The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, warned that the successor chosen by China could not be trusted Credit: BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images
The Dalai Lama has warned of a possible “double reincarnation” with one from a “free country” after Beijing reiterated that his next incarnation must comply with Chinese law.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader on Monday warned that a successor chosen by Beijing after his eventual death could not be trusted.
He said it is possible that his reincarnation could be found in India, where he has lived in exile for 60 years upon fleeing Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
“In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in a free country, one chosen by Chinese, then nobody will trust, nobody will respect [the one chosen by China].
“So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese! It’s possible, it can happen,” he told Reuters in an interview.
The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in northern India since the failed uprising, along with other Tibetans Credit: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images
China stated in response that its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor. The selection process “must comply with Chinese laws and regulations,” according to Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the foreign ministry.
Chinese state media highlighted those laws, titled “New Regulations on Religious Affairs and the Rules on the Management of the Reincarnation of Tibetan Living Buddhas.”
Many Tibetans, who believe that the soul of a senior Buddhist monk is reincarnated into the physical body of a child upon his death, worry a successor chosen by Beijing will be under the thumb of the ruling Communist Party.
The current Dalai Lama was identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was two years old.
Now at 83, it’s getting harder for him to travel the world to boost awareness, and his influence is waning just as China’s is growing on the world stage.
The Dalai Lama is now 83 Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Beijing has recently cracked down heavily on religion under president Xi Jinping after the government vowed to “Sinicise” faith. The wave of repression has affected Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists.
“China considers Dalai Lama’s reincarnation as something very important,” the Dalai Lama said in an interview with Reuters. “They have more concern about the next Dalai Lama than me.”
Beijing has previously co-opted the spiritual reincarnation process with a goal of bringing Tibetan Buddhism within party lines.
In 1995, the Dalai Lama named a young Tibetan boy as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama – the second highest in spiritual authority after himself. But the child was then put under what Chinese officials described as protective custody.
Beijing put forth another successor and the Dalai Lama’s choice – then only six years old – disappeared from public.
‘Chinese interference is routine’
The Chinese government has sought to discredit the Dalai Lama. In February, Wu Yingjie, leader of a parliamentary delegation from Tibet, said that Tibetans didn’t love the Dalai Lama at all.
“Since Dalai Lama defected from Tibet, he has never done a single thing that was for the benefit for the Tibetan people,” Mr. Wu said. Instead, “they are grateful for what the Party brings to them.”
Last May, Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan businessman, was given a five-year prison sentence by China for promoting the Tibetan language, based on comments made in interviews with the New York Times.
The Tibet Autonomous Region, in China’s far west, is considered a homeland to many Tibetans and remains on lockdown. Travel in and out of the region is difficult, even for Tibetans.
Foreign journalists cannot visit without government permission, and those requests are frequently denied. Chinese officials have said they are concerned this is out of concern that foreigners may find it difficult to acclimate to the high altitudes on the Tibetan plateau.
THE SUPREME RULER OF TIBET IS TRAPPED IN EXILE SINCE 1959
The Dalai Lama’s Recollection: Prime Minister Nehru predicted that the Americans will not fight the Chinese Communists. As there was no other choice, India and Tibet agreed for the US covert assistance in the expectation that Americans will step up to fight the Communists sooner or later.
“[First Indian Prime Minister] Pandit Nehru told me, ‘America will not fight the Chinese communists in order to liberate Tibet, so sooner or later you have to talk with the Chinese government,’” the Dalai Lama recalls.
On Saturday, March 09, 2019 I want to remind my readers that the Supreme Ruler of Tibet is trapped to live in exile since 1959. In my analysis, both India and Tibet made a serious miscalculation. They hoped that the Americans will fight the Chinese Communists sooner or later. My concern is not about the Face of Tibetan Buddhism. I am talking about the Face of Tibetan Ruler.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
The Dalai Lama on Donald Trump, China and His Search for Joy | Time
Morning has broken on the cedar-strewn foothills of the Himalayas. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama sits in meditation in his private chapel in Dharamsala, a ramshackle town perched on the upper reaches of North India’s Kangra Valley. Rousing slowly, he unfolds his legs with remarkable agility for a man of 83, finds the red felt slippers placed neatly beneath his seat and heads outside to where a crowd has already gathered.
Around 300 people brave the February chill to offer white khata scarves and receive the Dalai Lama’s blessing. There’s a group from Bhutan in traditional checkered dress. A man from Thailand has brought his Liverpool F.C. scarf, seeking divine benediction for the U.K. soccer team’s title bid. Two women lose all control as they approach the Dalai Lama’s throne and are carried away shaking in rapture, clutching prayer beads and muttering incantations.
The Dalai Lama engages each visitor like a big kid: slapping bald pates, grabbing onto one devotee’s single braid, waggling another’s nose. Every conversation is peppered with giggles and guffaws. “We 7 billion human beings — emotionally, mentally, physically — are the same,” he tells TIME in a 90-minute interview. “Everyone wants a joyful life.”
Ruven Afanador for TIME
His own has reached a critical point. The Dalai Lama is considered a living Buddha of compassion, a reincarnation of the bodhisattva Chenrezig, who renounced Nirvana in order to help mankind. The title originally only signified the preeminent Buddhist monk in Tibet, a remote land about twice the size of Texas that sits veiled behind the Himalayas. But starting in the 17th century, the Dalai Lama also wielded full political authority over the secretive kingdom. That changed with Mao Zedong’s conquest of Tibet, which brought the rule of the current Dalai Lama to an end. On March 17, 1959, he was forced to escape to India.
In the six decades since, the leader of the world’s most secluded people has become the most recognizable face of a religion practiced by nearly 500 million people worldwide. But his prominence extends beyond the borders of his own faith, with many practices endorsed by Buddhists, like mindfulness and meditation, permeating the lives of millions more around the world. What’s more, the lowly farmer’s son named as a “God-King” in his childhood has been embraced by the West since his exile. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and was heralded in Martin Scorcese’s 1997 biopic. The cause of Tibetan self-rule remains alive in Western minds thanks to admirers ranging from Richard Gere to the Beastie Boys to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who calls him a “messenger of hope for millions of people around the world.”
Yet as old age makes travel more difficult, and as China’s political clout has grown, the Dalai Lama’s influence has waned. Today the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that drove him out of Tibet is working to co-opt Buddhist principles — as well as the succession process itself. Officially atheist, the party has proved as adaptive to religion as it is to capitalism, claiming a home for faith in the nationalism Beijing has activated under Xi Jinping. In January, the CCP announced it would “Sinicize” Buddhism over the next five years, completing a multimillion-dollar rebranding of the faith as an ancient Chinese religion.
The Dalai Lama delivers a lecture from his throne on Feb. 18 to mark Losar, the Tibetan new year.
Ruven Afanador for TIME
From Pakistan to Myanmar, Chinese money has rejuvenated ancient Buddhist sites and promoted Buddhist studies. Beijing has spent $3 billion transforming the Nepalese town of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, into a luxury pilgrimage site, boasting an airport, hotels, convention center, temples, and a university. China has hosted the World Buddhist Forums since 2006, inviting monks from all over the world.
