Woman also when she has had power, for example in matriarchal societies, … [Read more...] about Domestic Violence and Equality of Women