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Posted by: @ 11:37 pm

2397 Tue Oct 2017 INSIGHT-NET - FREE Online Tipiṭaka Research & Practice University and related NEWS through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org in
105 languages http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org Google’s free service instantly translates words, phrases, and web pages between English and over 100 other languages. and render correct translation in your mother tongue for this google translation to attain Eternal Bliss as Final Goal

See truth as truth and untruths as untruths said the Buddha.

Rakshasa Swayam Sewaks (RSS) are number one bluffers of the world. They out beat even goeabels. All their activities are arisen out of fear. It is an organisation of just 1% intolerant , violent, militant, shooting for

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chitpavan

Chitpavan
The Chitpavan Brahmin or Kokanastha Brahmin (i.e. “Brahmins native to the Konkan”), is a Hindu Brahmin community from Konkan, the coastal region of the state of Maharashtra in India. The community came into prominence during the 18th century when the heirs of Peshwa from the Bhat family of Balaji Vishwanath became the de facto rulers of the Maratha empire.[2] Under the British Raj, they were the one of the Hindu community in Maharashtra to flock to western education and as such they provided the bulk of social reformers, educationalists and nationalists of the late 19th century.[3] Until the 18th century, the Chitpavans were held in low esteem by the Deshastha,

The Parashurama myth of shipwrecked people is similar to the myth claimed by the Bene Israel Jews of Raigad district[11][12]. The Bene Israel claim that Chitpavans are also of Jewish origin.[13][14]

The Konkan region has witnessed the immigration of various groups, such as the Bene Israeli,and Kudaldeshkars. Each of these settled in distinct parts of the region and there was little mingling between them. The Chitpavans were apparently the last major community to arrive there and consequently the area in which they settled, around Ratnagiri, was both the least fertile and that with a relative scarcity of good ports for trading. While the other groups generally took up trade as their primary occupation, the Chitpavans became known as administrators.[6]

During the British rule in India, Lokmanya Tilak transformed the household worshipping of Ganesha into a grand public event (Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav) to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the British who had banned public assemblies.Students often would celebrate Hindu and national glory and address political issues including patronage of Swadeshi goods.Today large-scale Ganesh festival celebrations take place in Maharashtra with millions of people visiting the various community Ganesh Pandals.[page needed][40]

Traditionally, the Chitpavan Brahmins were a community of astrologers and priests who offer religious services to other communities. The 20th century descriptions of the Chitpavans list inordinate frugality, phlegmatism, hard work, cleanliness and intelligence among their attributes.[41][42][43] Agriculture was the second major occupation in the community, practised by the those who possess arable land. Later, Chitpavans became prominent in various white collar jobs and business.

Language
Most of the Chitpavan Brahmins in Maharashtra have adopted Marathi as their language. A minority of Chitpavans spoke a dialect of Konkani called Chitpavani Konkani in their homes. Even at that time[when?], reports recorded Chitpavani as a fast disappearing language. But in Dakshina Kannada District and Udupi Districts of Karnataka, this language is being spoken in places like Durga and Maala of Karkala taluk and also in places like Shishila and Mundaje of Belthangady Taluk.[44] There are no inherently nasalised vowels in standard Marathi whereas the Chitpavani dialect of Konkani does have nasalised vowels.[45]

The Marathi spoken by Chitpavans in Pune, is the standard form of language used all over Maharashtra today.[3] This form of Marathi has many Sansrkrit derived words. It has also retained the Sanskrit pronunciation of many words, misconstrued by non standard speakers as “nasalized pronunciation” .[46]

Social status
Earlier, the Deshastha Brahmins believed that they were the highest of all Brahmins, and looked down upon the Chitpavans as parvenus (a relative newcomer to a socioeconomic class), barely equal to the noblest of dvijas. Even the Peshwa was denied the rights to use the ghats reserved for Deshasth priests at Nashik on the Godavari.,[47][48]

The rise in prominence of the Chitpavans compared to the Deshastha Brahmins resulted in intense rivalry between the two communities.[49] The 19th century records also mention Gramanyas or village-level debates between the Chitpavans, and two other communities, namely the Daivajnas, and the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus. This lasted for about ten years.[50]

Notable people

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (About this sound pronunciation ) (28 May 1883 – 26 February 1966, commonly known as Swatantryaveer Savarkar[2]) was an Indian pro-independence activist,[3][4] lawyer, politician, poet, writer and playwright. He advocated the reconversion of the converted Hindus back to Hindu religion. Savarkar coined the term Hindutva (Hinduness) to create a collective “Hindu” identity as an essence of Bharat (India). His political philosophy had the elements of utilitarianism, rationalism and positivism, humanism and universalism, pragmatism and realism.[5] . [6] Savarkar was also an atheist and a staunch rationalist who disapproved of orthodox beliefs in all religions[7]

Nathuram Godse
Nathuram Vinayak Godse (19 May 1910 – 15 November 1949) was a right wing advocate of Hindu nationalism who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, shooting him in the chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.[1] Godse, an ex Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member from Pune[2], Maharashtra, thought Gandhi favored the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India. He plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others. After a trial that lasted over a year, Godse was sentenced to death on 8 November 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari,[3] and Godse was hanged in the Ambala jail on 15 November

Nathuram Vinayak Godse (19 May 1910 – 15 November 1949) was a right wing advocate of Hindu nationalism who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, shooting him in the chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.[1] Godse, an ex Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member from Pune[2], Maharashtra, thought Gandhi favored the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India. He plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others. After a trial that lasted over a year, Godse was sentenced to death on 8 November 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari,[3] and Godse was hanged in the Ambala jail on 15 November 1949.[4]

Nathuram Vinayak Godse
Nathuram Godse
Nathuram Godse at his trial for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi
Born Ramachandra Vinayak Godse
19 May 1910
Baramati, Pune district, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now in Maharashtra, India)
Died 15 November 1949 (aged 39)
Ambala Prison, East Punjab, India
(now in Haryana, India)
Cause of death Execution by hanging
Nationality Indian
Organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Hindu Mahasabha
Criminal charge Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
Criminal penalty Death
Criminal status Executed
Early life
Political career and beliefs
RSS membership
Godse joined RSS in Sangli (Maharashtra) in 1932 as a boudhik karyawah (ground worker), and simultaneously remained a member of the Hindu Mahasabha, both right wing organizations that occasionally participated in the freedom struggle. He participated in protest marches including the protests of 1938-39 in Bhagyanagar against the Nizam of Hyderabad who was trying to turn Hyderabad into an Islamic state for which he was jailed for a short duration. He often wrote articles in newspapers to publicise his thoughts. During this time, Godse and Golwalkar (the RSS Sarsangchalak) often worked together, and they translated Babarao Savarkar’s book “Rashtra Mimansa” into English. However, their relations soured when Golwalkar took the entire credit for this translation. In early 1940s, Godse formed his own organization called “Hindu Rashtra dal”[13] on the Vijayadashami day of 1942, though he continued to remain a member of the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha.[2]

In 1946, Godse left the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha over the issue of the partition of India. His relations with many members of the RSS soured, and he felt that the RSS was softening in its stance.[14][15]

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.rvcj.com/rss-in-the-list-of-biggest-terrorist-organisation-in-the-world/amp/

RSS In The List Of Biggest Terrorist Organisation In The World

This may come as a shock to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, but for America they are one of the biggest terrorist organisation running in India. As per an US risk management company, RSS is “a shadowy, discriminatory group that seeks to establish a Hindu Rashtra, a Hindu Nation.”

The survey conducted by Terrorism Watch & Warning that provides intelligence, research, analysis, watch and warning on international terrorism and domestic terrorism related issues; and is operated by OODA Group LLC included in its “Threat Group” in April 2014.
The report have stated – “The RSS is a shadowy, discriminatory group that seeks to establish a Hindu Rashtra, a Hindu Nation. The group is considered the radical ideological parent group of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party – the Indian Peoples Party (BJP).”

Talking about the terrorist activity RSS perform, the website further added, “Violence has been a strategy for the Sangh movement. It is often couched as a method of self-defense against minority groups. Hindutva has been clear about the need for violence, particularly communal riots. The Sangh has incited rioting to cause further chasms between religions, and thus a further separation of religions, and to rally the Hindu community around the philosophy of HinduThe reports presented database on terrorism and safety related issues and somewhere down the line RSS fitted their bill. What do you think is the reason for the inclusion of RSS? Ain’t other terrorist groups more dangerous and have spread terror.

What do you have to say about terrorism and also, the role RSS plays in the list of Terror

We must also not recognise the Murderer of democratic institutions (Modi), BJP (Brashtachar Jiyadha Psychopaths) remotely controlled by the just 1% intolerant, violent, militant, shooting, lynching, cannibal lunatic, mentally retarded chitpavan brahmins RSS (Rakshasa Swayam Sevaks) who are cowards full of hatred, anger, jealousy, delusional which are defilement of the mind that requires treatment in mental asylums. They do everything out of fear of 99% Sarvajan Samaj.
Work hard to defeat these timid forces that gobbled the Master Key by tampering the fraud EVMs by going to the voters with ballot papers and select party in list system of voting.

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.lionsroar.com/fear-and-fearlessness-what-the-buddhists-teach/amp/

Fear and Fearlessness: What the Buddhists Teach

Judy Lief, John Daido Loori, Robert Thurman, Sylvia Boorstein and Traleg Rinpoche
4 months ago
So much of our suffering—as individuals and as a society—is caused by fear. In fact, according to Buddhism, fear is at the very root of ego and samsara. Four outstanding Buddhist teachers discuss the vital practice of working with our fears.

buddhism fear fearlessness judy lief traleg kyabgon rinpoche traleg kyabgon rinpoche sylvia boorstein robert thurman

Starting on the Path of Fear and Fearlessness

By Judith Lief

It helps to explore how we can work with fear from the point of view of the path, the student’s journey. How do we walk the path of fear? Fear is not a trivial matter. In many ways, it restricts our lives; it imprisons us. Fear is also a tool of oppression. Because of fear, we do many harmful things, individually and collectively, and people who are hungry for power over others know that and exploit it. We can be made to do things out of fear.

Fear is a very tricky thing. Sometimes we put up a pretense of virtue, but really we’re afraid of being bad. Are our good deeds true virtue or just fear? Fear also stops us from speaking up when we know we should. Fear is often what causes people to leave the path of dharma. When things start to go deep, beyond self-improvement, they encounter fear and say, “This path is not for me.”

The essential cause of our suffering and anxiety is ignorance of the nature of reality, and craving and clinging to something illusory. That is referred to as ego, and the gasoline in the vehicle of ego is fear. Ego thrives on fear, so unless we figure out the problem of fear, we will never understand or embody any sense of egolessness or selflessness.

Fear has two extremes. At one extreme, we freeze. We are petrified, literally, like a rock. At the other extreme, we panic. How do we find the path through those extremes?

We have our conscious day-to-day fears—of a close call, an accident, a bad health diagnosis. But then there is an undercurrent of fear, which is very relevant to practitioners. This undercurrent of fear lurks behind a lot of our habits. It is why it is so hard to just sit still or stand still or stand in line—not doing anything in particular—without feeling nervous and fidgety. We have a fear of being still.

Why do we spin out so many thoughts all the time? We sit and try to quiet the mind but it just rumbles on and on, churning out masses of thought, small and large and pink and yellow and bland and slimy. Why? It’s because of this undercurrent of fear. It’s as though we have to keep things moving. We have to keep ourselves distracted at some fundamental level. We have to keep our momentum going, because it’s pretty scary to think of it stopping. Once we have separation and duality, we have to maintain the momentum. The problem with ego and duality is that at some level we know it’s a sham, but we have to keep at it. So part of the undercurrent of fear is the fear of being found out, of being exposed as a big fat phony who is creating a solid illusion out of thin air.

Fear has two extremes. At one extreme, we freeze. We are petrified, literally, like a rock. At the other extreme, we panic. We run around like maniacs and our mind goes into hyperdrive. Freeze or panic. Freeze or panic. How do we find the path through those extremes?

There are many stages in the practitioner’s journey of working with fear, but it is very important to know where it begins, so we can get off on the right foot. The starting point is called the narrow path, where you look straightforwardly at your own experience. You examine fear and dissect it into its components. Where does it arise? What is the sensation when you feel afraid? What kind of thoughts race through your mind when you are in a state of fear? What’s your particular pattern? Do you panic? Do you freeze? Do you get really busy and try to fix everything? Do you get angry? At this stage in the path, you try to understand your experience, try to break it down.

To do this, it helps to see things as they arise—before they become full-blown and you are caught in their sway, at which point you can’t do much about them. In meditation practice you slow things down, and that allows you to see the subtle arisings. By slowing things down, you can interrupt the tossing of the match into the pile of leaves. You can say, “I don’t need to go there. I see what’s coming.” You catch things when they’re manageable. Understanding, examining, knowing, slowing down—those are the first steps in working with fear, the beginning of the path to fearlessness.

