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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The avoidable controversy elsewhere on ‘Srimad Bhagwad Gita’

I have no competence to write on the revered text ‘Bhagwad Gita’  - I know not Sanskrit nor do I recite Bhagwad Gita.  Some thoughts of mine and those of you well versed, may please pardon me, for any wrong committed

Even for a lay man, it is amply clear  - Bhagwad Gita was the message of Lord Sri Krishna on a battle field – the context was not War nor was it war-mongering but advice to his disciple on the ground zero – the battlefield.  It quintessentially is words of advice of eternal principles to live by as well as contextual guidance for any period of time.  The battle had been thrust upon the Pandavas after all options for peace extinguished – now the simple advice for the valiant Arjuna is ‘you have a duty to fight’ – that is the dharma of that hour – War was never the first option or the most sought after one but when there is no option, One cannot duck away and run away from one’s responsibility. 

After posting that one, read reports of Russia expressing sadness over the “Bhagwad Gita”  controversy.   In the wake of an uproar over a move to ban Bhagwad Gita in Siberia, Russia  expressed sadness over the development, saying it is "inadmissible" that a holy scripture is taken to court.

"It is strange that such events are unfolding in the beautiful university city in Siberia, as Tomsk which is famous for its secularism and religious tolerance," Alexander M Kadakin, Russian Ambassador in India said in a statement.  "Well, it seems that even the lovely city of Tomsk has its own neighborhood madmen. It is sad indeed."  "I consider it categorically inadmissible when any holy scripture is taken to the courts. For all believers these texts are sacred," the Ambassador said. "It is not normal either when religious books are sent for examination to ignorant people. Their academic scrutiny should be done at scientists' fora, congresses, seminars, etc but not in courts," he said.

Meanwhile, a Russian court today suspended its verdict till December 28 on the demand for banning Bhagavad Gita, which a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has described as 'extremist'.

The move triggered strong protests by Members of Parliament earlier in day. They wanted the Indian Government to take up the matter strongly with Russia.  "Russia, as it is known to anyone, is a secular and democratic country where all religions enjoy equal respect. Even more applicable it is to the holy scriptures of various faiths - whether it is the Bible, the Holy Quran, Torah, Avesta and, of course, Bhagavad-Gita -- the great source of wisdom for the people of India and the world," the Ambassador said.

One hopes that wisdom and sanity prevails……….. sarve jana sukhino bavanthu..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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