Satanic nine/eleven 2001and Spiritual nine/eleven 1893
(Discourse by N.R.Srinivasan, Nashville, TN, September 2014)
In Ramayana Balakanda Kausalya consoles grief-torn Dasaaratha on Rama’s, Sita’s and Lakshmana’s departure to the forest with the following verses;
Soko naasyate Dhairyam Soko naasyate srutam |
Soko naasyate sarvam naasti soka same ripuh ||
Sakyamaapatitah sodhumprahaaro ripuhastatah |
Sodhumaapatitah sokah susookshmo api na sakyate || (Balakanda LXII-15, 16)
Grief eradicates patience, grief effaces learning. Grief destroys all and there is no enemy like grief. A blow that has descended from the hands of an enemy can be sustained. Grief however that has appeared all of a sudden cannot be endured even though it is minute.
Mo Most painful tragic events of 9/11-2001 haunt us still. The jet liners plunging, exploding fireballs, the crumbling buildings, sad story of 3000 souls that lost their lives and tales of fireman climbing to their deaths are all vividly broadcasted by all news-media on this disaster remembrance day adding fuel to the fire of our helpless situation and threat. The self-assumed defenders of faith, a set off butcher s and criminals claiming to be Islamists has further complicated the situation bringing more gloom and pessimism. Grief destroys all says Ramayana.
It is our duty to honor everyone who is a victim of 9/11 tragedy no matter whether they are related to us or not, whether we live in America or not. We live today in a very complicated post 9/11-world. We need to stick together and rise above some of these negative feelings. We have to stop trying to remember the event and the terrible grief that was brought in at some point and move on in life. Let us stop thinking about our grief which lingers on for a while and think about how the events have shaped us too. The country has become unified and patriotic. We came together in the face of tragedy beyond what we could have ever imagined on that day. We should cash on the transformation it has made for our generation.
We should also analyze why this tragedy took place. It is the wrong interpretation or conceptualization of religion that has crept into some evil minds of Muslims. It may be the wrong reading of their scriptures. Some Muslims assert: “A true Islamic state, as practiced by the Prophet Mohammed, requires a ruler who holds office through the acceptance of the people. The ruler must abide by the concept of justice and by God's laws that require the ruler to be compassionate and merciful to the people, just as a parent is to his children. No one can just come in by force and claim to be the Caliph, as the terrorists in Syria and Iraq are claiming. No one can kill people indiscriminately and terrorize the population and be considered a Muslim ruler under the dictates of Islam. Muslim values, as explicitly described in the Quran and in the teachings of the Prophet, guarantee the right to life, the right to family, the right to property, the right to pursue our beliefs the way we want. Only in the last century has a different interpretation of Islam become oppressive to other faith tradition”. The last statements do not hold good. Hindus have suffered under Muslim rulers right from the 12th century in India. They were forcibly converted asked to pay Jesia (a tax for non-Muslims) and Hindu Temples were plundered and destroyed. This has resulted today in India being the third largest Muslim country in the world even after losing a large portion of the Motherland to Separatist Muslims. Historic evidences show Muslim rulers even killed their father, imprisoned bothers and grabbed the throne.
No religion promotes killing, exploitation and causing harm to others in its promotion. If it does, it can’t be called a religion and worth following. What then is religion? This can very well be explained by referring to the dialogue between Dalai Lama and the Brazilian philosopher.
A dialogue between a Brazilian philosopher and theologian Leonardo Boff and the wise Dalai Lama explains clearly what religion is: Leonardo posed Dalai Lama following questions: 1) What is the best religion and 2) what is it that makes me better?
Dalai Lama’s answer was:
The best religion is one that gets you closest to God. It is the one that makes you a better person.
To his second question he answered:
Whatever makes you more compassionate; more sensible; more detached; more humanitarian; more responsible; and more ethical!
He continued: I am not interested, my friend, about your religion or concerned if you are religious or not. What really is important to me is your behavior in front of your peers, family work, community and in front of the world.