Although not, of course, the world’s most famous. Beijing still sees the Dalai Lama as a dangerous threat and swiftly rebukes any nation that entertains him. That appears to be working too. Once the toast of capitals around the world, the Dalai Lama has not met a world leader since 2016. Even India, which has granted asylum to him as well as to about 100,000 other Tibetans, is not sending senior representatives to the diaspora’s commemoration of his 60th year in exile, citing a “very sensitive time” for bilateral relations with Beijing. Every U.S. President since George H.W. Bush has made a point of meeting the Dalai Lama until Donald Trump, who is in negotiations with China over reforming its state-controlled economy.
Still, the Dalai Lama holds out hope for a return to his birthplace. Despite his renown and celebrity friends, he remains a man aching for home and a leader removed from his people. Having retired from “political responsibility” within the exiled community in 2011, he merely wants “the opportunity to visit some holy places in China for pilgrimage,” he tells TIME. “I sincerely just want to serve Chinese Buddhists.”
Despite that, the CCP still regards the Dalai Lama as a “wolf in monk’s robes” and a dangerous “splittist,” as Chinese officials call him. He has rejected calls for Tibetan independence since 1974 — acknowledging the geopolitical reality that any settlement must keep Tibet within the People’s Republic of China. He instead advocates for greater autonomy and religious and cultural freedom for his people. It matters little.
“It’s hard to believe a return would happen at this point,” says Gray Tuttle, a professor of modern Tibetan studies at Columbia. “China holds all the cards.”
The boy born Lhamo Thondup was identified as the 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama at just 2 years old, when a retinue of top lamas, or senior Buddhist Tibetan monks, followed a series of oracles and prophecies to his village in northeastern Tibet. The precocious toddler seemed to recognize objects belonging to the 13th Dalai Lama, prompting the lamas to proclaim him the celestial heir. At age 4, he was carried on a golden palanquin into the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, and ensconced in its resplendent Potala Palace. A daily routine of spiritual teaching by top religious scholars followed.
“Sometimes my tutor kept a whip to threaten me,” the Dalai Lama recalls, smiling. “The whip was yellow in color, as it was for a holy person, the Dalai Lama. But I knew that if the whip was used, it made no difference — holy pain!”
It was a lonely childhood. The Dalai Lama rarely saw his parents and had no contact with peers of his own age, save his elder brother Lobsang Samden, who served as head of household. Despite his tutors’ focus on spiritual matters, or perhaps because of it, he was fascinated by science and technology. He would gaze from the Potala’s roof at Lhasa street life through a telescope. He took apart and reassembled a projector and camera to see how they functioned. “He continually astonished me by his powers of comprehension, his pertinacity and his industry,” wrote the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, who became the Dalai Lama’s tutor and was one of six Europeans permitted to live in Lhasa at the time. Today the Dalai Lama proudly describes himself as “half Buddhist monk, half scientist.”
The Dalai Lama was only supposed to assume a political role on his 18th birthday, with a regent ruling until then. But the arrival of Mao’s troops to reclaim dominion over Tibet in 1950 caused the Tibetan government to give him full authority at just 15. With no political experience or knowledge of the outside world, he was thrust into negotiations with an invading army while trying to calm his fervent but poorly armed subjects.
Conditions worsened over the next nine years of occupation. Chinese proclamations calling Lord Buddha a “reactionary” enraged a pious populace of 2.7 million. By March 1959, rumors spread that the Dalai Lama would be abducted or assassinated, fomenting a doomed popular uprising that looked likely to spill into serious bloodshed. “Just in front of the Potala [Palace], on the other side of the river, there was a Chinese artillery division,” the Dalai Lama recalls. “Previously all the guns were covered, but around the 15th or 16th, all the covers were removed. So then we knew it was very serious. On the 17th morning, I decided to escape.”
The two-week journey to India was fraught, as Chinese troops hunted the party across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain. The Dalai Lama reached India incognito atop a dzo, a cross between a yak and a cow. Every building in which he slept en route was immediately consecrated as a chapel, but the land he left behind was ravaged by Mao’s disastrous Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Hundreds of thousands died. By some reckonings, 99.9% of the country’s 6,400 monasteries were destroyed.
Tibet’s desire to remain isolated and undisturbed had served it poorly. The kingdom had no useful allies, the government of Lhasa having declined to establish official diplomatic relations with any other nation or join international organizations. The Dalai Lama’s supplications were thus easy to ignore. Tibet had remained staunchly neutral during World War II, and the U.S. was already mired in a fresh conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
“[First Indian Prime Minister] Pandit Nehru told me, ‘America will not fight the Chinese communists in order to liberate Tibet, so sooner or later you have to talk with the Chinese government,’” the Dalai Lama recalls.
Around 300 devotees line up early at Tsuglagkhang temple to offer the Dalai Lama traditional khata scarves and to receive his blessing.
Ruven Afanador for TIME
When Tibetans first followed the Dalai Lama into India, they lived with bags packed and did not build proper houses, believing a glorious return would come at a moment’s notice. It never did.
Four decades of conversations between China and exiled Tibetan leadership have led nowhere. Consolatory talks began in the 1970s between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and reformist Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and continued under Deng’s successor, Jiang Zemin. The talks stipulated that Tibetan independence was off the table, but even so, the drawn-out process was suspended in 1994 and after briefly resuming in the 2000s is again at a standstill.
Meanwhile, Tibet remains firmly under the thumb of Beijing. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has lamented that conditions are “fast deteriorating” in the region. In May, Tibetan businessman Tashi Wangchuk was jailed for five years merely for promoting the Tibetan language. In December, the government issued a directive to stop the Tibetan language and culture from being taught in monasteries. Once known as the “abode of the gods,” Lhasa has become a warren of neon and concrete like any other Chinese city. Although the U.S. officially recognizes Tibet as part of China, Vice President Mike Pence said in July that the Tibetan people “have been brutally repressed by the Chinese government.”
Many allege their cultural and religious freedom is under attack by the Beijing government. Some in Tibet resort to extreme measures to protest their treatment. Since 2009, more than 150 Tibetans — monks, nuns, and ordinary civilians — have set themselves ablaze in protest. Often self-immolators exalt the Dalai Lama with their final breaths. Despite his message of nonviolence, the Dalai Lama has been criticized for refusing to condemn the practice. “It’s a very difficult situation,” he says. “If I criticize [self-immolators], then their family members may feel very sad.” He adds, however, that their sacrifice has “no effect and creates more problems.”
Beijing vehemently refutes accusations of human-rights violations in Tibet, insisting that it fully respects the religious and cultural rights of the Tibetan people, and highlights how development has raised living standards in the previously isolated and impoverished land. China has spent more than $450 million renovating Tibet’s major monasteries and religious sites since the 1980s, according to official figures, with $290 million more budgeted through 2023. The world’s No. 2 economy has also greenlighted massive infrastructure projects worth $97 billion, with new airports and highways carving through the world’s highest mountains, nominally to boost the prosperity of the 6 million ethnic Tibetans.
