Every year in AP, a bunch of morons gather around to do something stupid. Media, which always craves for “variety”, covers it with much fanfare to gather the much needed TRPs. Last year, many Dalit leaders made some nonsense claims. To note a few of them
1) The line “kamalaakucha chuchuka kumkuma tho niyataaruni taatula nila tano” is offensive and should be removed. Rebuttal offered: “if they see sex symbols in mother and father, they are nothing but perverts”. Dalit leaders’ alternative: “Ambedkaraya namah in Tiruamala Suprabhatam”
2) Ravana was a Dalit and that is why evil Brahmins concocted a story of sacrifice around Rama’s treachery. The rebuttal offered: “It is a fact that Ravana was respected for his brilliance even by Hanuma. Ravana is considered a brahma-jnani. He was killed by Rama because he was out of line with Sita”. Dalit leaders’ advise: “Ban Ramayana to remove social backwardness of Dalits”.
Now at the time of Deepavali this year, the same people today are observing “Narakashoora Vardhanti” instead of celebrating “Narakasura Vadha”. Whats the difference one may ask – “you observe Gandhi Jayanti and you celebrate Hilter’s death”.
What is the problem if they observe “Narakashoora Vardhanti” you may ask. For my explanation, I need to refer to the story Virochana-Indra from Chandogya Upanishad. The story goes like this:
Virochana, son of Prahlada, grows up as a strong man. Defeated by Indra time and again, asuras look to him for a way to prove their dominance. Virochana, upon directions from Shukracharya, decides to approach Prajapati for Brahma Jnana which would give him strength to defeat Devas. By the time Virochana approaches Prajapati, Indra too reaches him for guidance to understand Brahma Jnana.
Prajapati after a few years of service (guru seva) from both of them under the condition of Brahmacharya, tells them to look into each others’ eyes. They both find that they see themselves. Then Prajapati asks them to look into a pot of water, they do so. They again see the respective self. Then Prajapati asks them to look into the same pot of water, well dressed in their jewellery and garments. They both find each other well dressed, beautiful. Prajapati tells them that “this is the essence of Brahma Jnana”. Virochana and Indra return happy.
Indra mid-way thinks through it and asks himself “how come atma isnt blind if body is blind”. He returns. Meanwhile, Virochana goes back to Asura gana and tells them that the body is the atma and that if one were to worship the body, decorate it, they will get to live even better in their next lives. Asura gana go so mad that they bring a corpse, worship it, decorate it with jewels, flowers and pour madhu all over it.
Indra meanwhile reaches Prajapati’s ashram, confused. He tells Prajapati the question he had in his mind. Prajapati asks him to perform Guru seva and brahmacharya again for years. After sometime, Prajapati again calls him and tells him that atma is that which dreams in the dream state. Indra starts his journey back but his mind is again filled with questions – “even in swapna, if atma is actually the real self, then how come atma too experiences pain, loss etc”. Prajapati tells him to do Guru seva and brahmacharya. After sometime, Prajapati tells Indra that “in that deep sleep in which there is no dream that one sees, that is the state when self is atma”. Indra starts his journey back again. Filled with questions, he returns and asks Prajapati “even in death, there is no sleep. How does one then explain difference between self in sleep and self in death?”. Prajapati asks him to do Guru seva and brahmacharya again for several years.
Years later, Prajapati explains Indra “atma is that which is present inside you, untouched, unseen, indestructible. Your body is only a means that atma uses to pass through a life”.
Upanishad Ganga captured this story in a beautiful way. Watch the episode for detailed explanations:
The essence of the story describes the major difference between asuras and devas. As “nati” in Upanishad Ganga’s presentation observes: “the one who sees atma as the body and not the consciousness within is asura and he finds himself always occupied in doing service to the body”. Now should we call the morons in OU as Asura or manushya?
The Dalit leaders in AP go unquestioned on many important topics like these because scholars dont confront them. Some like Garikapati Narasimha Rao do. They enter the debate and throw in important and valid points that are almost never highlighted due to the anchor’s conflict of interest to keep the controversy alive. People like Swami Paripoornananda continue to debate these morons on the invalidity of their thesis. Yet, thanks to the amount of funding they receive from all parts of the society their stupidity continues unabated.
And thus, OU students are forced to watch things like “Narakashoora” Vardhanti happen in their campus. This is nothing new in OU. They had a beef festival recently. Vedic and Upanishadic texts talk of morons like these Dalit do-gooders as those who spoil even a faintest chance of an individual (whichever varna), to experience atma-ananda swarupa.
Examples abound (see included appendix). But the “dalit” do-gooders need to carefully look at their own strategy. By asking Dalits to celebrate Ravana, Narakasura, Virochana etc., they are actually asking Dalits to never come out of their ignorance by celebrating the adharma. May be that is the real intent?
To name a few dalits who went on to become great scholars despite their “dalit” status:
1) Kanaka Dasa. In his memory, a statue stands to this day in Udupi directly facing Krishna with a window specifically left for him. Next time you visit Udupi, dont forget to do a namaksara to that statue before peeping into the garbha griha from his window. None of the other great scholars in Maddhva tradition have such a status (idol and a dedicated window to see Krishna through it).
2) Vemana. He is probably one of the most quoted and known poets of 17th century. He himself turned to Yoga after a long time. He was a dalit and he was one of the sons of the Reddy king of Kondaveedu.
3) Kannappa. Bhakta Kannappa’s is probably one of the most heart wrenching stories in Shiva aaradhana. He has a permanent place in the history of Kalahasti kshetra, even as one of the Nayanmars in Tamil culture.
4) Swami Vivekananda. He was a Kayastha. Kayastha was classified by the over enthusiastic British government of that time as Shudras. It is not clear whether they were.
5) Like Vivekananda, Aurobindo.
Puranas and historical data is full of references to great people who went on to establish some of the most profound concepts in Vedanta, Yoga, Nrutya Sastra, Sangeeta Sastra and heck even in aaradhana vidhana (which is considered as an out and out Brahmin strong hold)