We want to know if the terror has any religion. We would like to know if death has any religion. We certainly wish to know if the birth has any religion. Does it? It doesn’t. None of them, life, death, violence, peace… are the basic attributes, they doesn’t have any colour, choice or religion.
Terrorism itself is a religion, follower of which doesn’t respect life.
I remember a story that is mostly un-told today; this is a story of Shree Shankaracharya winning against terrorism by applying some good thoughts.
In ancient times, Madhurai temple had a worshipper who used to worship Meenakshi, the goddess there, as a Raudri, in the violent form. So, naturally, the Goddess wore a violent attribute to herself. She used to roam around the city at nights searching for the human meat. She was so violent that no one could dare go near the temple after the Sun set.
Once Shankara the monk came to the city roaming. King Pandya served him in the best possible way and upon the nightfall, Shankara asked the king to arrange for his stay in the temple so that he wanted to spend the time at the temple that night. The king refused to do this, as he didn’t want to carry the blame of killing a sanyasi in his time. Upon hearing that Shankaracharya said, since he was a sanyasi, he should not be averse to his dharma of not spending any night in the worldly places; he had to spend it in the abode of the Goddess. King agreed reluctantly and arranges for a night’s stay for the sanyasi at the temple.
As the night fell and the gates of the temple closed behind, Goddess came out of sanctum sanctorum rushing to find her food. In that exercise, she looks at the young boy who is so electric in his looks and reciting the prayers in praise of her.
She asks the boy to go away from her way; she has decided not to harm this guy. For which he says if its in the rule that whoever is seen first to her is a pray, then he shall be, he was ready for it. She allows him to speak, and after that she would kill him. He recites some poems written on her and impresses her. And he then confides in her about his long-standing wish of playing “Pagade”(a royal betting game) with her. As she was already impressed, she gets ready to play with him. He prays in her for the required numbers in the dice and prepares the pitch for the play. And also says he would recite Lalitha sahasranama along with the commentary on it as per his understanding, Goddess becomes happy and gives him a go-ahead. The play is started. But the betting requires a kind of involvement, so they had this bet If the sanyasi lost, then the Goddess would have him as the dinner first and then moved on with her destructive work, If the sanyasi won, Goddess would stop being violent and destructive. Both agreed to the terms.
Then as the play started and Shankara recited each and every name from the Lalitha Sahasranama with a detailed commentary on each of them, Goddess was impressed so much the she forgot that she had a lot of other things to do that night. And at the dawn, the game ended, and it so happened that the Goddess won the match. But since she was used to the routine of not having ‘food’ when Sun is around, she was placed in a dilemma of having Shankara for food or not…! Finally she decides to eat him and tries to get up.
Allllaaaaaaaasssss!!!! She couldn’t get up. She was virtually arrested in that place. Upon getting angry, asks Shankara to explain it. Shankara prostrates before the Goddess and politely says, “Mother, I know its you who has won the game, but look at the numbers on dice I got during the game. They all were so perfect that they could create a web around you. It’s the sweetness in your names that made these perfect numbers appear on the dice. Now you alone can come out of this web by becoming as sweet and non-violent as you were always. In spite of these if you think you’ve won, I’m ready, you can have me!!!!!”
What a polite way to win the terrorism, Shankaracharya thus wrote the first Shreechakra, which softened the Goddess and incorporated all her powers in it. Goddess thus became a Mother again and blessed the saint with all the knowledge in the world.
That’s a myth, you can argue. But still didn’t it have the message of terrorism is a religion which doesn’t seem to follow any humane laws. But in any adverse case too, there is a way to overcome it, as Shankara has proved it in this story, apply a humane touch to the terror; it becomes the most soothing power for you.
I recollected this story not to imply that all terrorists must be freed, but if we try to attach a humane value to them, and if we show them that there is a value to each life, then they can become most responsible citizen as well. We should not be soft on them, but we should handle them with a bit of mind and a humane element.
Yesterday’s Mumbai attack of Islamic-terrorists must be condemned at any cost. Those terrorists call themselves Islamic, but do they follow this religion? What is said in that? Do they mean to kill innocent people? Killing has no religion. Hindus, Muslims, Christians all are dead in the terror act of Tuesday in Mumbai. So are women, children, elderly people, there is no discrimination in the eyes of the God of death. Then why this carnage? What is the benefit they claim by holocaust of innocent people?
We’ll cry for some time and come out of the shock and move on in life, but would that mean the people who are dead had nothing to offer? We lost so much of human expertise, we’ve lost a lot of knowledge base, and we’ve lost a lot of hard working executives who would’ve done India proud at some point in future. There’s no salvation for it. Does that mean victory for terror? No. Definitely, the country’s enemies are not strong enough to call it a victory. ‘coz Indian strength lies in its unity. Mumbai has shown to the world that it’s the most “Humane city, not the Rudest”. That’s the essence of Indian ness.
I just hope we’ll find some way to come out of this mess created by the religious fanatic terrorists. But right at this moment, lets pray for the peace for the families of the victims of the terror strike.