Thursday, July 17, 2014

Islamic State - a step forward towards Islamization of States

A review about the concept of Islamization of states In the immediate aftermath of creation and consolidation of Islamic State in Levant region - A Spatiol by media.syndicate.

The boundary between Iraq and Syria is blurred and a new state is emerging which includes Sunni dominant portions of both countries.  The developments in the region is characterized by brutal violence justified based on foolish arguments around Islamic theology.  The instability is tacitly supported by USA, and is thriving on the politics of compromise adopted by most of the countries in the world.  The rise of Islamic State points to inadequacy of academic studies related to peace, conflict management, theology, terrorism and psychology.  

Islamic Jihadis have surprised the world again - Like Taliban's of Afghanistan
Islamic State is the name approved by the Sunni Jihadi warrior group leading the conflict in the middle east for the region under their control.  Before capturing portions of Iraq and Syria, the group was called as ‘Islamic State of Syria and Levant’. The armed group is supported explicitly by Saudi Arabia and tacitly by United States. The members of the armed group are from many countries across the world.  The army includes up to 3,000 Europeans, Africans, Australians, American and Asians including Indians.  Among Indians, at least one Tamilian and one North Eastern Jihadis are present.

Army has westerners
Jihadis of Islamic State are unleashing atrocities agains Shia Muslims.  But, in other parts of the world, where the Muslims are in minority, the Shias join Sunnis in progressing Jihad.  Sunnis view Hindus, Christians, and Jews as their enemies.  Western countries, India, Israel, and China are on their target list.

Ahamadeeyas are targeted in Pakistan, Buddists in China and Srilanka, Hindus in India.   

Working of Sunni groups is intriguing

There are multiple Sunni Islamic groups in Levant region but all of them are working towards a common goal in a coordinated way.  Their working style is intriguing from the prism of Western media. 

I go into the house and the first person I see is the grandmother. It’s not worth more than a Kalashnikov bullet to kill her. Then I see the wife. The wife is more fun. I start by raping her. Then I slash her throat. After that, I’m hungry, so I go to the kitchen to see what’s to eat. Then I happen upon the baby. It’s a pleasure to cut the baby’s throat ”
This is a sample of violence unleashed by the Sunni Jihadis of Islamic State as reported by Nicolas Henin, one of four French journalists who were held hostage by Isis from June 2013 until last April 20th of this year. One of his guards, a French jihadi, told this to Henin.

Islamic State is the successor group to al-Qaeda in Iraq.  Founded by  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who decapitated the US contractor Nicolas Berg as posted in a video  on YouTube.  The present head of the Islamic State Baghdadi staged 60 simultaneous attacks that killed 110 people in a single day in 2010 soon after he took over the leadership.  During the present conflict,  Jihadis posted images of the summary executions of up to 1,700 Shia soldiers.

Baghdadi claims to be a descendent of the prophet Muhammad. He has proclaimed establishment of a caliphate in the region and has requested allegiance of all Muslims throughout the world.  He has promised a new era in global Jihad towards establishment of Wahabi Islam through out the world.

“Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims. The Islamic State would allow Muslims to conquer Rome and own the world, if God wills. I do not promise you what the kings and rulers promise their subjects and followers — luxury and security and leisure but I promise what God promises those who believe in him.  If you want security, respect God. If you want a livelihood, respect God. And if you want an honourable life, fight jihad in the name of God.”

Why the world (read USA) is unable to solve the Jihadi terrorism?

Basically, the world under the leadership of USA,   is basically toeing a faulty approach laced with inconsistencies, and double standards. The USA may not be really interested in global peace and its priority may be to provide home land security in US.  USA has never backed India in the true sense against Islamic terrorism.  Recent reports suggest that USA is not averse to some kind of understanding with the major militant organizations and their state sponsors to broker peace of some sort.

