An Eye for an Eye...
A friend sent me the following piece by Tarek Fateh with a suggestion that we 'Hindus' ought to do some thing about it.
I have mulled over it for a couple of days. I think I would rather let this guy rant than get caught with his provocation. I don't know what your response might be. So read it and then read on.
Pakistan born Canadian writer Tarek Fateh on ABP News:
"When will you have the guts?"
A small digression into how I felt about the film Avatar then we will get back to this discussion:
"On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet's environment is poisonous, human/Na'vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paralyzed former Marine, becomes mobile again through one such Avatar and falls in love with a Na'vi woman (Zoe Saldana). As a bond with her grows, he is drawn into a battle for the survival of her world." (the synopsis on the net).
I enjoyed the film Avatar until at the end, the Na’vi are shown as capable of savagery in response to the provocation of the humans. I hated this ending. What would I have liked to see?
The Na’vi understand why Jake Sully is being sent among them. Like they have done to many civilizations earlier, the humans will extract the knowledge/ resources they want and then destroy their world. So they decide to concentrate their energies and draw all the “life loving” forces of the world into their world. The human world starts to dry up, and the Na’vi world becomes luminescent, and impenetrable, only beings with an intense commitment to life and compassion can enter. As the process become more powerful, the few humans who love life are drawn to the Na’vi world. The others who are committed to technology and power find that the world from which they extract their raw materials, water and food is disintegrating. There are no new flowers in spring, no birds to kill and no animals to hunt down. As summer turns to Autumn, their environment has become completely dry and in winter the elements have returned to their separate state, no life forms can survive.
Now that my stance is clear, let me share to my hypothesis about the rant: Non Dharmic minds cannot understand ahimsa, they cannot comprehend the beauty of freedom from dogma and external authority. The depth of commitment to life that ahimsa requires is foreign to them, the sense of responsibility that the psychological freedom offers scares them. That is why they “other” the Indic religions and both hate and envy them. There is a visceral need to destroy them, to blow the Bhamian Buddha to smitherings, destroy temples and so on. There are two ways of destroying the Dharmic mind- one by making them forget their grounding in ahimsa and freedom through provocation and through shaming them for these very virtues they value. Second, to physically kill and murder. They have succeeded to some extent, but a thousand years of this process has not made a very deep dent. I hope this resilience lives on.
I some times loose hope though. Most of the Westernized Indians I have met, like this friend who sent me this mail, have lost touch with the well spring of Dharma, they often hold our tradition in ambivalence and secretly feel ashamed for being who we are. I wonder what they really feel about Gandhiji and Satyagraha, or about the Buddha. I hope sincerely that they do not get provoked either by the acts of terror or the shaming of these people who are held in the grip of authoritarian dogma and life hating ideology.
I do hope that there are enough of us left to do what in my story the Na’vi did: go inward and find the Shakti that Shri Aurobindo and the Yoga Sutras talk about, and through this Integration of one self first and then of similarly committed others, create a compelling alternative. IMHO, Gandhiji and Mandela have shown the power of this path. I will not walk the way of violence. I may not succeed in discovering the depth of energy needed for Satyagraha, but I will die trying.
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My work revolves around helping individuals, groups and organizations discover their Dhamma, and become “the best they can be”. This aligns with my own personal saadhana. I have restated this question for my self as follows: “how can I be in touch with the well spring of my love for the world and my love for my self simultaneously”