Raas Leela comment & Bhushan Buffoonery!

A fool’s brain, said George Bernard Shaw, digests philosophy into folly! Prashant Bhushan’s buffoonery in calling Lord Krishna an “eve teaser” proves Bernard Shaw right. Forget knowledge of religion or philosophy (which he demonstrably lacks) this man seems to be unfamiliar with elementary English and the utter shamelessness with which he yet comments (on topics he does not know and in a language whose nuances he is yet to grasp) makes him the perfect illustration of the idiom – Fools rush where angels fear to tread! The “clarification” of his original tweet proves this point too. It is a different matter that the clarifications make things worse!

But it is not mere foolishness of Bhushan which troubles me. I feel he is suffering from a psychiatric disorder. He used the words “legendary eve teaser” for Lord Krishna. God is no fable or fiction to be described as “legendary”. Besides eve teasing is defined as the act of annoying a woman in a public place for example by making sexual comments. but Raas leela takes place in a metaphysical plane. Thus anyone who suggests that Lord Krishna “annoyed women through sexual comments” suffers from cognitive distortion – an irrational thought pattern which makes one perceive reality inaccurately. This is generally the result of depression and anxiety and the fact that Kashmir is still part of India may be the reason for the same for him.

I am sure Prashant Bhushan is not mad. However in the spectrum of human behaviour he does lean towards the abnormal. And while Bhushan must surely be having a brain, it is health of the mind which is the issue. I have been informed a criminal complaint has been filed against him. Criminal charges, however, may never stick – not because there was no crime but for want of intent, it being easy to show Bhushan is non compos mentis – without a sound mind!

Raas Leela is transcendental that is in the spiritual plane. It has no carnal aspect. It symbolises union of jeev (male AND female) in God. God in Hinduism is not a man but energy. And the physical reality (including gender) a mere illusion. Gender thus is irrelevant  to Raas Leela (Gopis are but ALL devotees) and it signifies nothing except immersing of the soul – Atma- into the metaphysical reality – Brahman! Lord Krishna was not male lover like Romeo nor Gopis female like Juliet! No one can emulate the Raas, just imbibe the idea.

But Bhushan wants “Anti Krishna squads.” This means he wants to reinforce gender, emphasise physical attachments, accentuate carnal desires and move AWAY from the spiritual plane into the physical plane and indulge in orgies of free love (which I presume he understands only as sex.) This aspect of his depravity I was completely ignorant of! This is re-enforced by the lament expressed in a later tweet where he frets anti romeo squads “would criminalise teasing gopis!”- He, thus, WANTS to tease gopis!! And then see his desperation – so frantic is he that teasing should be allowed he invokes GOD to justify it and protests the organising of Romeo Brigades because he feels that this would make Lord Krishna look like an eve teaser!!!

Indulge in your fantasies Mr Bhushan. Dont take to Twitter next time to make them public.

A Shankaracharya?… and Rapes!

I was surprised to hear the Shankaracharya of Dwarka’s comment on women.

The title Shankaracharya derives from Adi Shankar – the most famous proponent of Advaita Philosophy –  who had a profound influence on the growth of Hinduism at a time when superstition was rampant. Adi Shankar cleansed Hinduism of the excesses of ritualism which, he felt, brought spiritual life to a low ebb and robbed people of true spiritual insight and what he believed to be the core teachings of the Vedas.

Adi Shankar debated with  Madan Misra, the disciple of Kumarila one of the stuanchest supporters of the ritualistic interpretation of the Vedas. This debate is said to have continued for many months and was eventually won by Adi Shankar.

It is irrelevant for the purposes of this blog to deal with the debate which in erudition and scholarship would surpass most contests of the mind that the history of civilisation has ever witnessed.

The more important aspect of this debate was the person chosen to judge it.

The judge was Ubhaya Bharati, Madan Misra’s wife.

The choice of Ubhaya Bharati as judge of the contest was a recognition not only of the impartiality of a woman but also of her intellect and scholarship. In fact Bharati challenged Adi Shankar to a debate after her husband had lost as according to her a wife forms one half of her husband’s body and victory of Madan Misra could not be complete unless Adi Shanker defeated the former’s wife. She was defeated too which she accepted gracefully and with humility.

The Shankaracharya could have referred to this example to re-enforce the personhood of a woman which is recognised in Hinduism (which I have also dealt with in my blog of January, 30. 2016 Of Temples and Women) rather than present them as mere objects of desire. Nothing can be more obnoxious than trivialising rape through victim blaming and that too for entering a temple!

A patrilineal culture with enforced isolation of women and an accompanying set of taboos accompanied by stigmatisation of independence is precisely what is negated by the example of Ubhaya Bharti.

It was precisely to this kind of chaos, superstition and bigotry which tormented Hinduism in the 8th century AD that Adi Shankaracharya fought and redeemed Hinduism’s glory. It is indeed unfortunate those who carry his name do not actually carry his legacy.