Category: Culture of India


Kurukshetra

 

There are some very nice Mahabharat quotes, which I would like to share with the reader.

From the first book Adi Parva :

Anukramanika Parva, Chapter 1:

Time creates all things,
and time destroys them all.
Time burns all creatures,
and time again extinguishes that fire.

—Anukramanika Parva, Adi Parva, Mahabharata Book i.1

 

Tapa is not a sin,
Study is not a sin,
Ordinances of Vedas are not sins,
Acquisition of wealth by exertion is not a sin,
When they are abused, then do they become the sources of evil.

—Anukramanika Parva, Adi Parva, Mahabharata Book i.1

 

 

 

Sangraha Parva, Chapter 2:

As all the senses are dependent on the wonderful workings of the mind,
so all the acts and moral qualities depend on this treatise (Mahabharata).

—Sangraha Parva, Adi Parva, Mahabharata Book i.2

 

 

 

Paushya Parva, Chapter 3:

You are the infinite, you are the course of Nature and intelligent soul that pervades all,
I desire to obtain you through knowledge, derived from hearing and meditation.

—Paushya Parva, Adi Parva, Mahabharata Book i.3

 

 

 

Adivansabatarana Parva, Chapter 62:

This (Mahabharata) is equal to the Vedas, it is holy and excellent,
it is the worthiest of all that should be listened to. It is a Purana, adored by the Rishis,
It contains many useful instructions on Artha and Kama. This sacred history makes the heart desire to attain salvation.

—Adivansabatarana Parva, Adi Parva, Mahabharata Book i.

 

 

 

Drupada said to Drona: Friendship never remains in the world in anyone’s heart without being worn out,
Time wears it out, anger destroys it.
The poor cannot be the friend of the rich, the unlearned cannot be the friend of the learned,
the coward cannot be the friend of the brave, how then do you desire the continuance of our old friendship?

—Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva, Mahabharata Book i.

 

 

 

One who is afflicted by destiny can find a remedy in destiny alone.”
— [Elapatra to Vasuki, Astika Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 34]

 

 

 

This single strand of grass that you see, the one from which we are hanging, is the strand of our family lineage. O Brahmana! The strands that you see being eaten up, are being eaten up by time. O Brahmana! The half-eaten root from which we are all hanging is the last of our lineage, practising austerities. O Brahmana! The rat that you see is time, immensely powerful. He is slowly killing the misguided Jaratkaru, engaged in austerities, who is greedy for austerities, but has lost his mind and senses.”

— [Ancestors to Jaratkaru, Astika Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 41]

 

 

 

“According to the sacred texts, there are three kinds of fathers. In proper order, they are the one who gives a body, the one who protects and the one who provides food.

— [Shakuntala describing to King Duhshanta what Sage Kanwa told her about her birth. Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 66]

 

 

 

“The wise have said that a man is himself born as his son. Therefore, a man should regard the mother of his son as his own mother. … The wife is the sacred ground in which the husband is born again. Even sages are unable to have offspring without wives.”
—[Shakuntala to Duhshanta, Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 68]

 

 

 

“You see the faults of others, even though they are as small as a mustard seed. But you do not see your own, even though they can be seen as large as a bilva fruit. … O Duhshanta! My birth is nobler than your own. O lord of kings! You are established on earth. But I roam the sky. Know that the difference between you and me is that between a mustard seed and Mount Meru.”
— [Shakuntala to King Duhshanta, Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 69]

 

 

“I also know the difference between anger and forgiveness and the strength and weakness of each. But when a disciple behaves disrespectfully towards a preceptor, it should not be condoned.”
— [Devayani to Shukra, Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 74]

 

 

“Altercations are nothing but the resort of the weak.”
— [Karna to Arjuna, Jatugriha-daha Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 126]

 

 

“Unlike a cow, the fruits of evil actions are not immediate. Such fruits are certainly manifested, if not in one’s own life, in one’s son or in one’s grandson. They are like a heavy meal in the stomach.”
—  [Shukra to King Vrishaparva, Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 75]

 

 

“Great is unhappiness for those who desire wealth, greater for those who have acquired it.”
— [Brahamana lamentingBaka-vadha Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 145]

 

 

 

“One who does not see impurities in one’s acts, is not expected to see it in another.”
— [Upajaya to Drupada, Chaitraratha Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 155]

 

 

 

“But if a crime doesn’t find a punisher, many in the world will commit crimes. A man who has the power to punish a crime and doesn’t do so, despite knowing that a crime has been committed, is himself tainted by the deed, even if he is the lord.”
— [Ourva to ancestors,Chaitraratha Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 171]’

 

 

 

“Which hero will kill an enemy who has been defeated in battle, has lost his fame and is now protected by a woman?”
— [Yudhishtra to Arjuna,Chaitraratha Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 158]

 

 

 

“He was a king who had no abilities. All that he did was breathe air in and out.”
—  [Karna on King Amuvicha, Viduragamana Parva, Adi Parva, Ch 196]

 

 

I shall collect more quotes which I find interesting  in time coming and post on my Blog. Though I would like to mention here that Abhinav Agarwal‘s blog was a great help. The guy is an inspiration for his writings on Mahabharat. I hope my blog is also someday overflowing with Information on Mahabharat like his, he has made a detailed study of all the Parvas (i.e. Volumes) in Mahabharat.

 

Reference link:

http://blog.abhinavagarwal.net

Bhima

Bhima is a character which in true sense epitomizes an Alpha male. He is dominant and fierce. He was second Pandu brother among the five non Biological sons of Pandu.

His actions and presence was very significant in the rise of Yudhistra to the throne on Indraprastha and later in the war of kurukshetra.  He was mainly responsible for killing of 100 Kauravas brother and finally Duryodhan death (in which he employed unethical means).

He was older to Duryodhan and was constantly at war with him much like Arjun was at war with Karna.

He possessed the power of 100 elephants inside him, though which was a blessing given to him in childhood. He was also a very heavy eater who ate more than the amount of food which other four Pandav brothers could eat collectively.

Birth:

His birth was like his other brother out of a wedlock ceremony in which Kunti was impregnated by Lord of Wind (Vayu/Aeolus) much like Indra did in the case of Arjun, Yama/Hades in case of Yudhistra and Sun/Apollo in case of Karna. The reason being Pandu was cursed that he would die moment he has sexual relation with any of this two wives.

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Personality and Teachings

The teacher of Bhim was Dronacharya much like all the other Pandavas and Kauravas. He learnt the various Warcraft but his favorite weapon was a hammer or a club made of a heavy metal. His fights were frequent that too with Duryodhan who also liked same weapon. He can also be termed as a bully who loved to throw his weight around, especially on Kauravas brother. It was his repeated humiliation of Duryodhan which became a flash point of immense hatred towards Pandavas and Kuravas and visa-verse.

Though Duryodhan played his part by scheming and plotting against him and his Pandav brothers.

Due to heavy appetite he was name Vrikodara, `wolf’s belly.’ Apart from having feud with Duryodhan, he was in a habit of humiliating Karna at will. His actions increased Karna‘s anger towards Pandavas.

The Palace of the Pandava Brothers set ablaze

Duryodhan with his counselor Purochana hatched a plan to burn the Pandavas alive at a lake palace lakshagraha at Varnavrata that Duryodhan had built.

Vidura provided information to Pandavs of plan and helped them escape out from the palace. Here Bhima played a major role in carrying all five of them (Kunti and brothers) and escaping to safety. He barricaded the palace of Purochana and set fire to it, killing Purochana.

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Killing of Hidmb,Marriage and children

During this period, he also chanced upon the demon princess Hidimba whom he married, after killing the demon king Hidmb. Ghatotkacha was the son born to the two of them.

Hidmb was a man-eater demon who wanted to kill and eat all of the Pandavas but Bhima is able to challange him and kill him. After that he becomes king of Hidmb’s small tribe.

At a later stage, Bhima also married Valandhara, the daughter of the king of Kasi, and had a son named Sarvaga. Among Bhima’s three sons, Sarvaga did not participate in the Kurukshetra war, while the two others died in the battle.

Kunti and the Pandavas decided to stay anonymously for a while, during this time the Kauravas thought they were dead in the fire.

During this time, the Pandavas attended the Swayamvara of Drupada princess, Draupadi. The Pandavas, led by Arjuna, were successful at the Swayamvara. With his brothers, he was married to Draupadi, who gave birth to a son, Sutasoma.

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The game of Dice:

After Yudhisthira succumbed to Shakuni’s challenge in the game of dice, the Pandavas were forced into exile for 13 years, one of which was in anonymity. The exile period in the forests, saw the Pandavas come face to face with many rakshasas and asuras and Bhima played a crucial role in the epic in rescuing his brothers every time.

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Slaying Kirmira

In the beginning of the exile, in the woods of Kamyaka, the Pandavas meet the demon Kirmira, the brother of Bakasura and a friend of Hidimba. A fierce battle ensued between Bhima and the demon, where the two equally matched fighters hurled rocks and trees at each other. Eventually Bhima emerged victorious.

Back-To-Godhead-Bhima-Attaked-To-Raksasa

Searching for Saugandhika flower

Once in Badarikasrama forest, Draupadi scented the Saugandhika flower and was deeply attracted to it. The lotus species was not to be located easily. Bhima went in search of the flower and ended up at Kubera’s palace. He was stopped in his tracks by the demon called Krodhavasas, but he defeated them all and reached the lotus pond.

He also killed Maniman a wicked demon , who had in the past, incurred a curse from Rishi Agastya by spitting on his head. Bhima fell asleep on its shore. Later the Pandavas arrived with Krishna and Draupadi in search of Bhima. They met Kubera who offered them baskets of Saugandhika lotuses and sent them on their way.

Kubera was especially happy, as the slaughter of Maniman had relieved him of the curse too. It was also during this search that Bhima met Hanuman (his brother, as both were Vayu’s children) in the forest and sought his blessings.

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Killing Jatasura

In another minor incident in the epic, Jatasura, a rakshasa disguised as a Brahmin abducted Yudhisthira, Draupadi and the twin brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva during their stay at Badarikasrama. His objective was to seize the weapons of the Pandavas and to ravish Draupadi. Bhima, who was hunting during the abduction, was deeply upset when he came to know of Jatasura’s evil act on his return. A fierce encounter followed between the two gigantic warriors, where Bhima emerged victorious by decapitating Jatasura and crushing his body.

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Humiliation of Jayadratha

In another event in the Kamyaka forests, Jayadratha, a Sindhu King, abducted Draupadi when the Pandavas were away. On returning, the Pandavas learnt about this from Sage Dhaumya, followed and reached Jayadratha’s army in the forest. Jayadratha was no match to the strength of Bhima, who humiliated him by shaving his head and leaving him with just five patches of hair. Jayadratha later played a major role in the Kurukshetra War in slaying Abhimanyu.

Cook at Virata’s kingdom

Along with his brothers, Bhima spent his last year of exile in the kingdom of Virata. He disguised himself as a cook named Vallabh (within themselves Pandavas called him Jayanta).

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Defeating Jimuta

Once during a great festival, people from neighbouring countries had come to the kingdom of Virata. There was a wrestling bout where a wrestler from a different state, Jimuta proved to be invincible. Much to the delight of King Virata and his subjects, Bhima challenged Jimuta and knocked him out in no time. This greatly enhanced the reputation of the Pandavas in an unfamiliar territory.

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Death of Kichaka

Kichaka, the army commander of Virata, tried to sexually assault Draupadi, who was under the guise of a maid named Sairindhri. Bhima dressed himself as a woman and lay in wait for Kichaka inside Draupadi’s room. He slew him the moment he tried to touch him. Kickaka was crushed and slaughtered in to a meat ball by bhima .

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Susarma’s defeat

Susarma of the Trigarta Kingdom, under the command of Duryodana, waged a battle against Virata by stealing the cows in his kingdom. Bhima, aided in part by the other Pandavas and Virata, helped to defeat the army of Susarma easily. By this time, the 13-year exile period was completed and the rivalry between the siblings was renewed.

Bhima1

Bhima and Arjun

It would be apt to say that Arjun and Bhima were two people on whose ability Indraprastha was built and protected, so that their righteous brother Yudhistra could rule.

Both of them are also responsible for killing of many demons and enemies in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. However, in terms of judgment Arjun can be said to have an upper edge, not to mention the fact that Arjun was favorite of Lord Krishna.

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Bhima On management

Bhima is in no way a thinker or a policy creator, he is policy enforcer. He would be someone provided with the task to enforce the rules and to get the job done. Some like the operations manager whose job is to meet the defined targets set out by the Chairman or CEO of an organization.

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Bhima in Today’s world

Bhima in today’s world would be easily identified; he is someone with a good physical strength and at the same time can be a bully but loves his family.  A perfect alpha male out to ravage, kill and tear apart anyone who violates his honour or targets his family. Though someone certainly not with a good judgement.

