Aapa Divas..World’s Water Day

I had written a shorter version of this on quora and thought of sharing this on an environmentalists’ favourite day ‘ World Water Day’.

It should be no surprise that our kings and kingdoms valued nature’s elements. Be it water or animal or human. Be it Pandavas or Pandyas. Varuna is our water God.

Q. What can I say to my Hindu friends who eat beef? I have no problems with their personal beliefs, I just want to convey how or why they should care about their religion.

Answer:

  1. Beef (and meat at large) is water intensive industry. The next war they say will be on water. Water is a precious resource and basic necessity too. Water footprint like carbon footprint is taken into account. The next range of agriculture developments focus on usage of minimum usage of water to grow crops.
  2. If one reads Economic survey 2015-16 one can notice how in India, we utilize more water per crop in export. To quote the few parts of the interesting aspect on agriculture [6].

    To adapt to these changes, agriculture requires a new paradigm with the following components: increasing productivity by getting “more from less” especially in relation to water via micro irrigation; prioritizing the cultivation of less water-intensive crops, especially pulses and oil-seeds, supported by a favorable Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime that incorporates the full social benefits of producing such crops and backed by a strengthened procurement system; and re-invigorating agricultural research and extension in these crops.

    Although water is one of India’s most scarce natural resources, India uses 2 to 4 times more water to produce a unit of major food crop than does China and Brazil (Hoekstra and Chapagain [2008]). Hence, it is imperative that the country focus on improving the efficiency of water use in agriculture.

    It is also noteworthy that India, a water – scarce country, has been “exporting water” as a result of distorted incentives.

     

  3. Now, I shall quote from people’s favourite organization called ‘United Nations’.

    Accelerated urbanization and rising living standards, increased demand for water, food (especially meat) and energy from an ever-growing global population will inevitably lead to the creation of jobs in certain sectors (i.e. municipal wastewater treatment) and to the loss of jobs in others. [1].Dietary habits greatly influence the overall water footprint of people. In industrialized countries, the average calorie consumption is about 3,400 kcal/day (FAO, 2011); roughly 30% of that comes from animal products. When we assume that the average daily portion of animal products is a reasonable mix of beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, we can estimate that 1 kcal of animal product requires roughly 2.5 L of water on average. Products of vegetable origin, on the other hand, require roughly 0.5 L of water/kcal, this time assuming a reasonable mix of cereals, pulses, roots, fruits, and vegetables. Under these circumstances, producing the food for 1 d costs 3,600 L of water.” [2].

  4. Where did Article 48 like that of the constitution of the Weimar Republic of Germany (1919–1933) come into Constitution of India, especially when we had liberator and reformist like Ambedkar?
    When cow slaughter ban article was proposed , under the ambit of ‘secular’ India they placed that article in the Directive principles for state policy. The very purpose of introducing this was because the bovine population dropped back then thanks to the British who devoured beef/steak and also because our agriculture was not mechanised enough. [3] [4].
  5. These are few strong reasons why one must avoid beef at all costs. Red meat, in the medical world too is not very healthy.[ 6].
  6. In the Anusasana Parva of Mahabharata, Bhishma tells Yudishtra the merits of building ponds: “He whose tank is full of water in summer and is used by human beings, animals and birds to slake their thirst, acquires the merits of an Aswamedha yaga. The gift of water is superior to every other gift.” While the Mahabharata emphasises the importance of the gift of water, inscriptions show that those who plundered natural resources were looked upon as sinners. [7].
    There are references in the puranas and inscriptions on temple walls that tell us how important it was to maintain clean water in temple ponds.  It was राजा’s dharma.

    S Ramachandran, noted epigraphist mentions a story in Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam as an example. The rains fail, and the Pandya king imprisons clouds. In the battle that ensues, Indra is defeated. Ramachandran says that there is an inscription approximately of 12th to 13th century, in a place called Irunchirai near Aruppukottai. The inscription refers to Irunchiraiyaana Indira samaananallur. So we have the name of Indra in the inscription.Engineer S. Rajendran says that Rajendra I, did not erect a jaya stambha — pillar of victory, when he defeated the king of Bengal, but had a lake cut instead, establishing a jala stambha!In second article epigraphist Kudavayil Balasubramanian explains in depth about its structure, dimensions and how water from temple ponds were taken to nearby village for agriculture. Violation of nature’s rules were offensive adharmic acts.

