Sunday, January 17
Wednesday, January 13
Each time 'creation’ is discussed, there is always a thought of God making material out of nothingness. This thought is fair because, every human as a child, begins to visualize creation as the work of God. It is only later that he exposes his beliefs to the rational world that calls for many other explanations for Creation.
Beyond concentrating on the very act of creation, I move further away to the consequences of creation. One of the most exiting prospects of the creation story is that we can keep ‘in-touch’ with God. If I put it in another way: I cannot run away from the Creator nor the creation. Each time we review the creation with all our wisdom, it strengthens our ‘in-touch’ relationship with the Master of the Universe. The mystic, the learned or even a poor illiterate on the street experience this bond very strong in their lives.
As a child, I used to play around with toy cars. In these toys, a key was used to wind-up a mechanical spring and once left on the floor would race across the room. The fact is, once I put down the wound-up toy, it would just rush away anywhere it likes. There wasn’t any control on them! However, I think creation is not like that. The creator and the creation have an intimate communion, a connection and a relation. As the ‘touch’ of the Master is reflected in every bit of the universe, the story of creation stays alive and ticking.
The story of creation would have been different if this ‘in-touch’ relation was missing in its very heart. Like a mechanical toy with no controls, I would be rushing across my floor...banging here and there, sometimes toppling and ultimately stopping cold dead, directionless...life less.
Of the many visualisations of the Creation, Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (Rome) stands apart. Here, the ‘in-touch’ connection in creation is so profound. Michelangelo seems to be telling that the creation would have been a lot poorer if this ‘connection’ was missing. There is another beauty in this painting that keeps talking to me: God and His creation are footed almost on the same level and are seen facing each other (making an eye contact). What a marvellous visualisation!
*** The Stamp: Mint block of four quadruple from my collection. ‘The Creation’ of Michelangelo was issued as a commemorative stamp in 1975 to celebrate the quincentenary of the painter. This is the first quadruple stamp ever issued by the Government of India. Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then Union Communications Minister who released this beautiful and unique stamp described this masterpiece as a “superb, aesthetic expressions through the medium of human body". "Michelangelo proves that there is something that unites the whole of humanity” he added***
Friday, January 8
Wednesday, January 6
Whenever world sits together to dialogue on environmental issues, it gives me faith in humanity that something is at work positively. However, it is with trepidation that I observe how world religions are voting these issues. Different belief systems have different approach to ecology and nature. By and far, all religions have shades and beliefs that uphold environment as a work of God. In the Eastern tradition, environment has been always revered for its mystery and power. When incorporating the best of simple living, the Buddhists have been most successful in displaying a life of frugality in these modern times. Monasticism in Christianity and Sufism in Islam are fighting for survival. The eco-friendly living habits that these communities cherished have long lost its message and meaning.
As world communities battle out to sustain the environment, simple lifestyle should be at the heart of any planning. I ask myself, “What happened to the time I worked with my hands and feet?” Leading a simple life at an individual level is the beginning of the best for the world ecology. Religion should be a call for encompassing the ecology with sustained living.
The Bible says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” My stewardship calls for taking care of Master’s garden.
Sunday, January 3
For the famous warriors of Rajasthan the Rajputs, the Marwari will remain indispensible in their stories of valour and chivalry. Marwari is one breed of Indian horse that has captured the imagination and the hearts of every Indian horse lover. For hundreds of years, the Marwari carried not only the queens and the kings, the nobles and the elites but also the war heroes and the brave. From the arid deserts of Rajasthan to the ramparts of Red Fort, the Marwari carried the brave-hearted and the fallen to their destiny. The word ‘Marwari’ means ‘from the land of death’. In its glorious times, the hoof-beats of the Marwari horses were a signal to the enemy of the arrival of fighters ‘from the land of death’. It is said that to know and love a Marwari is to enter into a magical realm of the world of mythical horses... a world where the brave and the audacious galloped their way to make their dreams come true... and a world long lost for all of us to the power of combustion engines and automobiles.
Chetak and his times are lost forever... we can only be reminiscent about it now.
Friday, January 1
There are many stories in the Bible. The story of Creation is one of the most famous. Anyone can find it in the first two pages of any Bible. The story of Creation was and is one of the most debated stories in the Bible world. Different people debate it for different reasons.