Sunday, October 5, 2008

dicovery by the `divine(?)'

Now the herb has been discovered claims a swami/guru/?-god!! When I did a quick google on sanjeevini I came across a tea that claims to have this herb as its ingredient. When I googled on ramdev I came across a spice manufacturer/seller. Perhaps my god spoke through google. Well, god is not supposed to speak in everyday language, and since I cannot understand Sanskrit, maybe the compassionate divinity decided to give me a clue. It is always up to humans to interpret, for just as how it is human to err, it is common too for interpretations to be erratic. Therefore did I, in my human zeal to catch glimpses of the divine design, interpret this as an ominous(?) sing from the gods. I had to reach two conclusions- first being that sanjeevini has been there all along and found in enough quantities to become an ingredient in bulk produced tea; and the second inference was that ramdev manufactures and sells things that are spicy. My ultimate inference ofcourse is that godmen produce and market spicy stuff!
Ramdev is one of the many guru-godmen that abound and aggregate mass and money in India. He has made many claims. There have been many allegations against him. Neither has been proven because no one cares. Now he claims he has discovered sanjeevini, the herb that was used to resuscitate (or bring back the `dead?’ ) god-hero ram! Now, ram being not just a calendar god but a socio-political symbol this would have far reaching implications. If our godman can have the leaves and roots of a powerful plant that was needed even by the god, then he becomes a monumental personality. If only he becomes compassionate enough to sell this to poor souls, he can become capable of bailing out a nation from an economic crisis. ! If I were to say that the ram of the average hindu in this country is ravivarma-designed, it will be blasphemy, but if some intelligent guru claims he knows exactly what hanuman discovered in a date unspecified, it will be a re-assertion of faith in god!
just look at the irony, hanuman did not know which herb was good so he had to take the whole mountin, but ramdev is smart and knows better than hanuman, he hits on it with precision!!!
Why do gurus and godmen do these things? They have to. These games cannot stop with one show. They bring gold and flowers and ash and objects from air, not just to bless the praying eyes and begging hands before them, but to make a presentation for the journalists, lensmen and influential public who are a witness to this rather amazing act of magic. They have to make claims. They have to repeatedly reinforce their closeness to the divine. They have to teach yoga and meditation to the masses when all the original texts they claim to quote have emphasized on a one-to-one teaching method. They have to keep pulling tricks out of the spiritual bag for their show to go on. The show is not for converting the atheists and the skeptics. The show is for reinforcing a behavioral gullibility on the solution seekers.
Why do people fall for these tricks? There are basically two types of people who fall for all this. The sick- physical and mental, who feel they have no solution in sight for their self-imposed misery are the easier victims. In their desperation of insecurity and darkness of intellect, they cling to any weak twig that appears as their saving support. These people have no will to fight an adverse situation or face a defeat with grace. These are the people who would blame fate for conspiring against them when the fact would be that they had never put in the required effort to overcome an obstacle. The other type of people who fall for this are those who swear by the fads flouted as the latest fancy. They just have to be `in’. if they find dancing in a gutter finding popular acceptance they would block their nostrils and jump in. these are the ones who would easily influence others. These are the ones who would chat about it, blog about it and even boast about it.
Why do people need to be `in’ the `in-thing’? This is elementary sociology. Human society needs to gather around a focal point. Whatever is considered acceptable soon would become favorable. Whatever becomes favorable will be sold and bough in bulk. This need to belong, the fear of being left-out is an insecurity that has evolved over millions of years of existence. The intelligent cash in on this principle. The gullible get sucked into the sale promotion.
In this age of instant information, anything new and promising will easily reach the minds of the masses. So it is for the news-givers to responsibly filter the facts and the fiction. And, why do the journalists promote if not fall for these games? They need stories. They need to score a point over their competitors. They have to be the first to break the news, not necessarily be the first to report the facts. After all if their `news’ falls flat in a day, and they are caught falling for a trap, they can always `apologize’. The errata and the empty apology need not even appear in the front page or the headline! These flaws mostly resulting from an ambitious and zealous drive to be the first among equals is understandable though not commendable. What is actually sickening and dangerous is the fact that some of these journalists believe in these miracles, mystic powers and magical tales. Valmiki believed ram was god, therefore for generations the audience agreed! A reporter’s bias is dangerous. A reporter’s sell-out is even more dangerous.
Real truth is an oxymoron couched in an obscure and forgotten language. I can only pray for divine intervention to understand further.