Dealing with Fear
What is Fear?

According to Buddhism, there is unhealthy fear and healthy fear. For example, when we are afraid of something that cannot actually harm us – such as spiders – or something we can do nothing to avoid – such as old age or being struck down with smallpox or being run over by a truck – then our fear is unhealthy, for it serves only to make us unhappy and paralyze our will. On the other hand, when someone gives up smoking because they are afraid of developing lung cancer, this is a healthy fear because the danger is real and there are constructive steps they can take to avoid it.

We have many fears-fear of terrorism, fear of death, fear of being separated from people we love, fear of losing control, fear of commitment, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of losing our job, the list is never-ending! Many of our present fears are rooted in what Buddha identified as “delusions” – distorted ways of looking at ourself and the world around us. If we learn to control our mind, and reduce and eventually eliminate these delusions, the source of all our fear, healthy and unhealthy, is eradicated.

Healthy Fear

However, right now we need the healthy fear that arises from taking stock of our present situation so that we can resolve to do something about it. For example, there is no point in a smoker being scared of dying of lung cancer unless there is something that he or she can or will do about it, i.e. stop smoking. If a smoker has a sufficient fear of dying of lung cancer, he or she will take steps to kick the habit. If he prefers to ignore the danger of lung cancer, he will continue to create the causes of future suffering, living in denial and effectively giving up control.

Just a smoker is vulnerable to lung cancer due to cigarettes, it is true that at the moment we are vulnerable to danger and harm, we are vulnerable to aging, sickness, and eventually death, all due to our being trapped in samsara – the state of uncontrolled existence that is a reflection of our own uncontrolled minds. We are vulnerable to all the mental and physical pain that arises from an uncontrolled mind-such as the pains that come from the delusions of attachment, anger, and ignorance. We can choose to live in denial of this and thereby give up what control we have, or we can choose to recognize this vulnerability, recognize that we are in danger, and then find a way to avert the danger by removing the actual causes of all fear (the equivalent of the cigarettes)-the delusions and negative, unskilful actions motivated by those delusions. In this way we gain control, and if we are in control we have no cause for fear. All Buddha’s teachings are methods to overcome the delusions, the source of all fears.

Balanced Fear

A balanced fear of our delusions and the suffering to which they inevitably give rise is therefore healthy because it serves to motivate constructive action to avoid a real danger. We only need fear as an impetus until we have removed the causes of our vulnerability through finding spiritual, inner refuge and gradually training the mind. Once we have done this, we are fearless because we no longer have anything that can harm us, like a Foe Destroyer (someone who has attained liberation, defeated the foe of the delusions) or a Buddha (a fully enlightened being).

There are two types of fear, deluded or unhealthy and non-deluded or healthy. These can also be divided into fear of the inevitable and fear of the evitable. The key to dealing with fear is to check which type of fear we have, and to transform our unhealthy fears of what we can do nothing about into healthy, appropriate fears of what we can do something about. We can then use these as the motivation to develop refuge and to overcome what is really dangerous, and even eventually to overcome what at present seems inevitable, such as sickness, old age, and death.

Fear of Death

Or maybe we’re afraid of death. Again, though, as we are definitely going to die, that fear is not constructive and will lead to inappropriate responses such as denial or a sense of futility or meaninglessness in our life. However, although we have to die, we don’t have to die with an uncontrolled mind. It is therefore wise to transform our fear of dying into a fear of dying with an uncontrolled mind, the motivation that will ensure we prepare for a peaceful and controlled death.

Fear of Rejection

Or maybe we are afraid of rejection. Again, from where does this fear actually stem? Perhaps it is the fear of people disliking us. So what can we do about that? Change our mind and like them instead. That is in our control.

Fear of Being Trapped

Our fear of commitment, of being trapped, not able to back out, can also be transformed into a constructive fear when we recognize that what is really trapping us is our own mind. Real and healthy fear comes from recognizing that we are not committed to our escape from samsara, and serves as the motivation for seeking that commitment to escape.

Liberation from Fear

In other words, we cannot control whether things will go our way or not, but we can learn to control our own minds, our responses, and our own conduct, and in this way gradually find a genuine liberation from all fear. As Shantideva says in Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:

“Buddha, the Able One, says,
‘Thus, all fears
And all infinite sufferings
Arise from the mind’.”

And:

“.. it is not possible
To control all external events;
But, if I simply control my mind,
What need is there to control other things?”

A beautiful translation of Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life is available from Tharpa Publications.

The source of all our fear comes from our own uncontrolled minds or “delusions.”

There are fears that arise from attachment, such as the fear and anxiety of not finding or being separated from something or someone we feel we need for our security or happiness.

There are the fears that arise from anger and hatred. Some fears are directly proportional to our feeling of being threatened by others, which is the reason we get angry and mentally or physically try to push the person away.

And in particular, there are fears that arise from the mind of self-grasping ignorance, which is the root of all other delusions, and thus the source of all fears. To overcome this root of all fear, Buddha taught the truth of emptiness, or no self.

Root of All Fear

Self-grasping is an ignorance of the way things are, a mind that grasps at ourselves and the world around us as real, inherently existent, existing out there independent of the mind, having nothing to do with our perceiving consciousness. To overcome this root of all fear, Buddha taught the truth of emptiness, or no self. This is a very profound subject, but we can gain some understanding by considering our dreams.

The World is Like a Dream

Just as all the fear, danger, and suffering we experience in a nightmare comes from not realizing that we are only dreaming, so all the fear and suffering we experience during our life comes from not seeing the real nature of our world and our experience. The world does not exist separately from the mind. Our conviction that things exist “out there”, independent of our mind, is the source of all our fear. When we see directly that everything is projected by our perceiving awareness, like the objects in a dream, all our fears and problems will disappear. We suffer because we are asleep and lost in our dreams, and we will stop suffering only when we wake up and see things as they really are. The purpose of all Buddha’s teachings is to help us wake up.

Suppose that last night we dreamt a tiger was chasing us. Whilst we were dreaming, the tiger appeared very vividly to exist from its own side, which is why we developed fear and ran away from it. We felt strongly we were being chased by a real tiger and had no sense that the tiger was just and appearance to our mind. Yet when we woke up, we realized that the tiger was nothing more than a projection of our own mind-it did not exist from its own side, in our small bedroom! We immediately realized our mistake and saw that the tiger was nothing more than a projection of our own mind, and so our fear subsided.

Everything is Mere Appearance to Mind

The tiger ceased when the dream mind ceased. The same is true for the world we experience while we are awake. Though it appears as solid, real, and independent of the mind, in reality it is as insubstantial as a dream. A dream is a mistaken appearance to mind that arises from sleep. It is mistaken because for as long as we are dreaming, the dream world appears to exist from their own side, independent of our mind, whereas in fact it is a mere appearance to mind. Exactly the same, however, is true for the world we experience while we are awake. Though things appear as solid, real, and independent of the mind, in reality they are as insubstantial as a dream.

Awaking from the Sleep of Ignorance

Everything in samsara – our bodies, enjoyments, and the worlds we inhabit – are just like the things seen in a dream. They are mistaken appearances arising from the sleep of ignorance. Things falsely appear to exist from their own side, outside the mind, and we are completely taken in by their appearance. When an unpleasant object such as an enemy appears to our mind, we take this appearance at face value as a real, externally existent enemy, and so we react with fear or hostility; and when an attractive object such as a beautiful man or woman appears to our mind we are equally taken in and respond with desirous attachment. We are fooled completely by appearances – not for a moment do we question their validity. If we did question appearances, we would discover that that is all they are: mere appearances to mind, with no real object behind them. The enemy we fight or flee from is no more real than the tiger in the dream, and has no more power to harm what we really are. And the beautiful man or woman we are so attached to is like a lover we meet in a dream, a mere appearance arising like a wave in the ocean of our mind and later dissolving back again.

This is a very profound subject and not easy to understand. For more information, consult the books Transform Your Life , The New Heart of Wisdom, or Joyful Path of Good Fortune. It is also very important to find a qualified teacher who can give you oral teachings, explaining this subject to you from his or her own experience.

The cause of all fear is self-grasping ignorance and all the delusions, such as selfishness, attachment, and anger, which arise from that ignorance, as well as all the unskilful actions motivated by those delusions. Therefore, to find freedom from fear, we need to identify and uproot all our delusions, and especially our self-cherishing and self-grasping ignorance. To find out all about these two ego minds and how to overcome them, see Transform Your Life or Eight Steps to Happiness.

Buddhas, or Awakened Ones, are completely fearless because they have removed these sources of fear from their mind-self-cherishing and self-grasping ignorance.

The Story of Prince Siddhartha

Buddha Shakyamuni many times showed complete invincibility-you can read about such tales in any account of his life story, for example that given in Introduction to Buddhism. If we understand how Buddha is fearless, invincible, we can understand how he or she is perfect source of refuge for us as well.

There is a famous account of what happened when the Prince Siddhartha was on the verge of attaining enlightenment. As dusk fell, Devaputra Mara, the chief of all the maras, or demons, of this world, tried to disturb Siddhartha’s concentration by conjuring up many fearful apparitions. He manifested as hosts of terrifying demons, some throwing spears, some firing arrows, some trying to burn him with fire, and some hurling boulders and even mountains at him. Siddhartha remained completely undisturbed. Through the force of his concentration on love, the weapons, rocks, and mountains appeared to him as a rain of fragrant flowers, and the raging fires became like offerings of rainbow light. Love is said to be the greatest protection from fear, the best armor.

Conqueror Buddha

Seeing that Siddhartha could not be frightened into abandoning his meditation, Devaputra Mara tried instead to distract him by manifesting countless beautiful women, but Siddhartha responded by developing even deeper concentration. In this way, he triumphed over all the demons in the world, which is why he subsequently became known as a “Conqueror Buddha”.

Siddhartha continued with his meditation until dawn, when he attained the vajra-like concentration. With this concentration, which is the very last mind of a limited being, he removed the final veils of unknowing from his mind and in the next moment became a Buddha, a fully enlightened being.

Buddha’s Blessings

There is nothing that Buddha does not know. Because he or she has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and removed all obstructions from his mind, he or she knows everything of the past, present, and future simultaneously and directly. Moreover, Buddha has great compassion that is completely impartial, embracing all living beings without discrimination. He benefits all living beings without exception by emanating various forms throughout the universe and by bestowing his blessings on their minds. Through receiving Buddha’s blessings, all beings, even the lowliest animals, sometimes develop peaceful and virtuous states of mind. Eventually, through meeting an emanation of Buddha in the form of a Spiritual Guide, everyone will have the opportunity to enter the spiritual path to liberation and enlightenment. As the great Indian Buddhist Master Nagarjuna said, there is no one who has not received help from Buddha.

It is because of his or her omniscient, completely non-mistaken mind that a Buddha has the wisdom and power to protect all living beings. If there were something a Buddha did not know, or if he sometimes made mistakes, he would not be a perfect refuge from danger.

How do Buddhas protect us?

They cannot remove our suffering as if taking out a thorn from someone else’s skin, or lift us out of samsara like a mother cat picking up her kittens by the scruff of their necks. They cannot give us their wisdom, compassion or spiritual realizations as if giving a birthday present. There is therefore no sense in passively waiting for Buddhas to save us from our delusions and problems and dangers-if they could do so, they already would have. Though Buddhas have the perfect ability to help all living beings, and want nothing more than to give all living beings the limitless bliss they themselves experience, we can only receive their full help and protection if we also do something from our side, and train our mind in removing our own delusions.

For more information on the qualities of a Buddha, see Joyful Path of Good Fortune and Ocean of Nectar

In Buddhism, it is said that there are two causes of refuge or inner protection: fear and faith. Fear here means a realistic and healthy awareness of our vulnerability and the danger we are in. The fact is that as long as we are in samsara we are never safe. Our present circumstances may seem secure and comfortable, but they will change. We will definitely be separated from all the outer conditions that make us feel safe – our home, our family, our circle of friends, the money in our bank account, our physical health. If we are not separated from these conditions before death, we will be separated from them by death. What happens after death depends on the karma we have created and the virtuous or non-virtuous states of mind we have become familiar with. If in this life or in previous lives we have performed many negative actions and have not yet purified them, there is a real danger that these ripen at the time of our death and drag us into future suffering rebirths. This is not something we like to hear and our mind will probably come up with all kinds of excuses why this cannot be the case, but it is nevertheless the truth. And the only thing that can protect us is our own inner refuge of spiritual practice.