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Bheema

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhima

http://backtogodhead.in/bhima-fights-the-man-eater-translated-from-sanskrit-by-hridayananda-dasa-goswami/ 

http://anandatirtha.wordpress.com/parampare/the-greatness-of-bhima/

http://anandatirtha.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/the-significance-of-18/

http://mahabore.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-story-of-jayadratha/

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=HkUQYvw2HGkC&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=killing+of+hidimb&source=bl&ots=J398VT0rkY&sig=TIwmpRl1x-F1_BtvH7iBPOdkspU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VVwiU8GjFYX3rQe9kYCwBw&ved=0CE8Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=killing%20of%20hidimb&f=false

yudhishtira

He was the eldest son of Pandav and Kunti and the Kings of Pandavas. He was someone with an impeccable Judgment and one who spoke the truth. In the War of Mahabharat broke out because there was claim for kingdom which was rejected by his arrogant cousin Duryodhan.

Yudhistra in true terms can be classified as a generous and noble king but he would not be able to win anything on his own, here the support of his brothers was a crucial point. Yudhistra was trained in religion, science, administration and military arts by the Kuru preceptors, Kripa and Drona. Specifically, he became a master in using the spear

Yudhistra was beta male who lived in the shadows of Alpha male brothers like Bhīma and Arjun. He would be rated  equivalent to Nakul and Sehdev in Warfare, whom many writers consider as incompetent sidekicks. He is a good man and someone who should rule but foolish and sometimes lets ego get better of him (which is certainly not a good characteristic of a man with good judgment), the biggest example was his gambling in which he lost everything even himself.

Birth

Birth of Yudhistra is conceding with the fact that Pandu his adoptive father is cursed that he would die if he has sex with anyone which includes his two wife because he killed a sage and his wife.

He had asked Kunti to call gods to impregnate her and the first god she invokes with her mantra is Yama, god of death and Judgment, interestingly many folk tales mention that Yama is god of Sun much like Manu (The one who wrote scriptures for Ancient Indian and made Brahmins at top of ladder, amusing and laughable, as such thoughts are written by priests to make them higher up and then exploit masses).

After he was born he was named Yudhistra, he had other names too, namely Ajatshatru (the one with no enemies).

Teachings and Personality

There is a story in Mahabharat in which when Drona Kuravas and Pandavas teacher was teaching a lesson to the about Truth.

Another where he and his brothers were sent off to 13 year exile, they went to a lake one by one and did not return after which Yudhistra went looking for them.

Lord Krishna introduced Himself to Yudhisthira

However, His personality is not as perfect as many would like it to be or what some ‘scholars’ like to projects as. If he is a good king with better judgment, the question comes why would such a man bet his wife  ? (here Let me point out that I do not sympathies with the character of highly egoistic Draupadi )

Why would such a man gamble on the first place, is his ego getting better of him?

However, Yudhisthira’s true personality is was shown in his unflinching adherence to truth and righteousness to fulfill one’s moral duty, which were more precious to him than royal ambitions, material pursuits and family relations.

He rescued Bhima from Nahusha. He also rescued his four brothers from Yaksha by exemplifying not only his immense knowledge of Dharma, but also understanding its finer implications.

His understanding of Dharma was distinct from other kings. He had Bhima marry an outcast Rakshasi, he denounced casteism, saying a Brahmin is known by his actions and not his birth or education, thus portraying a changeable Dharma that modifies itself to suit the times.

Due to his piety, Yudhisthira’s chariot did not touch the ground (until his deception of Drona), to symbolize his purity. This means he was well regarded as a wise and pious man even by his enemies.

One day while living in exile in the forest, Yudhisthira finds that while attempting to drink water from a lake, all his brothers have been killed by a mysterious Yaksha (a celestial entity). When Yudhisthira arrives, the Yaksha challenges him to answer all his questions or else face the same consequences as his brothers. These questions-answers are like Vedic sutras, short, pithy and practical, and deal with piety and religiosity.

 

Yudhisthira and Yaksha

In order to save his brothers Yudhistra gave answers to Yaksha’s questions.

Yaksha:: Who is really a helpful companion ?

Yudhisthira: Steady intelligence is a very good friend, and can save one from all dangers.

Yaksha: How can one acquire something very great ?

Yudhisthira: Everything desirable can be attained by the performance of austerity.

Yaksha: What is amrita (nectar)  ?

Yudhisthira: Milk is just like nectar.

Yaksha: What is the friend bestowed upon man by the demigods  ?

Yudhisthira: Wife is such a friend.

Yaksha: What is the best of happiness  ?

Yudhisthira: True happiness comes as a result of contentment.

Yaksha: Why does one give in charity to brahmanas, artists, servants and kings  ?

Yudhisthira: For religious merit, prestige, maintenance and protection, respectively.

Yaksha: Why does one forsake friends  ?

Yudhisthira: Lust and greed drives one to forsake friends.

Yaksha: What is the only food  ?

Yudhisthira: The cow is the only food, for the milk that she produces is used to make ghee (clarified butter), which is used to perform sacrifices, pleased by which the demigods give rain, which causes the grains to grow. Therefore it should be understood that the cow is the root cause of all kinds of food.

Yaksha: What is the king of knowledge  ?

Yudhisthira: Knowledge pertaining to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the king of all kinds of knowledge.

Yaksha: What is ignorance  ?

Yudhisthira: Not knowing one’s constitutional duty.

Yaksha: What is the best bath  ?

Yudhisthira: That which cleanses the mind of all impurities.

Yaksha: What is real charity  ?

Yudhisthira: Real charity is protecting one from the onslaughts of material nature.

Yaksha: Since dharma (virtue), artha (profit) and kama (desire) are opposed to each other, how can they co-exist harmoniously  ?

Yudhisthira: These three become congenial to one another when one has a virtuous wife.

Yaksha: Who is condemned to everlasting hell ?

Yudhisthira: When one promises a brahmana charity, but upon his arrival refuses to give him charity.

Yaksha: What make one a brahmana, birth, learning or behavior ?

Yudhisthira: It is behavior alone that make a person a brahmana. Even one who is expert in the four Vedas, born of brahmana parents, but whose behavior is not proper, should be considered a sudra.

Yaksha: Who is pleasing ?

Yudhisthira: A person who speaks in a pleasing manner.

Finally the Yaksha asked Yudhisthira four questions of great significance:

Yaksha: Who is truly happy ?

Yudhisthira: One who cooks his own food (is not dependent on anyone), is not a debtor (does not spend more than he can afford), does not have to leave home to make in order to earn his livelihood (does not over endeavor for material things) is truly happy.

Yaksha: What is the most wonderful thing ?

Yudhisthira: The most amazing thing is that even though every day one sees countless living entities dying, he still acts and thinks as if he will live forever.

Yaksha: What is the real path to follow in this life?

Yudhisthira: The best path is to follow in the footsteps of the pure devotees, for they are the actual Mahajanas whose hearts are the sitting places of the real truths regarding religion.

Yaksha: What is news? (that is What is real situation in the material world ?)

Yudhisthira: The material world is like a frying pan. The Sun is the fire, the day and nights are the fuel. The passing seasons are the stirring ladle, and time is the cook. All living entities are being thus fried in this pan. This is the real news of what is happening in the material world, which is a miserable place full of ignorance.

These questions and answers cover a wide gamut of instructions from being successful to pious to religious. Pleased by the answers of Yudhisthira, the Yaksha who was none other than Dharmaraja/ Yama/ Hades (the father of Yudhisthira and the embodiment of religiosity) revives all the brothers of Yudhisthira and offers him many benedictions.

Death

There is a story which is told after Mahabharata was finished about when all five brothers and their common wife Draupadi walk together to a mountain before their end.

Yudhistra On management

He is a leader who gives value to Judgement and righteousness, if he has able commanders working under him like Yudhistra had it in the case of his brothers. Then he can become a near perfect leader.

He would be fair in terms of decision making but at the same time will have human failings. His personality would help him create and recreate organizations which would then run on the principles of Truth, thereby creating credibility.

Yudhistra in today’s world:

He is someone who would be an idealist like Bhishma but not Bhishma in every sense, particularly warfare.

Yudhisthira

Paradise-restaurant

Moving along further, we reached on paradise restaurant which was suggested to us by the locals at SD road, after we had inquired about good places to eat. Paradise restaurant was built in 1950s and had a movie theater along with it. It seems that the theater’s name was paradise. Over the years the theater gave name to the restaurant, the Biryani of paradise became so famous that Hyderabadi Biryani became synonymous of Paradise’s Biryani.

The present paradise is more of a building block on a corner which includes a

  • Paradise restaurant: platinum and normal (we ate in normal one).
  • Paradise Bakery
  • Paradise Take away

The famousness of Paradise could be seen from the fact that the bus stop near the restaurant uses its name and many buses have route names Paradise. I and my friend thought of eating chicken Biryani and Mutton Biryani (it was on his instance as I was pretty over with just chicken Biryani itself). Thereafter we tried the bakery offered by Paradise. The royal Kulfi and the faluda shake were important items which we HAD to try.

There was this clip board/information bulletin which talked about the origination of Biryani in Hyderabad Deccan and who brought it here. It also talked about the way Biryani has evolved observe the years and the local touch that it has got.

The word Biryani has a Persian origination and from there it went into Afghanistan and then to Mughal culture. Aurangzeb (The notorious Mughal Ruler) brought it into the Deccan when he invaded it.

Irani chai without doubt was another menu item which we were not willing to miss. After having a good lunch, we thought of moving to Hussein sagar lake that we could go on a boat ride. Since we were unable to find the direct bus and were not willing to pay to the cab or auto driver, we choose to march onto Hussein sagar lake (well actually it was my friend’s desire/decision) and I marched on.

The whole walking process was 8 km long and we made directional mistake.This caused an added effort to us. Since we were more like tourists therefore we didn’t mind the effort but my feet, well they were surely complaining and protesting. It was as if they got squeezed.

We walked through the Marriott Hotel, then past Ambedkar Bhawan and a small Buddha Temple (which was in pathetic condition). Then we went onto Lumbini Park which is in front of Andra Pradesh Secretariat,past NTR garden towards Indira Gandhi statue. From there we took a right turn towards people plaza and finally came to a still on Food court which had pretty much everything (subway,cafe coffee day, sultans, KFC and other local restaurants).

paradise to hussain sagar lake

The pic below I took it infront of Marriott Hotel. The temperature in Hyderabad is usually good and varies from 18 to 31 degrees. However on the lake side, due to the water and winds blowing, it tends to be cooler.The clouds parting from the sky and view of the entire lake is indeed majestic.

There is however one thing which bugged me when I was walking down the necklace road, which is that Hussein sagar lake is not maintained properly. There are instances of water pollution there. People it seems believe that nature especially the water bodies can absorb anything, literally ANYTHING (sic).

The boards on the pedestrian street showed that there is a Japanese company project going on, but clearly things were in a mess. Either the Indians were faster in throwing the garbage into the lake compared to the Japanese removing it ( if that is true, Indians surely know how to beat Japanese) or nobody really cares about the entire mess.

hussain-sagar-lake

There is a boat club too on the Hussain Sagar lake, which I was not able to notice in my prior visit to the Lake in 2010. This time however I found it. The view from the side of Marriot Hotel was peaceful one. I remember that few days before Rahul Dravid had come to the boat club. The boat club requires a membership card to enter, without that one cannot use their Premises. One was also able to view Caucasians (white men and women) jogging around the Hussain sagar lake which also has this pedestrian walking place.

boat-club-hussain-sagar-lake

The IMAX 3D theater also falls in the vicinity and apparently this is the first of its kind in Hyderabad, so the youth come there in large numbers including the IT people who have thronged onto the city in the last decade or so. There is a food court on the road to of IMAX near Hussein Sagar Lake which offers many restaurants/fast food / cafes.

From there on, one could board the ferry. The ferry cost no more than Rs50/- Per person.  We boarded it in the evening when the sun was settling. The Buddha statue was lit up with lights and it looked beautiful. Last time I came was during his hour of day too, that is evening.

Evening usually is the right time for any person to go at Hussein sagar. The other suitable time is  in the morning but I doubt that the boat club and the ferry offer their services then.

buddha-statue-hussain-sagar-lake-1

There are couple of things that you ought to try when you come to Hyderabad (the cybercity earlier also known as city of pearls), the cuisine of Hyderabad is one of them. Hyderabad is famous for its Biryani pan-India but Irani chai doesnot fall much behind. There is an interesting story behind Irani chai’s origination in this region.  It is said that Persian immigrants came to Mumbai’s port in last century and prior to that for better life and trade purposes. From Mumbai they migrated to pune and then to Hyderabad. Along with them came the concept of Iranian Chai.

The culture of Hyderabad has got so consumed by Irani chai that I doubt any other form of tea (chai) is made here. They say that the difference in Irani chai and rest of the tea style made in India varies in the making/ preparing process. The tea leaves are boiled in a separate container along with water and milk is also boiled in separate container. Then while serving to the customers they pour in first the milk then the liquid solution made out of tea leaves. This process is seen in many places which still retain that Iranian touch. However with the advent of fast life, things have changed in way of serving that the tea is already poured in a container, ready to serve. Then it is just poured out, no first milk and then tea leaves solution long process.

