Mahashivaratri is a day of awakening from darkness to light. To annihilate the wicked and usher into a regime of Shiva, literally meaning goodness. Those who worship Shiva and observe fast, and their count keeps on swelling to unimaginable numbers each passing year, have a responsibility to pray that the third eye of Shiva is directed for a national rejuvenation too. Shiva's third eye has inspired millions around the globe since ages, Adobe being the latest one. Before that, CERN was inspired by it. Its the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as a highly respected centre for nuclear research focusing primarily on fundamental physics, finding out what the universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature. CERN established a two metre high statue of Nataraj, the dancing form of Shiva with an open third eye at their headquarters in Geneva. A special plaque next to the Shiva statue explains the significance of the metaphor of Shiva's cosmic dance with several quotations from The Tao of Physics . Here is the text of the plaque, which I have taken from Fritjof Capra's site: Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, seeing beyond the unsurpassed rhythm, beauty, power and grace of the Nataraja, once wrote of it "It is the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of." More recently, Fritjof Capra explained that "Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but is also the very essence of inorganic matter," and that "For the modern physicists, then, Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter." It is indeed as Capra concluded: "Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shiva in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics." Foreigners adore the significance of our Shiva, but what about Indians and the duty that this knowledge bestows upon us? Rather we use Shiva for our personal plans, for a secular barter in the garb of religiosity that touches nauseating arrogance of castiesm and shamanism. Shiva is the most benevolent boon giver of all the gods we know. He destroys the negative forces with his glance and feels happy in the company of the most disadvantaged and the deprived 'un-elitist' crowd! He loves Bhakti , the true devotion and not the artificiality of the rituals. And there is a story of a tribal boy Tinn in the western Godavari area of Andhra, who would offer a handful of pork meat and water stored in his mouth at the Shiva Lingam, daily in the wee hours of the morning climbing up the steep hill where the temple was situated. The priest got mad seeing such a sacrilegious act, caught him one day and beat him red and blue so much that the Lord appeared from the Lingam and scolded the priest saying the boy's devotion was more honest and innocent than the priest's mechanized rituals.
If Shiva is so clear hearted and noble, his anger knows no bounds and when he opens his third eye, the radiant energy emanating from it destroys all the evil and brings in Pralay Kaal . The dooms day or apocalypse won't be able to convey the true meaning of it as the purpose of discharging energy from the third eye is to prepare for reconstruction. The same Shiva spirit is manifest in peoples' power. They are virtuous, noble but unleash an uncontrollable energy out of anger when cheated and abused. Shouldn't we say, the time for its occurrence is now? Have leaders kept our faith in them intact and delivered even fifty percent of what was expected of them? Or turn inwards and ask, if we, the people, have discharged our citizen dharma in maintaining the civility and contributing in the goodness factor of the society? If the answer directs us for self introspection, shouldn't we be asking for an annihilator's attitude for the destruction of evil in us and the leaders through ballot boxes? With 'vote the budget' Chidambaram basking in his last year of glory in Parliament, the election campaign has been virtually kicked started. It's the time for people to open their democratic third eye to destroy all that evil accumulated in the political jungle and reconstruct with a clean slate. The world is changing fast. Iran-Iraq animosity has ended. Obama is on a wining trek. Russia has got a new President. India's young are the world champs. And we are stuck with the same old archaic polity of status-quo-ism and appeasement (take a not-give a vote) as if time has frozen for Indian politics. Change it or perish, that's the only message of a youthful, vibrant India who can't wait to emerge victorious. Ask a few questions before you go to sleep. Why can't our primary schools, universities and airports be the best in the world? And courts, police posts, hospitals, roadways and railway stations more people friendly? The chaotic and dirty platforms, uncleaned compartments and difficult journeys speak about the rich oriented, elitist hypocrisy of 'Garib Rath' wallahs. The stark truth shows up on any metropolitan station where the poor wait for a corner in the trains like unwanted dirt as they can't afford to buy a reserved berth. Any day, any time, Indian capital's twin station show the raj of the middlemen, filthy platforms and a system blind to the passengers' plight. The situation has improved only for the internet users and credit card holders who travel AC class. But which part of India do they represent? Thousands of people, Indian citizens, live like insects on footpaths in Delhi and the night shelters govt. runs for them are the messiest dens of dark acts.