This level of investment presents a dilemma for Tibetans stranded in exile. The majority live in India, under a special “guest” arrangement by which they can work and receive an education but, crucially, not buy property. Many toil as roadside laborers or make trinkets to sell to tourists. And so large numbers of young Tibetans are making the choice to return, lured to a homeland they have never known. “If you want a safe and secure future for your children, then either you go back to Tibet or some other country where you can get citizenship,” says Dorji Kyi, director of the Lha NGO in Dharamsala, which supports Tibetan exiles.
At 83, the Buddhist leader reflects on a life spent away from his native Tibet.
Ruven Afanador for TIME
Many of the returnees are armed with better education and world experience than their peers who grew up in Tibet. “Some of them do well,” says Thupten Dorjee, president of Tibetan Children’s Village, a network of five orphanages and eight schools that have cared for 52,000 young Tibetans in India. “But if they get involved in political things then they land into trouble.”
Tibet still has a government-in-exile, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala, but it is dogged by infighting and scandal. Exiles are instead forging their own path. Last September, the Dalai Lama himself was filmed at his temple telling young Tibetans that it was better to live under Beijing’s rule than stay as “beggars” in exile. Speaking to TIME, he said it was “no problem” if exiled Tibetans chose to return to China.
Even those who have achieved prosperity elsewhere are opting to return. Songtsen Gyalzur, 45, sold his real estate business in Switzerland, where his Tibet-born parents immigrated after first fleeing to India, to start China’s Shangri-La Highland Craft Brewery in 2014. Today his award-winning brewery has an annual capacity of 2.6 million gallons of lagers, ales, and porters. He recruits 80% of the staff from orphanages his mother set up in Tibetan areas in the 1990s. “Tibet has so many well-educated, well-trained professionals abroad who could have a real impact on people’s lives here,” he says.
Despite the “Lost Horizon” legend, the kingdom was never a spiritual and agrarian utopia. Most residents lived a Hobbesian existence. Nobles were strictly ranked in seven classes, with only the Dalai Lama belonging to the first. Few commoners had any sort of education. Modern medicine was forbidden, especially surgery, meaning even minor ailments were fatal. The sick were typically treated with a gruel of barley meal, butter and the urine of a holy monk. Life expectancy was 36 years. Criminals had limbs amputated and cauterized in boiling butter. Even the wheel wasn’t commonly employed, given the dearth of passable roads.
The Dalai Lama has admitted that Tibet was “very, very backward” and insists he would have enacted reforms. But he also emphasizes that traditional Tibetan life was more in communion with nature than the present. Tibet hosts the largest store of fresh water outside the Arctic and Antarctic, leading some environmentalists to term its frozen plateau the “third pole,” and especially vulnerable to the choking development unleashed by the Beijing government.
“Global warming does not make any sort of exception — just this continent or that continent, or this nation or that nation,” the Dalai Lama says. Asked who is responsible for fixing the crisis, he points not to Beijing but to Washington. “America, as a leading nation of the free world, should take more serious consideration about global issues.”
The Dalai Lama meditates in his private chapel inside his residence on Feb. 18.
Ruven Afanador for TIME
The Dalai Lama is a refreshingly unabashed figure in person. His frequent laughter and protuberant ears make him seem cuddly and inoffensive, and it’s difficult to overstate how tactile he is. He appears equally at home with both the physical and the spiritual, tradition and modernity. He meditated within reach of an iPad tuned to an image of a babbling brook and mountains and a few minutes later turned to Tibetan scriptures written on wide, single sheets, unbound. He retires at 6 p.m. and rises at 4 a.m. and spends the first hours of his day in meditation.
“Western civilization, including America, is very much oriented toward materialistic life,” he says. “But that culture generates too much stress, anxiety, and jealousy, all these things. So my No. 1 commitment is to try to promote awareness of our inner values.” From kindergarten onward, he says, children should be taught about “taking care of emotion.”
“Whether religious or not, as a human being we should learn more about our system of emotion so that we can tackle destructive emotion, in order to become calmer, have more inner peace.”
The Dalai Lama said his second commitment is to religious harmony. Conflicts in the Middle East tend to involve sectarian strife within Islam. “Iran is mainly Shi‘ite. Saudi Arabia, plus their money, is Sunni. So this is a problem,” he says, lamenting “too much narrow-mindedness” and urging people of all faiths to “broaden” their thinking.
Buddhism has its own extremists. The themes of Buddhism, as a nontheistic religion with no single creator deity, are more accessible to followers of other faiths and even ardent atheists, emphasizing harmony and mental cleanliness. But the Dalai Lama says he is “very sad” about the situation in Myanmar, where firebrand Buddhist monks have incited the genocide of Rohingya Muslims. “All religions have within them a tradition of human loving kindness,” he says, “but instead are causing violence, division.”
He keeps a sharp eye on global affairs and is happy to weigh in. Trump’s “America first” foreign policy and obsession with a wall on the southern U.S. border make him feel “uncomfortable,” he says, calling Mexico “a good neighbor” of the U.S. Britain’s impending exit from the European Union also warrants a rebuke, as he has “always admired” the E.U.
Six decades on, the Dalai Lama still hopes he will visit his birthplace again.
Ruven Afanador for TIME
In his ninth decade and moving with the help of assistants, the Dalai Lama continues to explore human consciousness and question long-held shibboleths. During a series of lectures in February to mark the Tibetan new year, he pontificates on everything from artificial intelligence — it can never compete with the human mind, he says — to blind deference to religious dogma. “Buddha himself told us, ‘Do not believe my teaching on faith, but rather through thorough investigation and experiment,’” he says. “So if some teaching goes against reason, we should not accept it.”
This includes the institution of the Dalai Lama itself. Even as a young boy, his scientific mind led him to question the idea that he was the 14th incarnation of a deity king. His former tutor recalled that he found it odd that the prior Dalai Lama “was so fond of horses and that they mean so little to me.” Today the Dalai Lama says the institution he embodies appears “feudal” in nature. Leaving the spiritual element aside, he says he doesn’t believe any political authority should be conferred when he dies. “On one occasion the Dalai Lama institution started,” he says. “That means there must be one occasion when the institution is no longer relevant. Stop. No problem. This is not my concern. China’s communists, I think, are showing more concern.”
Indeed they are. In a blow to the Tibetan exile community, China has set about bringing the leadership of Tibetan Buddhism into the party fold. When the Dalai Lama named a Tibetan child as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama in 1995 — the second highest position in Tibetan Buddhism after himself — China put the boy into “protective custody” and installed a more pliant figure instead. The whereabouts of the Dalai Lama’s choice remain unknown.