The following paragraph is extracted from Transform Your Life:

According to Buddhism, enlightened beings are called “Buddhas”, their teachings are called “Dharma”, and the practitioners who have gained realizations of these teachings are called “Sangha”. These are known as the “Three Jewels” – Buddha Jewel, Dharma Jewel, and Sangha Jewel – and are the objects of faith and refuge. They are called “Jewels” because they are very precious. In dependence upon seeing the fears and sufferings of samsara, and developing strong faith and conviction in the power of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha to protect us, we make the determination to rely upon the Three Jewels. This is the simple way of going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

To find our more about the practice of refuge, see Transform Your Life or Joyful Path of Good Fortune.

Real Protection: Love Overcomes Fear

Here is a meditation we can do on love, taken from Transform Your Life:

We should begin our meditation by focusing on our family and friends, reflecting that for as long as they remain in samsara they will never know true happiness, and that even the limited happiness they presently experience will soon be taken away from them. Then we extend this feeling of wishing love to include all living beings, thinking, “How wonderful it would be if all living beings experienced the pure happiness of liberation!” We mix our mind with this feeling of wishing love for as long as possible.

Out of meditation, whenever we see or remember any living being, human or animal, we mentally pray: “May they be happy all the time. May they attain the happiness of enlightenment.” By constantly thinking in this way, we can maintain wishing love day and night, even during sleep.

Meditation on love is very powerful. Even if our concentration is not very strong we accumulate a vast amount of merit. By meditating on love we create the cause to be reborn as a human or a god, to have a beautiful body in the future, and to be loved and respected by many people. Love is the great protector, protecting us from anger and jealousy, and from harm inflicted by spirits. When Buddha Shakyamuni was meditating under the Bodhi Tree, he was attacked by all the terrifying demons of this world, but his love transformed their weapons into a rain of flowers. Ultimately our love will become the universal love of a Buddha, which actually has the power to bestow happiness on all living beings.

For more explanation of how to develop and increase our mind of love, see Transform Your Life or Eight Steps to Happiness.

Generally, our fear of death is an unhealthy and unrealistic fear-we don’t want to die, so we ignore the subject, deny it, or get morbidly obsessed by it and think that life is meaningless. However, right now we cannot do anything about dying, so there is no point fearing death itself. What kind of fear is useful?

A healthy fear of death would be the fear of dying unprepared, as this is a fear we can do something about, a danger we can avert. If we have this realistic fear, this sense of danger, we are encouraged to prepare for a peaceful and successful death and are also inspired to make the most of our very precious human life instead of wasting it.

Preparing for Death

This “sense of danger” inspires us to make preparations so that we are no longer in the danger we are in now, for example by practicing moral discipline, purifying our negative karma, and accumulating as much merit, or good karma, as possible. We put on a seat belt out of a sense of danger of the unseen dangers of traffic on the road, and that seat belt protects us from going through the windscreen. We can do nothing about other traffic, but we can do something about whether or not we go through the windscreen if someone crashes into us. Similarly, we can do nothing about the fact of death, but we can seize control over how we prepare for death and how we die. Eventually, through Tantric spiritual practice, we can even attain a deathless body.

In Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully, Geshe Kelsang says:

Dying with regrets is not at all unusual. To avoid a sad and meaningless end to our life we need to remember continually that we too must die. Contemplating our own death will inspire us to use our life wisely by developing the inner refuge of spiritual realizations; otherwise we shall have no ability to protect ourself from the sufferings of death and what lies beyond. Moreover, when someone close to us is dying, such as a parent or friend, we shall be powerless to help them because we shall not know how; and we shall experience sadness and frustration at our inability to be of genuine help. Preparing for death is one of the kindest and wisest things we can do both for ourself and others.

We are Travelers

The fact of the matter is that this world is not our home. We are travelers, passing through. We came from our previous life, and in a few years, or a few days, we shall move on to our next life. We entered this world empty-handed and alone, and we shall leave empty-handed and alone. Everything we have accumulated in this life, including our very body, will be left behind. All that we can take with us from one life to the next are the imprints of the positive and negative actions we have created. If we ignore death we shall waste our life working for things that we shall only have to leave behind, creating many negative actions in the process, and having to travel on to our next life with nothing but a heavy burden of negative karma.

Cultivating Positive Minds

On the other hand, if we base our life on a realistic awareness of our mortality, we shall regard our spiritual development as far more important than the attainments of this world, and we shall view our time in this world principally as an opportunity to cultivate positive minds such as patience, love, compassion, and wisdom. Motivated by these virtuous minds we shall perform many positive actions, thereby creating the cause for future happiness. When the time of our death comes we shall be able to pass away without fear or regret, our mind empowered by the virtuous karma we have created.

Using Our Life Meaningfully

The Kadampa Teachers say that there is no use in being afraid when we are on our deathbed and about to die; the time to fear death is while we are young. Most people do the reverse. While they are young they think, “I shall not die,” and they live recklessly without concern for death; but when death comes they are terrified. If we develop fear of death right now we shall use our life meaningfully by engaging in virtuous actions and avoiding non-virtuous actions, thus creating the cause to take a fortunate rebirth. When death actually comes we shall feel like a child returning to the home of its parents, and pass away joyfully, without fear. We shall become like Longdöl Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist Master who lived to a great old age. When the time of his death came he was overjoyed. People asked him why he was so happy and he replied, `If I die this morning I shall be born again this evening in a Pure Land. My future life will be far superior to this one.’ Longdöl Lama had prepared carefully for his death and chosen the specific place of his rebirth. If we use our life to engage purely in spiritual practice we can do the same.

For more information on the subject of death and dying, see Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully .

Attachment is an extremely common delusion – to a greater or lesser extent our minds are influenced by it almost all the time. All delusions function to destroy our peace of mind. It is easy to see how anger or jealousy disturb the mind, but how does attachment disturb us? To become aware of the disturbing characteristics of attachment, we need to watch our mind more closely and honestly than we are accustomed to doing. We might be sitting peacefully reading the newspaper, when someone we are very attached to walks into the room. Immediately our mind becomes agitated. We begin to fidget and want to start a conversation, even though we have nothing to say. Our stomach feels knotted. Our previous peace of mind is lost. We are anxious or fearful that they might be not be happy to see us. All this is a sign that attachment has entered into our mind.

How to Recognize Attachment

Attachment is an extremely common delusion – to a greater or lesser extent our minds are influenced by it almost all the time. If we pause from reading for a moment and watch our mind, it will not be long before a thought of attachment pops up. It may be about a person, or about food, cigarettes, something we have seen during the day, or our plans for the weekend. If we observe our mind closely we will notice that as soon as attachment arises, our mind tenses and our previous tranquility and spaciousness of mind are replaced by a subtle anxiety-a fear of not fulfilling our desires or of being separated from whatever it is we are attached to.

When we recognize this, we can replace the fear and anxiety associated with attachment with a healthy fear of what will happen if we make no steps to overcome our attachment. This will motivate us to apply the opponent to attachment rather than constantly give into it.

Delusions such as attachment are our real enemy. It is our own delusions that have created all the pain and problems we have ever experienced in the past or will experience in the future. Were it not for our delusions, we would already be enjoying the unending peace and bliss of nirvana. If we are patient with outer enemies in time we may win them round to our side, but we cannot afford to tolerate the inner enemy of delusion. Unless we take steps to oppose the delusions in our own mind, they will continue to create problems for us, life after life. Delusions are self-perpetuating and will never end of their own accord.

Whenever we allow ourself to indulge in a delusion we merely strengthen this destructive thought pattern, and when we allow it to influence our behavior all we will probably succeed in doing is to provoke a deluded response in other people. Getting angry will never solve our problems, nor cure us of our anger, and indulging our desirous attachment will not get it out of our system but simply add more fuel to the fire.

Opposing Our Delusions

The only way to free our mind of delusions is to make a conscious, concerted effort to apply their opponents. Each delusion has a specific opponent. The opponent to anger, for example, is patience, to hatred the opponent is love, and to jealousy it is rejoicing in others´ good fortune. The more we familiarize our mind with these opponents, the weaker our delusions will become. To eliminate delusions completely, however, we need to attack them from their very root, self-grasping ignorance, by developing a direct realization of emptiness, or ultimate truth.

To learn more about the delusions and how to overcome them, see Transform Your Life or Understanding the Mind.

Meditation to Overcome Fear

We can try this following simple visualization to let go of fear and anxiety. Sitting in a comfortable position for meditation, with a straight back, we close our eyes and breathe naturally through our nose. Then we spend a little time identifying what it is we are currently afraid of. We identify our deluded, unhealthy fears, such as the fear of dying, the fear of loss, the fear of failure, and so forth. Using our wisdom, we understand that all these fears, and all dangers, arise because of our deluded minds and negative actions. We then visualize these fears together with their actual causes (negative minds and actions) in the form of dense thick smoke, and we breathe it out. This smoke leaves our nostrils and disappears to the furthest reaches of space, where it completely disappears, never to return. As we inhale, we imagine we are breathing in all the pure, inspiring energy and fearlessness of all holy beings in the form of blissful white light, which fills our body and mind. After meditating like this for a while, we feel that our body and mind are now completely pure and that we have received the blessings and protection of all holy beings. Our body feels light and supple, and our mind is clear, peaceful, and fearless.

A Contemplation for Transforming Fear

When we are frightened, we should ask ourselves what we are actually frightened of. Are we frightened of getting sick? But at present we have no choice in that, and so that fear is not constructive. It is wiser to be afraid of contaminated rebirth and the four rivers of birth, aging, sickness, and death, all caused by our delusions. This fear is constructive, it is called “renunciation”, the wish definitely to escape from samsara’s sufferings, the motivation that will enable us to escape from samsara and all sickness.

The following passage is from Introduction to Buddhism:

To give fearlessness is to protect other living beings from fear or danger. For example, if we rescue someone from a fire or from some other natural disaster, if we protect others from physical violence, or if we save animals and insects who have fallen into water or who are trapped, we are practicing giving fearlessness. If we are not able to rescue those in danger, we can still give fearlessness by making prayers and offerings so that they may be released from danger. We can also practice giving fearlessness by praying for others to become free from their delusions, especially the delusion of self-grasping, which is the ultimate source of all fear.

Introduction to Buddhism is available from Tharpa Publications.

Hence Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar returned back to the original home Buddhism along with millions of aboriginal inhabitants of Jambudvipa and the process continues to lead a fearless but a happy and peaceful life.

Adivasis Dance Today: The First Ever FIR Filed Against Durga Puja http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/09/29/adivasis-dance-today-the-first-fir-filed-against-durga-puja/

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Durga pooja and Dussehra may be a day of celebration of Brahmanic Hindus of India. But not for the Adivasis. It is also the day when their ancestors/gods are killed and their killing is being celebrated. But not anymore. A case has been slapped upon people who celebrate Mahishasura vadh. For the first time in the history of India, the Adivasis have asserted culturally against the celebration of Mahishasura vadh.

In Pakhanjor of Kanker district the Adivasi Moolnivasis first warned the authorities not to permit the non-Adivasis to celebrate Durga pooja and defame their devta Mahishasur. It is assumed that the district administration had warned the pooja committee members too. When this could not prevent members of Adivasi-Moolnivasi organisation went ahead to register an FIR against the insult on Mahishasura. Lokesh Sori the Kanker district Vice-President of SC/ST Morcha is the applicant and a case has been registered under sections 153(a), 295(a) and 298 of IPC. District Collector M.L. Kotwani has confirmed the registration of FIR against members of organising committee of Durga pooja festival celebration in Pakhanjor. He has informed that those accused are now absconding and they are being traced through their mobile numbers at present. Shobaraj Agrawal, Sub-Divisional Officer-Police (SDO-P) of Pakhanjor police station has also confirmed the case and said the lookout for the culprits is on.

People from Adivasi communities over the past one year had come together during different time, means and phases and exchanged their learning and understanding of true history on which they decided to take concrete action this year. It was with this assertion they marshalled their courage and with the blessing of brave ancestors they took a bold step this round.

The first news came from Raigarh when Adivasi communities in nearly 10 panchayats resolved not to celebrate Durga pooja and burning of effigy of Ravana this year. The Sarpanchs from these 10 panchayats came together and submitted a memorandum to the Police Station in charge in Raigarh. These include presidents from Khamhar, Gorpar, Khadgoan, Pandrapani, Puchiyapani, Nagoi and two other panchayats. The Block panchayat member had also signed the memorandum.

