SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE-ESTABLISHMENT NO. 22-VIKAS REGIMENT- OPERATION EAGLE 1971 AND THE VIETNAM WAR:
The military action in the Chittagong Hill Tracts that initiated the Liberation of Bangladesh during 1971 is known as Operation Eagle. This military action used the military power of ‘The Bald Eagle’ and is executed by ‘The Golden Eagle’ without getting the formal approval or sanction of the US President.
Operation Eagle was a very modest military confrontation as compared to the Vietnam War. However, a comparison must be made to understand the use of military force to defeat an enemy to obtain a political objective. The Operation Eagle was executed using US weapons, ammunition, US military radios, medical supplies, assorted tools and equipment, field gear, and U.S. Military Field Rations-Meals Ready to Eat or MREs that the US Army was using in the conduct of the Vietnam War.
The military objectives of the Vietnam War could not be accomplished because of the reliance placed upon aerial bombardment to defeat the enemy. Operation Eagle was small in its scope and size. But, it did not rely upon the use of aerial bombardment. We operated on a ‘manpack’ basis, went in search of enemy positions, and directly challenged the enemy at his own post. United States failed to attack the enemy on the ground during the Vietnam War. To defend South Vietnam, the military strategy and planning would call for Infantry attacks on the enemy inside North Vietnam. United States used more bombs as compared to the number of bombs that were dropped during the Second World War and yet could not dislodge the enemy from his entrenched positions. We need to fight and engage the enemy on the ground. Secondly, during Nixon’s presidency(1969-1974), while engaged in War, the President conceded the battle by befriending the Enemy.
OPERATION EAGLE 1971 AND THE VIETNAM WAR INFANTRY WEAPONS AND FIELD GEAR:
A military action by Infantry is best understood by examining the weapons that are used. During Operation Eagle 1971 and the Vietnam War, the Infantry used the same kinds of Infantry weapons. We must ignore the sophisticated technology and the firepower of United States Navy and Air Force. The battle must be won on the ground. During Operation Eagle 1971 we used the same Infantry weapons, equipment, and other supplies more effectively in our battle as compared to US Armyin its combat missions against its enemy in Vietnam. We did not use helicopters as gunships or to attack the enemy in support of ground troops. I would like to share some of the photo images of the Infantry Weapons and equipment that were used in the Vietnam War and which I have seen during Operation Eagle 1971.
WAR AND PEACE – A FAILURE OF U.S. DIPLOMACY:
United States failed in Vietnam as it failed to develop a clear vision to achieve its goal of resisting and containing the expansion of Communist Power in Southeast Asia. U.S. efforts to stop the spread of Communism got derailed by Dr. Henry Kissinger who chose the option of backstabbing people who support the United States in its global mission to oppose Communism using diplomacy and military power. U.S. gave away a lot during the Paris Peace Talks basically defeating the accomplishments of its military and literally ridiculing their sacrifices. The several concessions given to the Peoples’ Republic of China to win its cooperation failed to stop the flow of military assistance to North Vietnam.
The establishment of US-China relations gave no advantage to the United States for its War in Vietnam. United States added insult to its own injuries by seeking the support of Communist China to attack India across its Himalayan frontier in the North East Frontier Agency in a vain bid to stop India in its efforts to liberate Bangladesh during 1971.
THE BALD EAGLE AND THE GOLDEN EAGLE CONNECTION :
My Unit participated in Operation Eagle during 1971-72 to gain practical experience of Infantry Combat Operations to fight against Communists in a future battle.
The Operation Eagle 1971-72 was inclined towards peace. It intended to deliver peace to the people of Bangladesh who declared their independence from Pakistan during March 1971.
The War in Vietnam is over and yet the threat of Communism still persists in Southeast Asia. To deliver peace to people of Southeast Asia, the United States must learn from its failure in Vietnam. The failure was not that of the US Army which willingly sacrificed the lives of over 58,000 of its fighting men and women. The US political leadership had failed the US military mission in Vietnam. United States must seek assistance from the people of Southeast Asia and fight its enemy on the ground and dislodge the enemy in a ground battle.