    Our kings didn’t pull arrows or raise an army haphazardly. Every प्राणी was respected. Every drop of water counted. The two articles are worth reading and also debunks ‘invasion’ theories.

  7. A Hindu who has bhakti will need very little evidence why he or she must not consume beef. Reason is simple for such folks, gau is our mata, we worship her and there are several such evidence that point why she was and has been worshiped. I am not going to cherry pick those because losers will try to quote me otherwise.
    Beef is water intensive and that is why people avoid it.
    In case of meat back then it was not a formal industry. Running hens would be caught and people would eat. This is still the case in villages unlike cities where Venky’s provides endless supply of meat. You catch it, slaughter it and eat it. As simple as that. And, ask that secular Hindu if he’d be happy to slaughter his pet dog. Will he? No. He won’t but cow being ‘worshiped’ is a problem and just to make a point they’d eat beef. Do not argue hard. throw facts. if they do not buy it, let it go. There is nothing you can do beyond that. Because one can run behind chicken and catch it.
    We do not want to sling mud on ourselves fighting with animals who love mud.

[1] http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002439/243938e.pdf
[2] http://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Hoekstra-2012-Water-Meat-Dairy.pdf
[3] Crimes Against India: and the Need to Protect its Ancient Vedic Tradition
(https://books.google.co.in/books?id=7wqH__QPbBUC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=first+slaughterhouse+India+in+1760&source=bl&ots=DTINKS-MRK&sig=BFSEQ1X6Eo8-tOUxApp5cU1a72U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z3d9UvKbJYazrgftz4HoBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=first%20slaughterhouse%20India%20in%201760&f=false)

[4] http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol11p1.htm
[5] http://indiabudget.nic.in/budget2016-2017/es2015-16/echapvol1-04.pdf
[6] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/risk-red-meat
[7] http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/temple-tanks-are-vanishing-due-to-urbanisation/article8393383.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/much-water-has-flowed/article8417860.ece

 

 

Big picture

Abhi: Where have you brought me, Ramu?
Ramu:  Musical concert.
Abhi: Is it classical?
Ramu: Yes.
Abhi: Urgghhh.. What? Classical? Dei, you know this does not interest me
Ramu: Just sit. Sleep if you feel like.
Abhi: okay, sure. I did not need that directive!
The concert began with raga Hamsadhwani. Mandolin and violin jugalbandhi. Mrindangam and table jugalbandhi and morsing notes that filled the voids.
Abhi felt quite ecstatic. He listened half attentively though. His eyes shut in between. Ramu smiled. He was glad that his friend did not run away.
It seemed as if Abhi was asleep and ragams reached his ears one after the other.  His eyes would shut when he tried to open. Never he had appreciated mandolin, violin, ghatam, morsing, tabla and mridangam. When Sahana ragam was played on venu, he experienced what Samadhi could possibly be. He had a glimpse of  it.
The concert ended with a thillana which was the only vocal piece of the evening.
When the programme ended Abhi joined Ramu and applauded.

At the dinner table Ramu broke the silence which the programme had left in their minds.
Ramu: So, how did you find the programme?
Abhi:  I must admit that I was in a different world. Never felt like this ever before!
Ramu:  Glad to know. But do you know that at some places ‘arohanam’ was messed up by the flautist?
Abhi:  what? I don’t understand all that. That solo flute piece was the best! What are you blabbering?
Ramu:  you’ve just begun listening. You are looking at the big picture alone. Intricacies matter. The science needs to be mastered. Only then you can connect with the audience.
Abhi:  In that case, I do not mind being where I am. Knowing the science of the art too much kills the joy. Ignorance is bliss. I call myself a dumb rasika. The flautist touched my heart.
Ramu : That matters a lot. You’ll know with time how important it is to end the ragam.
Abhi: The big picture today made me feel good. I think that the best part of being in this place is that I need not picture how it could be better than before.

Why do we need Yoga Day?

This is a small step to let the world know the birth place of Yoga.
Yoga is intrinsically Hindu.I doubt the success in letting the world know this though through UN Yoga Day celebrations.
Let alone world, Government of India (GoI) made chanting ‘Om’ optional.