In Mohla-Manpur of Rajnandgoan district under the banner of Sarva Adivasi Moolnivasi Samaj a memorandum was addressed to the Governor of Chhattisgarh through the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM). The memorandum signed by nearly 20 persons including the former MLA of Daundi-Lohara Janaklal Thakur notes –

‘We the Adivasi Moolnivasi people neither follow the rites and rituals of Hindu religion nor involve in any of them. We have our unique tradition and culture. According to this Ravana and Mahishasura are our ancestors and therefore we worship them. However, Hindu religious scriptures have described them as Rakshasa (demon) and for ages these ancestors have been insulted. Therefore keeping in mind the sentiments of Adivasi Moolnivasi people we request you to ban the effigy burning of Ravana and scorning of Mahishasura in Scheduled Area with immediate effect. This is essential to ensure our rights upheld in the Constitution.’

In Sukma the Sarpanch’s have come to form a Union of Sarpanchs. The president of the union Manju Kawasi submitted on behalf of all the Sarpanchs of Sukma district. The Sarpanchs have had detailed discussion on the matter before placing it in the memorandum format. The memorandum reads like –

‘We are the indigenous and Adivasi people of India. Our faith is based on nature worship and ancestor worship and we still continue this tradition. Since India is a secular nation and accordingly people of all religion, culture and traditions live here and are respected. But Adivasis are not Hindus. This has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of the country. Since Adivasis are not Hindus, it is an insult of the community’s ancestors Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Mahishasura being burnt and killed. Such insult of religion and faith of any community is strictly prohibited by the Constitution of India.

In accordance with Article 244 under Part-X of India’s Constitution, Adivasis have been guaranteed special rights in Fifth Scheduled. In Scheduled Areas Adivasis worship Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Mahishasura whom others refer as rakshasas (demon). Hindus burn and kill our ancestors is not only an infliction of wound on community cultural but it is an act of treason. In Fifth Scheduled Area it is would lead to action under provisions of SC/ST (PoA) Act and Section 124A of IPC. Even there are provisions to terminate officials who support such crime. Therefore we request you that in the cultural heartland of Adivasis do not let our ancestors be burnt. Do not to give permission for any such activity.’

It is a major victory considering the facts that the Adivasis can’t even worship their own God openly. In Rokda village of Janjgir-Champa there is a Mahisashura (Bhaisasur) shrine worshipped by Adivasis and Dalits. There are many similar instances which many times the community out of fear do not garner the courage to express openly. They fear that they would be immediately identified as followers of Asura parampara (tradition) and sanskruti (culture), which could follow with repercussion on community from dominant sections. The fear that state institutions would view them as rakshasas (demons or criminals in modern terms), look them down, target and corner them had kept them off the mainstream means of expressing their history and culture.

Who Are The Asuras?

Anand Neelakantan boldly authored the book Asura where he takes the reader on a rollercoaster of different world from the perspective of Asuras, especially that of Ravana and Bhadra. He therefore reversed the reading pattern of Ramayana from that one had known till date. Almost two years ago there was a documentary Ravanayana I heard of, where the director of the film intended to retell the story of Ramayana from the point of view of Ravana, the king of Lanka. India is a land of mythologies which do not hold any scientific base. I could not see the documentary till date. However, the story of Mahishasura vadh and Ravana vadh are part of Hindu mythologies which have blinded the masses of India without any scientific evidences.

Mahishasura is termed as the buffalo-demon and every year across India Durga pooja is pompously celebrated with a lot of fervour recollecting his killing. Ravana the ten-headed demon was assumedly killed on the third day of Mahishasura vadh and the festival of Dussehra is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravana. Whatever the mythologies and their contexts be, there has always been a counter story to the same. Many indigenous communities – particularly Adivasis and Dalits and in some cases a few other backward communities – in different parts of India consider Mahishasura and Ravana as their ancestral Gods. There are many folktales, music, songs, paintings, musical dramas, etc. that are popular in many parts of India.

As an anthropologist, I have been studying culture of various First Nation (indigenous) communities for nearly two decades. Such stories are commonly placed as a contest between good and evil. There are two key questions in it. One is who decides what is good and what is evil. Second is, for the Aryans all Dravidian indigenous leaders and even masses were potential centres of evil. Many of the indigenous and Dravidian social groups have rejected this notion of good and evil and have their own stories around the same issue.

As a social scientist I very well understand the importance of such community beliefs in the life and system of indigenous groups and am aware of various nuances of it. It also goes against the mainstream belief and thought that has percolated and permeated amidst the Indian society. It is in contrast with the Hindu mythological tales where both Mahishasura and Ravana are depicted as Rakshasa (demon), while in indigenous stories they are Rakshaks (saviours or fighters). One need not agree to the indigenous faith and belief system; however they do not hold the right to condemn or reject such myths either. Many communities regularly worship both Mahishasura and Ravana and there are hundreds of temples dedicated to both these gods in India and in many parts of the world. It is ironic that some people call for uniform code of religion and belief. It is in this context this debate becomes all the more critical.

Grounds for the New Countercultural Movement in Chhattisgarh

Adivasis from different parts of Chhattisgarh have warned the government not to allow people to burn the effigy of Ravana as it hurts their religious sentiments. It is for the first time that in Chhattisgarh the Adivasis have taken this bold step against the wind that has been blowing till now. Beyond the academic rhetoric, the community had gone ahead to take concrete action. It began in October 2014 when Vivek Kumar a social activist from Manpur of Rajnandgoan district of Chhattisgarh forwarded a comment against the Mahishasura vadh by Durga in a WhatsApp group. It was also the context when the office of Forward Press was ransacked and raided. With BJP coming to power in the centre the right wing Sangh Parivar took it out with all their strength and the dominant caste sections filed an FIR against him. He was accused of insulting Hindu sentiments along with creating a divide between Savarnas and other ‘lower’ castes. When he was not arrested the Hindu organisations took out several rallies and called for Manpur bandh on several occasions. Several houses of Adivasis, Dalits and OBCs were ransacked. These protests came out with slogans such as Mahishasur Ke Aulado Ko; Juta Maro Salo Ko (Children of Mahishasura; Beat those rascals with shoes). Finally he was arrested and remained in jail for several months before he was released. In the meantime thousand of Adivasis, Dalits and OBCs came in his support.

In October 2016 when Vijay Khandekar was arrested in Mungeli for assumedly defaming goddess Durga on his Facebook timeline, it erupted into a debate on the same issue among the Dalit sections in the state. In fact Khandekar only copied and pasted a message that has been already trolling for some time over WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media. This incident created a riot like situation between the dominant castes and Satnamis in Mungeli. After being in jail for four months, he got conditional bail from the High Court of Chhattisgarh in which he was restricted from entering Mungeli district. He was placed as a person with ‘criminally dangerous’ intention.

It is during the same time the National President of Adivasi Mahasabha and CPI leader Manish Kunjam of Sukma issued a public statement, ‘I am the son of Mahisashura and Ravana. They are my ancestors and as per Adivasi culture our ancestors are our Gods. Stop killing our devta every year.’ This was a bold statement from the tall Adivasi leader. Apart from hurling abuses on social media, Kunjan was physically attacked by Hindu organisations in Jagdalpur while he was conducting a press conference in CPI district office.

What was more significant in this entire episode is that it gave birth to a series of discussion and debate across the state among the Adivasis and Dalits on community culture, history and ethics. Pitambar Nirala of Dalit Mukti Morcha says, ‘neither Hindu devas are good nor Asuras are bad. Ravana was the king of the unknown multitudes – an able and good ruler, a kind human to his subjects, a scholar par excellence without any parallel, physically strong person with the strength of 10 men, a maestro in Veena music and so on. That is why Lanka prospered under his rule. There was no poverty or famine during his age.’

In many of those villages where people were conscious, particularly Dalits and Adivasis community members, they resolved not to celebrate Durga pooja and Dussehra anymore. Parallel to this at another level, Community Organisations and Social Organisations got engaged in severe discussion on questions such as Who is Mahisashura? Who is Ravana? Why are they killed every year? Youths in particular began to raise these questions with community elders, leaders, bards, researchers and other persons with knowledge on community aspects. These young men and women from the community went on to read more about their own history as retold from a non-Brahminical perspective. Group reading and sharing of what they learnt from these different sources went around.

They searched and researched who were these two characters Mahisashura and Ravana where they figured out Asura was one of their own oldest clans that fought brave battles against the Aryan invaders. They found the theoretical postulation that whosoever fought against the Arayan invasion were in fact the community’s freedom fighters who turned out to be a star in the sky. As per these beliefs these ancestors have becomes their Duma or devta or God in modern English parlances. It is these Dumas who have been regularly placed as devils, demons and centre of all evil. They in fact were good people, who fought the battery of external invasions of Aryans and others. That is the key reason why they have been revered and worshiped even today in many parts of India – from North to South.

Digree Prasad Chauhan a leader of Dalit Mukti Morcha says, ‘cultural imperialism of Hindutva has been blinded our people. Hence we need to break such shackles of slavery that killed our ancestors where the killers are worshiped. All those who were killed may it be Eklavya, Mahishasura, Ravana, Shambhug, Bali, Holika are our debtas and such moves needs to have a complete stop for all times. Moolnivasis have to be affirmative about what their true history is.’

Priyanka Sandilya an Adivasi scholar notes that, ‘how long we Adivasis should carry the label as Hindu slaves? How long are our Asura tribes to hide in fear of Durga’s anger during the period of navaratri? It is time to affirm that we are not the descendents of Aryan invaders or of their religion. We are who we are and what we are. We are the First Nations and no Hindu god belongs to us. Rather all those who are depicted as Rakshasas are our true god as they were our freedom fighters, our saviours. They posed severe threat to the external invaders and therefore were branded as Rakshasas.’

For the past few years, many students and youths at the university level have been observing the season of Durga pooja as Mahishasura Martyrdom Day (and week). Since then a nationwide debate emerged across the country, including the Indian parliament on evidentiary facts of such festivities where killings are glorified and certain particularly social groups are vilified thoroughly. However this counterculture movement at the village and community level is a new development that has given rise to the current action. This initiative from Chhattisgarh is an attempt to revive the indigenous culture and rescue the gods from the chains of Brahminical systems.

Stories of Mahishasura Martyrdom

Durga pooja was first celebrated in Dinajpur Rajbari in present-day Bangladesh in the 14th century. Since then, the celebration has transformed from a “landlord’s festival” to a community one. However, despite this seeming homogenisation, all these poojas and celebrations are dominated by the upper caste Brahmins and Kayasthas, where Dalits and other lower caste masses are disallowed mostly.

Quoting from a report of Hindustan Times Ranchi edition published on October 2, 2014, Malati Asur says, ‘Devas are power-hungry people. Whenever anyone has challenged them, they branded them as devils. Our ancestors always challenged them so they were branded as demonic figures.’

The slaying of Asuras by the devas might be an ‘ancient truth’ that the ‘Savarnas’ have conveniently made us forget our true history. ‘During Durga Pooja, the Asur tribe in Jharkhand, lock themselves up in their houses during the day and come out in the night to mourn the death of their king, Mahishasura. They fear that if they come out during the day, the devas would slay them,’ says the report in Hindustan Times. This provides a basis to the myth of the Asur community.

In Bengal Asuras observe a state of mourning during the period of navaratri. Similarly the Ravana worshippers in Haryana also observe mourning during the same period. It is period of sorrow and sadness when the world is celebrating the assassination of their god. In Bundhelkhand (Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh) Dalits worship Mahisashura to rescue them from calamity like drought, bad crops, epidemics, etc. Similar belief systems exist in parts of Haryana, Telengana, Jharkhand, Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

Conclusion

The Adivasis, Dalits, OBCs and other indigenous people have filed cases in different places. It is more important since it is the community that has come forward to take this bold step to file their protest and resistance against the maligning and vilifying their faith under the ambit of celebration of a Hindu festival. The community consciousness speaks loud. It is all the more relevant as the efforts are aimed to re-read history from the prism of the First Nations who have been hitherto kept as secondary subaltern citizens of an independent nation. Thus a reversal of history reading is not just the compulsion of indigenous philosophy rather it is an essential pre-requisite to understand the inhuman history and culture that has been until now glorified by Indian society in the name of culture.

History has always been narrated from the winner’s point of view and regretfully losers are always posed as the villain. However, the filtered version of these epics provides ample scope to read the unwritten history of the First Nations, particularly with the rich pedestal of geo-centric culture and tradition. This is where researchers, scholars, intellectuals and writers from community go beyond the shadows under which one is instructed to walk and learn to unearth the true history. Such epical scriptures passed down from generation to generation prove it is not all black and white as have been told us time and again to believe. Every character is a shade of grey and even those painted the worst have more beauty than the ones painted as the best. Let there be a reversal of history from the chains of Brahminism to a more human indigenous First Nation one!

The author is an activist and social scientist living in Chhattisgarh. He has been the founder of Dalit Mukti Morcha and many other similar movements. Currently he is the Convener of Chhattisgarh Nagrik Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti (CNSSS) as well as the Chief Editor of Journal of People’s Studies. He has been a student of Cultural Anthropology and holds a PhD from Tata Institute of Social Science.