So when the Dalai Lama leaves this plane of existence, it’s highly likely a 15th incarnation will be chosen by the godless CCP. “It’s pretty obvious the Chinese state is preparing for it, which is absurd,” Tuttle says. Tibetan Buddhists will be forced to choose between the party’s Dalai Lama and the selection of Tibetan exiles. On this point, at least, the incumbent is very clear. Any decision on the next Dalai Lama, he says, should be “up to the Tibetan people.”
No doubt the party’s desire to name a Dalai Lama stems from the fact that there are 244 million Buddhists in China — a cohort that dwarfs the CCP membership by 3 to 1. The party craves legitimizing its power above all else and believes yoking it to the institution of the Dalai Lama will provide that. But Beijing clearly also hopes it will be a symbolic final nail in the coffin of Tibetan self-rule, completing the absorption of Tibet into the People’s Republic of China that began seven decades ago.
So in a twist of irony, it seems the incumbent God-King’s wish will eventually be granted. One day a Dalai Lama will return to China — in this body or the next, with his blessing or without.
Correction, Mar. 7
A photo caption in the original version of this story misidentified a group of people waiting to see the Dalai Lama. They are devotees, not Buddhist monks.
MARCH 08, 2019. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. TRIBUTE TO HELEN KELLER AND HER MIRACLE WORKER – FINDING PERFECT SOUL IN IMPERFECT BODY
United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace is celebrated as International Women’s Day on Friday, March 08, 2019. On this occasion, I pay my respectful tribute to Ms. Helen Keller(b. Tuscumbia, Alabama) and her instructor Anne Sullivan Macy(b. Feeding Hills, Massachusetts). Keller was blind and deaf from the age of two. On March 03, 1887, Keller was put in the care of Anne Sullivan Macy who became her teacher and lifelong companion. Macy transformed her Deaf-Blind student into a Reader, Speaker, and Writer. In 1904, Keller graduated from Radcliffe College with honors. Both of them helped to promote the newly founded(1921) American Foundation for the Blind. I pay my tribute to both of them using Keller’s words; I commend them for their service to humanity by finding “Usefulness of Whole Souls in Imperfect Bodies.”
In Indian tradition, Soul is thought of as Divine Perfection while the Physical Being is subject to various imperfections like defects, deformities, and consequences of disease and aging. God is viewed as Male as well as Female. God is often worshiped as Mother and Father Principle. In my view, the celebration of International Women’s Day is not about empowering women. It is about recognizing Woman as the source of Life, Energy, and Knowledge that makes human existence possible.
On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. As a baby, a brief illness, possibly scarlet fever, left Helen unable to see, hear or speak. She was considered a bright but spoiled and strong-willed child. Her parents eventually sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and an authority on the deaf. He suggested the Kellers contact the Perkins Institution, which in turn recommended Anne Sullivan as a teacher. Sullivan, age 20, arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family estate, in 1887 and began working to socialize her wild, stubborn student and teach her by spelling out words in Keller’s hand. Initially, the fingerspelling meant nothing to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller’s hands under water from a pump and spelled out “w-a-t-e-r” in Keller’s palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan’s assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904. Helen Keller became a public speaker and author; her first book, “The Story of My Life” was published in 1902. She was also a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality, as well as socialism. From 1920 to 1924, Sullivan and Keller even formed a vaudeville act to educate the public and earn money. Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at age 87, leaving her mark on the world by helping to alter perceptions about the disabled.
Red China’s military invasion and occupation of Tibet is illegal, and it has nothing to do with Tibetans support for the Dalai Lama. Red China has no justification for her Tyranny, Oppression, and Suppression of Tibetan Freedom.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
China denies Tibet support for Dalai Lama | Daily Mail Online
There is no widespread support for the Dalai Lama in Tibet and ordinary people are grateful to the Communist Party for “bringing them a happy life”, Chinese officials insisted Wednesday.
This week marks the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising which led to Tibet’s Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fleeing into exile in India.
Beijing — which claims it “peacefully liberated” the Himalayan area — stands accused of political and religious repression in the region.
But China insists that Tibetans enjoy extensive freedoms and argues it has brought economic growth.
“Since defecting, the Dalai Lama has not done a single good thing for the Tibetan people,” Tibet party boss Wu Yingjie said during a meeting at the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary meeting.
“Tibetan people have gratitude in their hearts. They are grateful to the Communist Party for bringing them a happy life.”
At least 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protest Beijing’s presence in Tibet, most of whom have died from their injuries.
China had reached out to the Dalai Lama in 2002 to negotiate but after nine rounds of dialogue that lasted through till 2010, many believed that Beijing was intentionally dragging on pointless talks, hoping international pressure over Tibet would end with the passing of the Dalai Lama.
At 83, the Nobel Peace Prize winner enjoys rapturous crowds around the world.
Many Tibetan Buddhists fear Beijing may seek to impose their choice of spiritual leader after the Dalai Lama’s death.
It is unclear how, or even whether, his successor will be named — the centuries-old practice requires senior monks to interview sometimes hundreds of young boys to see whether they recognize items that belonged to the Dalai Lama and pick one as a reincarnation.
But the 14th Dalai Lama announced in 2011 that he may be the last, seeking to preempt any attempt by China to name its own successor.
China’s officially atheist Communist Party has repeatedly said it has the right to control the process of reincarnation.
LIFE IN SHADOWS OF THE US, INDIA, AND TIBET RELATIONS
I profoundly regret living my life in Shadows of the US, India, and Tibet Relations. I cherish the values of Freedom and Democracy. However, it will be an utter mistake to promote these values using undercover operations. Freedom is not about living life under the dark Shadows of Secrecy. If Democracy is about Transparency and Public Accountability, no democratically elected government should make use of Covert Operations to oppose the Tyranny and Despotism of the One-Party Communist Rule.
Between 1957 and 1969 the CIA armed, financed, and helped train Tibetan guerrillas who operated first inside Tibet, and later — after the Dalai Lama’s escape to India in 1959 — from a base in Mustang, a remote corner of northwestern Nepal. This project, code-named ST Circus, was one of the CIA’s longest-running covert operations. The withdrawal of the CIA’s support in 1969 was as abrupt as its initial involvement was unexpected.
RICHARD NIXON VISITS CHINA. THE WEEK MY LIFE DOOMED.
My arrival in Doom Dooma, Tinsukia District, Assam, India during the Week of February 1972 marks an event that Doomed My Life.
I live in the United States, the Leader of the Free World, a Free Nation without any sense of hope for my future Life. I constantly experience the Misery, the Despair, the Frustration, the Disappointment, the Pain, and the Feelings of Hopelessness that describe the lives of Tibetans living in Occupied Tibet.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
Richard Nixon visits China – HISTORY
The Year 1972
Richard Nixon visits China
President Richard Nixon visits the People’s Republic of China. After arriving in Beijing, the president announced that his breakthrough visitto China is “The week that changed the world.” In meeting with Nixon, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai urged early peace in Vietnam but did not endorse North Vietnam’s political demands. North Vietnamese officials and peace negotiators took a dim view of Nixon’s trip, fearing that China and the United States would make a deal behind their backs. Nixon’s promise to reduce the U.S. military presence on Taiwan seemed to confirm North Vietnam’s fears of a Chinese-American sellout-trading U.S. military reduction in Taiwan for peace in Vietnam. Despite Hanoi’s fears, China continued to supply North Vietnam levels of aid that had increased significantly in late 1971. This aid permitted the North Vietnamese to launch a major new offensive in March 1972.
