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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

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