The Europe, and USA are associated with Christian theology. Basically, Christianity preaches ONE God similar to Allah of Islam. Christianity considers proselytizing the entire world as its duty. This is similar to the goal of Islamization of the world. Both the theologies disapproves idol worship, nature worship and flexible approaches of Hinduism. 

USA allocated about 40B$ to rooting out terrorism. Waged war in Afghanisttan, Iraq, and Pakistan. It is claiming its leadership and reiterating its commitment against Jihadi terrorism. USA exchanged Juhadi prisoners who were in its custody to secure the release of an American soldier captured by Jihadis in Afghanistan.  USA refused to intervene in Iraq now to retain good will with Saudi Arabia. 

Islamic goal is stated as ‘Islamization of the entire world’, according to Jihadi terrorists. This may appear ludicrous.  Other Muslims also subscribe and articulate in mild language the same goal of spreading their religion.  Terror that is seen while the Islam is expanding and the enticements Islam offers to warriors has shown in the 1200 years of history that Islam is expandable. Constant focus on establishing hegemony is seen in India, USA, China, Europe, Australia, Afrtica. 

Western propaganda or academic studies mays not be succeeding in guiding Muslims of the world in the right direction.  Celibacy, fasting, marriage, cleanliness, women empowerment practices of Hindus may be superior. But, it not clear if Hindus really view Islamic customs as inferior.

Jihadi hegemony is at different levels in different regions of the world.  It manifests as tightly knit community engaged in religious activites, a growing community, a vote bank, a dissident group, an  agitating community, and a terror organization. These manifestations transition from one another smoothly and naturally.  Better coordination among members of each community facing this hegemony and co-ordination at government level would be the only available path to bring peace to the Muslims.  

India needs to calibrate its approach towards fundamentalism.  In the context of Islamic fundamentalism, both society and government have to adopt a comprehensive approach towards intolerant attitudes of Muslims.

First, intolerance – based on secluded, narrow concepts about God and Philosophy – has to be declared as unacceptable by individuals, society and constitution.

We see Muslims –disowning terrorism, and Muslims promoting Jihad simultaneously.  The society and the government should seek an explanation from both on every occasion that affect the entire society.

Exclusive definitions for God is the basis of intolerance.

There could be two interpretations for Islam.  But, then there should not be any interactions between the two at any  level.  Simultaneous justifications of conflicting interpretations should not be accepted / tolerated by the society-government

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Narada Bhakti Sutra - A Summary