Richard Nixon makes the first U.S. presidential visit to China
President Richard M. Nixon arrives in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, on the first presidential visit to the world’s most populous nation. The U.S. federal government had formally opposed China’s communist government since it took power in 1949,
Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto
On February 21, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League.
Kissinger begins secret negotiations with North Vietnamese
National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger begins secret peace talks with North Vietnamese representative Le Duc Tho, the fifth-ranking member of the Hanoi Politburo, at a villa outside Paris.
Nixon arrives in China for talks
In an amazing turn of events, President Richard Nixon takes a dramatic first step toward normalizing relations with the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) by traveling to Beijing for a week of talks.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute as he stands next to the coffins containing the remains of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who were killed after a suicide bomber rammed a car into a bus carrying them in south Kashmir on Thursday, at Palam airport in New Delhi, India, February 15, 2019. India’s Press Information Bureau/Handout via REUTERS
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan on Friday to expect a strong response to a suicide attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen in Kashmir, ratcheting up tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
The car bomb attack on a security convoy on Thursday was the worst in decades of insurgency in the disputed region. India said it had “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistani involvement, a statement quickly rejected by Islamabad.
“We will give a befitting reply, our neighbor will not be allowed to destabilize us,” Modi said in a speech, after meeting security advisers to discuss options.
The attack comes months before national elections in India.
The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility soon after a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a bus carrying police personnel.
India has for years accused Muslim Pakistan of backing separatist militants in divided Kashmir, which the neighbors both claim in full but rule in part.
Pakistan denies that, saying it only offers political support to the Himalayan region’s suppressed Muslim people.
The White House urged Pakistan “to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil”.
Pakistan is due to host peace talks next week between the Afghan Taliban and the United States as part of efforts to seek a political settlement to the Afghan war, but escalating tensions with India could divert Pakistan’s attention.
People attend a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who were killed after a suicide bomber rammed a car into the bus carrying them in south Kashmir on Thursday, in front of India Gate war memorial in New Delhi, India, Feb. 15, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
As outrage and demands for revenge flooded Indian social media, Arun Jaitley, one of the most senior figures in the Hindu nationalist-led government, told reporters India would work to ensure the “complete isolation” of Pakistan.
The first step, he said, would include removing most favored nation (MFN) trade privileges that had been accorded to Pakistan – though annual bilateral trade between the countries is barely $2 billion.
The last major attack in Kashmir was in 2016 when Jaish militants raided an Indian army camp, killing 20 soldiers. Weeks later, Modi ordered a surgical strike on suspected militant camps across the border in Pakistan Kashmir.
When he swept to power in 2014, Modi vowed to pursue a tough line with Pakistan. The two countries have gone to war three times since independence from Britain in 1947, twice over Kashmir.
The Line of Control, the de facto border dividing Indian- and Pakistani-held Kashmir, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints, especially after the two countries became nuclear-armed states in 1998.
CALLS FOR REVENGE
Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan’s ambassador, Sohail Mahmood, and issued a demarche demanding that Islamabad take verifiable action against Jaish. India also recalled its ambassador in Pakistan for consultations, a government source said.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry also summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad to reject New Delhi’s “baseless allegations,” a Pakistani official said.
Crowds gathered in Jammu, the Hindu-dominated part of Jammu and Kashmir state, to demand stronger action against Pakistan.
A curfew was briefly imposed in Jammu after crowds overturned and set fire to some vehicles. Protesters were also marching to the Pakistani embassy in New Delhi.
The attack comes at a difficult time for Pakistan, which is struggling to attract foreign investment and avert a payments crisis, with its swiftly diminishing foreign currency reserves at less than $8 billion, equivalent to two months of import payments.
The escalating tension risks overshadowing a visit to the region by the Saudi crown prince, who is due in Islamabad over the weekend and New Delhi next week, with both governments hoping to attract Saudi investment.
On Friday, Islamabad said the two-day visit had been put back by a day until Sunday but the programme would remain unchanged. It gave no explanation for the change.
Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district Feb 14, 2019. REUTERS/Younis Khaliq
India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh flew into Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir, and joined mourners carrying the coffins of the dead policemen before they were sent to their homes across India.
Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops are deployed in Kashmir. Singh said civilian vehicles will be stopped if there is a major movement of military convoys on the main highway following Thursday’s attack.
The separatist insurgency has waxed and waned since the late 1980s, but began to pick up in the last five years as a fresh generation of Kashmiris was drawn to militancy.
Soon after Thursday’s attack, Jaish released photographs and a video of a young Kashmiri villager, Adil Ahmad Dar, who it said had carried out the suicide attack on the convoy.
In the video, Dar warned of more attacks to avenge human rights violations in Kashmir. On Friday, hundreds of people gathered at his village of Lethpora to mourn his death.
His parents told Reuters the 20-year-old took up the gun after he was beaten by troops in Kashmir three years ago.
Jaish is one of the most deadly groups operating in Kashmir.
In 2001, it mounted an attack on the parliament in New Delhi that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
Indian efforts to add Jaish leader Masood Azhar to a UN Security Council blacklist of al Qaeda-linked terrorists have been blocked by China.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed “deep shock” at the latest attack and said Beijing hoped “relevant countries in the region” could cooperate to combat the threat.
In the natural world, forces of attraction are known as Gravitation and Magnetism. If Love is viewed as a force of attraction between two objects, it may be governed by natural laws. I view love as a three-dimensional force of attraction, and its dimensions are 1. God’s Love, 2. Self-Love, 3. Love for another person other than Self and God. These dimensions flow into each other to become a full circle.
Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 and it has become a popular tradition to choose or to greet a sweetheart. But this concept of romantic interest in a person is more related to a sexual attraction and other attributes of ‘Whole Love’ such as trust, respect, and commitment may not be always present. Secondly, the tradition of Valentine’s Day is not related to the concept of God is Love and God Loves the Man.
Love is a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in deep affection, devotion or sexual desire. If love is viewed as fondness or affection it may include or based in part on sexual attraction which is related to libido( sexual urge or instinct ), and lust( a desire to gratify the senses or bodily appetite that seeks unrestrained gratification ).
