Another trip to my most favorite destination – India – is in the offing. What a beautiful thing it is to imagine about the beauty of Mother India , the holy and lofty Mountains on the North – a 1500 Miles long solid wall of pure white snow, from which emanate rivers like the Mother Ganga, Yamuna, Sutlej, Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Sind and of course the mighty Brahmaputra – and ocean on the other three sides, where all these holy rivers connect the spirits of the Mountains to the needs of the Oceans, vibrating in the process a billion and a half people with ecstasy. Every Indian is a happy person, yes everyone, because of Mother Ganga and her sisters would not have it otherwise.
And I am also going there to drink the nectar of the same joy. When I walk through the beautiful Lodi Garden in New Delhi – I always witness a myriad of people doing Yoga or Meditation or simply walk—and I think of the mountains and the rivers and the ocean that make the spirit of India and the hall mark of India – Happiness. From the super rich to the ordinary and the beautiful street urchins who beg on the streets of New Delhi none is ever seen without a smile on their beautiful faces, a smile that befuddles the critics of India, who wonder and ask – how can it be that the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor can gather and be happy in crowded places, like markets, temples, streets and neighborhoods.
India is God’s blessed place – you live there and you will be happy “He” has said. No hatred, no wars, no aggression, no jealousy, no ego – that is India and that is where I am going, one more time to come back to another blessed place my United States of America. America also is a powerful place where everyone is happy and peaceful, both countries have embraced each other’s traditions – America learned from India’s and Gandhi ji’s non violent truth and Reverend Martin Luther King embraced that truth and enhanced American society beyond belief. His movement has put Barak Husain Obama in the White House. And John Adam’s Capitalist Manifesto embraced by India has put Ambani,Tata, Premji Azim etc. in lofty places.
John Adams who was one of the founding fathers of the modern America and her second President, had said during his address in 1797-
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”
That thought of John Adams is the guiding principle of all Democracies specially the great and admirable Democracy of India.
And Gandhi ji’s famous guiding principle “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent”—is now guiding the Facebook and Twitter generation – and all the flowers that are blooming, fertilized by Facebook, from Arabia to Tibet and China and Russia are springing due to the young understanding Gandhi ji and of course Reverend Martin Luther King.
I also salute Mark Zuckerberg, only a young boy as yet, – he too has a lofty agenda, mark my word, he is an Avatar of Gandhi and Adams, combined.
Whenever I go to India I think of the three of them and their power to dream and yet be realistic. Yes Gandhi ji was very realistic – he, got India her freedom by mobilizing millions of people and so was John Adams also – look at America today, the Leader of the Free World with great debates and elections and Power. In America they always throw the Bums out if they do not perform—always—and always Non Violently.
And Zukerberg's Facebook has given a new face to all humanity!!
Zuckerberg has said,” By giving people the power to share, we're making the world more transparent. His vision also is a realistic vision waiting to change the World--realizing the Hope and Change that Barak Husain promised !!
And I vividly see that transparence, visulazed by Zukerberg, in India. Face book is everywhere-- in the weddings that I attend there, in the sheer luxury that I enjoy and also in the mind boggling and depressing squalor and sloth. I see a tremendous promise for the poorest of the poor in India who now have a very powerful weapon called “Talent and Hard Work”, which can no longer be ignored by the powerful of the World. And the poorest of the poor have risen and are shaking the World with their IT prowess rising from the squalor to be reckoned as the people whose software and data bases and WebPages and creativity are running and changing the business World with a speed, that the likes of even Bill Gates could not Imagine.
That brings me to the revival of India and which makes my most beautiful moments possible. These are the moments I spend in the Chandi Chowk of Shah Jahan built in 1650 and the Karol Bagh of the refugees from Pakistan in 1947 and the Connaught place that the British Empire built in 1919, still the most beautiful place to shop anywhere. I also visit the most beautiful garden in the whole World open “free” for all in India - the Moghul Garden in the President of India’s estate. Then I also admire with awe, the Akshara Dham temple, a masterpiece of devotional creation, besides the Bahai lotus temple and my favorite the Praachin Hanuman temple.
I always see tremendous and uplifting spirits and total vigor to succed, in the youth of India, I invited one to come visit us in the USA, he thanked me profusely and said, “Thanks, I would love to do that, USA is a great and beautiful country, one of my dream destinations, and I will surely come there after I have travelled all over India. It may take a whole life time. I have not seen Munnar, or Badrinath or Rameswaram, or Dwarka or Jagannaath the Western Ghats or Ganga Sagar or Siliguri or Sikkim or the Holy Gurudwara in Amritsar or the Holy Dargah of Ajmer Sharif, or Queen of hills Shimla. I have not seen India yet.” He continued “After that I would like to go to Kashmir and meditate at the Holy shrine of Amarnath so I can see inside of me.”
Looking inside one’s self is as Indian as mother Ganga is. Vipaasana is the ultimate goal of all Indians – “Who am I?”, is the question that remains unanswered as long as one only sees outwards. It is the last question that every one finds an answer to, at the time one goes. And when I go there, to India, I get the feel that I can take a glimpse inside me—I rummage through the book stores of Nai Sarak, the largest market in the World where only books are sold, a two mile long stretch of book stores, where I find books that interpret the words that were revealed by God himself at the time of creation.
And one of my most favorite quotations of Satya Shri Sai Baba, from one of those books, is “Forgiveness is Truth itself, it is Righteousness, it is the Veda. It is the Supreme virtue in this world. Hence, all people should develop the quality of forgiveness.”
I guess once I forgive every one, including myself, and when everyone else has forgiven me – I will know the answer to the question “Who am I?” So now you know why I go to India with love in my heart and to seek the answer to my yet unanswered question.