If you talk to the café owners about difference in tea style they say that Irani chai is very different from the tea you get in Udipi restaurants and darshinis. Udipis add 3-4 litres of water to every litre of milk. They pour milk, water, tea powder and sugar in the same vessel and as soon as the colour changes they take it off the stove. They don`t let the tea brew like they do in Irani chai making process.

The tea cost in the range of Rs 5-20 depending on the place of drinking. It is said that SD Road (Sarojani Devi Road) in secunderabad is a good spot to find all these cafes. Honestly, SD Road is no special; it might have been the place where the initial Iranian settler settled but now you can find Irani chai in many restaurants and the Irani cafes have given way of Baristas, Café coffee days and now starBucks is coming to town.

Though while travelling on SD Road, I did find certain bakery shops and the original Garden Restaurant established in 1952 (near the clock tower) which is very famous for Irani chai (atleast during the inception period). In the same very lane you can find café coffee day and subway providing competition.

Any trip to Hyderabad certainly goes unfinished if you haven’t had a sip of Irani chai, plus the whole Iranian angle does add a sense of exotica to it. Reaching the place isn’t tough if one wishes to go by public transport. There are buses which go directly to secunderabad and will land you on the door step. The location that any one needs to mention to reach SD road is the clock tower. Secunderabad as city is 200 years old and is also know as the twin city of Hyderabad (or more like a satellite town). It was founded in 1806 AD. Secunderabad was developed under the British rule and basic purpose for it was Cantonment for military purposes. Indian army and Air-force has a base there and it still continues to serve the purpose as a Cantonment.

Moving further I along with my friend went onto Paradise Restaurant which is famous for its Biryani, it is hardly 1 km walk from clock tower at SD Road. There too Irani chai is served as usual (like I said that Irani chai has taken over all the teas of Hyderabad and has kind of monopolized the region, though certain pockets of resistance do remain).

Secunderabad had a famous James street developed by the British for shopping purposes much like connaught place was developed in Delhi. Though James Street was wisely changed into MG Road (namely Mahatma Gandhi Road). It is still the hotbed of shopping in Secunderabad. On this very road lies the famous Paradise Hotel formed in 1953.

The traveling from SD Road near clock tower to Paradise restaurant is straight forward, there is a bazaar which comes in between whose name I was not able to gasp. They say about Paradise restaurant that it was established in 1950s, there use to be a cinema hall there. Over the years the cinema hall vanished and the restaurant business started to boom. Thereby creating a brand of Paradise Biryani.

The story of Karna has to do a lot with how a girl’s curiosity for a “gift” led her to a miserable life which became a curse not only for her but also for her great son whose life was plagued with injustice. It can aptly be said that it is a story of a tragic hero who had royal blood in him but was never considered royal; leave aside the respect and honour he deserved. It is a story in which a warrior gave his life for friendship, even though it meant being on the opposite side of his brothers the Pandavas(who knew nothing of karna’s existence till he was killed by one of them, namely Arjun).

More notably it is a story of a great soul who was a great philanthropist and in one instance gave away his very protective body armor (‘Kavacha’) and a pair of earrings (‘Kundala’), which he was born with.( which the sun god, his father had given to him so that he could not be killed by anyone.)

Kunti:

The story of karna cannot begin or end without Kunti being the central character. She was Karna’s biological mother. The best metaphor to represent her in this present era are those girls who are from well to do families and want “freedom” but end up with teenage pregnancies and then abandon their new born, not letting anyone know in the process about what occurred, thereby manifesting a life of misery for the child.

Kunti’s other sons Yudhistra, Bhim and Arjun were sons by various other gods as Pandu was cursed that he cannot have physical relations with his wives or any women.(since pandu accidentally killed a Rishi in forest hunting who had taken the form of deer and was enjoying with his mate. The Rishi cursed Pandu that he would similarly die when he would mate with his wife therefore can never bear sons as per a curse by a sage).

In short Kunti was quite the matriarch, I bet modern feminist would be so proud of her achievements of having kids with whoever she wanted, though it is been reported in Mahabharata that she had a mantra that she could call upon any god for a “gift”.)

Karna’s Birth :

When Kunti called Sun god with a mantra to test the validity of the mantra, which was provided to her by a sage who was happy with her service towards her when the sage came to her palace (after all the women empowerment and liberation are key factors here) she got scared and wanted the Sun God to go away, but he pleaded his helplessness against the power of mantra. (she was one with captivating spell)

Surya dev  (or Sun God) however assured Kunti that even after being blessed with a son, she would still remain a virgin and would not have to suffer any opprobrium. And so Karna was born with kavach and kundal (armor which would make him invincible). Kunti was nevertheless afraid of social stigma and therefore she abandoned the child. She put Karna in a basket and placed the same in the Ganges river, the basket was seen by Adhirath, a charioteer, who had no issues. He picked up the baby and brought him up. That is why Karna is also sometimes called Sarathiputra. Thereby karna became the illegitimate eldest son of Kunti. (the irony of the situation is that there are many karnas born even today).

On a personal note one would never forgive Kunti for what she did to Karna,even though many feminist can go gaga over her problem. The point however would remain that she never owned up her responsibility and her fault till the end. So even though she was karna’s mother, from my view point she was the reason that karna had to suffer so much in life and one would rarely sympathies with such a character, her “pain” was nothing compared to the pain endured by karna throughout his life. (though many would disagree with my viewpoint)

Teachings and the curse by Parshuram:

As Karna grew up, he became more interested in the art of warfare than in merely being a charioteer like his father Adhirata. Karna met Dronacharya, who was an established teacher in the art of warfare. Dronacharya taught the Kuru princes, but refused to take Karna as his student, since Karna was a son of a charioteer and Dronacharya only taught Kshatriyas, or warriors. (another case of elitism in education system and deep arrogance)

After being refused by Dronacharya, Karna sought his brother Shona’s help. But in Indian culture, to learn an art you must have a teacher, so Karna appointed the sun god as his first taecher, learned to wield his weapons during the day by gathering information about the various weapons and practiced with them after sundown.

Karna was keen to acquire the Brahmastra mantra from the great teacher Parshuram.  However, he knew that Parshuram gave instructions to Brahmins (the priestly tribe) only (call it elitism in education system).  So he disguised as a Brahmin and beseeched  Parshuram to accept him as a disciple.  Parshuram accepted him as such and started giving him instructions.

One day when Parshuram was resting in Karnas lap, it so happened that a bee stung Karna on the lower part of his thigh (It was Lord Indra who did that by taking the form of a bee).  It was very painful and he started bleeding.  However, fearing that if he moved his legs, he would awaken Parshuram, he did not move at all and continued to suffer.  When Parshuram woke up, he saw Karna bleeding.

He cursed him immediately as he believed that a Brahmin cannot suffer so much physical pain.  Only a kshatriya (the warrior tribe) can endure so much discomfort.  Karna was obliged to disclose his identity.  Parshuram was greatly annoyed because he was a sworn enemy of Kshatriyas.  He therefore cursed Karna that as he had learnt through deceit, he shall forget the skill which Parshuram had taught him at the crucial juncture.

Karna pleaded that any student would have acted in the same way and that he was the son of Vasusena, a mere charioteer and not a Kshatriya. But while Parashurama regretted cursing Karna in a moment of anger, his curse was irrevocable (This shows how 2nd misjudegment after kunti’s resulted in the downfall of karna). In order to subside the curse Parashurama gave to Karna as a gift the celestial weapon called Bhargavastra, along with his personal bow called Vijaya, for being such a diligent student.

Then there was another curse in which he accidentally killed a poor bhramin’s cow who cursed him helpless in the same way the innocent cow had become, by his chariot wheels getting stuck to his ground. (The reason on his death he was not on his chariot when Arjun killed him)

 Karna

Draupadi and karna

The problem with Draupadi was that she was as flawed as Kunti but with loads of EGO inside her. (It seems to me that it was karna’s fate to have such flawed women in his life even though his quality as man was what women always wish in a son or a husband)

It is said that when Draupadi was once praying for a husband, she asked that her husband be:

1) Righteous and good

2) Strong and brave

3) A great warrior

4) Good looking

5) Handsome

Lord Shiva told her that no one man can have all the 5 qualities. But as usual Drupadi highly stubborn and egoistic would not relent, Lord Shiva granted her wish. Except she had to be the wife of 5 brothers- each Pandav brother had one of the qualities she desired.

Yudhistra (righteous and good)

Bheem (strong and brave)

Arjun (a great warrior)

Nakul and Sahdev (good-looking/handsome).

However it is said, Karna had all these 5 qualities- he was after all technically the eldest of Kunti’s son .

When he went for her swamwar (where a woman is allowed to choose her husband, yes it was very liberating experience back then in ancient India too), where Pandav were dressed as Brahmins or Priests. She insulted him by calling him a mere son of a charioteer who DARED to think of marrying a princess, being true to her egoistic nature (after all she considered herself to be very EDUCATED and she believed that she knew everything about karna, another case where her arrogance was at best, as in reality karna was of Royal Blood and eldest brother of 5 Pandav, so in short was the perfect husband for her, Krishna here too played his spoiler game by misguiding Draupadi)

Karna and Arjun

It would be right to say that their fight was much like two tigers fighting for their pride , only that in this case Karna knew the truth but Arjun didn’t. The hostilities between Karna and Arjun were since childhood were in when he heard his brother shone tell about Arjun piercing through the eyes of a fish. Karna retaliated that he could pierce through two eyes of the fish with just one shot.

The Arjun’s humiliation of karna again and again by calling him the son of a mere charioteer or shurdra ( lowly ranked Servant ) who DARED to fight the kshatriyas or warrior tribe men made the blood of karna boil. Then the biggest reason fight between them is Draupadi (who I think was born just to get Mahabharat started with absolute egoism)

Many have said Karna was wrong in calling Draupadi a whore while she was being stripped by Durshasan. He said that saying that a women having more than one husband is a whore (as Draupadi had five Pandavas to be called as Husbands).

Though one would like to bring a different perspective here. Karna’s attempt to humiliate Draupadi and damage her spirit can be seen as revenge act. Draupadi too humiliated karna and damaged his spirit and kept on doing so till the end, by calling a shudra ( son of a servant). If a woman’s pain and humiliation is taken into account then why shouldn’t a man’s pain be considered, after all earlier he gave her full respect and wanted to love and honour her as his bride but she called him names ?

Karna’s Death:

His death was a result of a series of curses which he received in his life. Those curses were due to the misjudgment of the ones giving them. It was also due to his mother who did not care about her eldest son but was content with her 3 sons and 2 step-sons, though she came to plead to him before the day he was suppose to fight Arjun to not fight,but Karna said it was too late for her to recognize him as her son.It was also result of his giving up of his body Armour and earning with which he was born to Lord Indra who came disguised as a poor Brahmin. Karna use to pray to Sun God at every noon and he was famous for giving away anything that some asked from him at that time even if it may lead to his death. Indra capitalized on that nobility of karna and asked for his armour to save his son. Indra, shamed into generosity by Karna’s gesture, reciprocated by giving Karna the boon to use his most powerful weapon, the Vasavi shakti, but only once. It was then that Karna earned the name Vaikartana, as he cut the armour off his body without flinching.

During kurushetra war,while fighting against Arjun, karna’s chariot wheel sank into the ground in loose, wet soil. Descending from his chariot to remove the wheel, he requested Arjuna to wait, as the etiquette of battle allowed. However, Krishna instructed Arjun to kill Karna while he was weaponless even though rules of war state that no warrior will raise his arms against an opponent who is without his weapon. But Krishna knew that in a fair war, Arjun would not be able defeat Karna. His rationale was that killing Karna was critical to win the war and hence a necessary evil.

 

The real deal and Karna on management:

The real deal is that world did not deserved a great and noble warrior as karna. His defiance, fight against odds, anger, philanthropy, courage, hunger for knowledge, honorable conduct, devotion to teacher and loyalty towards friend, all are traits for deep admiration. The world never recognized while he was alive his greatness. In corporate world there will be karnas who will keep on doing their duty because it shall be done, even though it means fighting against all odds. In the end they may or may not get RESPECT for their efforts.

Karna in today’s world:

They are all around you, the only thing is that  those of the likes of  Bhishma or Krishna can see right through them. For rest, it is no need to know who is Karna as their life of arrogance will get affected and so will Karna’s charm.

