Monday, October 16, 2006


What does a human being long for in life? Money, perhaps? or may be power? or may be love and affection? But are all these different? There is a definite common human quality associated with all these... underlying the outwardly different manifestations of materialism. It is not exactly materisalism that satisfies our human urges... it is the urge for the experience that we crave that matters so much to us. This childish longing for that sublime entity called experience makes us humans go to nefarious lengths, even if its only out of sheer malice and jealousy towards our fellows. Nevertheless, the importance of this thing called 'experience' cannot be underestimated.

But then, of what use is a brilliant masterpiece of visual art to a blind person? how can a congenitally deaf person comprehend music? Experience is more valuable than the value of the object sought! In that sense, the object associated with experience no longer matters once that familiar sensation starts to set in. The object remains as a gate-way to that realm, a vehicle to carry us across to the other shore, a means to the end. Hypothetically it can be argued, eventhough it seems a repugnant notion, that if an obect gives that same beautiful, instantly uplifting, and emotionally intense feeling to a woman that is gifted to her as her maternal instinct, the woman may be less inclined to beget a child since her urge has been satisfied by another object.

The problem is that though over the millennia, ways and means by which this experience can be had permanently, or for atleast a long time have been tried, successfully tested and documented, they have never been popular. And of course, they will never be. Most of us are not ready to wake up to that ultimate reality, to realise what we already know, to understake that ascent to the topmost turrets of the towers of our own inner selves and throw open all the windows and let ourselves be affected, exposed, and receptive to new, hitherto unknown, and inexplicable sensations of the higher realm... for Sensation preserved in memory is but Experience.

Hence, it now seems to me that humans are not exactly materialistic, what is materialistic is the way we adopt to satisfy the urge for the experience.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Shri Aurobindo's talk

Taken from:

July 23, 1923

(A disciple:) The Mahatma believes that non-violence purifies the man who practises it.

I believe Gandhi does not know what actually happens to the man's nature when he takes to Satyagraha or non-violence. He thinks that men get purified by it. But when men suffer, or subject themselves to voluntary suffering, what happens is that their vital being gets strengthened. These movements affect the vital being only and not any other part. Now, when you cannot oppose the force that oppresses, you say that you will suffer. That suffering is vital and it gives strength. When the man who has thus suffered gets power he becomes a worse oppressor....
What one can do is to transform the spirit of violence. But in this practice of Satyagraha it is not transformed. When you insist on such a one-sided principle, what happens is that cant, hypocrisy and dishonesty get in and there is no purification at all. Purification can come by the transformation of the impulse of violence, as I said. In that respect the old system in India was much better: the man who had the fighting spirit became the Kshatriya and then the fighting spirit was raised above the ordinary vital influence. The attempt was to spiritualize it. It succeeded in doing what passive resistance cannot and will not achieve. The Kshatriya was the man who would not allow any oppression, who would fight it out and he was the man who would not oppress anybody. That was the ideal....

There is also the question of Hindu-Muslim unity which the non-violence school is trying to solve on the basis of their theory.

You can live amicably with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is “I will not tolerate you”? How are you going to have unity with these people? Certainly, Hindu-Muslim unity cannot be arrived at on the basis that the Muslims will go on converting Hindus while the Hindus shall not convert any Mahomedan. You can’t build unity on such a basis. Perhaps the only way of making the Mahomedans harmless is to make them lose their fanatic faith in their religion....

The Mahomedan religion was born under such circumstances that the followers never forgot the origin.

That was the result of the passive resistance which they practised. They went on suffering till they got strong enough and, when they got power, they began to persecute others with a vengeance....

Gandhi's position is that he does not care to remove violence from others; he wants to observe non-violence himself.

That is one of the violences of the Satyagrahi that he does not care for the presssure which he brings on others. It is not non-violence—it is not “Ahimsa.” True Ahimsa is a state of mind and does not consist in physical or external action or in avoidance of action. Any pressure in the inner being is a breach of Ahimsa.

For instance, when Gandhi fasted in the Ahmedabad mill-hands' strike to settle the question between mill-owners and workers, there was a kind of violence towards others. The mill-owners did not want to be responsible for his death and so they gave way, without, of course, being convinced of his position. It is a kind of violence on them. But as soon as they found the situation normal they reverted to their old ideas. The same thing happened in South Africa. He got some concessions there by passive resistance and when he came back to India it became worse than before.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hoomite and Youbee (Who might and you be)

Long ago, there was an insignificant channel called Home TV which used to air some of my favorite shows. Mostly animation series from Cosgrove Hall productions and a couple of chinese mythological dramas-- totally enjoyable!.

One of the animations was "Count Duckula".

taken from :

"Castle Duckula—home for many centuries to a terrible dynasty of vicious vampire ducks: the Counts of Duckula! Legend has it that these foul beings can be destroyed by a stake through the heart or by exposure to sunlight. This does not suffice, however, for they may be brought back to life, by means of a secret rite, that can be performed once a century when the moon is in the eighth zenith. The latest reincarnation didn't run according to plan."

Count Duckula is a funny, odd guy (voiced with above average enthusiasm by David Jason) a vampire duckwho now only wants to munch on veggies instead of hapless necks and who often finds himself overwhelmed by his bumbling, caustic staff. There's Nanny (voiced by Brian Trueman), an oversized bird with a bandaged arm and a knack for walking through walls; and Igor (Jack May), a stuffy Jeeves-like butler who often looks bored/indifferent/annoyed with Count Duckula and Nanny's antics. Other minor characters pop in and out of a few episodes, including Duckula's enemy, Van Goosling (a la Van Helsing).

Count Duckula is often based on odd exchanges between the various characters. To show you the goofy extents the show goes to, here's an example of a dialogue exchange between Count Duckula and two Egyptian characters (Hoomite and Yoobee):

Hoomite: I am Hoomite, High Priest of the Sun God Ra! And this is my assistant Yoobee.
Yoobee: Delighted, I'm sure.
Hoomite: Who might you be?
Count Duckula: Yes, I got that.
Hoomite: No, who might you be?
Count Duckula: Yes, I know, you said that already.
Hoomite: So you will not tell me?
Count Duckula: Well, I hardly need to, do I?
Hoomite: We shall see about that! Yoobee, you try.
Yoobee: Oh, very well master. Listen I am Yoobee, right?
Count Duckula: Wrong. I am, you are.
Yoobee: Aahhh! There you are Master, he is Yooare.
Hoomite: So you are Yooare?
Count Duckula: I am not, I am not.
Hoomite: See! He is not Yooare, he is Knot!
Yoobee: You are Yooare!