Remember the Universe is the echo of our actions and our thoughts. The law of action and reaction is not exclusive to physics. It is also for human relations (called Karma). If I act with goodness I will receive goodness. If I act with evil, I will get evil.
What our ancestors told us is the pure truth. You will always have what you desire for others. Being happy is not a matter of destiny, It is a matter of options. Take care of your thoughts because they become words; take care of your words because they will become actions; take care of actions for they will become your habits; take care of your habits for they will from your character; take care of your Character because it will form your destiny; and your destiny will be your life. There is no religion higher than Truth. Satyameva Jayate !
The Parliament of World's Religion started on 11 September 1893. Vivekananda gave his first lecture on that day: He began with the words: "The Soul of India, the echo of the Rishis, the voice of my Guru Ramakrishna the mouthpiece of the resurgent Time spirit”, then he continued his speech with salutation, "Sisters and brothers of America!" To these words he got a standing ovation from a crowd of seven thousand, which lasted for two minutes. He recalled the story of a frog living in its own well. Vivekananda concluded– "That has been the difficulty all the while. I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Muslim sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world." Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid. The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant. It develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant. Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth. He finished his series of speeches with appeal "Help and not Fight," "Assimilation and not Destruction," "Harmony and Peace and not Dissension."
Will there ever be an end to the war on terror now in the hands of Islam militants? 21st century will continue to be defined by our ongoing struggle with religious extremism and hatred for our way life. Its intensity of operation is constantly shifting, sometimes to West, sometimes to India and the Far east and sometimes to Middle East. A number of people live in constant fear and anxiety.
Hindu philosophy of non-violence “Ahimsaa paramo dharmah” --non-violence is the noblest act, is not a strategy to rid the world of violence, but rather the way Hindus would like to live in a world of violence, particularly Hindu Americans. Hindus also draw solace in this regard believing good Lord will handle the situation--paritraanaaya sadhoonaam vinaasaaya cha dushkritaam (For annihilating the wicked and protecting the innocent). American thinking of non-violence is to get rid the world of violence taking action themselves.
It may not be irrelevant to say here Jews, Christians and Muslims have the same origin and same God. Brothers and sisters fought and separated and even started hating each other. They often talk also of love thy neighbor or brotherhood, but still fight.
The problem with the 9/11/2001 is the lack of communication among the people of conflicting views. The strength of the 9/11/1983 was the opportunity of communication among the people of conflicting views. The only way to enjoy peace in this world is to respect and understand the point of view from all directions. No religion should impose its ideas on to others that live in perfect harmony with its values. That is what makes this world an interesting place – colors of many races, religions, genders, ages and politics.
It looks as though the fittest will survive and it may not be far-fetched if Jews, Christians and Muslims start understanding each other and their origin to join together again eliminating the wicked. As Hindu Americans we should also remember spiritual 9/11 of 1893 when Swami Vivekananda brought light of India by way of Wisdom of Vedas to World Forum of Religions held in Chicago. We should overcome the satanic influence of 9/11 of 2001. It is unfortunate after 108 Years of Spiritual 9/11 Satanic 9/11 showed its head with all vengeance and hatred. The forum in 1893 started appreciating the greatness of each religion and wanted to remain in harmony after hearing to the speech of Swami Vivekananda.
As Hindu Americans let us not be dejected and resigned to fate and bogged down by these threats but be guided by the wisdom of Vedas articulated by Swami Vivekananda Arise, Watchful and Move on—Utthishtata, Jagrata, Charaiveti, Charaiveti (Arise, Awake, Move on, Move Forward). Let us also follow the Vedic dictum Krinvanto Viswamaaryam, let us ennoble the whole world and aatmavat sarvabhooteshu, look upon all being as your own self.
1) Valmiki Ramayana, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India
2) Huff-post articles on the subject
3) Wikipedia and other Internet Sources
4) Speeches of Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Math Publications