Monday, August 13, 2007

Smasana Vairagya case of Independence Day

Smasana Vairagya is one of the nyayas in the Sanskrit literature and means “burial ground renunciation”

The elaboration to it is that a person once was passing through a burial ground. Seeing the burning bodies there, all the same manner immaterial of greatness or the inferiority of the person when he was alive, he was stuck with the temporal nature of this world. He was then overtaken by immense vairagya (sense of renunciation and distaste for world). He then walked four steps ahead, came back in the regular world and forgetting all that earlier feeling, started to indulge himself fully in his regular activities.

This nyaya or simile is used wherever one shows momentary enthu for something in the impulse of the moment, but forgets all about it later.

This is also very pertinent to our “Independence Day” frenzy. Come Independence Day or Republic Day and the whole media goes frenzy with “patriotism”; the mails boxes are filled with spam; orkut threads are full of messages telling other people to keep Indian flag as their DP etc etc.

We do require occasions to celebrate our nationhood and to remind ourselves of our responsibilities as citizens. However we should avoid the danger of confusing the reminder of a responsibility with the responsibility itself.

Is nationalistic feeling something that is done by seeing some patriotic movie twice a year, speak some great words and then it is “business as usual” for the rest of the year?

Agreed, it is better to think of our nation at least twice a year, than to completely forget it; but nationalistic spirit should not be degraded to these superficial things. Our national responsibility is much more than attending a flag hoisting ceremony or watching a movie twice a year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

True...very wrong attitude but very true

4:19 PM  
Blogger Aneesh Mulye said...

Surya, may I please be allowed to share this with friends (giving due credit)?

11:01 PM  

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