PS: for those who want a woman’s perspective on karna can visit http://seema-suchislife.blogspot.in/2010/05/complete-man-karna.html

Bhishma for me symbolizes purity and eternal wisdom.  Someone who is the guiding force in the family. I came across few line which showed Indian people’s admiration for him. The line are as follows :

  • If there is some sea one needs to bath in-order to be one with his spirit, then one would do so.
  • If there is some Mountain one needs to climb in-order to be one with his spirit ,then one would do so.
  • If there is some pilgrimage one needs to make in-order to be one with his spirit ,then one would do so.
  • If there is some fire one needs to walk through in-order to be one with his spirit,then one would do so
  • If there is some sacrifice one needs to make in-order to be one with his spirit,then one would do so.

To be one with the noble spirit of Bhishma is the desire and dream of every warrior because there is no greater character who sacrificed everything and yet remained true to the rules or as they say to warrior code (kshatriya Dharma) , even when those rules caused him terrible misery and eventually a painful death.

I, like every child growing up in 1990s watched Mahabharata being telecast on India channel (Doordarshan to be exact) . There were usually fights over who the better fighter was in Mahabharata, Arjun or Karna or Bhima. Some even said that Krishna should be also included into list. The story dates back to the time of 4000 B.C (now whether it is real story or not, one would not discuss but it was a story none the less). So when on those Sunday mornings it use to get telecast in Tv channels. Everyone use to be ready. One of our family friend’s son who was couple of years younger than me got so much impressed that he changed his name to Arjun. Much like it happens in childhood, I wanted my name changed too. I suggested Arjun but I was told that it was already taken. In reality my parents never wanted to change the name but were amused and were looking for some entertainment. When I suggested Karna, the reply was one of your uncle is karna, so no.  The whole idea about the name change was associated with the personality of the being or the fact who was greater warrior. Someone who could beat Arjun too (the supposedly the best warrior which we knew or I knew)

Then during one of the episodes I observed a man very old and wearing everything white, but  nobody wants to be old. Fortunately there was a story behind and the whole episode had its video series too.  I though of knowing about him more well,  the elders did narrate that he was Bhishma and he was the grand-father of  kauravas and Pandavas, in short he could spank them all (nice :)). I thought of knowing more about him, so I watched the starting episodes and discussed with others. It came to being that he chose to give always the right to the throne so that his father could marry a fisher-woman. The most notable point being that he was the son of Ganga, the most sacred river for Hindus and Indians. His father shantanu was king of hastinapur ,a powerful kingdom in north India.

The story of his life was such that he  abstained from throne so that his father could marry a fisher-woman since the fisher-woman’s father wanted his to-be (unborn) grandson to sit at the throne of Hastinapur which was certainly not possible when Bhishma (or Devavratha as he was originally known) was there as crown prince. Bhishma then took the vow of not marrying so that his off-spring might not stake a claim on the throne later. This vow at that time was called to be a rare one and a AKHAND Pratigya (unbreakable vow). It was much to the disappointment and frustration of his father , who blamed himself till the end of his time, for doing this to his son.

He took the another vow that anybody who sits on the throne of Hastinapur will be in synonym with his father’s position. Therefore he would do (Bhishma) as the king will commanded and his loyalty will be to the throne alone and none so ever. The second vow that he took became a reason for concern since Dhitrashtra (the blind king and father of Duryodhan) was not able to take right decisions owing to his love to his ever angry, egoistic son Duryodhan who was incited by his shakuni uncle (who was the crown prince of Gandhar or Bactira or Presently known as Afghanistan).

What followed was a war that nearly destroyed the entire India/ Bharat as it was called then and the epic war in India was called “Mahabharata” or “the great Indian war “. In short Bhishma was the epitome of culture and tradition in the ancient India. Though his act to look other way when Draupati (The queen of Pandavas) was been stripped naked by the kauravas is seen with contempt and anger. Here too it is said that it was his two vows that he took that made him incapable of stopping such an act. It was then left to Krishna to stop  kauravas from outraging the modesty of Draupati.

There was another instance when his half-brother was insulted in a marriage ceremony by the brides father (the king of other kingdom) by not inviting in the swamwar ( where a bride can choose their own groom). Apparently the act was done to insult Bhishma and Hastinapur by the king’s family. It was  a revenge act to get even as the king’s father was insulted when he had proposed the marriage of his daughter to Bhishma. Whereas Bhishma’s father Shantanu had laughed off that matter ( showing that there was huge class difference between both the kings). This act of insult to his half-brother did not go down well with Bhishma and he single-handedly went and captured three princess who were to get married in swamwar in order to get them married to his half-brother in the presence of all the princes of India present there and the king himself. (and none were able to do anything)

The three sisters were namely ambika, amballika and Amba. Salwa, the ruler of Saubala, and Amba (the eldest princess) were in love. Upon reaching Hastinapura, Amba confided in Bhishma that she wished to wed Salwa. Bhishma then sent her back to Salwa who turned her down as it was humiliating for a man to accept a woman who had been so long in the company of another man. She then naturally approached Bhishma for marriage who refused her, citing his oath. Amba, humiliated and enraged beyond measure, vowed to avenge herself against Bhishma even if it meant being reborn over and over again.Burning for vengeance all those years ago, Amba had left Hastinapur and gone into the forest, where she sought the shelter of the sages. With their help she worshipped Lord Shiv to gain the boon she wanted: To cause Bhishma’s death.

Years passed and Amba performed the most austere and extreme austerities to please Shiva. Finally, Lord Shiva appeared and asked her what she desired. She requested a body whereby she would be able to destroy Bhishma. Shiva granted her wish. Bowing before him, Amba surrendered her body into the sacred fire so that she may be reborn according to Shiva‘s blessing.

Amba took rebirth and was a reason for the death of Bhishma in the battle of Mahabharata.Amba was reborn as Shikandi, with full memory of his past life and vendetta against Bhishma. His body was male but his mind was female and thus Shikandi gained notoriety in the kingdom for being not quite male or female but both. During the ninth day of battle it was observed that till Bhishma is there kauravas will never lose but neither will Bhishma defeat Pandavas as he considered them as grandchildren just like kauravas.The war was thus locked in a stalemate. As the Pandavas pondered over this situation, Krishna advised them to visit Bhishma himself and ask him to suggest a way out of this stalemate. Bhishma knew in his heart that the Pandavas were righteous and chaste, and that he stood as the greatest obstacle in their path to victory, so when they visited Bhishma, he told them that if faced by an other gender that is a gender which has both features of a male and female in battle he would stop to fight and not lift weapons against her.

Therefore on tenth day of battle shikhandi accompanied Arjun (The favorite grandson of Bhishma). Upon seeing shikhandi Bhishma knew that he could not shoot him as it was Amba.(she had taken rebirth half man and half woman). Krishna provoked Arjun to shoot Bhishma. So Arjun shot Bhishma reluctantly with arrows and a death-bed was created for Bhishma. Bhishma was given a death wish by his father when he took those vows that he could choose the time of his death. Therefore till the time war was not over Bhishma laid there on the arrows, shot by Arjun. In all this event Bhishma was very proud of Arjun showing his ability (In reality Arjun wouldn’t have stood a second in front of him had he not disarmed himself). None the less this was the personality of Bhishma. Once in a war he deliberately struck Krishna with an arrow so that Krishna could take up arms and break his vow of not fighting for anyone. In a fit of rage Krishna had even ran with a wheel in his hand to kill Bhishma ( Bhishma being more than willing to die by hands of Krishna, but it was Arjun who stopped Krishna from Killing bhishma falling on his feet). There is a pic to depict whole act. The pic stands out for me in whole of Mahabharata.

Therefore back to the debate over choosing what to be. I finally was able to decide and it was Bhishma.  As far as name goes well Bhishma’s real name was Devavratha , so it really doesn’t matters that what the name is. It is the actions and more importantly the personality that matters. It was said his personality was the best that could be, fit for kings. Therefore the best man, but yes the catch being not the one made for marriage.

Bhishma on Mangement :

To be honest Mahabharat  has more to do with understanding the personality of character than  management these characters did. Still however every character had a distinct set of rules of getting things done. In the case of Bhishma it is more in terms of ethics. He was a very ethical man for whom rule and principles were supreme.He was an idealist but it was his vow towards Hastinapur that led him not to act on certain situations causing outrage among masses sometimes.

If one wishes to identity any manager with him, then he would be one who worked hard to create an organization on ideal principles.

Bhishma in today’s world :

Now this was a tricky one though I went around and tried to get a feel of the situation as to what people in India think about that, therefore it was two candidates which were narrowed. Both are from strong political parties in India namely Congress and BJP. The names are Dr. Manmohan Singh from congress and Atal Bihari Vajpayee from BJP. Without doubt both are statesmen and honorable people and I somehow felt they were right in today’s time to be named as Bhishma.

However, about who is the Bhishma of Indian Business world. I sensed that I always knew that answer. It is Ratan Naval Tata.

 ps: One knows that one cannot be an exact replica of bhishma but as far as I am concern, he is the only hero for me in entire Mahabharata and everybody wants to emulate their heroes. Isn’t it… ?

Plus on naming present day people who are close to or might resemble characters well, I doubt that I might have the wisdom to always come out with a name or even write. Now nobody wants to get spanked by naming someone a Duryodhan ( Though wise people will always be able to find such characters 🙂 )

Mahabharat is one of my favorite mythological books along with Iliad. Somehow I find it more real compared to Ramayana. Although many in India regard Ramayana as “the” book, I personally beg to differ. For me Ramayana symbolizes bondage but Mahabharata unleashing of spirits and thoughts, for someone who does not like bondage much, Ramayana might not excite much (Though I guess that talk might be blasphemous to some. I would just say it is the choice of having something spicier ).

Mahabharat offers a variety of characters whom we in this present world could relate to and I would be trying to give my own understanding of the characters as time goes on, hoping to find some answers myself too in the process. Additional to that I can say Business Sutra  reignited my interest for it providing a different perspective and a deep insight into Mahabharat. I enjoy the Business Sutra very much started on CNBCTV18 in which Devdutt Pattanaik  talks about mythology. I can honestly say that it is a delightful experience listening to him. I have rarely seen someone describe and enlighten people about Indian manuscripts and old age text like he does and use it in terms of management.

In the coming posts I would talk and think about certain characters which made me think and question. For a list they would be as follows:

  • Bhishma
  • Karna
  • Arjun
  • Yudhishtar
  • Bhim
  • Krishna
  • Duryodhan
  • Shakuni
  • kunti
  • shantanu
  • Ganga
  • Nakul and sehdev
  • Draupadi
  • Durshashan
  • Balram
  • Ghatotkach
  • Barbarika or Khatushyamji
  • Abhimanyu
  • Dhitrashtra
  • Gandhari
  • Pandu
  • Satyawati
  • Dronacharya
  • Sanjay
  • Vidura

Now one would try to start it generation by generation but would dare say that it would not always be that restrictive……. It may vary as per my admiration for the character (and mood)  so bear with me who ever will read it,apologies before hand if it puts you off. It will be more in terms my understanding of these characters…

Alright so in continuation to my last post on the Hyderabad trip, I am writing this. After going to Golconda fort, I wanted to see the char Minar and Nizam’s palace. Therefore I set forth in an autorikshaw( This was the next day ofcourse). Though I must warn fellow travelers that they charge ridiculous amount until unless you are willing to bargain with them.

The Char Minar is situated deep in the old city of Hyderabad, it took me 30-45 mins from my residence in Hyderabad (which was outskirts of Hyderabad near the IT city).

I for one had never seen Char Minar, so obviously was excited to see it for the first time. Though many had warned me not to keep high hopes as it may lead to disappointment. Still the excitement was there.

Upon arriving at Char Minar, I can say it was pretty much what I expected . Reasonable expectations did come to my rescue. There was a counter for entering, which charged about Rs 4 per person. This was done by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). I dare say the job that they were doing for maintenance was not good.

The view from char minar was certainly a delight. The staircase to get up however was too narrow and steep. I guess architects forgot about people climbing up. Usual to the Indian standards the site was riddled with piques of paan (The banner of  “Kindly Paint me red”  was the only sign missing, rest of the job was done fully well by the local tourist armed with their gutkas. This is specifically the case of staircase).

The view from the top of Char Minar was a nice one. You can see the entire old city and the mosque which is besides it. There is a famous bangle shop there. It is in a lane which faces one of the four walls of Char Minar.  That same lane would eventually lead you to Nizam’s Palace.

I remembered the mosque near Char Minar from the news briefing about Saina Mirza, the news was such that she went for a photo-shoot there. Apparently the orthodox individuals had an issue with her “posing” in a mosque.

The minar offers a view into the lanes of Bazar. I clicked couple of picks of the opposite side, the hustle and bustle of the lanes brought out the liveliness of the city. After staying there for 45 mins. I moved onto Nizam’s palace. Apparently Nizam had seven wives and 42 concubines and 40 Children. Quite an Army indeed.

The Place of Nizams was huge indeed. ASI handled it too. They charged Rs 10 to enter but for forigeners it was a bit more. The courtyard was grand and one was able to see the place where the Nizam use to sit.  However the clicking of pictures in the inner chamber was not allowed. It was a sort of a museum of the history of nizams.