Anonymous said...

Poignantly put!

//A reporter’s bias is dangerous.//

On a related but more general note, can there ever be absolute and true objectivity/neutrality?

Also, how much is 'knowable'?

Isn't it true that beyond a point, life and the universe are like elephant to blind men?

While my perception and understanding of a part of the truth may be accurate, and while I might also report it truthfully, my truth may NOT represent the complete truth. And this, I'm inclined to infer, would be the same case (though in varying degrees) with everyone who perceives and reports, about different things, at different levels, in different contexts.

So, this being the nature of the 'knowability' of things in general, isn't it better to always nurture a healthy amount of self-doubt, even while striving incrementally towards achieving accuracy in insight and honesty in communication?

(Of course, this way, the wheels of the media industry would come to a grinding halt, but my question here is more generic, and focussed more towards personal ethics. Isn't genuine self-doubt a more tempered alternative to utter self-confidence?)

Dr.Rudhran said...

yes vijay, there is no absolute objectivity in reporting..but my concern was whether the bias is accidental or a deliberate leaning

Sundar said...

//The show is for reinforcing a behavioral gullibility on the solution seekers.//
:) they are dream merchants, indeed!

உமையணன் said...

மருத்துவர் ருத்ரன்,

நான் உங்களைப்பற்றி கேள்விப்பட்டிருக்கிறேன். உங்களை வலைப்பதிவுகளில் சந்திப்பது மிக்க மகிழ்ச்சியாக இருக்கிறது. ஏன் நீங்கள் தமிழில் எழுதக்கூடாது?

Dr.Rudhran said...

yes sundar
umayanan, i have not learnt tamil typing yet.. i dont like the transliteration style of writiing, but i am learning proper tamil keyboard and hope to use it shortly

வீ. எம் said...

dear Dr Rudhran, Really nice to see you in this blogging group.

am sure , we are going to get lot of valuable posting from you.

வந்தியத்தேவன் (நீர்க்குமிழி ) said...

Dr. Rudhran,

// They have to teach yoga and meditation to the masses when all the original texts they claim to quote have emphasized on a one-to-one teaching method //

Don't you think this aspect of their showmanship (if indeed it is), is actually good? One-to-one teaching method is practically impossible in a country like ours. I have been a part of such group activity and i found it quite good. The asanas taught are not complex and hence there is less chance of someone doing it wrong. (Though I accept if the asanas get complex, a one-to-one teaching method might be better). When they teach for masses, it is usually free or comes with a small fee.(comparative to having a personal trainer).

நானும் ஒருவன் said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
நானும் ஒருவன் said...

happy to see you in blog sir

கார்க்கி said...

/but my concern was whether the bias is accidental or a deliberate leaning//

i dunt think its accidental sir. but we cant comment directly without knowing the full scenario. one request from our end, shall we put the questions related to psychiatry if u can spend sometime for us?we want to use ur presence in the blog world worthy.

Dr.Rudhran said...

vanthiathevan, that is exactly my concern. if it is free or for a small fee it will be the beginning of a bigger con game. and, why make a presentation for the mass? is it an auction to lure a bid?
and gorky- i will be most happy to do an interactive blog. i just do not know how to go about setting it. i am not that tech savvy

கார்க்கி said...

thanks for the reply sir. i will have a discussion abt this with my blog frds and sure we will help u in technical parts. i will contact you after preparing a plan abt this.

Ramesh said...

Very informative, and expecting more of this from your side!

Thanks Sir.

Ramesh said...

Someone said that you have movie credentials. Can you please write on them too?