A double digit growth chart is fine, but the poor have become poorer and the suicides of farmers are a statement of an economy that doesn't care for its common people. Travel north to south in any train, preferably in a sleeper class and see the vast expanse of the land on both sides. It's all agricultural land and people with faith in karma sweat to feed a nation that cares more for the cricketers and film actors. Political parties vie with each other to give a parliamentary seat to glamorous entertainers who would be simply inaccessible to the cadre and masses after the swearing in. Its moneyed who live luxuriously on the labours of the commoners. The system facilitates this irony. Faith and economy go hand in hand in Indian ethos. Deriding faith and hijacking economy for the neo-rich and politically influential is a murder of trust imposed in the state by the people. That’s what this government is doing. Imagine leaving your house in New Jersey, Oklahoma , Fatehpuri in Delhi or Lucknow for fear of terrorists and living in tented accommodations hundreds of miles away. Lost orchards, deserted temples, bewildered and traumatised children, emasculated dreams and ambitions dying young. With no future that can excite or thrill. Life means waiting to die. That's what this government has given to our own patriotic people in an independent nation. From Kashmir's Pandits to Tripura's Reangs, the story is the same. Look at Bundelkhand. Scorched earth dried up water levels, no harvest and no space for any livelihood. People have died of hunger, malnutrition and lack of bare minimum living conditions. And the politicians are the richest millionaires of this region. None helped the dying farmers and rural labourers. Moneyed and powerful, who could have helped wrote letters to the editors and issued statements condemning each other. Political leaders failed. The non-political leaders fled. Is that the India we celebrate as the fast moving economy? Money spent is not development ensured. If that was the case, J&K would have been the most developed area with people happily singing national anthem and north-eastern states would have left Mumbai and Bangalore miles behind. Money was never in scarcity for Orissa's Kalahandi or Punjab's farm lands. Yet the poor died of hunger or committed suicides. Farmers of Punjab on the suicide path? It should have woken up the people and Parliament like the Taj Mahal was being bombarded. Nothing happened. Because farmers are not models or film actresses. Hence media too took a cursory notice.
The worst kept temples in the north are the Shiva temples where Brahmin priests have not only refused to train the disadvantaged children into priesthood, but have laboriously managed to tighten their stranglehold on disrobing the faithful and keeping the lanes and surroundings of the temple in the most unhygienic condition. Sometime back, a friend's family came from Suriname to visit Kashi with young members of the family, obviously first time visitors to Hindustan, to show them the land, culture and religious places of their ancestors. Having visited Kashi, they wept and lamented for their decision. Brahmin priests robed not only their money but also their trust in the pilgrimage and religious rituals. Opening third eye means unshackling our temples from such a castiest stranglehold and making them a centres of cultural and civilisational rejuvenation open to all Hindus without any discriminations and seeing that to be the high priests, the only factor that should matters is the qualification and a scholarship to deliver and not the caste which makes even the illiterate to hold high position and deprives the others even to aspire for it. Why do we have to wait endlessly to have our brave hearts released from the Pakistani jails? That too after their conversion to Islam? Is converting a helpless, jailed person an act of bravery and brings glory to their religion? Rivers of India are fast drying from Ganga, Kaveri to Bharat puzha. Glaciers are shrinking. The senseless pilgrims and apathetical governance leaves all the garbage at Har ki pauri, Rameshwaram, Gangotri and Gaumukh- the source of Ganga. All the filth and human excreta is straightway downed in Ganga and Jamuna by hoteliers and government guest houses in Gangotri and Yamunotri. And then they worship the river for 'sanctioning' a son or an election ticket!! An Islamic centre known world over as the production point of Taliban mentality issues a statement on terrorism like its the victim of terrorists who come from 'Unidentified Foreign Lands' and media laps it up as if India and United states have joined hands to finally ‘smoke out the terrorists from their hideouts’. No voice is heard against the sheer duplicity and the hypocrisy of the long bearded insensitive mullahs using 21st century luxuries and liberties to nurse a 14th century Arabian mindset. It's the flow of the Indian soul that's been under assault by a stale, fossilised, unacceptable colour of politics. Change it. For the good of the nation. Make up your mind. For preserving and re-inventing everything that defines India.