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."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Charvaka, Ambrose Bierce and the existence of Santa Claus


जी ए कुलकर्णी: 

"...त्याने प्रेमाचा व शांतीचा संदेश सांगितला, पण प्रसार झाला तो तलवारीच्या जोरावर; त्याने निरिच्छ्तेवर भर दिला, तर आता त्याच्या धर्माचा आधार आहे संपत्ती. हा तुला त्याचा विजय वाटतो, तसे पाहिले तर त्याचे सच्चे अनुयायी एखाद्या खेड्यातील वसतीपेक्षा जास्त नसतील. पण म्हणून का त्याच्या शिकवणीचे महत्व कमी होते?..." ('यात्रिक', 'पिंगळावेळ', 1977)

 ("...He gave the message of love and peace, but it spread on the strength of the sword; he insisted on austerity, and now the support of his religion is wealth. You think it's his victory, look it this way: his true followers would not exceed the population of a village. But then does it reduce the importance of his teachings ?..")

Charles Dickens
“Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!”
Stefany Anne Golberg on Ambrose Bierce-  who for me is  one of the greatest- who died around Christmas in 1913:

" Even as a child, the passion Bierce had for the Truth outweighed his sympathy for human weakness. As a child, Bierce once asked his mother to verify the existence of Santa Claus. Of course there is a Santa Claus, his mother assured him. But Bierce was soon to discover, as all children will, the horrible reality. It was this, Bierce said years later, that cemented the deep and irreparable betrayal of his mother: “I proceeded forthwith to detest my deceiver with all my little might and main.”..."

In his inimitable 'THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY', 1906 Bierce defines Christian as:


" n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin. "

From  Indian pantheon only Cārvāka (चार्वाक) can be compared to Bierce. ("the Charvakas were
strict empiricists who believed that the only valid source of knowledge is direct perception; they believed only what could be seen by the eyes directly. They rejected even inference as a method of investigation." - 'Encyclopedia of Hinduism' by Constance A. Jones and James D. Ryan)

So Charvaka too would have asked her mom to show a Santa Claus. 




Artist: Bill Watterson

p.s.

This is how Vinda Karandikar (विंदा करंदीकर) describes Charvak in Marathi:

"सत्याचा स्वीकार। श्रद्धांचा अव्हेर,
हिंसेचा धिक्कार, । करोनिया,
मानवी जीवन। करणे सुखमय
हेच एक ध्येय। मानणारे
मानवतावादी, । उद्योगप्रवण,
असे हे दर्शन । चार्वाकाचे."

[ASHTADARSHANE, (अष्टदर्शने), 2003]