Sunday 12 August 2012

The Swami and the Amogh Astra

Once upon a time in a country called Buffoonistan there was a Swami (and there were hordes of them) called Mokshaprapta (one who has attained salvation). One day he decided to pray to Lord Shiva for a boon. So he stood on one leg for 1,000 years with both hands raised and eyes closed (which is the classic method of obtaining nirvana in India), praying for Lord Shiva’s darshan (revelation).
Pleased with his indefatigable devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him. He then told the Swami to ask for a boon.
The Swami said, “Mahadev, I am deeply dejected because while all countries in the world have invented wonderful weapons, my country Buffoonistan has invented none. The Chinese have invented gunpowder, the British warships, the Germans tanks, the Japanese kamimaze pilots, and the Americans atom bombs, my country has produced nothing.”
At this Lord Shiva said, “Do not be dejected. Your country will produce an Amogh Astra [invincible weapon] which none can match.”
“What is that?” enquired the Swami.
“It is anshan [fasting]” replied Lord Shiva. “No weapon can match this.”
The Swami became very happy, and asked for details of this wonderful weapon.
Lord Shiva said: “This weapon has no match because none can equal its spiritual power. However, there is a secret key for using this weapon. And that is this: whether you fast for 3 days or 10 or 20, at the end of it your weight must be more than what it was before you started fasting.”
The Swami felt a bit disturbed. “How is that possible?” he asked. “That is possible only by cheating and eating on the quiet.”
“Chee, chee, chee” said the Lord. “Can I advise you to cheat? No, I will tell you a miraculous method by which you can gain weight while fasting. You should close your eyes, open the third one, which, as Yogis have explained, is on everyone’s forehead, and while doing transcendental meditation, imagine seeing a lot of delicious dishes there. Then you must in your imagination eat that. That will really fill your stomach, and increase your weight.”
The Swami was delighted and he fell at the feet of Lord Shiva, who then disappeared.
The next day the Swami began his fast for abolition of corruption in Buffoonistan. Buffoons from all over the country had assembled in the shamshanghat (cremation ground) where the Swami always held his meetings. He chose this place rather than Jantar Mantar or the Ramlila ground because he wanted his followers to develop a spirit of detachment, forgetting about this world and thinking about the next.
The Swami stood up on an elevated platform before the huge crowd of buffoons and declared that if a law for abolition of corruption was not passed in 3 days his peaceful protest would turn into a revolution.
Now this word ‘revolution’ is dicey. It can mean different things to different people.
In the audience a rakshas (demon) called Charvak was sitting, and he was known to be a mischievous fellow. He had the nasty habit of asking uncomfortable questions. He got up and said, “As far as I know, a revolution seeks to totally transform the entire society, like the French Revolution. You have never mentioned what kind of revolution you want. I think you are a fraud.”
Now saying such a thing, particularly in a crowd of Buffoons, is extremely dangerous. The crowd has a mob mentality, like the Roman mob in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. When Mark Antony incited the mob against Caesar’s murderers, the mob went around seeking them. They caught hold of a poet called Cinna, who was different from Cinna the conspirator, and although he kept protesting that he was Cinna the poet, and not Cinna the conspirator, they lynched him saying, “Hang him for his bad verses.”
Something equally sinister may have happened to our rakshas friend, but the Swami, who is a benevolent person and above petty feelings, beckoned Charvak to the dais, embraced him, and whispered smilingly in his ears, “One more word and I will hang you here upside down.” But no one heard him say this, and people thought that out of magnanimity the Swami had forgiven Charvak.
The Swami then said loudly, “Our brother has raised a valid point and we must consider it seriously,” and having said so he let him back into the crowd, from where he disappeared post haste before the Swami or his followers could change their minds.
The Swami said, “Our brother has raised an important point. How do we make revolution? Can any of you answer? After a revolution Buffoonistan will become a land of milk and honey, there will be no more corruption, or poverty, unemployment, price rise, sickness, etc.
“To achieve all this we must realise that this world is Maya, that is, illusion, as our Vedanta philosophy teaches. So we must realise that corruption, poverty, unemployment, etc., are all illusions. Once we realise this, the revolution will have been achieved.
“So I request all of you to stand on your heads and contemplate the world as Maya.”
Everyone in the crowd then performed the yogic headstand (sheershasana), and that is the last they were seen doing by this observer.
The moral of this story is that everyone in Buffoonistan must have implicit faith in Babas and Swamis to achieve salvation and total revolution.
(Published In The Hindu on 12 August,2012)


  1. Dear Sir Without having reasonable logical ambition, what some people want? And why they want?... I have observed that all the persons involving in the unethical, Hypocrite revolution demanding abolition of Law. one hand they abolished the law and other hand they are demanding the law for complete removal of corruption , it is contradictory… you are rightly observed that they are fraud ,they have calculated the strategy destroying the rules of Law, simultaneously they want unconstitutional , unethical parallel pressure group of the people who are indulge to destroy real concept of democracy. I am thankful to you, Sir you are rightly speaking , Swami(Yogi) and his followers headstand (Sirshashan) by which the complete reform came in India.