Nizam’s Throne :

While going through the museums of nizam, I got across a pic which looked familiar to me of black and white cinema era actress, Nilofar. Apparently she was married to the Nizam (That was a news to me).

Finally after watching the whole of the palace which was done in an hour or so. One decided to head back to the city. There was some time left so one could catch on some other places before it was dark. Hussain Sagar Lake was such a spot.

They say that Hussian Sagar Lake was a man made lake build built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562, during the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah.

There is one big statue of Buddha in the middle of lake which was installed in 1992. One could see a boat club there, where people were boating in the lake. For those interested in going to see the Buddha statue, they need to board a ferry.

The sight at Hussian Sagar lake was a calming one . The winds were also keeping temperature chilly. The whole day’s trip came to a fitting end. It is a popular spot among tourist and I can certainly see why it is so.

Last year I went to Hyderabad, the second IT city after Bangalore in south India. It is the capital of Andra Pradesh which currently is in a bitter battle of separation, in order to create another state of Telengana. I stayed in Hyderabad for 7 days before proceeding to Bangalore via a bus.

I reached Hyderabad in august of 2010.(cannot remember the exact date). I do remember however that it was 10 am that my flight landed and I had boarded the flight from delhi at 7:30 am (so it took 2 hours and 30 mins ) . This is the exact time that it takes if you are going from delhi to Thimpu,capital of Bhutan. Remarkable right… India is a vastly remarkable country…

The first couple of days were just site seeing near the place I resided. I tried to get accustomed to Hyderabad but then I ventured out to see the Golconda fort.

Golconda fort has an interesting history, it starts with  13th century  built by the Kakatiya kings. Though the current structure was build by the Bahmani Sultanate .After the collapse of sultanate, a new empire ruled over it. That of Qutb Shahi dynasty before it fell to Mughals. It was captured by Mughals during the time of Aurangzeb. It is said that he captured it to finance his crumbling empire as Qutb Shahi dynasty had lots of diamonds. The region itself was rich producer of diamonds.

The historians also write that the defense of Golconda fort was so good that Aurangzeb’s army was not able to get in. Only after bribing the gatekeeper, the Mughal army was able to capture the fort.

Something which amused me was to find a temple at the top of fort. The story about it is that a saint Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhaktha Ramadaasu, a devout Hindu constructed Bhadrachalm temple without informing the sultan at that time Tana Shah. This resulted in his being  jailed located inside the fort. I saw the place where he was jailed but forgot to take a pic(but certainly got the pics of temple).

I think, of all the ancient monuments that I saw in Hyderabad. Golconda was finest. At the top of the fort one could see Hyderabad. It think the attacking armies could have been easily spotted 100 Kms away. Truly on top of the fort it was a remarkable view. The greenery of Hyderabad is also proved when you view from top of Golconda fort.

While in Hyderabad I also observed one trend, there seems to a lot of construction going on. It seemed that Hyderabad was on infrastructure revamp mission. The road connecting airport to outskirts of Hyderabad where most IT companies are offers memorable sights for watching.Though I must say campus of both Microsoft and Infosys were equally beautiful.

Now since summers have already begun in India (especially in Delhi ) and temperatures are souring 39-40 degree Celsius. I one day thought to have some butter Milk ( better known as Laasi in north India). There are two types of Laasis: sweet and sour one. If it is summer time and sun is at top, most enjoy sweet laasi as it provides respite from heat.  Additionally I also though of having some Rajma chawal ( Red beans with gravy and rice). This is one of the many popular dishes in north India.

So in order to have a good food and delightful laasi which would make me happy, I ventured out in the afternoon hunting for the right spot to eat. The sun was at it best and so was the heat. Hoping that my efforts would not go wasted, I marched on. There are certain places in north India where one can find exquisite laasi’s and rajma chawal but they are few in number and scattered. So if one wishes to have same experience hoping to find the same quality then one should target food joints.

The food joints famous for such food are :

The above mentioned joints are quite famous and one is most likely to find them in places they reside or are working. I saw Bikanerwalla so it was as good as others and I ventured in. The rice and the gravy dish was of Rs 90 and Laasi was of Rs 60 ( it was worth that amount, usually you can get cheaper than that too).

The gravy with red beans was tasty as it had the right spices in it. In India spices are a must for any gravy or dish. To be honest I went there for laasi but the dish was a double delight. The laasi had cream in it and was thick (ie heavy), it was just like curd in viscosity. It was served in a mud made glass which is a rarity in India and with cream on top, this was done to provide the traditional look to it. In regional languages the glass is known as Kullar. The joint also had many variety of sweets. From laados to kaju ki barfee (in all styles). The whole site brought water to my mouth. My eyes however were placed firmly on mango laasi.

I must say that mango laasi was not that which I expected and I concluded it is better to drink mango shake that mango laasi. None the less I try to have laasi on a daily basis as I found it just perfect. ( additionally I haven’t drunk it for a year now so was dying to have a taste of it).  I am sure those who enjoy laasi would feel the same. There  are various sizes of glasses to for having laasi depending upon the capacity of the drinker 🙂 ,  ( but that is in home or in certain food outlets, not all offer it).  The experience was a good one and one wishes to go again may be in a different joint from bikanerwalle just to find out about its competition and enjoy some good LASSI !

.

The argumentative Indian

For starters let me be honest that it took me 8 months to complete this book, partly because of other engagements and partly that I found some portions boring as I would narrate. Dr Sen certainly has done a good job in trying to make west understand about India but unfortunately from an Indian perspective his observations were more focused on the eastern India from Bihar to Jharkhand and mostly his beloved Bengal where he traces his ancestry from.Though I would like to add that he did give accounts of medieval and ancient India in complete fairness. It was the modern history that he talked about and specifically about Tagore that made me think on those lines.

The book has been very meticulously divide into four parts,  I can say with conviction that I consider all the parts thoroughly engaging barring some chapters which I found not interesting(  a fact that I could not relate to them in any way).

His books as 4 parts , namely

  1. Voice and heterodoxy
  2. Culture and Communication
  3. Politics and Protest
  4. Reason And Identity

For starters the first chapter is the most engaging of all, providing a detailed insight of the way India society works in terms of the opinions of people on religion and science. The chapter of the argumentative Indian he talks about  “good amount of debates” that use to take place in the Indian society at large in past, such as the debates within various religions . Akbar‘s tolerance and the secular nature of India formed. His approach is again more in making the world understand that how debates and arguments have been institutionalized in the history of India and that it is this behavior which led to the formation of a democratic India. Even though many in west claimed otherwise that it was because of “western” ideas and colonialism.

He is also particularly harsh on the NDA government , a fact that the book was written when NDA was in power. The book also address the angle where Hindu militants(Hindu aggression and parties with those ideology) has been talked by Dr Sen and how BJP cannot win more than the seats that it won at the time(184  precisely). His analysis of BJP and its ideology was  to offer an insight into an organizational structure which has worked secretly (pretty much till its RSS link came out in the open). Though he gives them credit for the meteoric rise. I found all this information very fascinating and none the less somewhat like a lecture from grandfather type figure telling as though “how the world runs”.

In the chapter of Diaspora of the world he very rightly touches the topic which has concerned me for very long time, the Identity debate.

The second section of the book it is the most boring which I found (which caused the delay in finishing). He talks at length about Rabindranath Tagore, it may be his fondness of the man or that he studied in the school which was laid by Tagore but the talk about Tagore made me lose interest. If I may add in some points I was furious about why he was talking about him so much, whereas overshadowing other people at that time in modern India. Later I did calm my self by realizing that the man was basically giving respects to the culture he was coming from ( a fact which my friends might acknowledge when I speak so more often about Jats, his action kind of gave validation to my attempts as to speak about your own too) .

The chapter that stood out here however was that of “our culture and their culture” in which much to my dissatisfaction he talks how Satyajit Ray tries to portray his understanding(again proving that it is not wrong to talk about your people, as Ray is a Bengali). The best of the lines for me in this part were on page 133 last paragraph, on word “modernism” which I for all means consider a raped word. I thoughtfully enjoyed his questioning as it was again something which has made me think a lot and made somewhat uncomfortable. It was reassuring that a Nobel laureate also thought this way.

Here he also mentioned about three ways west usually looks at India

  1. exoticist
  2. magisterial
  3. curatorial

Exoticist approach where everything is fascinating about India. The magisterial approach where the British governors tore apart Indian culture and intelligence by calling it barbaric and archaic(which many of their Indian admirers retransmit). The curatorial approach, the most balanced of all.

In the context of China and India he talks at length about how china and India have interacted since ancient time.(Nalanda university time). He talked about the fear of Chinese people when Buddhism came to their footsteps and about what both “nations” have learned from each other.

The third part was the quickest for me as most were related to the recent events and the fact that I read it in my Delhi to gurgaon metro journeys(where I don’t have much apart from either getting bored to death or sleeping or  finishing my pending books in the bookshelf). The chapters involves the freedom to the class distinction in India. It varies from the gender issues to the nuclear bomb thing, which he consider another BJP brouhaha as it was already done in 1974 by Indira Gandhi government secretly.On the gender issue he takes the usual line of women as victims and all the stuff that you read and watch on TV set.( it seemed to me that most of the media people must have read his book)

The fourth part Reasons and Identity he talks from various calendars to the topic of enlightenment.The importance of “new human psychology” as propagated by Jonathan Glover met with cynicism by him( I hope the pseudo-intellectuals are listening). He at one point brings rightly into the different ways in which west and east approach the same issue. He also rebuts the claim that most westerns feel that Asian societies lack liberty or tolerance(which baffles me too). It would be interesting to see that how many of the “western intellectuals” who shape the opinions of the mass public actually know about people like Akbar and Asoka who championed both of the causes. His well constructed argument in understanding the various calendars and pointing towards Gregorian calendar. ( the only way world running). Giving credibility to the fact that power does influence cultures , as he points out about various time median have had such influence. Greenwich time median is another example. It was made official at the time when Britain was a force to reckon with, I doubt now US would agree to such things if it unfolds.(hope western ideology worshipers in India are listening).

All in all I found couple of points in Dr Sen’s book to be used very much often Tagore, BJP and reasoning. The first one got to my nerve, though I must say that he quotes that many Bengali’s are baffled that Indian people not appreciate Tagore  for his intelligentsia. It is but true as most are interested in singing their region’s choirs plus Tagore was never that a universal leader as Gandhi who came from Gujarat(a state on the west of India). Similarly many of the rest of the Indian are baffled that Bengalis do-not appreciate other parts of the country that much and neither their leaders. It was a through grandfather speech affair, which I could say had moments of amazement to disliking to great knowledge. It is a book must read for those who wish to brush their history skill(something which I fancy a lot).

Gatka has been part of north Indian culture for over 300 years. Guru Angad Dev, encouraged followers to train the body physically, mentally and spiritually.

Guru Hargobind propagated the theory of the warrior saint and emphasized the need for his followers to practice fighting for self-defence. When fifty-two Rajput princes were captured by the Muslim conquerors, he assembled an army to free them. This led to further exchanges in the martial cultures of the Sikhs and Rajputs. Both the Rajputs and Punjabi communities favored the sword as their main weapon.

Gatka is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Sikhs of the Punjab. The Punjabi word gatka refers to the wooden stick used in sparring matches. The term might have originated as a diminutive of the Sanskrit word gadha or mace. A more popular theory is that it derives from the Punjabi words gat and ka. Gat means grace, liberation, and respect in one’s own power, while ka means someone who belongs or is part of a group. Gatka would therefore translate as “one whose freedom belongs to grace”.

Like all people who watch it, I was also truly mesmerized by it. It was more seen as an army’s practice before going to the war. Gatka is not gender specific and both boys and girls and perform it side by side. In India Gatka is generally at public display during religious processions. It is a showcasing of the might of Sikhs. The Gatka Federation of India, in collaboration with Punjab Gatka Association, for the first time, has formulated and standardized the in-depth Rules and Regulations Book in September 2009 for playing of Gatka game with pictorial guidelines and providing training to the budding Gatkebaaz through workshops, seminars and camps under the new Gatka rules.The best part of Gatka training is that it is not religion based. Anyone can join Sikhs in practicing this great martial art. It’s objective it help you defend against an attack.