Dr. R. R. Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Service Number: MS-8466, Rank. Captain,
Branch: Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission. Designation: Medical Officer, South Column Operation Eagle 1971-72.
From “RUDI” to Rudolf of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan: The Verification of the Dialectical Theory of Religion
Rudi is my nickname. I studied Natural Sciences. I was introduced to the name Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow while I studied Human Pathology.
Dr. Virchow is known as the Pope of Medicine. Cellular Pathology (1858), regarded as the root of modern pathology, introduced the third dictum in cell theory: Omnis cellula e cellula (“All cells come from cells”). I refer to Dr. Rudolf Virchow’s Cell Theory in my analysis of man, society, and religion.
The story of Professor Rudolf of Western Michigan University is of interest to me as it relates to a person named Rudolf of German descent. But, I do respect his age. I want to give attention to Western Michigan University. Does this School believe in the principles of academic freedom and academic integrity at places of higher learning? My concern directly relates to their teaching of the subject called ‘Comparative Religion’. What is the WMU trying to compare? It appears that the University is indulging in comparing human thoughts described as “Religion” without any concern about the Unchanging, Everlasting, Eternal Truth or Reality called God.
I directly ask the WMU to reject the redundant idea of comparing religions as the same God is existing now as in the past when planet Earth had no living species identified as Homo sapiens. sapiens. To begin with, Earth had no religion and human thoughts about God are of only recent origin. Without knowing God who exists irrespective of the presence or absence of human thought, how could we postulate about the future of society, and the future of religion?
Professor Rudolf’s hypothesis for the future of society and the future of religion needs basic verification. His predictions apparently have not considered the fact of man’s creation as a rational being. The social/political/religious conflicts recorded in human history simply reveal that the man is alienated, separated, or even ignorant of his true or real nature. How can there be any tensions or conflicts between religions if the man has a rational experience of true God, the Reality that never changes, the Reality that is never influenced by time or place?
The Theory of Man:
I would be happy if Professor Rudolf Siebert joins this conversation to briefly explain his ‘Theory of Peace’. Firstly, I have to ascertain his theory of man. I appreciate his interest in comparative religions. Most religions, unfortunately, deal with the Theory of God without properly accounting for the entity who is concerned about God.
I am not opposed to the Biblical preaching, the story of the man and woman described in the Book of Genesis. So, we have a man and a woman. Now, I ask Dr. Rudolf Siebert, his colleagues, his students, to tell me the rest of the story about the man who desires to find peace in his living condition and living experience. How can there be an experience called peace without knowing the man?
Professor Rudolf Siebert’s ‘Dialectical Theory of Religion’ proposes three global alternative futures of human society. His second alternative Future, the entirely militarized society, is a product of his creative imagination without any correspondence to the present-day reality called Military Service. He should at the least describe the name of the country to which his imagined militarized society may belong. The military is a very sophisticated professional service and the professional soldier is unwilling and is unprepared to manage the affairs of the society in which he may live.
For example, the problem of civilian unrest in Hong Kong cannot be managed by professional military service. The military does not believe in the use of tactics used by the Police Service to manage civilian unrest or street protests. A professional soldier does not use a baton, teargas, water cannon, taser gun, or rubber bullets. Do you want the professional soldier to abandon his training to embrace the role of the policeman?
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION–NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD ON OCTOBER 17, 2019
Social Security Administration, Great Lakes Program Service Center, Chicago wields its long baseball bat to hit the Septuagenarian Senior Alien with its Notice of Slavery Award on October 17, 2019.
Social Security Administration writes to Senior Alien to inform:
“We are writing to you about your Social Security benefits.
What You Should Know
We changed your monthly benefit to $1,683.50 as of January 2019. We found that your prior amount was incorrect.
We cannot pay you monthly benefits at this time.
We changed your benefit amount to give you credit for your 2019 earnings. We did not include these earnings when we figured your benefit amount before.”