Love implies feelings that are attached to relationships or objects and assumes various forms such as sexual love, brotherly love, and love of God. The attachment may be felt for inanimate things as well as people, or ideas, or expressed as an abstraction. There are many different kinds of love; different in the object, different in tendency, and different in expression. The problem of the kinds of love is further complicated by the need to differentiate and relate love and desire. The category of love known as sexual love has the tendency to desire possession of the object that is loved. The tendency of desire is acquisitive. Sexual love is a love born of desire, and the drive of desire continues until it is satisfied by possession of the loved object. Physical possession is the basis for satisfaction of sexual desire, sexual appetite, or sexual hunger, or sexual thirst. The other forms of love do not tend to possess the object loved but seek to benefit the object that is loved. Love is selfish when it acts like hunger, thirst, or appetite which need to be satisfied for the benefit of the person expressing that love. Love is altruistic when it acts for the good or the benefit of the beloved. Conjugal love may include a combination of selfishness and altruism. The ancient languages have three distinct words for the main types of love; EROS, PHILIA, and AGAPE in the Greek language; AMOR, AMICITA or DILECTIO, and CARITAS in the Latin language. However, the English language has no such distinct words and hence it becomes necessary to use such phrases as “sexual love”, “love of friendship”, and “love of charity” in order to indicate plainly that love is common to all three and to distinguish the three meanings.
The idea of love expressed in Biblical Scriptures makes no distinction between AMOR, DILECTIO, and CARITAS. For example, in The Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 37, 38, and 39 speak of the Great Commandments of The Laws of Moses: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus brings unity between the idea of self-love, love of God, and the love of one another without making a distinction between the three different kinds of love. Jesus does not specify if the man should wish and expect to be loved in return. Jesus did not attach any purpose to this act of love and did not describe the nature of desire, the attachment, and gratification of his Love Commandment.
THE ORIGIN OF LOVE:
Sigmund Freud’s theory places the origin of love in the sexual instincts, and so for him, the many varieties of love are simply the forms which love takes as the ‘LIBIDO’ fixes upon various objects. He states, “The nucleus of what we mean by love naturally consists …… in sexual love with the sexual union as its aim. We do not separate from this; on the one hand, self-love, and on the other, love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity in general, and devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas….. All these tendencies are an expression of the same instinctive activities… They differ from sexual love only because they are diverted from its aim or prevented from reaching it, though they always preserve enough of their original nature to keep their identity recognizable.” If love is a passion of the sexual instinct, temperance is an inadequate restraint. Neither reason nor law is adequate to the task of subduing the nature of the sexual instinct. Sexual instinct is a very powerful biological instinct and it profoundly influences human behavior. Hence it becomes necessary to transform sexual love either by repressing it, or sublimating it, or mixing it with tenderness or kindness. In that context, friendship, charity or compassion, and devotion to God could be stated as transformations of sexual love. Sexual instincts are inhibited or actually repressed in the expression of brotherly love, or feelings of deep affection for children and others where the relationship should not be based upon feelings of sexual attraction.
THE COMPLEXITY OF LOVE:
Love is a very complex emotional instinct and it is complex as it may not always provide a sense of joy or happiness. There is a fact about love; love frequently turns into its opposite, HATE. Sometimes there is love and hate of the same object; sometimes love inspires hate, and love may also cause jealousy, anger, and fear. Love seems to be the primal passion, generating all the others according to the oppositions of pleasure and pain and by a relation of cause and effect. The individual’s experience of love is extremely variable and it includes the operation of both positive and negative impulses.
Indian tradition has carefully examined this complex instinctual behavior and has instructed people of the Land of Bharat or India to understand the three major distinctions or categories of love and to apply a sense of restraint, or that of repression has brought love under the purview of morality, the code of Right Conduct or DHARMA. Indian Culture does not provide the linguistic tools to express feelings associated with sexual passion without using temperance. There is no linguistic equivalent in classical Indian languages to profess love. The terms and words that Indians use have a specific meaning attached to them.
LOVE vs PREMA:
Love is a universal term and this idea is not expressed in Indian tradition and classical literature. The word “LOVE” appears repeatedly in the Bible, in several different editions of the Bible. I am not a language expert and I believe that people who translated the Bible have exercised great care to convey the meaning of love. Many editions of Bible have further clarified the meaning of Love in their glossary section or Bible dictionary and define Love as a deep sense of affection, devotion for someone or something and they very carefully exclude sexual desire and sexual passion.
In the English-speaking world, and in English literature, the word Love is used to describe desire, libido, lust, and passion based upon sexual attraction. So, Love is a generic term and it may not always mean brotherly love and goodwill.
Indian Culture has erected subtle barriers and has not provided linguistic tools to use the word Love as we like. It separates Love into various categories and sets them apart. The feelings of affection or fondness that are associated with sexual attraction are specifically known as ‘KAMA’ and intense sexual passion or desire is called ‘MOHA’. Any intense or passionate desire could be called KAMA and to act under its influence could be stated as MOHA. My love for God could only be expressed in terms of Bhakti or Devotion, and the desire could be called PREET. The desire called PREETI or Preet is a legitimate desire. It is also called “ISHTA”. I am allowed to seek or desire certain things in my life and that desire is subject to the rule of Good Conduct or Dharma. I can express the sentiment of Preet only when, and where such desire is allowed to be stated in a legitimate manner and is acceptable to tradition and established conventions and social norms. If I entertain thoughts of sexual attraction about my attractive and rich neighbor, I am not allowed to describe my feelings as Preet. Feelings associated with sexual desire may not be called “ISHTA”. I can call it Kama or Moha.
In the epic poem of Ramayana, when King Ravana of Lanka wanted to marry Princess Sita and attended her “Swayamvara,” the desire was legitimate and he was entitled to entertain thoughts of sexual attraction and it was not the equivalent of illegitimate Kama. But, when King Ravana abducted her while she was lawfully married to Prince Rama, that desire and sexual attraction represent an impulsive action of Moha and Kama. King Ravana was not entitled to express his Love for Sita if it is formulated by the Kama, and intense sexual passion known as Lust or Moha.
A man can express his love or Preet for a woman in a respectful or legitimate manner and seek a valid relationship. If the relationship is illegal, it can not be called Preet. A father’s love, or mother’s love, or brother’s love is described as “VASTHALYA”, a natural sense of affection and fondness which is not related to sexual attraction or desire. The word “PREMA” or “PREM” is used to describe the feelings of Affection, Fondness, Friendship(SNEHA), Kindness(DAYA, or KARUNA), Compassion(KRUPA), Happiness, Joy(ANANDA) that have no direct relationship to the gratification of sexual desires and passions. The deep sense of affection between husband and wife is often called “ANURAG” which indicates an intimate friendship based upon the foundations of trust, respect, and commitment. I can not literally translate the English Language word LOVE into any of the Indian languages as such expression is not allowed without stating the nature of its contents.
The Commandment of Jesus to “Love your neighbor as thyself” cannot be shared in Indian languages. Jesus did not state that idea in terms of Friendship(SNEHA), Kindness(DAYA), or giving Happiness(ANANDA). Only when those qualities of Friendship, Kindness, and giving Joy or Happiness are specifically included the Commandment of Jesus could be translated into the Indian languages using the term or word “PREMA.”