The weapons used in the training process are :

  • Barcha — The spear is a long shafted weapon and has a hook at the spearhead used to pull away the opponent’s shield.
  • Chakram – The chakram is a flat steel ring, five to 12 inches in diameter, from half an inch to an inch and a half wide, and with a sharp outer edge. While not being used, it is carried “fixed” to the Turban. Several of different sizes were often carried on a pointed turban, the “dastar ungaa” or behind the back. It is held between the thumb and index finger and thrown towards the opponent with an underhand flick. Thrown with sufficient force and accuracy it can cut off a green bamboo three-quarter of an inch in diameter at a distance of thirty yards.
  • Dahl or Shield. It is nearly always round and varies in diameter from about eight inches to about twenty-four. Some are very nearly flat while others are strongly convex. The edges may be flat or rolled back in the reverse curvature of the shield. It is held by two handles fastened to ring bolds that pass through the shield and are riveted to bosses on the outside, sometimes formed to spikes. Between the handles there is a square cushion for the knuckles to rest against. The handles are so placed that, when tightly grasped, they force the backs of the fingers against the cushion giving a very firm and comfortable hold. These shields are nearly always of steel or leather.
  • Gurj or Mace: Indian maces have great variations in their shape. From simply curved steel bars to Persian influenced maces with openings in the head which gives a whistling sound when the blow was struck to plane massive heads. They often have guard hilts like the Khanda
  • Katar – The Katar is a double-edged and straight bladed dagger used to pierce armour. The handle has two sidebars to provide protection and a better grip.
  • Khanda – This is a typical Indian sword and has a broad, straight blade, usually widening towards the point, which is blunt. Sometimes it is also double-edged.
  • Kirpan – The Kirpan is a short curved dagger and all Sikhs are required to carry it by tradition.
  • Lathi – The lathi or quarterstaff is a wooden stick as tall as the warrior and made of oak.
  • Marati – Trainig device: The Marati is a bamboo stick with wooden or cloth balls on its ends. It is mainly used for training purposes but there are variations with blades or burning cloth on its ends, to attack and distract elephants and for psychological warfare.
  • Soti – This is made from fire hardened bamboo or ratan, 1m long and usually has a hand guard. It is mainly used for practice and “playing Gatka”, the training fight. For combat they were replaced by oak ore ironwood sticks, without hand guards.
  • Tapar – The battle-axe is very distinct from the normal axe and sometimes has a dagger concealed in the handle.
  • Talwar – The sword is usually curved with a thin and sharp blade. The Talwar is greatly respected and treated with care.
  • Tir Kaman – The bow and arrow is a potent weapon. The arrow is made of steel heads with reed shafts. The bow is also composite and made of layers of wood and steel.
  • Chakar – The Chakar looks like a wagon wheel with weights at the end of each spoke. The chakar is wielded by grasping the centre and spinning it around, causing damage upon anyone coming too close to the spinning weights.

If someone observed carefully, then it was performed in the opening ceremony of the commonwealth games. It is truly an art that needs to be remembered and kept alive. Though in this modern world where weapons have changed many would not agree, but the gatka techniques and the meditation that it involves while practicing does really makes the mind calm of a warrior. That calm mind helps him to fight better in any domain of life.

On 14 Jan of every year the whole of Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra get submerged in celebrating a festival which is one of a kind in the world. All across India 14 Jan is celebrated as “makar-sakranti” which is celebrated the day when the sun starts to travel northwards marking the decline of winter. The days become longer, the skies clearer and the breeze cooler.

Though Gujarat boast of more than 2000 festivals but this festival stands out, trespassing religions and now even borders. It is the day when the skies in Gujarat are filled with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes. People from all the backgrounds irrespective of Geography, caste and creed come together and celebrate it.

International visitors have come from countless countries, including Japan, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, France, China, and many more.

As Rajul Doshi points out : “This is one day when everybody forgets their worries and other jobs, comes out on their terrace and make the most of the day.”

Historically Uttarayan has had been a part of Gujarat’s identity since centuries and recent efforts by the Gujarat govt in showcasing it is only adding to its charm and glory. The way the festival is being celebrated has also come long way.

Dhawal Shah points it out well “Modernization in terms of the Chinese kites n tread (manjha) seems to have become a norm now.”  The festival has gained so much importance that manufacturing of Kites has become a serious business, additionally since the Gujarat Govts’ initiative to make it International Kite Festival inviting people across the globe, its growth outside the state of Gujarat is rapidly increasing and in future course of time it would be not limited to a region.

Kites at the market at Dilli Diwaraja – in Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat – which is open 24 hours a day leading up to the Uttarayan Kite Festival in mid January every year. by Meena Kadri

Dhawal also points out that “it should be made more popular among youth in India for which aggressive marketing is required so that it could be as grand as Christmas itself and as it reflects traditional and cultural aspects of Gujarat. It should be preserved and maintained to sustain Gujarati culture.”

The food is as special as the festival, families have undhayu, jalebi fafda bhajiya dhokla and hot masala milk which are served especially for the day.

The excitement of this festival is not just in the day. The nights see the arrival of the illuminated box kites, often in a series strung on one line, to be launched into the sky. Known as tukkals, these kites add a touch of splendor to the dark sky. It is a festival truly to watch out for those interested in “Incredible India”.

Not many in India know about the the Aghoris, those who know keep a distance from them, since many consider them dangerous and a mirror image of Hindu Lord Shiva. They are suppose to live on the edge having renounced everything which is material and are general known as sadhus.

They are higher than any priest in the ladder of the Hindu varna system but their way of living scares away alot of people but none the less they are respected immensely in India.

The various activities of aghoris have a purpose of embracing pollution through various practices is nothing but the realization of non-duality through transcending social taboos, and seeing the illusory nature of all conventional categories. The Aghoris are not to be confused with the shivnetras, who are also ardent devotees of Shiva but do not indulge in extreme ritual worship practices known to some extent as Tamasic (rituals involving some or all of the following: meat eating, alcohol drinking, consumption of beverages and foods with opiates, hallucinogens and cannabis products as key ingredients, cannibalism, residing in cremation grounds, and Tantric sexual rituals). Although they enjoy close ties with the shivnetras, netras are a complete opposite of the aghoris and are purely Sattvic in nature and worship.

The Cannibalism in aghoris seems to be a major drawing point for many foreigners and researchers all across the globe. In essence, Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles: that Shiva is perfect and that Shiva is responsible for everything. Shiva is thought to be responsible for every rock, tree, animal, and thought. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect, and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation, as well as deny God/Goddess and the demigods’ perfection. Aghoris eat any form of food and intoxicants, engage in a variety of sexual practices, ritually and otherwise, and also meditate on dead bodies for some rituals as prescribed in Hindu Tantric holy scriptures.

The Aghori ascetic is himself a symbol of the God Shiva in Shiva’s form as Bhairava. The main symbol which makes him distinct from other sadhus is the skull cup he uses as a begging bowl. He goes naked or wears the shroud of a corpse, covers himself in the ashes of the cremation ground and always has his hair disheveled or in matted dreadlocks. If an aghori uses a corpse as part of his ritual worship, the corpse upon which he meditates, it is a symbol of his own body and the corpse-devouring ritual is a symbol of the transcendence of his lower self and a realization of the greater, all pervading Self that is universal consciousness.

Another symbol of the aghori, which ties him to the affiliation of Bhairava and links aghoris together with other Saiva and Sakta traditions, is the trident.

The three pronged trident staff in Tantric Hinduism, which aghoris follow, is a symbol representing the three constituents of which Shiva and/or Shakti first creates the universe: iccha shakti (power of will/desire/intention), jnana shakti (power of knowledge – the preconceived architectural design of the universe), and kriya shakti (the power of action).

Place to find Aghoris

In order to locate a aghori you need to be at the holiest of the places in India namely varanasi In Uttar Pradesh or on the sides of the Holy river Ganga , you could find them in Uttrakhand ( or Uttranchal as it is also know) , a state in northern India which boasts of the spiritual tourism in India. They reside on the fringes of the the human population, they are out of the limits of the cities but may wander sometimes into it for some amusement or food. Though most of them seem to be hostile but some of them are nice when you approach them. They can tell you alot about their customs and practices but still one would advice caution while talking to them. A certainly a mark of respect needs to be shown to them because you don’t want an angry aghori around you.

They have always mesmerized many people in and out side of India with their behavior and rituals.  As people will keep on looking for  path of uniting with god ,we would certainly find them amongst us for many millennium to come as they have existed since many millenniums.

Jats in general

Jat

ETHNONYMS: Jāṭ, Jaṭ, Jatt

Orientation


Identification and Location.  Jat live predominantly in large parts of northern and northwestern India and in southern and eastern Pakistan, as sedentary farmers and warriors ( with some are pastorals).  Jat is a race much like the Irish, Ossetians, KurdsYakuts, Kazakhs  and the pashtuns.  In India most of these communities are integrated as a caste into the locally prevalent caste system, so that they could be accommodated in Hinduism (as Hinduism is considered a religion by default for all Indians).However, a Jat can be a Sikh, Hindu or a Muslim (Christian and Buddhist too in some case).

Their population is  mostly concentrated in the regions of Jammu, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/ Harit Pradesh, Parts of Madhya Pradesh, kutch in Gujrat and Delhi.In Pakistan, they are in Pakistan Punjab, Baluchistan, Kashmir and sindh region.In the past century increasing population pressure on land has led to large-scale emigration of the peasant Jat, especially from India, to North America, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and more recently the Middle East. Within India many rural Jats had started to look towards Urban settlements in hope for better lifestyle and jobs.

As per some researchers, sedentary farming Jat and the nomadic pastoral Jats (in gujrat as claimed by researchers and documentary makers) are of entirely different origins; few believe that the two groups are of the same stock but that they developed different life-styles over the centuries. Neither the farmers nor the pastoralists are, however, to be confused with other distinct communities of peddlers, artisans, and entertainers designated in Afghanistan by the blanket terms “Jat” or Jaṭ.

The latter terms are considered pejorative, and they are rejected as ethnonyms by these peripatetic communities. In Pakistan also, among the Baluchi- and Pashto-speaking populations, the terms were, and to a certain extent still are, used to indicate contempt and lower social status.

Demography. No reliable figures are available for recent years. In 1931 the population of all sedentary and farming Jat was estimated at 8,377,819; in the early 1960s 8,000,000 was the estimate for Pakistan alone. Today the entire Jat population consists of several million more than that.

Linguistic Affiliation.

Jats speak languages and dialects that are closely connected with local spoken languages of the Indo-Iranian Group.  Arabic-derived Urdu is used by Jat Muslims, while Jat Sikhs and Jat Hindus use the Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and the Devanagari (Hindi) scripts, respectively.

History and Cultural Relations

Little is known about the early history of the Jat, although several theories were advanced by various scholars over the last 200 years. Some authors argue that they are descendants of the first Indo-Aryans, others suggest that they are of Indo-Scythian stock and entered India toward the beginning of the Christian era. These authors also point to some cultural similarities between the Jat and certain other major communities of the area, such as the Gurjar, the Ahir, and the Rajput, about whose origins similar theories have been suggested.

In fact, among both Muslims and Sikhs the Jat and the Rajput castes enjoy almost equal status—partly because of the basic egalitarian ideology enjoined by both religions, but mainly because of the similar political and economic power held by both communities. Hindu Jat consider the Gujar and Ahir as allied castes; except for the rule of caste endogamy, there are no caste restrictions between these three communities.

In other scholarly debates about the origins of the Jat, attempts have been made to identify them with the Jarttikā, referred to in the Hindu epic the Mahābhārata. Some still maintain that the people Arab historians referred to as the ZuṠṠ, and who were taken as prisoners in the eighth century from Sindh in present-day southern Pakistan to southern Iraq, were actually buffalo-herding Jat, or were at least known as such in their place of origin.

Another scholarly view point stating that Jat race is a combination of Indo-greek, Scythians and Indo- Aryan stock (namely Mauryans of the Dynasty of Chandragupta Maurya, Grandfather of Great Ashoka). It was after many years of inter marrying that a new name and identity came into being which was collectively called as Jats.

Indo-Greek

This  view point seems to be more scientific and has a good logic unlike a certain community’s belief that they come from some fire etc. and proclaim themselves to be the ‘authentic‘ warriors from the bloodline of a ‘Brahminical god‘ whose name and existence is mythological (a way to subside their inferiority complex ,propagation of superstitious blind faith and to enslave masses).

With the arrival of Islam (both Salafi and Sufi) in 10 to 12 Century AD  many Jats converted to Islam and it lead to socioeconomic prosperity for them. For rest of Hindu Jats who were mostly peasants and pastorals (as Sikh religion was not born) the fight for empowerment and against exploitative condition was long and brutal in many ways (mainly by Priestly class which are known as Brahmins, from the hands of Ruling elite who claimed warrior status  (but their credentials are doubtful) and finally from Islamist who invaded and ruled India in subsequent centuries too ).

In the seventeenth century a (Hindu) kingdom was established in the area of Bharatpur and Dholpur (Rajasthan) in northern India; it was the outcome of many centuries of rebellion against the Mughal  Empire, and it lasted till 1826, when it was defeated by the forces of the British East India Company.

Farther north, in the Punjab, in the early years of the eighteenth century, Jat (mainly Sikh) organized peasant uprisings against the predominantly Muslim landed gentry; subsequently, with the invasion of the area—first by the Persian King Nadir Shah and then by the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali—they controlled a major part of the area through close-knit bands of armed marauders operating under the leadership of the landowning chiefs of well-defined territories.

