Two articles by dr. Jernail s. Anand – Prepared Angela Kosta


TWO ARTICLES BY Dr. JERNAIL S. ANAND 

THE VOYAGE OF IGNORAMITY AND THE CELESTIAL CONSPIRACY AND

“Man is on his Voyage of Ignoramity. Knowledge has failed to light his way to eternal happiness. Worldly wisdom writes the ethics of human folly. Man, in spite of his grand opening, ends up as an epic failure, in the absence of para-existential knowledge which is denied to him as a part of some celestial conspiracy.” (Dr. Anand)

Man is an ignoramus. And as times pass, the stock of his ignorance is getting multiplied. It is a strange paradox. The higher we move on the ladder of knowledge, the lower descends the quotient of human awakening. If you blind-fold a man, and then, let him around, this is our situation in spite of the fact that we are having eyes, and a keen vision. We can look into the skies, and discover new planets. But, there is something so dense, so cloudy, yet so close to us, into which no human eye can pierce. It is man’s destiny.

WORLD-WISE

With our wisdom, we try to make the best of our lives. And there are millions across the globe who follow a nearly uniform pattern. We get education, and then, try to get some good job. We go for a suitable marriage, and both the husband and wife start earning. Then there are kids, who are growing up, and studying in the best schools. We are enjoying wealth that we have accumulated by our smart wisdom. Parents used to go to shrines and we are continuing with that tradition. We observe festivals, and holy days. And are happy too. What is amiss?

WHAT IS AMISS?

When I asked him what you are giving back to society, pat came the reply, ‘I organize ‘bhandaras’[food to religious gatherings]. I have opened an NGO, to help destitute children.’ He makes me speechless. He is a successful man. He has no idea that gods think otherwise. If he faces problems, they are god given, he is sure. And if he is successful, it is because of his own smartness. He remains happy in his all-pervading ignorance.

THE VOYAGE OF IGNORAMITY

While moving through this ‘voyage of ignoramity,’ he is quite unaware that he has cultivated a lot of pride. ‘I’ do this. I ‘did’ this. Was this ‘I’ really doing things? The material happiness that came his way, was it all his doing? How much intelligence that he commanded was put into use when he got the wife he got? And, was his wisdom used in any way, when his wife conceived? The greatest issue before him is: Can he do what he wants to do? Even if there is none to check him, still there are certain invisible checks which stop him from doing his will. Further on, if he succeeded in doing his will, the results are not necessarily according to his wishes. They defy logic. Even things which seem within his reach, suddenly slip out and start challenging him. He marries the best girl around, with hundred percent certainty and calculations, yet, from where the fretting and frowning came in? He may be eating very sensibly, still he develops severe ailments. What are the things that finally affect a man and his actions, and therefore, his destiny?

A PARA-EXISTENTIAL QUESTION

The first important thing to understand is that the world in which we are born, is a system already in operation. It did not come into existence on the day we were born. This system was responsible to make the cosmic provisions for sustaining life. Man was never asked his willingness to enter this system. Secondly, He was not asked where he will be born, and to whom. Can anyone choose his parents? Or can parents choose their offspring? These are para-existential questions whose answers cannot be supplied even by the science. Astrology can approximate the facts, but science is absolutely helpless to tell, what type of a child a man is going to give birth to. Science cannot predict the graph of a man’s life, nor the ups and downs he might face. All these things are possible in astrology, which means all that we get, or all that we do, or all that we cannot do, is under the influence of stars. In other words, it is predestined. History is already written. We are not to write it, but only to discover it.

THE BIG-BROTHER SYNDROME: ARE WE BEING WATCHED?

Are we being watched by gods? Some friends from the world of atheism might stop reading further. I have a strong feeling that we are very keenly watched and granted boons or inflicted curses and punishments by gods, who are sitting on a dedicated TV screen, as we sit before the TV watching the up and down of share market. Each moment, not only our actions, but even our thoughts are adding up, and the balance sheet is reflected every second, as if it is a digital system. But some issues still fox human wisdom. How come we do something with best of intentions. Still, things fall apart. Who writes the script which we have to act out?

ATHEIST FRIENDS, NO USE READING FURTHER

We want a hundred things in our prayers, only a few are granted, decision for all others is reserved by gods. Let us think why a certain prayer was granted, and why others were not granted? If we can decipher the anatomy of our wishes, we will realize that only those things that are helpful to us, are granted, and those prayers in which we demand things which might harm us, are denied. And this operation is carried out silently.

Now, who decided what should be granted and what not? God is a kind father, and he ensures the good of his children, like you or me. We cannot let any harm come to our kids. But still, harm comes to them. In the same way, gods too are helpless. Some foul things might happen to their sons and daughters, because they are existentially necessitated. When you overdo something, some punishment is needed, after which, you can feel exonerated and equalized. In the same way, those who tell lies and get their work done by hook or crook, do not go scot free. Gods don’t let anyone escape the punishment he deserves for his acts of omission and commission. The only difference between human justice and ‘la justice divine’ is that in the court of god, no one is subjected to a punishment which he does not deserve.

We are being watched. And whatever we do, or even think, we are free at it, but everything is recorded and placed before the gods who arbitarize* over our joys and sorrows. Human courts can be bribed or they may fail to deliver justice, but la court divine is fail-proof. But, it also underlines the fact that we have very limited freedom. We possess the freedom how to arrange the things that have been made available to us. At the most, if we love truth, we can create beauty with our actions and thoughts. Only these actions of ours are liberating. Human destiny is man’s creation, and if he wants to change it, he can change it, provided he acts with caution, and brings grace and maturity to the conduct of his life. No hope if we choose to live with our mighty ignoramity which can be a celestial conspiracy too. [copyright with the author].

