27 August, 2012

Hinduism, the hidden inspiration behind Hollywood blockbusters

Matrix Trilogy and Yoga Vasistha

Anand Mathur

The core philosophy of Hollywood’s super hit trilogy “Matrix” is inspired by the philosophy of the ancient Indian text “Yoga Vasistha”. The Yoga Vasistha is the knowledge portion of the Ramayana just like The Bhagwad Gita is the knowledge portion of the “Itihas” Mahabharata.

Yoga Vasistha is a discussion between “The One” – Rama with Sage Vasistha. In it Vasistha explains the nature and reasons of Creation, of its Existence and Dissolution. It explains the indivisible relationship of the individual to the Cosmos.

There are several similarities between the text and the movie. Let us examine some of them below.

The meeting of the “ONE” – Neo, with the child prodigy at The Oracle’s residence reminds one of the dialogues between the Prince Rama and Sage Vasistha. The child says “it is not the spoon that is bending….”. Vasistha tells Rama “the Universe is but an extension of that One Self, which is you.”

Similarly the Architect tells Neo that this was the 6th time this Matrix had been created and each time Neo has been the challenge, while in the Yoga Vasistha, Vasistha says “Rama this creation has been re-created for the 76th time exactly the same way albeit with minor changes and you have been born as Lord Rama the 76th time”!!! Reminds one of the quaint statement of the Architect, “this time the experience is far more specific.”

Similarly The Frenchman tells Neo that they both have been here before and he has had the better of him each time! His speech on cause and effect are lectures on the theory of Karma.

The dialogue between Neo and Morpheus during the former’s training in the simulated Matrix is familiar too. Morpheus repeatedly exhorts Neo to overcome the conditioning of his mind in the imaginary Matrix leading Neo to perform extraordinary feats such as flying, dodging bullets, bringing Trinity to life and even stopping the machines outside the matrix!

Similarly in Yoga Vasistha, Vasistha explains to Rama that the Creation is nothing but imagination. He narrates several stories to drive home his point wherein the protagonists have created entire Universes and cities in their minds and perform extra-ordinary feats even while experiencing pain and pleasure therein! Ironically Morpheus is Neo’s teacher but only Neo is destined to break the mould, to be the One, just like Rama.

Neo gets flashes of what he has to do in the future to stop Mr. Smith and the war. The Architect tells Neo, “but we know what you will do.” The Oracle asks him, “You dream of it don’t you?” Similarly Vasistha tells Rama that the future is known; that there is no choice but to do what one will be impelled to do. He tells Rama that it is his destiny to fight Ravana and to destroy him in battle.

Neo masters his mind becoming the chosen One. It is the concept of Avatar in India. He becomes one with nature within and without the Matrix, mastering it by merging his consciousness in it. Similarly Rama too understands the Unity in the Cosmos and rejoins with his pristine ancient consciousness thereby becoming the Avatar that Vasistha has already told him he is.

Finally we should discuss the scene where Neo is blinded by Mr. Smith but can see all objects and people in golden forms. This is the classical description of the Hiranyagarbha, The Golden Cosmic Egg, in ancient Indian texts including Yoga Vasistha. This golden material is the substratum of the Cosmos, the ultimate and unbroken particle; Neo uses his complete Oneness with the Universe before the final battle to his advantage.

Introduction of characters with Indian names like Sita etc and their discussion with Neo on Karma in Matrix Reloaded also show a strong Indian influence. The chanting at the beginning of the credits of the third part, i.e. Matrix Revolutions is the ancient Indian Sanskrit salutation to the Guru…

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्माऽमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति: ॥

Lead us from the Unreal to the Real.
From darkness to light.
From death to immortality.
Om Peace! Om Peace! Om Peace.