A Sikh Jat became King of Entire Punjab for 40 years who was called Maharaja Ranjit Singh , he employed a policy of secularism where Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs lived in harmony from many years before Britishers annexed it in 1850.

Because of their martial traditions, the Jat, together with certain other communities, were classified by British administrators of imperial India as a “martial race,” and this term had certain long-lasting effects. One was their large-scale recruitment into the British-Indian army, and to this day a very large number of Jat are soldiers in the Indian army.

Many Sikh Jats in the Indian part of Punjab were involved in the  movement for the creation of an autonomous Khalistan, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (14th Chief of the Damdami Taksal )  was a Sikh Jat, it has been said that he was neither for and nor against the creation of Khalistan (though many of his followers were in favour for creation of Khalistan and considered him a spiritual leader for the movement) . Those who were Muslims were closely associated with the movement of Pakistan as the 1st prime-minister of Pakistan was Liaquat Ali Khan who was a Muslim Jat. India’s 5th prime-minister was Chaudhary Charan Singh who was a Hindu Jat.

Settlements

The Jat as a whole are predominantly rural. Over the last 400-500 years there has been increasing sedentarization of Jats; this trend increased rapidly in the last decades of the eighteenth century when many pastoralists settled in the central Punjab under the auspices of Sikh rule there owing to the philosophy of Sikhism (since earlier the Mughal rule did not favor them and their rule were draconian towards non-mu slims . Sikh rule brought about massive land reforms ).

This continued over a very large area with the expansion of irrigation in British imperial times. Before that some Jats were peasants but in few regions only.

Most Jat peasants lived in flat-roofed houses made of baked or unbaked bricks in large compact villages, with few open spaces within the inhabited area; all villages have cattle sheds, village commons, and wells or ponds. Depending on the region and the precise community, Jat  peasants used a variety of huts, mostly made of reed mats and wood, that are fairly easy to dismantle. The reed mats are woven by the women.

Kingdoms and Royalty

The royalty among Jat has been in existence for more than 1000 years (records could be found with the respective families) but after 1699 it rose rapidly as more warriors revolted against the Mughals and formed their respective kingdoms. Following is the list of some notable kings and queens among Jats

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Punjab

Madhya Pradesh

Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kin Groups and Descent.

All Jat are divided into several large, usually dispersed clans. Most clans are de facto maximal lineages, which are further segmented; among Jat peasants this segmentation takes place at four broad levels. The minimal lineage is composed of a group of households, which had formed a single household two or three generations previously; they may still share a common courtyard and have joint rights to a well.

Marriage.

While among Muslim Jat the practice of exchange marriage takes place at various levels of lineage organization, among Hindu and Sikh Jat no such exchange marriages are allowed, and the rule of exogamy is such that a man may not marry a woman who has any of her four grand-parental clans in common with his.

Polygyny was allowed though not common (this was discontinued for Sikh and Hindu Jats, once Hindu Marriage act came into being in 1950s).

Among all Jat, widow remarriage is permitted (unlike certain communities in India who use to enjoy burning widows alive and gave it religious color to give sacrosanctity to this barbarity or consider them a bad omen);

For a widow levirate is required or a she is not allowed to remarry outside the maximal lineage, especially when she has children by her late husband.

The practice of female infanticide, also known among the peasants, has dropped sharply. A woman’s relationship with her husband’s kin is organized according to a basic pattern of avoidance with seniors and of joking with those younger than the husband. Brothers share a common duty toward their sisters and their children.

Sikh-Hindu Marriages

Marriages among Sikh Jats and Hindu Jats are encouraged and are considered a sense of deep pride, since such Sikh-Hindu marriages reinstates the concept of brotherhood among the two distinct communities within the ethnic group, which in turn evokes nostalgic times of when they fought together against tyrannical Mughals.

Definition of Jat Status in Jat Blood Law

The status of being a Jat is defined by the Jat blood (DNA) of the Father and mother of the offspring (Children). The Scythians warriors that invaded the Punjab region and India in general were men (males). Each one of them took native women as wives namely Indo- Greek and Indo-Aryan. The children produced from that joining were the first Jats. The Status of being a Jat in Jat Blood Law is decided by the father’s Jat blood (the DNA Y chromosome of the father being from Central Asia).

If a Jat Man marries a Jat Woman in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given Full Jat status (100% Jat) by Jat Blood Laws and Scythian blood. If a Jat Man marries a Non-Jat Woman in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given Half Jat status (50% Jat) by Jat Tribal Blood Laws. If a Jat Woman marries a Non-Jat Man in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given No Jat status (0% Jat) by Jat Blood Laws.

Father Mother Child Status (%)
Jat Jat Full Jat (100 %)
Jat Non-Jat Half Jat (50 %)
Non-Jat Jat Non-Jat (0 %)
Non-Jat Non-Jat Non-Jat (0 %)

Note: Historically and currently, Pure Jats (Full Jats) are commanded by Jat Law to marry other Pure Jats (Full Jats) to prevent their future offspring (children) losing Full Jat Status and losing (DNA) blood membership of the Jat community i.e. Scythian DNA of their forefathers. Once blood membership of the Jat community is lost by becoming Half Jat (50 % Jat) or Non-Jat (0 % Jat), it is impossible for future descendents (e.g. grandchildren or great grandchildren) to ever become Jat again (100 %). Historically, Half Jats (50 % Jat) have found it very difficult for themselves to be accepted for marriage by Jat families (100 % Jat families). A decision to marry outside of the Jat community is PERMANENT (DNA) blood wise and can NEVER be undone for any potential children of that individual. Therefore, marrying outside of one’s Jat community is almost never done due to the seriousness of the outcome.

Note —  (However, from a scholarly viewpoint if they are marrying into other Scythian or Indo- Greek descendants or that matter even Caucasians, then it should NOT be a problem.)

Domestic Unit.

Most Jat peasant households consist of lineal joint families, with the parents and one married son; many units are nuclear and some are collateral-joint, with two married brothers and their offspring living together. Among  Jat the nuclear family and the lineal joint family are the most common domestic units.

Inheritance.

Among those with land, all sons inherit equal shares in terms of both quantity and quality. Formerly, a man’s wives shared equally on behalf of their sons, irrespective of the number of sons each had. Although in theory inheritance of land follows a strictly agnatic principle and daughters and sisters do not inherit, daughters’ sons have been observed de facto to be among the inheritors in many cases.

Sociopolitical Organization

Social and Political Organization.

All Jat are divided into patricians; among the sedentary communities, each of these has a hereditary headman. By and large, the villages in which Jat farmers live, together with non-Jat, are under the jurisdiction of a clan council, and this council, of which every clan headman is a member, is the decision-making unit at the community level. Traditionally in these villages Jat farmers were integrated as patrons into the patron-client system prevalent in the area. Their clients were members of various service castes; however, this system has largely broken down today.

Wealthy Jat landowners have entered local, regional, and even national politics since the beginning of this century, and in many areas they are still active as influential representatives of farmers and rural folk in general. Among the pastoral and peasant Jats of the Indus Delta, the clans are organized on the hierarchical principle of age, with the oldest man of the oldest lineage being at the head of the pyramid, followed by the eldest men of the younger lineages.

Conflict. A frequent source of conflict within the minimal lineage is land; such conflicts often take place between agnatic collaterals, since their lands usually border each other. Factional conflict is fairly common at a broader level.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs and Ceremonies.

A Jat can be Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh, and in 1931 over 50 percent of the entire Sikh population was constituted by Jat. Many ceremonies, especially those accompanying the rites of passage, are common to all Jat, irrespective of religious denomination. Among Hindu Jat there are in addition numerous local or more widely prevalent religious beliefs and observances.

These include knowledge of certain but by no means all major mythological figures (gods and goddesses) of the Sanskritic tradition and the celebration of several festivals, both seasonal and annual, both of the all-Indian Hindu Great Tradition and of the localized Little Tradition.

The Muslim Jat populations have a strong tradition of venerating a large number of local saints (pīr ). Although most are officially Sunni, they have a large number of Shia traditions, and one group of Jat are Ismaelis.

Till recently Sikh Jat, though very conscious of their distinct religious identity, were not very meticulous in their observance of the precepts of Sikhism. Most of them still observe Hindu marriage rites and till recently followed Hindu funeral customs; the majority also employed Brahmans as family priests. In most villages inhabited by Sikh Jat there is the shrine of a Sikh martyr of old that acts as an ancestral focus for the minimal lineage.

Various supernatural beings play a role in Jat life and are common to most Jat irrespective of creed; belief in many of them is widespread in the region as a whole. (This however is not accepted and considered good by many educated Jats )

Bhangra

Bhangra is jat folk dance prominently focused in Punjab and now instilled in the culture of Sikhs, thought this sort of dance is not done by jat of rest of the parts but Pakistan Punjab Jats and Indian punjab Jats practice it more often.

Ghoomar and Gidda

Gidda and ghomer are the regional folk dances performed by the jat women in an festive season. In either of them they narrate a story by dancing on the folk song. Ghoomer is performed more by the Jat women of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Whereas Gidda is more Punjab culture oriented.

Gidda as dance  is derived from the ancient ring dance. One of the girls plays on the drum or ‘dholki’ while others form a circle. Some times even the dholki is dispensed with. While moving in a circle, the girls raise their hands to the level of their shoulders and clap their hands in unison. Then they strike their palms against those of their neighbors. Rhythm is generally provided by clapping of hands.

Giddha is a very vigorous folk dance and like other such dances it is very much an affair of the legs. So quick is the movement of the feet in its faster parts that it is difficult for the spectator even to wink till the tempo falls again. The embroidered ‘duppattas’ and heavy jewelry of the participants whose number is unrestricted further exaggerate the movements.

Armed forces 

Owing to their martial race tag many Jats (Sikh, Muslim and Hindu) have been part of armed forces of many countries namely India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United States of America .

In India, 25th Chief of Army Staff has been a Hindu Jat (Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag) and 24th was a Sikh Jat (Gen Bikram Singh).

Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh (Aulakh) was 3rd Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force from 1964 to 1969. He is a Sikh Jat. He has been given honorary title of Marshal of the Indian Air Force , highest rank in Indian AirForce.

In Pakistan Army many Muslim Jats have risen to top ranks and a known face is Maj Gen Asim Bajwa.

16th chief of Army for Pakistan is Qamar Javed Bajwa who is a mulsim jat from Bajwa clan in Pakistan Punjab.

Apart from Indian and Pakistani Army, Jats serve in huge number in United States and United Kingdom Army (mostly of the faith of Hindus and Sikhs, especially whose forefathers had migrated to these countries).

Jats have a sizable number in the police forces too of all the above mentioned countries. In India the most notable name is of Kanwar Pal Singh Gill also know as KPS Gill , who was the director-general of Punjab and was instrumental in finishing of the Khalistan terrorist movement.

There have been Jats who rose to become Police commissioners of Delhi and Mumbai. The two most important cities in India.

.

Economy

 

Though traditionally Jat were associated to be farmers and Army men in British Army but over the decades with independence they have started to started to feature in various economic activities such as real estate, hospitality, sports, Doctors , engineers, Teachers, Researchers, Acting etc.Though some population does still practice agriculture as a form of living  but generally the pattern is shifting towards urban jobs and they are employed in large no in government jobs at various levels as it is considered safe bet for children from poor or low middle class families.

In the last 2 decades or so many Jats have turned entrepreneur with the thriving Indian economy and are gaining rich dividends, many Indians have also gone to west and made millions there. Gurbaksh Singh Chahal is another self made millionaire of Jat Sikh descent. KP SINGH of DLF is such name in India. Gaurav Dhillon is the Chairman and CEO of SnapLogic which is an enterprise application and data integration software development company that helps organizations connect business applications and Web services.

Arts.

The women of the nomadic Jat were very skilled in needlework and embroider various textiles using threads of many colors in the delta region but mainly black and red in the north; tiny pieces of mirror are also used to decorate these textiles. Though with Modernization they have started gaining entry into respected schools and colleges there by enhancing their skills. Amrita Shergill is a famous female Jat painter who is well respected for her work. Reena Dhaka and Ranna Gill are  also an example of  female jat fashion designer.

Death and Afterlife. Jat hold conflicting views on life after death. Some believe in the traditional Hindu concept of rebirth, others believe in going to Hell or Heaven, but many believe that there is no existence after death and that there is no form of life besides the present one on Earth.

In order to understand the Punjabi Identity we only need to go back two year or so in history when the Vienna issue came boiling up. Many would not know that there are many sections within the punjabi community (ie people who live there in Punjab).

It is a bit complex system though which seems to give out a united stand but differences do appear now and then which are reported. Punjab as general has been heavily influenced by Sikhism and Sufism which binds them together but it cannot be shrugged that there are sects with in the communities too.