I have been practicing yoga asana since i was 13 years old. back then it was not mainstreamed as much as it is now because yoga asana is seen as a tool to lose weight. And, it ends there. Needless to say i was called ‘baba’.

If you read Patanjali Yoga sutras, yoga asana is one of the 8 limbs of yoga.
Even today, when the GoI introduced celebration of Yoga day it has been reduced to mere asanas. Chanting is a problem for our secular folks!
I read the first government press release for ths year’s yoga day celebrations. we were supposed to have pranayama, a satsang in the end. I doubt if this the position now. ‘OM’ chanting itself is optional. Stupidity of the highest order.
This is pulling off a Leela Samson in yoga.

Going further on benefit and purpose:
Follow major pages of yoga they will be mostly run by Americans.
With movie stars taking to yoga and also due to huge widespread practice of Transcendental meditation (TM), yoga asana, meditation spread far and wide in the states.
what eventually happened was Hinduism aspect was dropped.
Today, more yoga asana products are available outside than in India. China leads the market in yoga mats. The props that once were introduced by B.K.S. Iyengar now have been westernized and commercialized.

We hear mindfulness meditation, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) meditation sessions and they are all from India.
follow Huffington post you will notice ZERO acknowledgment made to India. Hinduism hurts the Abrahamic yoga propagators.

What the end result should be? Reverse baptism of Yoga.
We as people of the country should take pride that this was the birthplace of Yoga.
Yoga and Hinduism cannot be separated.

I used to take pride in the fact that i can pull off 108 Surya namaskaras. But, i have now begun to take other limbs of Yoga seriously.
A good yoga session should be a stress buster not a booster on seeing someone doing a head stand effortlessly.
In fact each time you push to get that asana right, you challenge your boundaries. Same can be applied to mundane life activities.

There is no point in rolling over yoga mats if one is feverish over getting an asana right or attaining enlightenment. Something that happens in yoga classes and spiritual outfits.

Yoga is not merely asana, it is one of the ways of life in Hinduism to connect with yourself. 🙂

Love is selfish

Radha loved cooking and was a great cook. She was all set to make dosas. She put in lot of efforts to prepare the batter and chutney in the traditional stone grinder.
She looked at them and smiled with a smug. She thought that she would first offer them to Lord and then serve her family. Meanwhile, in the backyard she saw an old man in rags asking alms.
Her heart sank, she immediately prepared two dosas and gave him those.

She fed an old hungry man, angels in heaven would have rejoiced she thought. She felt content.

In love, any selfless act brings contentment. Contentment is the by product.
Love is selfish yet brings contentment.


Meenu loved her cosmetics. Brand conscious, she had a collection of Body Shop and L’Oreal products.
One of her cousins had come over to her place during vacations.
Her eyes fell on Shea butter cream. while Menu was away, she slid open the cream box and applied a little.

Meenu realized that her cousin loved it.
She paused for a moment and then gave the brand new box of cream to her.
Sacrifice was Meenu’s nature.

In love, there are moments of sacrifice.
Love is selfish yet sacrifices liberate us, make us feel close to ourselves.


Ajay had a long and tiring day at work. 6:15 PM was the last fast train to Borivali from Churchgate before 7 PM.
He always rushed to catch that train like many others did. He was successful in boarding the train and finding a place to sit. That is a eureka moment in a place like Bombay during peak hours.
In few minutes, he saw an old man-old enough to have seen India attain independence.
Ajay offered him his seat. The old man resisted but Ajay insisted and made him sit and even offered him water. Ajay had to stand for more than an hour till he reached his destination.

When they both reached the last destinations, the old man thanked and blessed Ajay deeply.

Ajay believed that random acts of kindness made his day complete.

Love brings pain and hurt is inevitable.
In joy, in sacrifice, in celebration there is happiness.
Love is selfish.
Is there anything that is devoid of love and consequently any act minus selfishness?
🙂  

Who wins?

She: Death probably gives peace to the dead and shatters the living

He: Yea, but life moves on

She: It does and one learns to live with the loss. Hole in the glass can never be filled. Replacing does not mean the person will return. You never know where soul travels.

He: I believe once a human dies, he just dies.

She: Maybe. But, i believe that person lives through. We never realise how much our loved ones influence our lives until we lose them. We are a product of their qualities and the environment we grow in.

