22 August 2014

Laying RIP to rest - in peace!

It has become a fashion to tweet and write RIP aka - may his/her soul Rest In Peace. I see a problem: the problem of copying usages in other languages and traditions in perfect disharmony with the culture we grow up. The words related to life events such as birth and death reflect the character of cultures in some way. I think more care is needed when using words from other languages. I have used the word until now when I realised  its true meaning. In a post on this blog before I explained how our use of word late has distorted the meaning of Kannada words we use. RIP belongs to this class of words but is more damaging to the meaning we intend to convey.

The soul is not an idea originating in Indian traditions. What is the issue? The issue is neither does resting in peace an idea originating in Indian traditions. Christians (Catholics in particular) are supposed to believe souls have eternal life. The endless life in heaven or in hell but no rebirth. Therefore, they engrave RIP on burials of their dead. A wish that dead will have a peaceful eternal life.

Ideas of soul and atma are not the same things. Followers of Indian traditions believe in the release of atma and rebirth or moksha and punarjanma. So the atma does not have an eternal life but is part of paramatma and is released from the cycle of birth and death. So everyone is part of paramatma and become part of it after death as well. Importantly, there is a release or escape. There is no eternal life. And this release is possible while one is alive: jeevanmukti. Of course, there is heaven and hell but only temporarily. Since souls do not rest we should rather wish that the dead attain moksha. May the dead attain moksha could be an alternative to RIP.

Now all the learned will ask me. When have you become religious? To answer them, followers of traditions have no religion. If you call traditions religion as well, there is no way to separate living from religion. I can not stop living so I have to be religious in that sense: the sense of my ancestor's ethos. And for  atheists and scientists (since they are in between), it is one thing to believe in God and other to not worry about the cultural heritage. I remain conscious of  my cultural heritage and sincerely believe it has more things to offer than "diversity". That is why I clarify things I see and recognise as not in line with our cultural heritage.

A few years ago I received an email informing the death of a very active community member and a founder of the Hindu temple in Saskatoon. The email said they have a memorial service the coming weekend at the Hindu Temple. While expressing condolence, I politely requested that we should use words from Indian traditions for rituals, in this case, the rituals after death. I got a very strange answer. A representative of the temple wrote back, "we try and keep it simple". The reason for keeping it "simple" they said, rituals have a different name depending on which part of India one comes from. I have no doubt in my mind about the intentions of the organisers. They are well meaning and do community work as a service. But, I think creating awareness about the impact of the liberal use of words on Indian traditions may help. If husband and wife do not agree on which of two channels to watch, will watching a third channel serve the purpose of either of them?

I am all for the use of other languages and ideas. Use RIP if you really mean what Christians mean when they say RIP. But otherwise, I wish may the RIP attain moksha. If we continue to use it without fully understanding its meaning we will destroy diversity so passionately claimed to be promoted by "liberals".  In any case, we, at least, want to get what we say right, never mind the words.

12 August 2014

ಬೇಳಗಾಗ್ನಲ್ಲೇ ಮಗನ್ಯೆ (ದೀವರ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕವನ)

ಸೊರಬ ಸಾಗರ ಸುತ್ತಲಿನ ದೀವರು ಅಥವಾ ಈಡಿಗರು ಎನ್ನುವ ಜಾತಿಯವರು ಮತ್ತು ವಕ್ಕಲಿಗರು ಆಡುವ ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸ ಇದೆ. ಆದರೂ ಒಂದು ಸಾಮ್ಯವೂ ಇದೆ. ಅವರದು ಶುದ್ಧವಾದ ಕನ್ನಡ. ಹಳೆಯರೂಪದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಪದ ಬಳಕೆ ಅನ್ಯ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಪದ ಇಲ್ಲವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು ಅಷ್ಟು ಶುದ್ಧ. ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತದ ಬಳಕೆಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಆಶಯವನ್ನು ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಭಾಷೆಗೆ ಇರುವ ಶಕ್ತಿ ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಹಿನಿಯ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಇಲ್ಲವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಕಣ್ಣುಮುಚ್ಚಿ ಹೇಳಬಹುದು. ಕೆಳಗಿನ ಕವನ ದೀವರ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೆ. ಓದಿ ಆನಂದಿಸಿ. ಊರಿಗೆ ಹೋದಾಗ ದೀವರಲ್ಲೆ ಕೇಳಿ ಏನಾದರು ತಪ್ಪು ಇದ್ದರೆ ಸರಿಪಡಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ.

ಬೇಳಗಾಗ್ನಲ್ಲೇ ಮಗನ್ಯೆ (ದೀವರ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕವನ)
ಹುಣವಳ್ಳಿ ಗುಡ್ಡುದಗೆ ಹುಲಿ ಬಂದು ಕುಂತೈತಿ
ಹುಲಿಯಪ್ಪುನ ಕಣಿವೆಯಗೆ ಬಾಳ ಕೂಗ್ಯಾಟ
ಹುಡ್ರು ಮಕ್ಕುಳುನೆಲ್ಲ ಗುಡ್ರಾಕಿ ತಿಂತೈತಿ
ಮುಸ್ಕಾಕ್ಯಂದು ಮಲಗೋ ಮರಿಯಪ್ಪ

ಕೋಳಿ ಗುಡ್ಡುದ ಮ್ಯಾಲೆ ನವಿಲೇರಿ ಕುಂತಾವೆ
ಹೊತಾರಿಕೆ ಗರಿ ಬಿಚ್ಚಿ ಕುಣಿತಾವೆ
ಕರಕಂದು ಹೋಕೇನಿ ನೋಡ್ಕ್ಯಂದು ಬರಬೈದು
ಬೇಳಗಾಗ್ನಲ್ಲಲ್ಲೇ ಮಗನ್ಯೆ ಮನ್ಕ್ಯಳಲೇ

ಕಾಡ್ನೆಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಯ್ಕ್ಯುಂದು ಸೊಪ್ಪು ಸದಿ ಹಿಡುಕುಂದು
ತಗುಬರಕೆ ಹೋಗಾನ ಬೆಳಕ್ಕರಿಲಿ
ಮಾಡ್ಮ್ಯಾಲೆ ಕರಿಮಾಳ ಕ್ಯಸ್ ಅಂತೈತಿ
ಬೇಗ ಮಲಗಲೆ ಮಗನ್ಯೆ ಗುಮ್ಮ ಬತ್ತೈತಿ