The recent Vienna shoot out in the gurudwara is a case where the problems persists. Most Notably Punjab has been divided into two countries where in one portion is Islamic the other is Sikh and Hindu. Hindus for always have had caste system which is well defined and constructed ( which has been criticized by many social reformers) but it seems Sikhism is also not beyond such differences, there are same well defined boundaries with in the Sikh structure in terms of the community.

In the video below you would see how KPS Gill and Pranay Roy try to understand the whole complex issue of Punjabi identity.

Punjabi language as one is the binding aspect of the various communities and the fact that Punjab as a tradition has been a prosperous region. Punjab’s rich culture also sets it apart in the northern India and it is this richness due to which there is the usual fight ( fight for resources, strengthened by the caste lines) .

In short in order to brief about the various communities and sections with in Punjab are :

  1. Ravidassia
  2. Gujjar
  3. Rajput
  4. Jats
  5. Urban Khartis
  6. Dalits
  7. Tarkans
  8. Ramgarias
  9. Saini
  10. Aroras
  11. Arain
  12. Labana
  13. Pathans

 

It is not only that these problems are faced by the Punjabi other regions also face them and which results in Reservations or at least demand for reservations. Though the consolidation of Punjab as a region has more to do with irradiation of Militancy, during that process a sense of Unity was developed which resulted in Punjabi Unity but as the time passes the old cracks in the wall have resurfaced .

Love, Honour and killing

Recently in news we have seen a lot about honour killings in the parts of haryana and Punjab and a lot has been written against it too. This phenomenon according to media is generally associated with martial races or “martial natured religions” in particular which includes jats, gujjars, rajputs, bhumiars, sikhs, Muslims, Christians, jews etc. Though characterizing it just in certain identifiable regions to religions to communities to countries would be gross understudy. This pattern  has been prevalent in human society may it be “progressive” or “regressive” for time immemorial. It needs to be seen more in the lines of sociology and psychology.

Some excerpt from news:

Virtually taking law into its own hands, a Khap mahapanchayat (caste-based council) in Haryana’s Jat heartland “rejected” the Hindu Marriage Act and asked politicians to promise a new law as per its diktat if they wanted votes in the coming parliamentary elections.
The decision to reject the act came following a meeting of 46 khaps at Narwana town of Jind district, 180 km from Chandigarh, attended by 250 representatives of various khaps.

“The Hindu Marriage Act does not address intra-village or intra-gotra (sub-community) marriages. We want the politicians, who seek our Jat votes, to promise that a new law would be passed in Parliament to address our community issues,” Pawanjit Banwala, president of the Akhil Bhartiya Adarsh Jat Mahasabha, said.

“We will not spare anyone who defies our stand. Law is made for society, society is not made for law,” Banwala said.

Though recently it is been focuss on jats, it is has been prevalent in many communities in northern India. Let us understand why the whole community is against “one form of love “.  Apparently a female and a male cannot marry into her/his father’s, mother’s and paternal grand mother’s gotra ie Clan.

A clan is something of lineage line that come through father’s side , it is identified by their surnames.

Eg:

Boy: Kabir Grewal        (Grewal his clan)

Father: Rajbir Grewal      (Grewal his clan)

Mother: Sujata Ahlawat Grewal

(In this case mother’s clan before marriage was Ahlawat and after marriage became Grewal)

Paternal Grandmother: Kalavati Hooda Grewal

(In this case paternal grandmothers` clan was Hooda but once she married to grandfather it became Grewal)

Now the lad cannot marry any girl from Ahlawat clan or from Hooda clan cause it will be termed as Incest since it matches his mother’s clan and that of grandmother’s clan and certainly not into his own Grewal clan, this goes same for the girl too irrespective of the regions and countries. Though it is a complex patrilineal system but has been in existence since Hundreds of years.

In earlier times in jats even maternal grandmother’s gotras ie her surname was also considered for marriage

Eg:

Maternal Grandmother:  Satyawati Gehlot Ahlawat

(Then the boy cannot marry any girl from Gehlot clan too)

Those who have married within their gotras it is said that their immune system plays a havoc ie is to say the child born out of such a union will not last long and might not be in good health and this seems to backed by the theory of Indian gotra traditions to which spur across various communities in India.

Then there was another case where villages which are governed by same “khap” consider each other brothers and sisters and are forbidden from marrying each other, This seems to be heated debate topic since those regions which have urbanized no youngster wishes to follow age old traditions and “khap” which was formed to fight of Invasions on northern Indian land now are eroding, but they are trying to keep their authority intact and thereby leading to clash among “modern” and “ancient” or “young” and “old”.

Though the traditions are old and ancient it seems to hold a lot of value still in remotes parts of northern India. In cases of educated or “modern” jats they believe traditions should change with society, that is certain marrying traditions should be let go, one such was leaving maternal grandmothers` gotra or surname which seemed to be a norm about 30 years back and some have even started to leave their paternal grandmother’s gotra or surname since finding suitable matches became a difficulty.

In no way is honour killing justified and is abhorical but those not from community their voicing it and targeting the community will not solve any purpose. The change needs to come from within the community especially those who can make difference since they would be suitable and sensitive to their cause and their community rather than someone who is not from their community because a sense of alienation remains and those from outside are considered “outsiders”.

If those within community don’t take up this cause it would reflect badly on them and notoriety of honour killing will always be associated with the community, but the youth it seems in recent times is more than willing to take up the cause and it is on them now that the onus of the community lies.

One has been watching over the years that warrior tribes or some castes in particular have been subjected jokes and insults in audacious manner people speak behind their backs as to why this guy is so aggressive ,buffoon or he should not be employed in our organization….may it be Gukhas of north east India,Pathans of Afghanistan n India n Pakistan ,jats in Pakistan and india or Sikhs all over the world.

it is funny when dying for nation is considered then these very individuals who insult them want them to “protect” them.

Not only talking about these races but those from business community of north india and specially from a traditional administration communities blur out these racial slurs and these slurs are retaliated back with equally vehemental force.

It is but a very disturbing trend , dis-respects are such as

1. Bengali : will run away on the instance of 1st shot from the gun, Hypocrite, self obsessed pseudo intellectual.(Netaji subhash chander bose , a bengali freedom fighter, doubt that u can use those words against him. )
2. Gurkhas : he is suppose to say “uuu shabji ” and he will be a guard standing outside your home or he will be from nepal , he is suppose to carry an axe along all the time. He is always a friend which you want in terms of war standing besides you, but that is all ! Nothing more than that and a sense of alienation always remains.

3. A business community from punjab khatris : (better known as punjabis )
(now they are suppose be extremely shrewd,cunning, will take your money away and will play with your instincts, most notably if your women (warrior people women in particular and those from not their community  ) are pretty they will be lured on the behest of love and taken away ( a phenomenon of beauty drain in this case )
A question in this regard : don`t the AMERICANS do the same capitalist economy, rich men beautiful women and appreciated : why double standards n what about khatri women ?
(but do spare a though for poor guy who cannot express his feeling in warrior clan, because he is conditioned never to express it and if he does then he is not MAN enough, quite the “KAMINEY” story plus he is poor n dumb as per perception )


4.  Pathan : for their simple and straight forward nature are again and again targeted for their simplicity and dialogs like ” hum pathan hai ” and “oye tum kahmiz kya bolta hai ” is used as a derogatory joke !
A perception or Image is formed via media aspects and through influential circles used often to tell that Pathan are buffons and are at peace when at war !!


(what abt shah rukh khan, khan abdul gafar khan, Imran khan , do they fit these stereotypes developed by the individuals who do not wish to get out of their ignorance cocoon.)

5. Sikhs : for one have always been on receiving end, but i guess they don`t give a rat`s ass about what others think till their gurus` honour is challenged.

The most notable insult against a sikh will always be : “12 o clock” without even knowing the whole story behind it plus some have issues that they are not FASHIONABLE………

This following lines  narrated is an answer to the insult :

    During 17th Century, when Hindustan was ruled by Mughals, all the Hindu people were humiliated and were treated like animals. Mughals treated the Hindu women as there own property and were forcing all Hindus to accept Islam and even used to kill the people if they were refusing to accept.That time, our ninth Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadarji came forward,in response to a request of some Kashmir Pandits to fight against all these cruel activities. Guruji told the Mughal emperor that if he could succeed in converting him to Islam, all the Hindus would accept the same. But, if he failed, he should stop all those activities. The Mughal emperor happily agreed to that but even after lots of torture to Guruji and his fellow members he failed to convert him to Islam and Guruji along with his other four fellow members, were tortured and sacrificed their lives in Chandni Chowk.

Since the Mughals were unable to convert them to Islam they were assassinated.Thus Guruji sacrificed his life for the protection of Hindu religion.

Can anybody lay down his life and that too for the protection of another religion? This is the reason he is still remembered as “Hind Ki Chaddar”, shield of India . For the sake of whom he had sacrificed his life, none of the them came forward to lift his body, fearing that they would also be assassinated . Seeing this incident our 10th Guruji, Sri Guru Gobind Singhji (Son of Guru Teg Bahadarji) founder of khalsa made a resolution that he would convert his followers to such human beings who would not be able to hide themselves and could be easily located in thousands.

At the start, the Sikhs were very few in numbers as they were fighting against the Mughal emperors. At that time, Nadir Shah raided Delhi in the year 1739 and looted Hindustan and was carrying lot of Hindustan treasures and nearly 2200 Hindu women along with him. The news spread like a fire and was heard by Sardar Jassa Singh who was the Commander of the Sikh army at that time. He decided to attack Nadir Shah’s Kafila on the same midnight . He did so and rescued all the Hindu women and they were safely sent to their homes. It didn’t happen only once but thereafter whenever any Abdaalis or Iranis had attacked and looted Hindustan and were trying to carry the treasures and Hindu women along with them for selling them in Abdal markets, the Sikh army although fewer in numbers but were brave hearted and attacked them at midnight ,12 O’clock and rescued women.

After that time when there occurred a similar incidence, people started to contact the Sikh army for their help and Sikhs used to attack the raider’s at Midnight, 12 O’clock.

Nowadays, these “smart people” and some Sikh enemies who are afraid of Sikhs, have spread these words that at 12 O’clock, the Sikhs go out of their senses.

6. Dogras :

The Dogras, numbering nearly one million are concentrated north of the River Sutlej (in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab) and have carved out India`s northern frontier along the Karakotam.

According to one tradition, the word Dogra is derived from `duggar`, which is ascribed to dvigarta, implying a land of two lakes, the Mansar and Saruinsar. The historical tradition rests on two Chamba copper plates of the eleventh century that have been found which mention Durgareshwar, the lord of Durgar. It is said that Durgareshwar, once attempted to conquer the Chamba Kingdom so the name may well be derived from durgaradesha (the difficult terrain). In any case, the word `Dogra` does not denote a caste but is a term embracing Hindus of all castes as well as Muslims and Sikhs living in the Dogra region and speaking Dogri.
The Dogras excel in martial arts. However, in addition to their joining the defence forces in large numbers, they have also entered other spheres of economic and political activity. Dr. Karan Singh, the youngest person ever to become a member of the union cabinet, and at one time the ambassador to the United States, is a Dogra.
kashmir was under Dogra from 1846 to 1947: Dogra Rule

It troubles one that after the so-called FREEDOM we are still not able to respect each other, is this the cool , modern, liberated India.. ? Where jokes are used as a weapon to tell that though you might be good at war or whatever but we are in command here and will use you and throw you as per own will or constraint in those domains in which you are not good traditionally…….

and those who don`t care and are truly in place to make difference, well they are too educated, too liberated and interested in “get a life” phrase ,that only way to make them think is to bring out a movie on the lines of “RANG DE BASANTI “.

Dogras of Kashmir !

The Dogras, numbering nearly one million are concentrated north of the River Sutlej (in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab) and have carved out India`s northern frontier along the Karakotam.

According to one tradition, the word Dogra is derived from `duggar`, which is ascribed to dvigarta, implying a land of two lakes, the Mansar and Saruinsar. The historical tradition rests on two Chamba copper plates of the eleventh century that have been found which mention Durgareshwar, the lord of Durgar. It is said that Durgareshwar, once attempted to conquer the Chamba Kingdom so the name may well be derived from durgaradesha (the difficult terrain). In any case, the word `Dogra` does not denote a caste but is a term embracing Hindus of all castes as well as Muslims and Sikhs living in the Dogra region and speaking Dogri.

The Dogra region is famed for its miniature paintings. The Pahari School, which included the Poonch, Jammu, Basohli, Guler and Kangta styles, created beautiful and highly stylized combinations of colour and line, expressing delicate and sensuous feeling and intense passion. Many of these paintings depict the moods of lovers in a romantic setting.

The Dogras excel in martial arts. However, in addition to their joining the defence forces in large numbers, they have also entered other spheres of economic and political activity.

Dr. Karan Singh, the youngest person ever to become a member of the union cabinet, and at one time the ambassador to the United States, is a Dogra.

kashmir was under them from 1846 to 1947: Dogra Rule

Dogra regiment

Dr Karan Singh ( A dogra )
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