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2397 Tue Oct 2017 INSIGHT-NET - FREE Online Tipiṭaka Research & Practice University and related NEWS through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org in
105 languages http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org Google’s free service instantly translates words, phrases, and web pages between English and over 100 other languages. and render correct translation in your mother tongue for this google translation to attain Eternal Bliss as Final Goal

See truth as truth and untruths as untruths said the Buddha.

Rakshasa Swayam Sewaks (RSS) are number one bluffers of the world. They out beat even goeabels. All their activities are arisen out of fear. It is an organisation of just 1% intolerant , violent, militant, shooting for

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chitpavan

Chitpavan
The Chitpavan Brahmin or Kokanastha Brahmin (i.e. “Brahmins native to the Konkan”), is a Hindu Brahmin community from Konkan, the coastal region of the state of Maharashtra in India. The community came into prominence during the 18th century when the heirs of Peshwa from the Bhat family of Balaji Vishwanath became the de facto rulers of the Maratha empire.[2] Under the British Raj, they were the one of the Hindu community in Maharashtra to flock to western education and as such they provided the bulk of social reformers, educationalists and nationalists of the late 19th century.[3] Until the 18th century, the Chitpavans were held in low esteem by the Deshastha,

The Parashurama myth of shipwrecked people is similar to the myth claimed by the Bene Israel Jews of Raigad district[11][12]. The Bene Israel claim that Chitpavans are also of Jewish origin.[13][14]

The Konkan region has witnessed the immigration of various groups, such as the Bene Israeli,and Kudaldeshkars. Each of these settled in distinct parts of the region and there was little mingling between them. The Chitpavans were apparently the last major community to arrive there and consequently the area in which they settled, around Ratnagiri, was both the least fertile and that with a relative scarcity of good ports for trading. While the other groups generally took up trade as their primary occupation, the Chitpavans became known as administrators.[6]

During the British rule in India, Lokmanya Tilak transformed the household worshipping of Ganesha into a grand public event (Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav) to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the British who had banned public assemblies.Students often would celebrate Hindu and national glory and address political issues including patronage of Swadeshi goods.Today large-scale Ganesh festival celebrations take place in Maharashtra with millions of people visiting the various community Ganesh Pandals.[page needed][40]

Traditionally, the Chitpavan Brahmins were a community of astrologers and priests who offer religious services to other communities. The 20th century descriptions of the Chitpavans list inordinate frugality, phlegmatism, hard work, cleanliness and intelligence among their attributes.[41][42][43] Agriculture was the second major occupation in the community, practised by the those who possess arable land. Later, Chitpavans became prominent in various white collar jobs and business.

Language
Most of the Chitpavan Brahmins in Maharashtra have adopted Marathi as their language. A minority of Chitpavans spoke a dialect of Konkani called Chitpavani Konkani in their homes. Even at that time[when?], reports recorded Chitpavani as a fast disappearing language. But in Dakshina Kannada District and Udupi Districts of Karnataka, this language is being spoken in places like Durga and Maala of Karkala taluk and also in places like Shishila and Mundaje of Belthangady Taluk.[44] There are no inherently nasalised vowels in standard Marathi whereas the Chitpavani dialect of Konkani does have nasalised vowels.[45]

The Marathi spoken by Chitpavans in Pune, is the standard form of language used all over Maharashtra today.[3] This form of Marathi has many Sansrkrit derived words. It has also retained the Sanskrit pronunciation of many words, misconstrued by non standard speakers as “nasalized pronunciation” .[46]

Social status
Earlier, the Deshastha Brahmins believed that they were the highest of all Brahmins, and looked down upon the Chitpavans as parvenus (a relative newcomer to a socioeconomic class), barely equal to the noblest of dvijas. Even the Peshwa was denied the rights to use the ghats reserved for Deshasth priests at Nashik on the Godavari.,[47][48]

The rise in prominence of the Chitpavans compared to the Deshastha Brahmins resulted in intense rivalry between the two communities.[49] The 19th century records also mention Gramanyas or village-level debates between the Chitpavans, and two other communities, namely the Daivajnas, and the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus. This lasted for about ten years.[50]

Notable people

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (About this sound pronunciation ) (28 May 1883 – 26 February 1966, commonly known as Swatantryaveer Savarkar[2]) was an Indian pro-independence activist,[3][4] lawyer, politician, poet, writer and playwright. He advocated the reconversion of the converted Hindus back to Hindu religion. Savarkar coined the term Hindutva (Hinduness) to create a collective “Hindu” identity as an essence of Bharat (India). His political philosophy had the elements of utilitarianism, rationalism and positivism, humanism and universalism, pragmatism and realism.[5] . [6] Savarkar was also an atheist and a staunch rationalist who disapproved of orthodox beliefs in all religions[7]

Nathuram Godse
Nathuram Vinayak Godse (19 May 1910 – 15 November 1949) was a right wing advocate of Hindu nationalism who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, shooting him in the chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.[1] Godse, an ex Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member from Pune[2], Maharashtra, thought Gandhi favored the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India. He plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others. After a trial that lasted over a year, Godse was sentenced to death on 8 November 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari,[3] and Godse was hanged in the Ambala jail on 15 November

Nathuram Vinayak Godse (19 May 1910 – 15 November 1949) was a right wing advocate of Hindu nationalism who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, shooting him in the chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.[1] Godse, an ex Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member from Pune[2], Maharashtra, thought Gandhi favored the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India. He plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others. After a trial that lasted over a year, Godse was sentenced to death on 8 November 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari,[3] and Godse was hanged in the Ambala jail on 15 November 1949.[4]

Nathuram Vinayak Godse
Nathuram Godse
Nathuram Godse at his trial for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi
Born Ramachandra Vinayak Godse
19 May 1910
Baramati, Pune district, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now in Maharashtra, India)
Died 15 November 1949 (aged 39)
Ambala Prison, East Punjab, India
(now in Haryana, India)
Cause of death Execution by hanging
Nationality Indian
Organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Hindu Mahasabha
Criminal charge Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
Criminal penalty Death
Criminal status Executed
Early life
Political career and beliefs
RSS membership
Godse joined RSS in Sangli (Maharashtra) in 1932 as a boudhik karyawah (ground worker), and simultaneously remained a member of the Hindu Mahasabha, both right wing organizations that occasionally participated in the freedom struggle. He participated in protest marches including the protests of 1938-39 in Bhagyanagar against the Nizam of Hyderabad who was trying to turn Hyderabad into an Islamic state for which he was jailed for a short duration. He often wrote articles in newspapers to publicise his thoughts. During this time, Godse and Golwalkar (the RSS Sarsangchalak) often worked together, and they translated Babarao Savarkar’s book “Rashtra Mimansa” into English. However, their relations soured when Golwalkar took the entire credit for this translation. In early 1940s, Godse formed his own organization called “Hindu Rashtra dal”[13] on the Vijayadashami day of 1942, though he continued to remain a member of the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha.[2]

In 1946, Godse left the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha over the issue of the partition of India. His relations with many members of the RSS soured, and he felt that the RSS was softening in its stance.[14][15]

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.rvcj.com/rss-in-the-list-of-biggest-terrorist-organisation-in-the-world/amp/

RSS In The List Of Biggest Terrorist Organisation In The World

This may come as a shock to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, but for America they are one of the biggest terrorist organisation running in India. As per an US risk management company, RSS is “a shadowy, discriminatory group that seeks to establish a Hindu Rashtra, a Hindu Nation.”

The survey conducted by Terrorism Watch & Warning that provides intelligence, research, analysis, watch and warning on international terrorism and domestic terrorism related issues; and is operated by OODA Group LLC included in its “Threat Group” in April 2014.
The report have stated – “The RSS is a shadowy, discriminatory group that seeks to establish a Hindu Rashtra, a Hindu Nation. The group is considered the radical ideological parent group of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party – the Indian Peoples Party (BJP).”

Talking about the terrorist activity RSS perform, the website further added, “Violence has been a strategy for the Sangh movement. It is often couched as a method of self-defense against minority groups. Hindutva has been clear about the need for violence, particularly communal riots. The Sangh has incited rioting to cause further chasms between religions, and thus a further separation of religions, and to rally the Hindu community around the philosophy of HinduThe reports presented database on terrorism and safety related issues and somewhere down the line RSS fitted their bill. What do you think is the reason for the inclusion of RSS? Ain’t other terrorist groups more dangerous and have spread terror.

What do you have to say about terrorism and also, the role RSS plays in the list of Terror

We must also not recognise the Murderer of democratic institutions (Modi), BJP (Brashtachar Jiyadha Psychopaths) remotely controlled by the just 1% intolerant, violent, militant, shooting, lynching, cannibal lunatic, mentally retarded chitpavan brahmins RSS (Rakshasa Swayam Sevaks) who are cowards full of hatred, anger, jealousy, delusional which are defilement of the mind that requires treatment in mental asylums. They do everything out of fear of 99% Sarvajan Samaj.
Work hard to defeat these timid forces that gobbled the Master Key by tampering the fraud EVMs by going to the voters with ballot papers and select party in list system of voting.

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.lionsroar.com/fear-and-fearlessness-what-the-buddhists-teach/amp/

Fear and Fearlessness: What the Buddhists Teach

Judy Lief, John Daido Loori, Robert Thurman, Sylvia Boorstein and Traleg Rinpoche
4 months ago
So much of our suffering—as individuals and as a society—is caused by fear. In fact, according to Buddhism, fear is at the very root of ego and samsara. Four outstanding Buddhist teachers discuss the vital practice of working with our fears.

buddhism fear fearlessness judy lief traleg kyabgon rinpoche traleg kyabgon rinpoche sylvia boorstein robert thurman

Starting on the Path of Fear and Fearlessness

By Judith Lief

It helps to explore how we can work with fear from the point of view of the path, the student’s journey. How do we walk the path of fear? Fear is not a trivial matter. In many ways, it restricts our lives; it imprisons us. Fear is also a tool of oppression. Because of fear, we do many harmful things, individually and collectively, and people who are hungry for power over others know that and exploit it. We can be made to do things out of fear.

Fear is a very tricky thing. Sometimes we put up a pretense of virtue, but really we’re afraid of being bad. Are our good deeds true virtue or just fear? Fear also stops us from speaking up when we know we should. Fear is often what causes people to leave the path of dharma. When things start to go deep, beyond self-improvement, they encounter fear and say, “This path is not for me.”

The essential cause of our suffering and anxiety is ignorance of the nature of reality, and craving and clinging to something illusory. That is referred to as ego, and the gasoline in the vehicle of ego is fear. Ego thrives on fear, so unless we figure out the problem of fear, we will never understand or embody any sense of egolessness or selflessness.

Fear has two extremes. At one extreme, we freeze. We are petrified, literally, like a rock. At the other extreme, we panic. How do we find the path through those extremes?

We have our conscious day-to-day fears—of a close call, an accident, a bad health diagnosis. But then there is an undercurrent of fear, which is very relevant to practitioners. This undercurrent of fear lurks behind a lot of our habits. It is why it is so hard to just sit still or stand still or stand in line—not doing anything in particular—without feeling nervous and fidgety. We have a fear of being still.

Why do we spin out so many thoughts all the time? We sit and try to quiet the mind but it just rumbles on and on, churning out masses of thought, small and large and pink and yellow and bland and slimy. Why? It’s because of this undercurrent of fear. It’s as though we have to keep things moving. We have to keep ourselves distracted at some fundamental level. We have to keep our momentum going, because it’s pretty scary to think of it stopping. Once we have separation and duality, we have to maintain the momentum. The problem with ego and duality is that at some level we know it’s a sham, but we have to keep at it. So part of the undercurrent of fear is the fear of being found out, of being exposed as a big fat phony who is creating a solid illusion out of thin air.

Fear has two extremes. At one extreme, we freeze. We are petrified, literally, like a rock. At the other extreme, we panic. We run around like maniacs and our mind goes into hyperdrive. Freeze or panic. Freeze or panic. How do we find the path through those extremes?

There are many stages in the practitioner’s journey of working with fear, but it is very important to know where it begins, so we can get off on the right foot. The starting point is called the narrow path, where you look straightforwardly at your own experience. You examine fear and dissect it into its components. Where does it arise? What is the sensation when you feel afraid? What kind of thoughts race through your mind when you are in a state of fear? What’s your particular pattern? Do you panic? Do you freeze? Do you get really busy and try to fix everything? Do you get angry? At this stage in the path, you try to understand your experience, try to break it down.

To do this, it helps to see things as they arise—before they become full-blown and you are caught in their sway, at which point you can’t do much about them. In meditation practice you slow things down, and that allows you to see the subtle arisings. By slowing things down, you can interrupt the tossing of the match into the pile of leaves. You can say, “I don’t need to go there. I see what’s coming.” You catch things when they’re manageable. Understanding, examining, knowing, slowing down—those are the first steps in working with fear, the beginning of the path to fearlessness.