[*arbitarize: verb like arbitrate, not to be found in the dictionary]

THE ETERNAL TRAP & THE IDEA OF HUMAN FREEDOM

When a rat walks into a trap,

It has no idea what has happened.

When it realises it is trapped.

It is devastated.

Men so long as they think they are free,

Behave like victors.

What happens when they realize

Even this freedom is a trap?

A kind soul takes pity on the rat

And releases it from the trap,

Where it thinks it is free

Unaware of the cat on killer spree.

When the procession took a turn

Towards the ruins,

I thought now I would be free

But death too was a part of divine trapestry.

THE PRISON SYNDROME

Freedom is a wonderful word, which has always captured the imagination of mankind. In fact, the struggle that the centuries have seen, was marked by two conflicting forces: the spirit to dominate, crush and exploit, and the spirit to get free of systems inimical to man’s essential freedom. Freedom has always been the cherished dream of mankind. But, when we turn our gaze from the political to the existential plane, we are faced with some disturbing questions.

Is man free? And if he is free, how much freedom he has? If he is not free, is he trapped as soon as he is born? Was he free prior to his entry into the womb of his mother? Was he flying as a free agent in the air, when he was trapped by his parents into life? If Life is a trap, will Death help us walk out of it? In fact, I am talking of the Prison Syndrome which dominates human existence. Animals, when tied to the tether, or birds when put into cages, realize they had lost an invisible ‘charm’ called freedom. Now, they cannot move at will. Similarly, men too suffer from the prison syndrome. However, we give it a respectable nomenclature: limitations of being human.

Human beings suffer from this trap psychology. Freedom is a fantasy. It is an illusion because, when we are born, we are shifted from one trap to another trap. Life is a movement of sorts inside a trap, and finally, we are further let off into a trap which appears to be without borders. The rat who walks into a trap, when brought to freedom, also runs the risk of cats or death by brickbats.

Political scientists make great hullabaloo when they talk of Freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of life etc – all these are high sounding words. But there is nothing called absolute freedom which might mean chaos. Words like freedom, order, chaos, disorder come together. As such, when we talk of freedom, we have to talk of discipline too which is mandatory. This freedom has its basis in our commitment to essential discipline of the society. Give a train the freedom to move in any direction. It will not be able to clear out of the zigzag of the platform itself. Thus, ‘Discipline’ is a very polite name for limitations, again an acceptable face of the prison syndrome.

THE TRAPPED

We love the idea of freedom, but freedom does not come without straps. In other words, we are trapped. Womb was a trap. And then, life is a trap. A man who is sent to prison, knows why he is in the prison and for how long. But, in case of men, no one knows how long is the prison term. Whatever we do, is seriously controlled by the our conditions, our milieu, our society, our traditions and our aspirations. Breaking out of these ‘traps’ is next to impossible.

Moreover, every man is circumscribed by his nature and by the external circumstances. You have feet, but how long can you walk? You have arms. But how long they can be extended? The very construction of man has ingrained limitations of its own. Just as a ball which when kicked, goes up to a certain height and then takes U turn, men too are powered with a measured fuel, and they cannot go beyond a certain limit. Our voice has a limit. Our silence has a limit. Our patience has a limit. This limit is the trap I am talking about. We cannot go beyond it. If we try to speak louder than we can, or listen to things which are not audible, or know things which we should not otherwise know, it is trespassing into the domain of the forbidden. Knowledge was forbidden. You know what happened when it was trespassed. This is how we are trapped in a destiny. We are free to operate, just like a bird left free in a house. It flies up and down, but cannot find an outlet. We forget, this body lays down our limits. Our mind lays down the limits of our understanding. The entire world is lying open before us, just as an ocean is spread before a thirsty man. Yet, can he drink every drop of it? He has a limit to digest water, take in air, and eat, though 36 types of dishes are waiting on the table.

THE TRAP OF HUMAN DESTINY

Finally, I would like to say, we are trapped in a destiny. And to trudge out of it, is a difficult proposition. Those who can peep into the future, are usually blind. Those who can look into the past of a person, are usually abnormal men, unfit for human society. If we remember Lear, he transcended the limits of filial responsibility. And suffered. So was Macbeth. He could have escaped the disaster that overtook him, if he had realized his limits. Lady Macbeth who broke the limits of feminine grace, kills herself by swallowing fire. Those who break the rules of human grace, come to grief. Man who learns to respect his destiny, who realizes what can be done and how it should be done, is often the person who knows the art of synchronizing with the divine will and understands the secret of graceful living. (copyright: author)

Author:

Dr Jernail Singh Anand, President of the International Academy of Ethics, is author of 161 books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, philosophy and spirituality. He was awarded Charter of Morava, the great Award by Serbian Writers Association, Belgrade and his name was engraved on the Poets’ Rock in Serbia. The Academy of Arts and philosophical Sciences of Bari [Italy] honoured him with the award of an Honourable Academic. Recently, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy [Honoris Causa] by the University of Engg and Management, Jaipur. Recently, he organized an International Conference on Contemporary Ethics at Chandigarh. His most phenomenal book is Lustus: The Prince of Darkness [first epic of the Mahkaal Trilogy]

Prepared Angela Kosta Academic, journalist, writer, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, translator