However, in Indian tradition, the deep sense of affection or fondness of God is stated as Bhakti or Devotion. Mirabai expressed such a deep sense of affection and I would not call it as her love of Krishna. Jayadeva in his famous description of Lord Krishna’s creative activities in Brindavan(Vrindavan) depicted the intense erotic feelings of the young maidens as a product of their intense devotion to the Lord. I can not use the word Love to describe the sexual passions of the Gopis or the young maidens of Brindavan.
SELF-LOVE AND NARCISSISM:
My concern is not about PREMA or LOVE. My concern is about Self-Love, a man’s love of himself. In psychology, the word ‘NARCISSISM’ is used to describe excessive self-love. In my medical practice, I have not encountered such narcissistic tendencies among people of Indian origin. Indian tradition has erected barriers and would not easily let us identify ourselves with the physical Self. Indian tradition repeatedly instructs us about our Essence and true Identity and reminds us not to get attached to the physical Self. If I have no feelings of attachment to my physical Self, I can not really love myself. If I can not truly love myself, I can not also love my neighbor in the same manner, or to the same degree of my self-love. If I hate myself, the chances of loving another person become extremely remote. If a man is not expected to love himself, the issue of loving the neighbor is redundant.
THEERTHAM, TIRTHA, TIRTHA SNAAN – SANATANA DHARMA OF INDIA
The ancient traditions of India are often described as ‘Sanatana Dharma’. Indians for a very long time recognized the significance of Water and use it in various rituals, particularly for the purification of the human body which is prone to sickness or illness attributed to sinful thoughts, words, and actions. The term ‘Theertham’ refers to water that is sanctified by prayerful thought and by using it in the devotional worship of God. The term ‘Tirtha’ refers to a body of water such as a well, pond, lake, river, or sea which gets an elevated status because of its geographical association with a physical location, place, or position named ‘Sthan’ or ‘Kshetra’. The physical journey to visit the place of Tirtha Sthan is called Tirtha Yatra. The act of taking a bath or dipping into the water at a Tirtha Sthan is called Tirtha Snaan.
I ask my readers to reflect on the divine attributes of the Water Molecule. The original, sweet taste of fresh water cannot be discovered by the study of the properties of the Chemical Elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen which combine to form the Chemical Compound called Water. Man, like several other terrestrial creatures, depends upon Fresh Water delivered from ‘Heaven’.
Kumbh Mela: Millions of Indians take a holy dip – BBC News
Millions of people have taken to the waters at the confluence of India’s sacred Ganges and Yamuna rivers as part of the Kumbh Mela festival – humanity’s largest gathering.
Officials told the BBC some 15m people bathed on Tuesday. They expect about 120m visitors over 49 days.
Hindus believe bathing at the rivers will cleanse their sins and bring salvation.
The holy men were among the first procession to arrive early Tuesday.
Sadhus – or ascetics – smeared ash on their bodies as they came out of the water and chanted “Har Har Gange”, or “Mother Ganges”, and danced while posing for photographers.
Image copyright Ankit Srinivas
The Naga sadhus are the biggest draw of the festival – held in the northern city of Allahabad, recently renamed Prayagraj – and arrived early in the morning in massive colorful processions.
Thousands of the Sadhus – naked and wearing marigold garlands around their necks – were escorted by police to the river as they chanted slogans invoking Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. Many were waving tridents and swords.
At the last Kumbh in 2013, female ascetics were allowed to bathe at the confluence of the rivers – known as the Sangam – for the first time. A few hundred transgender people were among those who bathed on Tuesday morning.
More than a million foreign pilgrims will also take part in the festival, senior administration official Rajeev Rai told the BBC.
He and other organizers had been preparing for more than a year for the event, which dwarfs the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest sites in Saudi Arabia.
Image copyright Ankit Srinivas Image caption Religious sects arrived in processions to take a dip
The mela (meaning “fair” in Hindi) has been held in Allahabad for centuries now, but it has grown into a mega event in the past two decades.
Image copyright Getty Images
This year the gathering will be particularly huge and many believe India’s Hindu nationalist government has organized it with an eye on key general elections due in the summer.
Massive billboards of Prime Minister Narendra Modi dot Allahabad city and the Mela ground. Huge cardboard cut-outs have been placed strategically at the bathing areas.
Image copyright Ankit Srinivas
A temporary tent city spread over 32 sq km (12 sq miles) has been set up to accommodate the masses, complete with hundreds of kilometers of new roads. Hospitals, banks, and fire services have been set up just for the festival, along with 120,000 toilets.
Hundreds of new train services are running to and from Allahabad to tackle the rush of pilgrims and more than 30,000 police and paramilitaries have been deployed to provide security and manage the crowds.
In the run-up to the festival, religious sects held daily processions marked by much pomp and show.
Image copyright Ankit Srinivas
At one such procession on Sunday night, there were elephants, camels, and horses. Brass bands and drummers played, as religious leaders sitting atop several vehicles threw marigold flowers to thousands of devotees.
On Monday – a day before the official start of the festival – tens of thousands of pilgrims bathed at the Sangam. Some then lit clay lamps and floated them along with flowers in the Ganges.
Image copyright Ankit Srinivas
Image copyright Ankit Srinivas
The atmosphere at the mela is festive, and the authorities have announced a calendar of music and dance performances. But there’s plenty of impromptu entertainment taking place by the roadside, with children performing rope tricks and shows by drummers and ballad singers.
Most pilgrims, however, say they are here to “answer the call of Mother Ganges”.
“We believe that bathing here will destroy our sins,” farmer Pramod Sharma said.
“The waters here have regenerative properties. Bathing here can cure your ailments. It also removes obstacles from your way,” Shahbji Raja said.
Kumbh Mela at a glance
A pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at points along the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers
This year’s event expects 120 million visitors over seven weeks, dwarfing last year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia which drew about 2.4 million
Astrology determines most aspects of the festival, including its date, duration, and location
The most recent full Kumbh, held in 2013 in Allahabad, was also a Maha (or great) Kumbh, which happen every 144 years. It attracted an estimated 100 million visitors
A lost-and-found camp was set up in 1946 and has since helped reunite countless family members and friends who get separated in the vast crowds
This year, 15 lost-and-found camps have been set up. These computerized centers are interconnected and their announcements will be heard across the Mela grounds. Details will also be uploaded on Facebook and Twitter to help trace the missing
MAKAR SANKRANTI, MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2019. THE GRAND ILLUSION GOVERNS THE HUMAN EXISTENCE
Man’s mortal journey on Earth’s surface is measured by the duration of Sun’s apparent motions across sky which is experienced as Day and Night while Sun shines all the time without performing movements characterized as Sunrise and Sunset. Man blissfully exists without ever experiencing true motions of Sun around Milky Way Galactic Center. The Grand Illusion, the apparent motion of Sun and other heavenly objects across the sky is the fundamental basis of Biological Rhythm that governs the man’s living functions.
MAKAR SANKRANTI, MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2019. THE PERCEPTION OF CHANGING SEASONS
Whole Concept – The Perception of Time and Unchanging Reality: Happy Makara Sankranti to all of my readers. Indians observe and Celebrate the Movement of Sun across the Celestial Sphere. Human Existence is conditioned by Illusion; the Apparent Motions of Sun and not the Real Motions of Sun influence the experience of Life on Earth.