Dealing with Fear
What is Fear?

According to Buddhism, there is unhealthy fear and healthy fear. For example, when we are afraid of something that cannot actually harm us – such as spiders – or something we can do nothing to avoid – such as old age or being struck down with smallpox or being run over by a truck – then our fear is unhealthy, for it serves only to make us unhappy and paralyze our will. On the other hand, when someone gives up smoking because they are afraid of developing lung cancer, this is a healthy fear because the danger is real and there are constructive steps they can take to avoid it.

We have many fears-fear of terrorism, fear of death, fear of being separated from people we love, fear of losing control, fear of commitment, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of losing our job, the list is never-ending! Many of our present fears are rooted in what Buddha identified as “delusions” – distorted ways of looking at ourself and the world around us. If we learn to control our mind, and reduce and eventually eliminate these delusions, the source of all our fear, healthy and unhealthy, is eradicated.

Healthy Fear

However, right now we need the healthy fear that arises from taking stock of our present situation so that we can resolve to do something about it. For example, there is no point in a smoker being scared of dying of lung cancer unless there is something that he or she can or will do about it, i.e. stop smoking. If a smoker has a sufficient fear of dying of lung cancer, he or she will take steps to kick the habit. If he prefers to ignore the danger of lung cancer, he will continue to create the causes of future suffering, living in denial and effectively giving up control.

Just a smoker is vulnerable to lung cancer due to cigarettes, it is true that at the moment we are vulnerable to danger and harm, we are vulnerable to aging, sickness, and eventually death, all due to our being trapped in samsara – the state of uncontrolled existence that is a reflection of our own uncontrolled minds. We are vulnerable to all the mental and physical pain that arises from an uncontrolled mind-such as the pains that come from the delusions of attachment, anger, and ignorance. We can choose to live in denial of this and thereby give up what control we have, or we can choose to recognize this vulnerability, recognize that we are in danger, and then find a way to avert the danger by removing the actual causes of all fear (the equivalent of the cigarettes)-the delusions and negative, unskilful actions motivated by those delusions. In this way we gain control, and if we are in control we have no cause for fear. All Buddha’s teachings are methods to overcome the delusions, the source of all fears.

Balanced Fear

A balanced fear of our delusions and the suffering to which they inevitably give rise is therefore healthy because it serves to motivate constructive action to avoid a real danger. We only need fear as an impetus until we have removed the causes of our vulnerability through finding spiritual, inner refuge and gradually training the mind. Once we have done this, we are fearless because we no longer have anything that can harm us, like a Foe Destroyer (someone who has attained liberation, defeated the foe of the delusions) or a Buddha (a fully enlightened being).

There are two types of fear, deluded or unhealthy and non-deluded or healthy. These can also be divided into fear of the inevitable and fear of the evitable. The key to dealing with fear is to check which type of fear we have, and to transform our unhealthy fears of what we can do nothing about into healthy, appropriate fears of what we can do something about. We can then use these as the motivation to develop refuge and to overcome what is really dangerous, and even eventually to overcome what at present seems inevitable, such as sickness, old age, and death.

Fear of Death

Or maybe we’re afraid of death. Again, though, as we are definitely going to die, that fear is not constructive and will lead to inappropriate responses such as denial or a sense of futility or meaninglessness in our life. However, although we have to die, we don’t have to die with an uncontrolled mind. It is therefore wise to transform our fear of dying into a fear of dying with an uncontrolled mind, the motivation that will ensure we prepare for a peaceful and controlled death.

Fear of Rejection

Or maybe we are afraid of rejection. Again, from where does this fear actually stem? Perhaps it is the fear of people disliking us. So what can we do about that? Change our mind and like them instead. That is in our control.

Fear of Being Trapped

Our fear of commitment, of being trapped, not able to back out, can also be transformed into a constructive fear when we recognize that what is really trapping us is our own mind. Real and healthy fear comes from recognizing that we are not committed to our escape from samsara, and serves as the motivation for seeking that commitment to escape.

Liberation from Fear

In other words, we cannot control whether things will go our way or not, but we can learn to control our own minds, our responses, and our own conduct, and in this way gradually find a genuine liberation from all fear. As Shantideva says in Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:

“Buddha, the Able One, says,
‘Thus, all fears
And all infinite sufferings
Arise from the mind’.”

And:

“.. it is not possible
To control all external events;
But, if I simply control my mind,
What need is there to control other things?”

A beautiful translation of Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life is available from Tharpa Publications.

The source of all our fear comes from our own uncontrolled minds or “delusions.”

There are fears that arise from attachment, such as the fear and anxiety of not finding or being separated from something or someone we feel we need for our security or happiness.

There are the fears that arise from anger and hatred. Some fears are directly proportional to our feeling of being threatened by others, which is the reason we get angry and mentally or physically try to push the person away.

And in particular, there are fears that arise from the mind of self-grasping ignorance, which is the root of all other delusions, and thus the source of all fears. To overcome this root of all fear, Buddha taught the truth of emptiness, or no self.

Root of All Fear

Self-grasping is an ignorance of the way things are, a mind that grasps at ourselves and the world around us as real, inherently existent, existing out there independent of the mind, having nothing to do with our perceiving consciousness. To overcome this root of all fear, Buddha taught the truth of emptiness, or no self. This is a very profound subject, but we can gain some understanding by considering our dreams.

The World is Like a Dream

Just as all the fear, danger, and suffering we experience in a nightmare comes from not realizing that we are only dreaming, so all the fear and suffering we experience during our life comes from not seeing the real nature of our world and our experience. The world does not exist separately from the mind. Our conviction that things exist “out there”, independent of our mind, is the source of all our fear. When we see directly that everything is projected by our perceiving awareness, like the objects in a dream, all our fears and problems will disappear. We suffer because we are asleep and lost in our dreams, and we will stop suffering only when we wake up and see things as they really are. The purpose of all Buddha’s teachings is to help us wake up.

Suppose that last night we dreamt a tiger was chasing us. Whilst we were dreaming, the tiger appeared very vividly to exist from its own side, which is why we developed fear and ran away from it. We felt strongly we were being chased by a real tiger and had no sense that the tiger was just and appearance to our mind. Yet when we woke up, we realized that the tiger was nothing more than a projection of our own mind-it did not exist from its own side, in our small bedroom! We immediately realized our mistake and saw that the tiger was nothing more than a projection of our own mind, and so our fear subsided.

Everything is Mere Appearance to Mind

The tiger ceased when the dream mind ceased. The same is true for the world we experience while we are awake. Though it appears as solid, real, and independent of the mind, in reality it is as insubstantial as a dream. A dream is a mistaken appearance to mind that arises from sleep. It is mistaken because for as long as we are dreaming, the dream world appears to exist from their own side, independent of our mind, whereas in fact it is a mere appearance to mind. Exactly the same, however, is true for the world we experience while we are awake. Though things appear as solid, real, and independent of the mind, in reality they are as insubstantial as a dream.

Awaking from the Sleep of Ignorance

Everything in samsara – our bodies, enjoyments, and the worlds we inhabit – are just like the things seen in a dream. They are mistaken appearances arising from the sleep of ignorance. Things falsely appear to exist from their own side, outside the mind, and we are completely taken in by their appearance. When an unpleasant object such as an enemy appears to our mind, we take this appearance at face value as a real, externally existent enemy, and so we react with fear or hostility; and when an attractive object such as a beautiful man or woman appears to our mind we are equally taken in and respond with desirous attachment. We are fooled completely by appearances – not for a moment do we question their validity. If we did question appearances, we would discover that that is all they are: mere appearances to mind, with no real object behind them. The enemy we fight or flee from is no more real than the tiger in the dream, and has no more power to harm what we really are. And the beautiful man or woman we are so attached to is like a lover we meet in a dream, a mere appearance arising like a wave in the ocean of our mind and later dissolving back again.

This is a very profound subject and not easy to understand. For more information, consult the books Transform Your Life , The New Heart of Wisdom, or Joyful Path of Good Fortune. It is also very important to find a qualified teacher who can give you oral teachings, explaining this subject to you from his or her own experience.

The cause of all fear is self-grasping ignorance and all the delusions, such as selfishness, attachment, and anger, which arise from that ignorance, as well as all the unskilful actions motivated by those delusions. Therefore, to find freedom from fear, we need to identify and uproot all our delusions, and especially our self-cherishing and self-grasping ignorance. To find out all about these two ego minds and how to overcome them, see Transform Your Life or Eight Steps to Happiness.

Buddhas, or Awakened Ones, are completely fearless because they have removed these sources of fear from their mind-self-cherishing and self-grasping ignorance.

The Story of Prince Siddhartha

Buddha Shakyamuni many times showed complete invincibility-you can read about such tales in any account of his life story, for example that given in Introduction to Buddhism. If we understand how Buddha is fearless, invincible, we can understand how he or she is perfect source of refuge for us as well.

There is a famous account of what happened when the Prince Siddhartha was on the verge of attaining enlightenment. As dusk fell, Devaputra Mara, the chief of all the maras, or demons, of this world, tried to disturb Siddhartha’s concentration by conjuring up many fearful apparitions. He manifested as hosts of terrifying demons, some throwing spears, some firing arrows, some trying to burn him with fire, and some hurling boulders and even mountains at him. Siddhartha remained completely undisturbed. Through the force of his concentration on love, the weapons, rocks, and mountains appeared to him as a rain of fragrant flowers, and the raging fires became like offerings of rainbow light. Love is said to be the greatest protection from fear, the best armor.

Conqueror Buddha

Seeing that Siddhartha could not be frightened into abandoning his meditation, Devaputra Mara tried instead to distract him by manifesting countless beautiful women, but Siddhartha responded by developing even deeper concentration. In this way, he triumphed over all the demons in the world, which is why he subsequently became known as a “Conqueror Buddha”.

Siddhartha continued with his meditation until dawn, when he attained the vajra-like concentration. With this concentration, which is the very last mind of a limited being, he removed the final veils of unknowing from his mind and in the next moment became a Buddha, a fully enlightened being.

Buddha’s Blessings

There is nothing that Buddha does not know. Because he or she has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and removed all obstructions from his mind, he or she knows everything of the past, present, and future simultaneously and directly. Moreover, Buddha has great compassion that is completely impartial, embracing all living beings without discrimination. He benefits all living beings without exception by emanating various forms throughout the universe and by bestowing his blessings on their minds. Through receiving Buddha’s blessings, all beings, even the lowliest animals, sometimes develop peaceful and virtuous states of mind. Eventually, through meeting an emanation of Buddha in the form of a Spiritual Guide, everyone will have the opportunity to enter the spiritual path to liberation and enlightenment. As the great Indian Buddhist Master Nagarjuna said, there is no one who has not received help from Buddha.

It is because of his or her omniscient, completely non-mistaken mind that a Buddha has the wisdom and power to protect all living beings. If there were something a Buddha did not know, or if he sometimes made mistakes, he would not be a perfect refuge from danger.

How do Buddhas protect us?

They cannot remove our suffering as if taking out a thorn from someone else’s skin, or lift us out of samsara like a mother cat picking up her kittens by the scruff of their necks. They cannot give us their wisdom, compassion or spiritual realizations as if giving a birthday present. There is therefore no sense in passively waiting for Buddhas to save us from our delusions and problems and dangers-if they could do so, they already would have. Though Buddhas have the perfect ability to help all living beings, and want nothing more than to give all living beings the limitless bliss they themselves experience, we can only receive their full help and protection if we also do something from our side, and train our mind in removing our own delusions.

For more information on the qualities of a Buddha, see Joyful Path of Good Fortune and Ocean of Nectar

In Buddhism, it is said that there are two causes of refuge or inner protection: fear and faith. Fear here means a realistic and healthy awareness of our vulnerability and the danger we are in. The fact is that as long as we are in samsara we are never safe. Our present circumstances may seem secure and comfortable, but they will change. We will definitely be separated from all the outer conditions that make us feel safe – our home, our family, our circle of friends, the money in our bank account, our physical health. If we are not separated from these conditions before death, we will be separated from them by death. What happens after death depends on the karma we have created and the virtuous or non-virtuous states of mind we have become familiar with. If in this life or in previous lives we have performed many negative actions and have not yet purified them, there is a real danger that these ripen at the time of our death and drag us into future suffering rebirths. This is not something we like to hear and our mind will probably come up with all kinds of excuses why this cannot be the case, but it is nevertheless the truth. And the only thing that can protect us is our own inner refuge of spiritual practice.

