माजी पंतप्रधान, महाविद्वान कै. नरसिंह राव यांनी माझ्या "द अवेकनिंग" या इंग्रजी कादंबरीचे २ मे, २००२ रोजी दिल्ली येथे हयात मध्ये प्रकाशन केले होते...म्रुत्युवर चिंतन करणा-या या कादंबरी प्रकाशनावेळीचे माझे हे प्रास्तविक भाषण...मा. श्री. राव नंतर जे बोलले त्या विद्वत्तेला तर तोडच नाही...
I do not have enough words to express my gratitude towards Hon’ble Mr. Narasimha Rao for releasing my novel at his auspicious hands. This is a dream evening for me.
In brief I would like to tell why I wrote this novel “The Awakening”.
Yakshya in Mahabhrata had posed a question before Yudhisthira, “what is the funniest thing in humane life?” Wise Yudhisthira had answered, “funniest thing on this earth is, the people those all the time see some or other die, always are confident that death never will grab them.” Yes, this really is a funniest thing. This is why people kill people, in wars, in riots, in terrorist attacks…as if human life has no value whatsoever. Death dances on this earth in its vicious forms. And yet we are not ready to learn a lesson from death, no matter whether it is human doing or nature’s wrath. It was Gautam Buddha, who left his house in the quest of attaining eternity because he had come across the brutal truth of the life, death. That changed him overnight. He became an eternal seeker. But, if we look at the current world, it seems that death is begetting the death. We certainly are living on the vortex of violence, Lord Rama too would have felt ashamed of.
Since primitive times death has ruled very psyche of the mankind. They were afraid of death that suddenly would pluck away the life force from their or others body. The primitive concept of religion emerged from the very existence of the death they had no solution for. Creation of God’s, their being immortal, supernatural was sheer imagination of terrified mankind. Religions too appeared one after other to subdue the fear of the death, values and principles were created to beat or prolong the death. Millions of rituals, faiths, ways of life were discovered to console the feared mankind. It was nothing but a solace. “Jeevet Sharadah Shatam…”, prayed Vedics, for people wanted to live as longer as they could. Stories of humane immortals like of Callipso in Homeric epics or sapta Chiranjeeva in Indian myths was nothing but a consolation to the troubled minds. Egyptian’s mummified dead with only hope that some day they will come back to the life. Christians do bury the dead with the only hope that on the day of judgement the Lord will awaken all the dead and he will pass his judgement.
Hindu philosophers as usual were wise. They provided a simple solution to a most complicated question to its followers stating that it is body that dies, soul is immortal. Like a person that changes from one to other home, it too changes the body. Millions of Hindu believes in this philosophy. Same time there are many those tend to trust if they perform certain kind of tantrik rituals, they can put life in dead. They can become immortals. A quest to equal with the gods is still all awake not only in the so called ignorant orthodox masses but in so called modern scientists too. Stories of hundreds of sages who are living for centuries too are a matter of common gossip and faith in the world. Also many do tend to trust in the concept of reincarnation of not only God’s but sages too. The concept of sins and virtues are connected with nothing but death or life after the death. Horrifying pictures of hell are created only to threaten people.
World today has developed a new concept of terrorism, it is nothing but psycho-transmutation to enforce ones fear on others. Those who, in their own schizophrenic paranoia tend to shed blood, only because they themselves are afraid of their own existence, is a matter of concern for the modern world. We have today lot many groups of this kind. Laden too is no exception and nor the America.
In fact entire human society is living on the breath of fear and day after day, true or false, fears are getting intense. Everybody is afraid of others. Everybody is seeking security, either in masses of his likes or in law. And unfortunately it appears that it has psycho-transformed in the some segments in the form of the violence. As Mahatma Gandhi had said, violence is nothing but cowardice. Cowardice comes to those only who are terrified.
In a way till today death rules our life. Our faiths, our sentiments and our dreams are influenced by the very fact named death we want to neglect, as Yudhisthira had said in Mahabharata. Our scientists want to discover the genes that can help human being to live longer. They want to recreate a living being in the form of cloning. In fact each and one want to be immortal, thinks he is immortal. Same time, irony is, the same mankind keeps on inventing new tools to massacre people. This is the way our modern times have been shaped.
I started writing this novel 4 years ago though concept was shaped in my mind almost over 7 years ago. I wanted to explore in the matter of the death through primitive perspective, for I know rational minds tend to be rather argumentative than practice. Though unfortunately we tend to think of primitives, as ignorant herd of irrational mindsets, we can not forget it were those who created the monuments that even after applying our present technology, we never can recreate or replicate them.
Every society has its own needs and all the discoveries are nothing but psychological needs of those particular times. If we ask why they wanted to build pyramids, the answer is why do we then need atom bombs? Why do we need probing satellites or superior techniques that can kill maximum people in a moment? It has become our psychology that we need killing and we are having it. Hindu’s say kill Muslim and Muslim say kill Hindu’s for it has become question of survival and co-existence. In same breath Israelis are killing Palestinians and vis a versa. There are enemies of America those want to destroy it and at the same time, America wants to command every particle of this earth. Scales of enmity and destruction may be different, but fact remains that everyone is in the process to threaten others mortally. We have reached a phase, from creation to destruction.
I, in this novel, chose primitive times to shape my story, for I only could find simple minded people in those ancient times. Where ethics were simple and direct, philosophies not as complicated, as we have today that no one ever practices. It helped me to create the characters that could suit my primitive mind. I time-transcended Sheba of Jericho, who happened to live in the times of King Solomon to the contemporary era of Jesus Christ. Sheba in this novel is not the historical Sheba, though, nor is the Jericho. The quest of attaining immortality that was seeded in her by a slave, with whom, as a ritual, she had had sex and was about to slain him to bath in his blood that could bring her the supreme beauty, changed her.
But are the changes enough? Most of the times seekers never reach to any solution or destination, no matter how many pains they has to undergo in their quest. But there are people, who never can explain why they are living the life the way they are, they don’t have Guru’s nor they practice anything to attain physical or spirituals bliss, they simply live the life the way it comes to them, without remorse or rejoice. They are one who truly does meet the difference between life and death. Let us not forget that knowing the truth, realizing the truth and practicing the truth are altogether different things. This is what I have tried to explain in this novel.
A petty being I am and yet I have tried to take a large bite I am not capable enough to intake by writing this novel.
I again express my gratitude towards Mr. Rao for his kind blessings. I know my speaking before him is nothing but a babble of a child. But I pray to forgive me for my impudence. I thank all the dignitaries and guests present for being patient with me.