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Saturday, October 24, 2009


         After having undergone a week's training, in the Training Centre, it dawns upon  in the  mind of an young recruit that he is being trained to defend his motherland. But the hazard of his profession will be known to him only on posting to a field area unit. Yes, to defend, on the face of danger to his life - the giving away of his life, i.e. the SUPREME SACRIFICE.

         AND NO QUESTIONS ASKED. For Physical or Mental comforts. For Pay and Allowances. For Perks and Benefits. For Family or Friends Happenings. For Home-Made Foods and Parents Wellbeing.. For Native or homeland customs and traditions.

          Disciple and Obedience coupled with Sincerity and Hard work is drilled into his mind, come what may.  And these qualities remain with him (Serving or Retired) throughout his life.

          Like  THE SUN GOD,  the SUPER-NATURAL AND SUPREME POWER ON EARTH, essestial and useful for sustenance of all living beings, the SOLDIER is used for all and every purpose apart from his basic duties.  Call them NATIONAL DISASTERS, Floods, Earthquakes, Accidents(Air, Marine, Rail and  Road), Fire Breakouts, Internal Unrest, Riots, Relief and Rehabilitation Works, Tackle Naxals or The Terrorists etc. And to put it straight/blunt, ON ALL FAILED FRONTS OF CIVIL ADMINISTRATION, WHERE -EVER, WHENEVER AND HOWEVER THEY FAILED.                 


          This prompts to link up with the following article with the SOLDIER, although he never MATCH anywhere near to THE SUPREME SUN GOD.
           Please go on, read the wonderful story........
‘‘Where does the Sun sleep?’’ the bright-eyed child asks her father. She and her family are celebrating Chhath on the Chowpatty seafront in Mumbai. The winter festival of the setting Sun is so named because it falls on the sixth (chhath) day of Kartik, which comes just a week after the festival of lights.

The father, who’s been fasting the previous day, looks askance at the mother. But she just smiles as her daughter continues to clamour for an answer. The father would dearly love to fob off the child with a fanciful story about the Sun’s golden boat that’s supposed to be tethered under the horizon. But this would only open a new round of implacable questions.

Eventually, he decides to let in his daughter on the ‘secret’ of the rotating earth and the ever-awake Sun. But how does one explain that to a five-year-old in simple sound bytes? Then he gets a brainwave: Why not fall back on the age-old rationale of the Chhath festival itself as an explanation? ‘‘Bitiya, do you know why we observe Chhath ka parva – the festival of the sixth day?’’ he asks the child who shakes her head uncertainly.

‘‘On this occasion we thank the Sun for not sleeping ever and for giving us all the bounties of dhaan, dhan aur tan – crops, wealth and body or life itself. The Sun never sleeps. Being such a mighty star he does not need to rest ever,’’ the father explains further.

‘‘If he did, everything on earth would come to an end. Unlike him we do need to rest and sleep. So every evening, he seems to hide behind the Earth, who does a daily pradhakshina, a circumambulation around the star, just as we do out of gratitude and reverence.’’

Chhath is mainly viewed as a Bihari festival, and it is celebrated wherever people from Bihar have migrated to, whether in Mumbai or in Mauritius.

That Chhath is today celebrated across communities only enhances the essentially spiritual, ecological or even egalitarian dimensions of the festival. Chhath stands for thanksgiving to a star that is venerated in the Indian tradition as the only visible (pratyaksha) form of God, one that can be seen every day. Moreover, the Sun illuminates and sustains life not in a petty province or two but on a planetary scale. Hence the ancient rishis held it in high esteem as a manifest form of Brahmn: Asavodityo Brahmah, says the Rig Veda.

That also led them to an immensely popular cult based on the Gayatri Mantra. This is considered to be one of the most sacred universal practices that invoke the creative principle of the Sun in the form named Savitr.

The Chhath ceremonies however eschew deification, although there are attempts to overwrite its subaltern origins by connecting the ritual with the legendary Mahabharata hero Karna, the ‘son’ of Surya who was known for his valour and generosity.

Chhath also connects to the folk and rural roots of worshippers. The folk songs sung on the eve of Chhath are mainly in Maithili, Magadhi and Bhojpuri dialects that mirror the culture and social mores of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and the Terai regions.

In other respects Chhath is modern and inclusive. It appeals also to those who are uncomfortable with idol worship because it is a celebration of and a thanksgiving to the Sun for just being there, a great blaze in the sky.



         JAI HO --  JAI JAWAN ---------

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