The following paragraph is extracted from Transform Your Life:

According to Buddhism, enlightened beings are called “Buddhas”, their teachings are called “Dharma”, and the practitioners who have gained realizations of these teachings are called “Sangha”. These are known as the “Three Jewels” – Buddha Jewel, Dharma Jewel, and Sangha Jewel – and are the objects of faith and refuge. They are called “Jewels” because they are very precious. In dependence upon seeing the fears and sufferings of samsara, and developing strong faith and conviction in the power of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha to protect us, we make the determination to rely upon the Three Jewels. This is the simple way of going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

To find our more about the practice of refuge, see Transform Your Life or Joyful Path of Good Fortune.

Real Protection: Love Overcomes Fear

Here is a meditation we can do on love, taken from Transform Your Life:

We should begin our meditation by focusing on our family and friends, reflecting that for as long as they remain in samsara they will never know true happiness, and that even the limited happiness they presently experience will soon be taken away from them. Then we extend this feeling of wishing love to include all living beings, thinking, “How wonderful it would be if all living beings experienced the pure happiness of liberation!” We mix our mind with this feeling of wishing love for as long as possible.

Out of meditation, whenever we see or remember any living being, human or animal, we mentally pray: “May they be happy all the time. May they attain the happiness of enlightenment.” By constantly thinking in this way, we can maintain wishing love day and night, even during sleep.

Meditation on love is very powerful. Even if our concentration is not very strong we accumulate a vast amount of merit. By meditating on love we create the cause to be reborn as a human or a god, to have a beautiful body in the future, and to be loved and respected by many people. Love is the great protector, protecting us from anger and jealousy, and from harm inflicted by spirits. When Buddha Shakyamuni was meditating under the Bodhi Tree, he was attacked by all the terrifying demons of this world, but his love transformed their weapons into a rain of flowers. Ultimately our love will become the universal love of a Buddha, which actually has the power to bestow happiness on all living beings.

For more explanation of how to develop and increase our mind of love, see Transform Your Life or Eight Steps to Happiness.

Generally, our fear of death is an unhealthy and unrealistic fear-we don’t want to die, so we ignore the subject, deny it, or get morbidly obsessed by it and think that life is meaningless. However, right now we cannot do anything about dying, so there is no point fearing death itself. What kind of fear is useful?

A healthy fear of death would be the fear of dying unprepared, as this is a fear we can do something about, a danger we can avert. If we have this realistic fear, this sense of danger, we are encouraged to prepare for a peaceful and successful death and are also inspired to make the most of our very precious human life instead of wasting it.

Preparing for Death

This “sense of danger” inspires us to make preparations so that we are no longer in the danger we are in now, for example by practicing moral discipline, purifying our negative karma, and accumulating as much merit, or good karma, as possible. We put on a seat belt out of a sense of danger of the unseen dangers of traffic on the road, and that seat belt protects us from going through the windscreen. We can do nothing about other traffic, but we can do something about whether or not we go through the windscreen if someone crashes into us. Similarly, we can do nothing about the fact of death, but we can seize control over how we prepare for death and how we die. Eventually, through Tantric spiritual practice, we can even attain a deathless body.

In Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully, Geshe Kelsang says:

Dying with regrets is not at all unusual. To avoid a sad and meaningless end to our life we need to remember continually that we too must die. Contemplating our own death will inspire us to use our life wisely by developing the inner refuge of spiritual realizations; otherwise we shall have no ability to protect ourself from the sufferings of death and what lies beyond. Moreover, when someone close to us is dying, such as a parent or friend, we shall be powerless to help them because we shall not know how; and we shall experience sadness and frustration at our inability to be of genuine help. Preparing for death is one of the kindest and wisest things we can do both for ourself and others.

We are Travelers

The fact of the matter is that this world is not our home. We are travelers, passing through. We came from our previous life, and in a few years, or a few days, we shall move on to our next life. We entered this world empty-handed and alone, and we shall leave empty-handed and alone. Everything we have accumulated in this life, including our very body, will be left behind. All that we can take with us from one life to the next are the imprints of the positive and negative actions we have created. If we ignore death we shall waste our life working for things that we shall only have to leave behind, creating many negative actions in the process, and having to travel on to our next life with nothing but a heavy burden of negative karma.

Cultivating Positive Minds

On the other hand, if we base our life on a realistic awareness of our mortality, we shall regard our spiritual development as far more important than the attainments of this world, and we shall view our time in this world principally as an opportunity to cultivate positive minds such as patience, love, compassion, and wisdom. Motivated by these virtuous minds we shall perform many positive actions, thereby creating the cause for future happiness. When the time of our death comes we shall be able to pass away without fear or regret, our mind empowered by the virtuous karma we have created.

Using Our Life Meaningfully

The Kadampa Teachers say that there is no use in being afraid when we are on our deathbed and about to die; the time to fear death is while we are young. Most people do the reverse. While they are young they think, “I shall not die,” and they live recklessly without concern for death; but when death comes they are terrified. If we develop fear of death right now we shall use our life meaningfully by engaging in virtuous actions and avoiding non-virtuous actions, thus creating the cause to take a fortunate rebirth. When death actually comes we shall feel like a child returning to the home of its parents, and pass away joyfully, without fear. We shall become like Longdöl Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist Master who lived to a great old age. When the time of his death came he was overjoyed. People asked him why he was so happy and he replied, `If I die this morning I shall be born again this evening in a Pure Land. My future life will be far superior to this one.’ Longdöl Lama had prepared carefully for his death and chosen the specific place of his rebirth. If we use our life to engage purely in spiritual practice we can do the same.

For more information on the subject of death and dying, see Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully .

Attachment is an extremely common delusion – to a greater or lesser extent our minds are influenced by it almost all the time. All delusions function to destroy our peace of mind. It is easy to see how anger or jealousy disturb the mind, but how does attachment disturb us? To become aware of the disturbing characteristics of attachment, we need to watch our mind more closely and honestly than we are accustomed to doing. We might be sitting peacefully reading the newspaper, when someone we are very attached to walks into the room. Immediately our mind becomes agitated. We begin to fidget and want to start a conversation, even though we have nothing to say. Our stomach feels knotted. Our previous peace of mind is lost. We are anxious or fearful that they might be not be happy to see us. All this is a sign that attachment has entered into our mind.

How to Recognize Attachment

Attachment is an extremely common delusion – to a greater or lesser extent our minds are influenced by it almost all the time. If we pause from reading for a moment and watch our mind, it will not be long before a thought of attachment pops up. It may be about a person, or about food, cigarettes, something we have seen during the day, or our plans for the weekend. If we observe our mind closely we will notice that as soon as attachment arises, our mind tenses and our previous tranquility and spaciousness of mind are replaced by a subtle anxiety-a fear of not fulfilling our desires or of being separated from whatever it is we are attached to.

When we recognize this, we can replace the fear and anxiety associated with attachment with a healthy fear of what will happen if we make no steps to overcome our attachment. This will motivate us to apply the opponent to attachment rather than constantly give into it.

Delusions such as attachment are our real enemy. It is our own delusions that have created all the pain and problems we have ever experienced in the past or will experience in the future. Were it not for our delusions, we would already be enjoying the unending peace and bliss of nirvana. If we are patient with outer enemies in time we may win them round to our side, but we cannot afford to tolerate the inner enemy of delusion. Unless we take steps to oppose the delusions in our own mind, they will continue to create problems for us, life after life. Delusions are self-perpetuating and will never end of their own accord.

Whenever we allow ourself to indulge in a delusion we merely strengthen this destructive thought pattern, and when we allow it to influence our behavior all we will probably succeed in doing is to provoke a deluded response in other people. Getting angry will never solve our problems, nor cure us of our anger, and indulging our desirous attachment will not get it out of our system but simply add more fuel to the fire.

Opposing Our Delusions

The only way to free our mind of delusions is to make a conscious, concerted effort to apply their opponents. Each delusion has a specific opponent. The opponent to anger, for example, is patience, to hatred the opponent is love, and to jealousy it is rejoicing in others´ good fortune. The more we familiarize our mind with these opponents, the weaker our delusions will become. To eliminate delusions completely, however, we need to attack them from their very root, self-grasping ignorance, by developing a direct realization of emptiness, or ultimate truth.

To learn more about the delusions and how to overcome them, see Transform Your Life or Understanding the Mind.

Meditation to Overcome Fear

We can try this following simple visualization to let go of fear and anxiety. Sitting in a comfortable position for meditation, with a straight back, we close our eyes and breathe naturally through our nose. Then we spend a little time identifying what it is we are currently afraid of. We identify our deluded, unhealthy fears, such as the fear of dying, the fear of loss, the fear of failure, and so forth. Using our wisdom, we understand that all these fears, and all dangers, arise because of our deluded minds and negative actions. We then visualize these fears together with their actual causes (negative minds and actions) in the form of dense thick smoke, and we breathe it out. This smoke leaves our nostrils and disappears to the furthest reaches of space, where it completely disappears, never to return. As we inhale, we imagine we are breathing in all the pure, inspiring energy and fearlessness of all holy beings in the form of blissful white light, which fills our body and mind. After meditating like this for a while, we feel that our body and mind are now completely pure and that we have received the blessings and protection of all holy beings. Our body feels light and supple, and our mind is clear, peaceful, and fearless.

A Contemplation for Transforming Fear

When we are frightened, we should ask ourselves what we are actually frightened of. Are we frightened of getting sick? But at present we have no choice in that, and so that fear is not constructive. It is wiser to be afraid of contaminated rebirth and the four rivers of birth, aging, sickness, and death, all caused by our delusions. This fear is constructive, it is called “renunciation”, the wish definitely to escape from samsara’s sufferings, the motivation that will enable us to escape from samsara and all sickness.

The following passage is from Introduction to Buddhism:

To give fearlessness is to protect other living beings from fear or danger. For example, if we rescue someone from a fire or from some other natural disaster, if we protect others from physical violence, or if we save animals and insects who have fallen into water or who are trapped, we are practicing giving fearlessness. If we are not able to rescue those in danger, we can still give fearlessness by making prayers and offerings so that they may be released from danger. We can also practice giving fearlessness by praying for others to become free from their delusions, especially the delusion of self-grasping, which is the ultimate source of all fear.

Introduction to Buddhism is available from Tharpa Publications.

Hence Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar returned back to the original home Buddhism along with millions of aboriginal inhabitants of Jambudvipa and the process continues to lead a fearless but a happy and peaceful life.

Adivasis Dance Today: The First Ever FIR Filed Against Durga Puja http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/09/29/adivasis-dance-today-the-first-fir-filed-against-durga-puja/

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Durga pooja and Dussehra may be a day of celebration of Brahmanic Hindus of India. But not for the Adivasis. It is also the day when their ancestors/gods are killed and their killing is being celebrated. But not anymore. A case has been slapped upon people who celebrate Mahishasura vadh. For the first time in the history of India, the Adivasis have asserted culturally against the celebration of Mahishasura vadh.

In Pakhanjor of Kanker district the Adivasi Moolnivasis first warned the authorities not to permit the non-Adivasis to celebrate Durga pooja and defame their devta Mahishasur. It is assumed that the district administration had warned the pooja committee members too. When this could not prevent members of Adivasi-Moolnivasi organisation went ahead to register an FIR against the insult on Mahishasura. Lokesh Sori the Kanker district Vice-President of SC/ST Morcha is the applicant and a case has been registered under sections 153(a), 295(a) and 298 of IPC. District Collector M.L. Kotwani has confirmed the registration of FIR against members of organising committee of Durga pooja festival celebration in Pakhanjor. He has informed that those accused are now absconding and they are being traced through their mobile numbers at present. Shobaraj Agrawal, Sub-Divisional Officer-Police (SDO-P) of Pakhanjor police station has also confirmed the case and said the lookout for the culprits is on.

People from Adivasi communities over the past one year had come together during different time, means and phases and exchanged their learning and understanding of true history on which they decided to take concrete action this year. It was with this assertion they marshalled their courage and with the blessing of brave ancestors they took a bold step this round.

The first news came from Raigarh when Adivasi communities in nearly 10 panchayats resolved not to celebrate Durga pooja and burning of effigy of Ravana this year. The Sarpanchs from these 10 panchayats came together and submitted a memorandum to the Police Station in charge in Raigarh. These include presidents from Khamhar, Gorpar, Khadgoan, Pandrapani, Puchiyapani, Nagoi and two other panchayats. The Block panchayat member had also signed the memorandum.

In Mohla-Manpur of Rajnandgoan district under the banner of Sarva Adivasi Moolnivasi Samaj a memorandum was addressed to the Governor of Chhattisgarh through the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM). The memorandum signed by nearly 20 persons including the former MLA of Daundi-Lohara Janaklal Thakur notes –

‘We the Adivasi Moolnivasi people neither follow the rites and rituals of Hindu religion nor involve in any of them. We have our unique tradition and culture. According to this Ravana and Mahishasura are our ancestors and therefore we worship them. However, Hindu religious scriptures have described them as Rakshasa (demon) and for ages these ancestors have been insulted. Therefore keeping in mind the sentiments of Adivasi Moolnivasi people we request you to ban the effigy burning of Ravana and scorning of Mahishasura in Scheduled Area with immediate effect. This is essential to ensure our rights upheld in the Constitution.’