  2. Justice Katju, this article of yours aptly describes the mentality of semi-literate Indians. I hope this satire tone isn't too subtle for most to understand.

    - Vijay

  3. Dear Justice Katju, the problem within India, now and in the past as well, is that of "collaborators". Successful people like you, who should have been leading the thought processes have become a bystander, commenting pathetically in a manner of diversionary tactic. What is the harm if we want the money looted from us back into our country? India is long due for its own Rennaissance. If not today, it will happen sometime soon. Can you tell me of the several books on display on these racks, where does your story fit? Please don't lower your stature by writing demeaningly. There are a lot of ways to earn money and fame. You have them already. Please dont stoop to levels of indecency.

    1. Classic case. Justice Katju aptly described people like you devoid of rational thinking and scientific temper, disillusioned by the false hope fed to you by these so called popular social leaders.

      One - what makes you think the money was looted from YOU? Black money is money which was earned by unlawful means, money on which tax was not paid. That doesn't mean the money belongs to YOU.
      Two - Living in the hope that all the black money if repatriated will eliminate the poverty of our country can at best be described as a childish fantasy. That is not how the economy works.
      Three - What makes you think that any other party (in power) would have made the list of black money hoarders public?

    2. Your reply was excellent. But do you think these semi-literates would understand it? I've a bunch of friends who have degrees (yet not educated) take words from these 'social leaders' at face value. The problem is, these fools have no element of practicality in their mind. They live in a dream land and expect Govt. to take steps which will make their life run on 'Less or No input, but lot of output'.

      Good reply!

  4. Mr. Katju,
    At least these people are doing something to fight against corruption. Bureaucrats like you can only criticize them. What you have done for your country except criticizing such agitations. If you have any plans to limit the corruption, then why don't you come up with solution. If you can't do anything then you don't have right to criticize anyone. Everyone knows that the root of corruption lies in bureaucracy. They don't want India to be clean and healthy. If India gets corruption free, their business will end. Therefore Mr. Katju, do something for India before writing such nonsense blogs.

    1. If you find his blogs nonsensical, why do you read them? He has a right to express his thoughts and opinions. And by expressing them, he is doing his bit in his own way. His writings attempt to create an awareness about the shackles of irrational and superstitious minds most of are bound with. And if we as a society have to progress, I do agree with Justice Katju that we have to embrace scientific and rational thinking along with tolerance and respect for others.

    2. Mr. Anonymous,
      If you don't like my comments then why do you read them?
      If he can express his thinking, why can't we?
      Its not only his blogs, he gives such nonsense statements in electronic and print media. Therefore, I should quit reading newspaper and watching news also. According to him the corruption can not end till 15-20 years. Therefore we should sit by keeping our hands in pocket and wait for 20 years. And he will keep demotivating other people by criticizing them for their fight against corruption.

    3. Pankaj Kumar,

      You seem to be a personifying low IQ levels. First of all develop yourself before making remarks. Try to read a little bit about the likes of Thomas Paine, Rousseau instead of watching cartoon (Ramdev's Yoga) on TV and jumping with joy. No more of your non-sense will be tolerated. That's it!

    4. Mr. Anonymous,
      Its apparent that British mentality is still rooted in Indian bureaucracy. These people live in India, and talk about West. If you can suggest me some good reading material on quantum mechanics and general relativity then it will be very helpful. And FYI, its not Ramdev or Anna for me, I see them like any other Indian fighting against corruption.

    5. Pankaj Kumar,

      Sorry for being a little harsh in my previous comment. Well, what do you mean by British mentality? I've been living abroad for over 5 years now. So I probably don't belong to the class of people you are referring to. I am not a Physicist and hence not the right person to share reading material on Quantum Mechanics or General Relativity. I hold doctoral degree in economics and if you want I can suggest you a lot of reading materiel, right from Adam Smith, Arrow to Amartya Sen. Likewise, those who are claiming to be champions of the cause to retrieve black money, don't even know the definition of black money.

      Understand one thing, science hasn't been developed to overthrow the olden Indian ideas. Science talks about progress, as viewed by the likes of Richard Dawkins. Don't connect everything to nationality, religion or culture. This sorta bigotry will not help you think and investigate liberally.

      No one likes or supports corruption. It would be too naive to think of corruption as a problem, as painted by the likes of Anna or Baba. It's more complex and simplifying it to a low level isn't a good idea. I will end this conversation by quoting Albert Einstein: "Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler"

  5. Mr Katju,
    If you think people make blunders in this country and they are not intelligently fighting against system,then you must come up with smart ideas.If you can't do that,then you don't have any right to criticize them,otherwise you will mock at your own thoughts and knowledge....

  6. you forgot to mention that in that bafunnistann there was a poodle, who used to bark at that baba whenever baba used to do Sirsasan, but baba never gave a …….., who cares about the poodles after all.

  7. it's 'kamikaze' pilots not kamimaze pilots.