UNDERSTANDING TIME AND THE CONCEPT OF UNCHANGING REALITY:
Makar Sankranti, Monday, January 14, 2019. Earth’s Rotational Spin provides experience of Time by causing changes in the environment which Man perceives as Day and Night. This cyclical change of alternating periods of Light and Darkness is synchronized with Man’s Biological Rhythms.
Time is defined as the period or interval between two events or during which something exists, happens, or acts; the duration is a measurable interval. Indian thinkers have described ‘Time’ or ‘KAALA’ as a Power or a Force that is eternal suggesting that ‘Time’ existed before the formation of this created universe, Time operates during the existence of this created universe, and Time remains after the total dissolution of this created universe. ‘Things in Nature change with Time’. Does Time exert a force entirely of its own to change things in Nature? If Time is viewed as a Power or Force, who controls this Force and what are the Laws that operate this Force?
Makar Sankranti, Monday, January 14, 2019.The Subjective Reality of Man’s physical existence is operated by the Biological Clock which may have a plan for Man’s Dissolution.
Everything that is born, everything that has come into existence, and everything that is conditioned arrives with its own plan for dissolution. Whosoever had arrived on this planet Earth, is sure to depart. Time operates this plan for dissolution. Time has the power to cause dissolution of the animate as well as the inanimate world and the physical universe. Whatever qualities, or attributes such as material wealth, social status, social position, and physical state of well-being that man cherishes and desires most would be dissolved and would be rendered useless by the effects of Time. Humans lack the material, and the biological abilities to transform their physical beings into sources of perpetual enjoyment. Time with its Power of Dissolution would eventually compel us to investigate and to explore the concept of Absolute and Unchanging Reality. This Subjective Reality of Man’s existence on this planet Earth which is a member of the Solar System would be dissolved by the influence of Time. Dissolution of Sun and the Solar System would not lead to dissolution of this universe that we currently know and understand. Even when man is dissolved, the conditioned reality of this physical universe will continue and remains as before as Earth and Sun do not describe the total reality of this conditioned universe.
THE PERCEPTION OF CHANGE AND HUMAN CONCEPTS ABOUT TIME:
Makar Sankranti, Monday, January 14, 2019.The Moving Train and the Perception of changing landscape. Photo Credit: Indyeahforever.
Many of you who learned Physics understand the term Speed and Velocity. A person riding in a train or any other moving object could perceive a change that is caused by the motion. The nature of this perception depends upon the Speed or Velocity of that moving object. If the person jumps out of the train, the change that he has been perceiving immediately stops. There would be no changing landscape. As the speed of train increases, perception of change also alters and at very high speeds man loses the ability of visual perception. The visual image becomes a blur. If man is viewing a Motion Picture, his visual ability to view the Picture could be destroyed by simply increasing the speed of the Projector.
Any given point on the surface of the Earth moves with the Speed of the Earth. Earth is moving at a great speed and man has no ability to perceive this motion or the speed. Man perceives a change in his environment and calls it day and night.
We run our lives by numbers on clocks and calendars. The clocks and calendars create the illusion that we live in a world of mathematically measured segments of time. Time is looked upon as a flow like a river. Sir Isaac Newton (1687) stated that the flow of Time is absolute; “It flows equably without relation to anything external.” In 1905 while postulating the Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein had observed that Time is not absolute, and measurement of Time is affected by the motion of the observer. The Relativity of Time becomes significant only at great speeds. Gravity affects both Light and Time. Gravity bends both Space and Light. Time is affected by the gravitational field of each celestial body. Time is unique to any one spot in the universe. If you and I do not exist at the same spot in the universe, our experience of Time will not be the same. Thus, experience of Time on this planet is an illusionary experience and is not an absolute experience.
‘KAALA CHAKRA’ OR THE CYCLICAL FLOW OF TIME:
Makar Sankranti, Monday, January 14, 2019.The Cyclical Flow of Time brings Cyclical Changes called ‘Seasons’ at expected Time intervals. Life exists because of the Cyclical Flow of Time.
Herman Minkowski, a mathematician, added Time as the Fourth Dimension of Three-Dimensional Space. Time is seen as a Dimension as it gives meaning to events and the order in which they occur. Physicists describe Time and Space as the building blocks of this universe. Biologists see Time in the internal clocks that keep all living entities in sync with Nature.
Human existence and the existence of all other living entities depend upon this illusionary experience of Time. Life exists and operates only if Time flows in a cyclical manner just like a wheel that moves, rotates on an axle or axis. Man needs this experience of day and night during his entire life journey. Man needs the changing Seasons with its cyclical regularity.
Just imagine the consequences to human existence if Spring Season does not arrive at the Time it is expected. Planet Earth is not at the same location or place in Space as Time flows. Last year, we had experienced the Spring Season while Earth existed at an entirely different location and we look forward for the arrival of a new Spring Season despite the Change in the position. Despite Changes in location or position, in relative terms, the Spring Season is the Unchanging Reality of the Conditioned State of Human Existence.
Because of the Conditioned nature of Human Existence, Man always looks forward, and hopes that Time would flow in a cyclical manner bringing cyclical changes. Biologists describe Life in terms of Life Cycles. All living functions have a rhythmic or cyclical quality. The exchange of gases during a cycle called Respiration involves the cyclical events of Inspiration and Expiration. The vital functions sustained by Circulation demands cyclical flow of Blood. The Individual and his State or Condition of Individuality remains existing as an Unchanging Reality if he experiences the cyclical changes in his bodily functions and in the environment in which he exists.
I am that Unchanging Reality; the Reality of my Identity and my Individuality remains unchanged as my physical body experiences cyclical changes in its appearance and in the environment where it exists. My phenotype or morphological appearance or outward appearance undergoes a constant change and this change is synchronized with the cyclical change called alternating periods of Day and Night. The Biological Clock precisely measures this Time interval or duration of my existence relative to the illusionary change; the Sun is always shining with all His brightness with no significant change that I can perceive.
THE GOD CONNECTION:
Makar Sankranti, Monday, January 14, 2019. Face Recognition Technology helps Identification of an Individual. Under the influence of Time, the outward appearance undergoes changes all the time during Life’s Journey and yet Identity and Individuality survives the Time’s Power of Dissolution.
My Identity and my Individuality is the Unchanging Reality of my conditioned state of human existence. I had explored the Nature of this Unchanging Identity and Individuality. This Unchanging Reality of Identity and Individuality exists during the Time interval or duration of my God Connection. I know that Time existed before my creation, Time is operating during my existence as a created being, and Time would continue to operate after my physical dissolution. Time with its great power of Dissolution could not change my perception about my Unchanging Identity and Individuality because of my God Connection. It is rational, it is logical, and it is reasonable to reflect upon Absolute and Unchanging Reality as long as I maintain my Identity and Individuality which cannot be changed or altered by the flow of Time.