He: They do influence us. Then life moves on. There will be a day when we will all be gone. New set of folks will come and discuss. You see how insignificant these things are.

She: If they are insignificant then why do we live ? In all that we have we want to live our best, right? Every moment is significant to me.

He: Today you are discussing over the death of your loved one. How different is that? Many have come and gone. Each one of them would have thought that their love was most special. were they immortal? No! Unless, you were or are a legend, yours and my death will make no difference.

She: Yet, it will mean the world to the ones living and ones who care about you. you do not have to move mountains to make a difference. Sharing love will leave a better world. Even if it leaves one human in a better place.
There won’t be anything special in our love. Many have written peans and still write, yet that moment that love is all they need to satisfy their souls, to do right? We do not have to measure success and love on the basis of who features in news and in the history text books, right!

He: I entertain your thoughts but cannot buy it. Anyway, who cares who is right or wrong. what is good or bad. Everybody will eventually die. Who wins when both the sides die?!

She: Conscience wins as long as we are alive. Soul is satisfied as long as we are alive.

 

#HappyToBleed NOT

Personally, I do not care much if I am not let in and i am rarely happy to bleed except that bleeding is an indication that my uterus and ovaries are functionally well, if not very efficiently. Unless, i want do not want to bleed for straight 9 months.

Infrastructure and changing mindsets of people go hand in hand. If toilets are built, it is equally essential that mindsets are shaped to use them.
Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan cannot be lauded on social media alone. We too play a role in keeping our homes, neighbours clean and tidy. Just let’s begin with carrying waste till we spot a garbage bin.

Menstrual cycles and women

In South India, onset of periods is considered very pious and calls for a celebration. As a teenager, i rebelled. It is now that i realise how Hinduism like worshipping fertility, worships this as well.

Menstruating woman undergoes hormonal changes. Cramps, excessive bleeding, PCOS, and various issues bother women of this era.  When i discuss with octogenarian women, they seem to have had almost pain free periods, something that rarely happens to me.

So, what helped the octogenarian women?
Despite having less nutritious diet, rest and physical activities kept them hail and hearty.
Those impositions were absurd, yet rest in those 4 days helped them to a great extent.

In my case good food, rest, exercises have ensured smooth menstrual cycle and flow to me.  These and shatavari milk drink have helped me sail through those days with ease.

Whisper, stay free help only urban middle class and above section women. Majority of Indian women still use cloth and cotton.

Why do we not see banners asking women to eat fruits, vegetables during menstrual cycle?
Why can we not have volume based businesses that focus on women’s health?
Several urban girls face PCOS . Why can’t the same women who want us to enter temples understand that most women are not uncomfortable to even make long journeys due to lack of toilets and usage of cloth and cotton?

On that note, Arunachalam Muruganantham is the man I would look up to. He not only has built infrastructure but also, employs women, is playing an important role in changing mindsets.

Feminazis like to blare like honking cars in slow moving traffic. That will not clear the traffic but result in noise pollution.
When you proclaim #HappyToBleed I hope that you factor in other dimensions like health care, cleanliness, rest, functioning of woman’s reproductive system and sustainable methods to achieve the above.

Rohith Vemula and education system

Rohith Vemula’s suicide is disturbing to me for reasons other than stated by social media and main stream media (MSM). I wishfully choose to discard his religion, caste background.
Suicide is a social evil cutting across gender, caste, creed and nationality.

Suicides until now took a center stage in politics due to farmer suicides.
Farmers most often have no choice. Poor yield, landless, daughter’s wedding, unable to pay dues are the reasons we hear. They often have no alternative sources of income.
Agriculture is rigidly under the control of the government and unshackling that will set many things right.

Rohith Vemula was a PhD scholar. If a student, an educated youth commits suicide it shows that our education system, value system and culture system have failed us.
If education cannot ensure healthy mind, body and spirit to fight things out bravely, then literacy 100% will not indicate progress of the nation.
Excellence is to be chased, but the ecosystem to accept failures, remedies to tackle depression springing from various reasons are also needed.
But when you commit suicide at campuses where red chaddis move then ‘narangi’ men are at work.

But who cares about death of an open category man or woman in India?
Have they shown their suicide notes to the world? We cannot make politics out of open category humans. Sub-humans that we are to the human rights crusaders.
Ultimately, we are the bourgeoisie to the human rights crusaders!