G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Do We Realise the Enormity of the Loss of Buddha?

For a long time, I didn't know what Swami Vivekananda said beyond "Sisters and Brothers of America" at the World's Parliament of Religions, Chicago 11th September, 1893!

During the speech he said:

"...At the present day there is not one who calls oneself a Buddhist in India, the land of its birth.

But at the same time, Brahminism lost something — that reforming zeal, that wonderful sympathy and charity for everybody, that wonderful heaven which Buddhism had brought to the masses and which had rendered Indian society so great that a Greek historian who wrote about India of that time was led to say that no Hindu was known to tell an untruth and no Hindu woman was known to be unchaste..."


(According to Wiki, India now has 7,955,207 Buddhists.)

Arvind Subramanian: "The only real export from India that is said to have wider impact, according to (Ian) Morris (author of 'Why the West Rules — for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future'), is Buddhism." (Business Standard, December 22 2010)

Anand Teltumbde writes in EPW November 13 2010:

"...Far from being Ramjanmabhoomi, or even an important Hindu place before the 18th century, Ayodhya figures in history as a holy place for Buddhists and Jains.

For Buddhists it was a capital of Kosal or Saket, where Buddha had actually resided. In the seventh century, Hsien Tsang records it as mainly a Buddhist place, having 100 Buddhist monasteries and 3,000 Buddhist monks, with a very small population belonging to other faiths.

From the eighth to the ninth century, the revivalist wave of Brahmanism overwhelmed Buddhism, and began forcibly converting Buddhist vihars and temples into Hindu temples. This has happened all over the country and Buddhism, the dominant religion for nearly a millennium, was literally wiped out from the land of its birth.

Historically speaking, it may be truer to say that Hindu temples were built either by destroying or converting Buddhist temples than Muslim mosques built by destroying Hindu temples. As against the Hindutva claim of 30,000 temples being destroyed to build mosques, American researcher Richard Eaton found no more than 80 temples that were so destroyed. In fact, Muslim hordes had destroyed many Buddhist temples, taking them to be anti-Islamic places of idol worship, to the extent that but, the word for idol in Arabic, is said to have come from Buddha..."

द. ग. गोडसे 'अष्टविनायक' "समन्दे तलाश" (१९८१):

"...गिरिजात्मकाची मूर्ती स्वयंभू नाही हे उघड आहे. नवव्या-दहाव्या शतकानंतर महाराष्ट्रातील बौद्ध धर्मीयांची संघटना सर्वस्वी नाहीशी होवून त्यांची शेकडो लेणी व विहार ओस पडले. त्या नंतरच्या काळात महाराष्ट्रातील आक्रमक शैव पंथाने अनेक ओसाड बुद्ध स्थळांवर व प्राचीन जागृत स्थळीय दैवतांवर आक्रमण करुन त्यांचे शैव श्रद्धास्थानांत रूपांतर केल्याची उदाहरणे अनेक दाखवता येतील. लेण्याद्रीचा गिरिजात्मक त्यातलाच!..."

(btw- Will Buddhists in future claim their right to Lenyadri temple? Evidence favours them so overwhelmingly that no court probably can deny them.)


A fresco of Buddha defaced by a bullet at a temple in central Tibet