Bhakti manifests as devotion towards God.  In its higher form, Bhakti is nectarous and manifests as immortality in its highest form.
After gaining Bhakti, perfection, immortality, and satisfaction arise.  Aspirations, lamentation, hate, rejoice or enthusiasm will not occur after its attainment.  Knowing Bhakti makes one intoxicated, stunned and self-satisfied.  Because, of renunciative nature, Bhakti does not generate desires.  
Renunciation refers to totally giving up of all Vedic and worldly activities and logic. Further, renunciation is characterized as exclusiveness to God and indifference to anything that is opposed to this.  It is also giving up all other dependency.  In essence, it means, observance of those activities that are favorable and indifference to those activities that are not favorable.
Even after firmly fixed in renunciation, protection of sAstrAs is to be continued. Otherwise, there is a fear (doubt) of fall for the person.  In the same way, engaging in the worldly affairs with activities such as eating to continue till holding on to the body.
According to son of Paraashara, it is liking towards worship and such activities. According to Garga, Bhakti manifests as a liking towards stories (highlighting the glory of God). Bhakti is that which is not opposed to rejoicing of the self, according to Shandilya.  According to Narada, Bhakti features as dedication of all practices (activities) to God, and experiencing pangs of separation upon disremembering God.
Such features of Bhakti are present in each of the following examples. When Gopikaas of Vraja, feel pangs of separation from Lord Krishna.  There, the forgetfulness of Gopikaas about the greatness of Krishna is not blameworthy.  Because, only by forgetting greatness of Krishna, Gopikas could turn to be paramours.  In the case of Gopikaas, there is happiness of pleasing Krishna and nothing else. Such pleasing is greater than even karma yoga and jnana yoga combined.  Because, of Bhakti providing the fruit of karma-jnana yoga.
God dislikes the proud and likes the humble. Some say, knowledge is the only means for the attainment (of God). Some others say, both (jnAna and bhakti) aid to the attainment (of the God).  According to Brahma-kumara (son of Brahma), god is the result of Bhakti.
An illustration is in glancing of a meal in a palace of a king.    By glancing, the king will not be satisfied or his hunger is not pacified.  By this analogy, seekers should seek Bhakti alone for attainment of God.  Many teachers have sung about the tools (methods) of (towards) Bhakti.
Bhakti is attained through renunciation of sensory objects as well as associations. Through uninterrupted worship.  In this  world, god is attained through chanting and hearing qualities (gunas)) of God.  More importantly, Bhakti is attained through the grace of the great and an iota of grace of the God.  Association of the great is difficult to get, difficult to understand but impossible not to provide results.  Even the association of the great is obtained through the grace of the god.
There is no differentiation possible among the great people.  The association of the great is to be positively aimed at by the aspirants.  Bad associations are the cause of lust, anger, attachment, loss of memory, destruction of intelligence and destruction of everything. Because of this reason, bad associations to be renounced by all means.  Ripples of lust etc. become an ocean by bad associations.
Who crosses the maya of lust etc.? who renunciates the bad company and serves the great selflessly would cross the maya. The one who serves in seclusion, uproots worldly bondages, becomes devoid of three gunas, and leaves comfort would cross the maya. The one who renounces actions and fruits of actions and then rises above confusions. The one who even renounces Vedas obtains undivided attraction towards god. These people would cross the world.
The final state of Bhakti is indescribable. Like a mute can never describe what he tastes.  Sometimes Bhakti manifests to a deserving aspirant.  Bhakti manifests in as an experience which is devoid of qualities, free of desires, growing every second,  uninterrupted, and the most subtle.  
After obtaining Bhakti, one only looks at God, only hears about God, Speaks about God, and thinks about the God.  The secondary Bhakti (gauNa bhakti) is of three kinds depending on the three gunas and the differentiation of three aspirants.  
Bhakti has convenience not available in other paths.  Because, Bhakti is self-evident and other evidences are not desirable. Bhakti has the form of peace and highest happiness.  Since worldly and Vedic activities are renounced, a Bhakta is not worried about the worldly losses.  Both during attainment of Bhakti and after attainment, instead of renouncing worldly activities, fruits of activities to be renounced. Narrations of women, wealth, and atheists are not to be heard.  Pride-hypocrisy are to be discarded.  After offering everything to God, one should experience lust, anger, pride, and others only in relation to the God.  
Breaking the three fold forms, in the everlasting moods of servant and beloved, Bhakta engages passionately in activities towards God.  Among the Bhaktas, single focused ones are primary.  With choked throats, horripilated bodies, tearful, conversing with each other in broken words,  Bhaktas purify families and the earth. They sanctify a holy place, make activities auspicious, and lend authority to scriptures.
Bhaktas are absorbed in the God. Due to them, the forefathers rejoice. The Gods dance. And the earth has good masters. There is no distinctions of caste, education, appearance, family, wealth, activities etc. Because,  Bhaktas belong to the God.
Arguments are not helpful for Bhakti. As they have infinite possibilities and are inconclusive.  Reflecting on scriptures related to Bhakti and engaging in activities described therein are helpful. Not wasting even half a second is advised when happiness and distress are renounced.  Nonviolence, truthfulness, purity, compassion, and faith are to be practiced.
Everyone, always, without worries, worship the God.  The God, then, appears quickly and gives them realization.  The one who is truthful in three ways sees Bhakti as bigger goal.