26 August, 2012

Assam Violence - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visits Assam

Above: In the midst of chaos, violence and mayhem in Assam, a ray of hope still lingers - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visited the riot-hit districts of Chirang and Kokrajhar on 8th August, 2012

Directions to Block Websites: The 4 Circulars issued by Indian Government

Above: Directions to Block Websites - The 4 Circulars issued by Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communication & IT, Government of India on 18th, 19th, 20th & 21st August, 2012

13 August, 2012

Islamisation of Indian Judiciary

Anand Mathur

When a respected Judge and Lokayukta writes to the Chief Justice of India to remove a judge from a bench because of his “communal mindset” it is a matter the nation should sit up and take note of.

Retired Gujarat High Court Judge and former Gujarat Lokayukta, Justice S.M. Soni, in a letter dated 27th June, 2012 wrote to the Chief Justice of India that the “communal mindset” Justice Aftab Alam should be kept away from Gujarat cases in the Supreme Court!

Justice Soni was forced to write this on the basis of speeches made by the Justice Alam in a forum abroad and on the basis of an article contributed by the latter to a leading international think tank. In the speech and article Justice Alam raised objections on certain decisions of Supreme Court benches alleging that their decisions have undermined the constitutional rights accorded to minorities!

Recently the Delhi High Court allowed a minor girl of 15 years to be married to a man based on Mohameddan Law. Pertinent questions of the physical, mental or emotional ability of a child that age to live in a marriage were not raised but the supremacy of Mohameddan Law was accepted; that this decision may have compromised the child’s rights and the protection accorded to her by the Constitution as a minor citizen are yet to be established in a higher court.

In another case our secular nation could not get a stay order on Mamta Banerjee’s controversial decision to give honorarium to 30,000 - 40,000 West Bengal Imams and Muezzins of Mosques in the High Court of Calcutta. In a bizarre unconstitutional act of ultimate minority appeasement her government announced a community specific hand-out of tax payers’ hard earned money!

The Supreme Court has also recently directed the Centre to totally phase out the Haj subsidy in 10 years, holding that there was no provision in the Holy Quran for undertaking visits to Mecca at the expense of the government or others. It had also expressed its reservations over the discretionary VIP quotas that were later cut down drastically by the same court too!

Judgments of higher courts have repeatedly established that our secular nation’s Constitution and the principles of governance enshrined in it cannot solely be based on what is mentioned in religious texts. It gives precedence to individual liberties enshrined in the fundamental rights. Nevertheless it allows certain cultural and religious freedom and protection thereof in a very dynamic way. Thus, whether the religio-cultural rights guaranteed to any community can be read in a fashion where the Sharia or the Quran can be the final source of Judgment is questionable. It is shocking that religious considerations can subvert sympathetic acts of a government, thereby allowing religious organizations and religious leaders to usurp the powers and privileges of the polity, executive and judiciary.

The few cases above show a dangerous trend in the judiciary that is tending towards Islamisation of the rules of governance for the Muslim population thereby usurping the Individual rights of the Muslim people that are citizens of this Secular country. In the long run, it is far more dangerous than accusations of judicial activism hurled at the courts.

The Shah Bano episode was a blot on the expression of modernity of our nation, yet at that time the entire nation took note of this controversy and condemned it as a retrograde step and an anti-women act. However, the case of the 15 year old Muslim girl being declared eligible for marriage has not woken up a single feminist organisation or the media to take up the cudgels to protect thousands of innocent lives from being destroyed by Fundamentalist forces that threaten to take our country back to the stone ages.

Meanwhile political parties continue to shamelessly pander to the Muslim vote bank, relegating millions of innocent people into the permanent clutches of a retrograde brand of Islam, poverty and vulnerability to radicalization. The Islamic seminarians have a stranglehold on millions of poor people and misuse their faith in ruining their lives further for personal gains and to maintain their powerful position. Educated and prosperous people make informed choices on matters of faith.

Yet now some crooks are doing their best to storm the last bastion of democracy, the Judiciary.

06 August, 2012

Teesta Setalvad received US$ 250,000 from Ford Foundation

Above: Teesta Setalvad's NGO Sabrang Trust has received US$ 250,000 from Ford Foundation. Right-click and 'save link as' for large size image. Source

Also View: Evidence Against Teesta Setalvad