In Sukma the Sarpanch’s have come to form a Union of Sarpanchs. The president of the union Manju Kawasi submitted on behalf of all the Sarpanchs of Sukma district. The Sarpanchs have had detailed discussion on the matter before placing it in the memorandum format. The memorandum reads like –

‘We are the indigenous and Adivasi people of India. Our faith is based on nature worship and ancestor worship and we still continue this tradition. Since India is a secular nation and accordingly people of all religion, culture and traditions live here and are respected. But Adivasis are not Hindus. This has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of the country. Since Adivasis are not Hindus, it is an insult of the community’s ancestors Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Mahishasura being burnt and killed. Such insult of religion and faith of any community is strictly prohibited by the Constitution of India.

In accordance with Article 244 under Part-X of India’s Constitution, Adivasis have been guaranteed special rights in Fifth Scheduled. In Scheduled Areas Adivasis worship Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Mahishasura whom others refer as rakshasas (demon). Hindus burn and kill our ancestors is not only an infliction of wound on community cultural but it is an act of treason. In Fifth Scheduled Area it is would lead to action under provisions of SC/ST (PoA) Act and Section 124A of IPC. Even there are provisions to terminate officials who support such crime. Therefore we request you that in the cultural heartland of Adivasis do not let our ancestors be burnt. Do not to give permission for any such activity.’

It is a major victory considering the facts that the Adivasis can’t even worship their own God openly. In Rokda village of Janjgir-Champa there is a Mahisashura (Bhaisasur) shrine worshipped by Adivasis and Dalits. There are many similar instances which many times the community out of fear do not garner the courage to express openly. They fear that they would be immediately identified as followers of Asura parampara (tradition) and sanskruti (culture), which could follow with repercussion on community from dominant sections. The fear that state institutions would view them as rakshasas (demons or criminals in modern terms), look them down, target and corner them had kept them off the mainstream means of expressing their history and culture.

Who Are The Asuras?

Anand Neelakantan boldly authored the book Asura where he takes the reader on a rollercoaster of different world from the perspective of Asuras, especially that of Ravana and Bhadra. He therefore reversed the reading pattern of Ramayana from that one had known till date. Almost two years ago there was a documentary Ravanayana I heard of, where the director of the film intended to retell the story of Ramayana from the point of view of Ravana, the king of Lanka. India is a land of mythologies which do not hold any scientific base. I could not see the documentary till date. However, the story of Mahishasura vadh and Ravana vadh are part of Hindu mythologies which have blinded the masses of India without any scientific evidences.

Mahishasura is termed as the buffalo-demon and every year across India Durga pooja is pompously celebrated with a lot of fervour recollecting his killing. Ravana the ten-headed demon was assumedly killed on the third day of Mahishasura vadh and the festival of Dussehra is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravana. Whatever the mythologies and their contexts be, there has always been a counter story to the same. Many indigenous communities – particularly Adivasis and Dalits and in some cases a few other backward communities – in different parts of India consider Mahishasura and Ravana as their ancestral Gods. There are many folktales, music, songs, paintings, musical dramas, etc. that are popular in many parts of India.

As an anthropologist, I have been studying culture of various First Nation (indigenous) communities for nearly two decades. Such stories are commonly placed as a contest between good and evil. There are two key questions in it. One is who decides what is good and what is evil. Second is, for the Aryans all Dravidian indigenous leaders and even masses were potential centres of evil. Many of the indigenous and Dravidian social groups have rejected this notion of good and evil and have their own stories around the same issue.

As a social scientist I very well understand the importance of such community beliefs in the life and system of indigenous groups and am aware of various nuances of it. It also goes against the mainstream belief and thought that has percolated and permeated amidst the Indian society. It is in contrast with the Hindu mythological tales where both Mahishasura and Ravana are depicted as Rakshasa (demon), while in indigenous stories they are Rakshaks (saviours or fighters). One need not agree to the indigenous faith and belief system; however they do not hold the right to condemn or reject such myths either. Many communities regularly worship both Mahishasura and Ravana and there are hundreds of temples dedicated to both these gods in India and in many parts of the world. It is ironic that some people call for uniform code of religion and belief. It is in this context this debate becomes all the more critical.

Grounds for the New Countercultural Movement in Chhattisgarh

Adivasis from different parts of Chhattisgarh have warned the government not to allow people to burn the effigy of Ravana as it hurts their religious sentiments. It is for the first time that in Chhattisgarh the Adivasis have taken this bold step against the wind that has been blowing till now. Beyond the academic rhetoric, the community had gone ahead to take concrete action. It began in October 2014 when Vivek Kumar a social activist from Manpur of Rajnandgoan district of Chhattisgarh forwarded a comment against the Mahishasura vadh by Durga in a WhatsApp group. It was also the context when the office of Forward Press was ransacked and raided. With BJP coming to power in the centre the right wing Sangh Parivar took it out with all their strength and the dominant caste sections filed an FIR against him. He was accused of insulting Hindu sentiments along with creating a divide between Savarnas and other ‘lower’ castes. When he was not arrested the Hindu organisations took out several rallies and called for Manpur bandh on several occasions. Several houses of Adivasis, Dalits and OBCs were ransacked. These protests came out with slogans such as Mahishasur Ke Aulado Ko; Juta Maro Salo Ko (Children of Mahishasura; Beat those rascals with shoes). Finally he was arrested and remained in jail for several months before he was released. In the meantime thousand of Adivasis, Dalits and OBCs came in his support.

In October 2016 when Vijay Khandekar was arrested in Mungeli for assumedly defaming goddess Durga on his Facebook timeline, it erupted into a debate on the same issue among the Dalit sections in the state. In fact Khandekar only copied and pasted a message that has been already trolling for some time over WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media. This incident created a riot like situation between the dominant castes and Satnamis in Mungeli. After being in jail for four months, he got conditional bail from the High Court of Chhattisgarh in which he was restricted from entering Mungeli district. He was placed as a person with ‘criminally dangerous’ intention.

It is during the same time the National President of Adivasi Mahasabha and CPI leader Manish Kunjam of Sukma issued a public statement, ‘I am the son of Mahisashura and Ravana. They are my ancestors and as per Adivasi culture our ancestors are our Gods. Stop killing our devta every year.’ This was a bold statement from the tall Adivasi leader. Apart from hurling abuses on social media, Kunjan was physically attacked by Hindu organisations in Jagdalpur while he was conducting a press conference in CPI district office.

What was more significant in this entire episode is that it gave birth to a series of discussion and debate across the state among the Adivasis and Dalits on community culture, history and ethics. Pitambar Nirala of Dalit Mukti Morcha says, ‘neither Hindu devas are good nor Asuras are bad. Ravana was the king of the unknown multitudes – an able and good ruler, a kind human to his subjects, a scholar par excellence without any parallel, physically strong person with the strength of 10 men, a maestro in Veena music and so on. That is why Lanka prospered under his rule. There was no poverty or famine during his age.’

In many of those villages where people were conscious, particularly Dalits and Adivasis community members, they resolved not to celebrate Durga pooja and Dussehra anymore. Parallel to this at another level, Community Organisations and Social Organisations got engaged in severe discussion on questions such as Who is Mahisashura? Who is Ravana? Why are they killed every year? Youths in particular began to raise these questions with community elders, leaders, bards, researchers and other persons with knowledge on community aspects. These young men and women from the community went on to read more about their own history as retold from a non-Brahminical perspective. Group reading and sharing of what they learnt from these different sources went around.

They searched and researched who were these two characters Mahisashura and Ravana where they figured out Asura was one of their own oldest clans that fought brave battles against the Aryan invaders. They found the theoretical postulation that whosoever fought against the Arayan invasion were in fact the community’s freedom fighters who turned out to be a star in the sky. As per these beliefs these ancestors have becomes their Duma or devta or God in modern English parlances. It is these Dumas who have been regularly placed as devils, demons and centre of all evil. They in fact were good people, who fought the battery of external invasions of Aryans and others. That is the key reason why they have been revered and worshiped even today in many parts of India – from North to South.

Digree Prasad Chauhan a leader of Dalit Mukti Morcha says, ‘cultural imperialism of Hindutva has been blinded our people. Hence we need to break such shackles of slavery that killed our ancestors where the killers are worshiped. All those who were killed may it be Eklavya, Mahishasura, Ravana, Shambhug, Bali, Holika are our debtas and such moves needs to have a complete stop for all times. Moolnivasis have to be affirmative about what their true history is.’

Priyanka Sandilya an Adivasi scholar notes that, ‘how long we Adivasis should carry the label as Hindu slaves? How long are our Asura tribes to hide in fear of Durga’s anger during the period of navaratri? It is time to affirm that we are not the descendents of Aryan invaders or of their religion. We are who we are and what we are. We are the First Nations and no Hindu god belongs to us. Rather all those who are depicted as Rakshasas are our true god as they were our freedom fighters, our saviours. They posed severe threat to the external invaders and therefore were branded as Rakshasas.’

For the past few years, many students and youths at the university level have been observing the season of Durga pooja as Mahishasura Martyrdom Day (and week). Since then a nationwide debate emerged across the country, including the Indian parliament on evidentiary facts of such festivities where killings are glorified and certain particularly social groups are vilified thoroughly. However this counterculture movement at the village and community level is a new development that has given rise to the current action. This initiative from Chhattisgarh is an attempt to revive the indigenous culture and rescue the gods from the chains of Brahminical systems.

Stories of Mahishasura Martyrdom

Durga pooja was first celebrated in Dinajpur Rajbari in present-day Bangladesh in the 14th century. Since then, the celebration has transformed from a “landlord’s festival” to a community one. However, despite this seeming homogenisation, all these poojas and celebrations are dominated by the upper caste Brahmins and Kayasthas, where Dalits and other lower caste masses are disallowed mostly.

Quoting from a report of Hindustan Times Ranchi edition published on October 2, 2014, Malati Asur says, ‘Devas are power-hungry people. Whenever anyone has challenged them, they branded them as devils. Our ancestors always challenged them so they were branded as demonic figures.’

The slaying of Asuras by the devas might be an ‘ancient truth’ that the ‘Savarnas’ have conveniently made us forget our true history. ‘During Durga Pooja, the Asur tribe in Jharkhand, lock themselves up in their houses during the day and come out in the night to mourn the death of their king, Mahishasura. They fear that if they come out during the day, the devas would slay them,’ says the report in Hindustan Times. This provides a basis to the myth of the Asur community.

In Bengal Asuras observe a state of mourning during the period of navaratri. Similarly the Ravana worshippers in Haryana also observe mourning during the same period. It is period of sorrow and sadness when the world is celebrating the assassination of their god. In Bundhelkhand (Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh) Dalits worship Mahisashura to rescue them from calamity like drought, bad crops, epidemics, etc. Similar belief systems exist in parts of Haryana, Telengana, Jharkhand, Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

Conclusion

The Adivasis, Dalits, OBCs and other indigenous people have filed cases in different places. It is more important since it is the community that has come forward to take this bold step to file their protest and resistance against the maligning and vilifying their faith under the ambit of celebration of a Hindu festival. The community consciousness speaks loud. It is all the more relevant as the efforts are aimed to re-read history from the prism of the First Nations who have been hitherto kept as secondary subaltern citizens of an independent nation. Thus a reversal of history reading is not just the compulsion of indigenous philosophy rather it is an essential pre-requisite to understand the inhuman history and culture that has been until now glorified by Indian society in the name of culture.

History has always been narrated from the winner’s point of view and regretfully losers are always posed as the villain. However, the filtered version of these epics provides ample scope to read the unwritten history of the First Nations, particularly with the rich pedestal of geo-centric culture and tradition. This is where researchers, scholars, intellectuals and writers from community go beyond the shadows under which one is instructed to walk and learn to unearth the true history. Such epical scriptures passed down from generation to generation prove it is not all black and white as have been told us time and again to believe. Every character is a shade of grey and even those painted the worst have more beauty than the ones painted as the best. Let there be a reversal of history from the chains of Brahminism to a more human indigenous First Nation one!

The author is an activist and social scientist living in Chhattisgarh. He has been the founder of Dalit Mukti Morcha and many other similar movements. Currently he is the Convener of Chhattisgarh Nagrik Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti (CNSSS) as well as the Chief Editor of Journal of People’s Studies. He has been a student of Cultural Anthropology and holds a PhD from Tata Institute of Social Science.

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