It reminds me of the ‘Curse’ uttered by LORD God Creator in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 3, verses 17 to 19:
In my analysis, it is very easy to punish the Senior Alien by simply withholding his monthly retirement income benefit payment and force him to live the rest of his life through painful toil. I remind my readers to give attention to God’s pronouncement. The ground is “Cursed” to produce thorns and thistles for the Senior Alien as well as all the others who depend on the ground for their living.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION – GREAT LAKES PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER – HAROLD WASHINGTON SOCIAL SECURITY CENTER – NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD:
GREAT LAKES PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER – HAROLD WASHINGTON SOCIAL SECURITY CENTER – NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD: #CARDPLAYINGDAY FOR RETIREMENT INSURANCE BENEFIT, WHO IS HOLDING THE CARDS? WHO IS PLAYING THE GAME? WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS OF SUBSCRIBER TO PLAY THE CARD GAME?
I want to tell my readers that the purpose of this article is not that of blaming any person who serves in the Social Security Administration(SSA). I truly appreciate their service and their contributions to the country and to the community.
It must be recognized that SSA has to perform its functions using the rules and regulations formulated by the applicable US laws passed by the US Congress. Ultimately, the problems reported in this article can only be resolved if the US Congress reviews the 1996 amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935.
This article pertains to the Senior Alien (#SeniorAlien) who received his Medicare Card with Medicare coverage effective from 07-01-2013.
On October 13, 2016, SSA informed the Senior Alien of his Social Security Benefits. His claim for Monthly Retirement Benefit changed to $1,508.60 as of January 2016. But, Social Security Administration cannot pay him his Monthly Benefits.
GREAT LAKES PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER – NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD: HAROLD WASHINGTON SOCIAL SECURITY CENTER, CHICAGO GETS UNIQUE PLACE OF DISTINCTION IN THE US HISTORY FOR ITS NOTICE OF AWARD, DATE. OCTOBER 13, 2016 AND AUGUST 16, 2014 OVERTURNED PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION THAT ABOLISHED SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS DECISION VIOLATES THE US CONSTITUTION’S 13TH AMENDMENT.
GREAT LAKES PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER – NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD: THE NOTICE OF AWARD DATED OCTOBER 13, 2016 REVISED THE DECISION SENT ON AUGUST 16, 2014. BOTH IMPOSE SLAVERY, INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, AND FORCED LABOR AS DEFINED BY THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 77, TITLE 18 OF THE US CODE, SECTIONS, 1581, 1584, AND 1589 AND VIOLATES THE US CONSTITUTION’S 13TH AMENDMENT.
The word ‘DECISION’ is defined as the act of deciding a question or a claim by giving a judgment; it is a conclusion made with the firmness of mind, and it describes a determination reached or given. Social Security Administration, Great Lakes Program Service Center made a “DECISION” and sent a Notice of Award on October 13, 2016, which applied a change to its earlier Decision on August 16, 2014. This could be a very historical decision for it overturns the Emancipation Proclamation made by US President Abraham Lincoln to abolish Slavery in the United States.
The Notice of Award communicated the ‘Decision’, the Determination, or Conclusion reached by Social Security Administration(SSA), Great Lakes Program Service Center, Harold Washington Social Security Center, 600 West Madison Street, Chicago IL 60661-2474 on August 16, 2014, and a Revised Decision on October 13, 2016.
1. The Decision has approved the applicant’s Claim for Retirement Benefit and the entitlement date is given as October 2014. It further added the applicant’s current monthly benefit rate of $1347.80 is changed to $1,508.60 as of January 2016. SSA issued a Medicare Card to the Senior Alien and the Medicare coverage is effective from 07-01-2013. However, the Decision is silent or mute for it has not shared any fact or information that has guided the Decision-making process and it fails to establish the legal basis and information that shaped this judgment. For reasons of fairness, clarity and to ensure the practice of the principle called ‘Equal Protection Under Law’, the Decision must explain the legal basis for this approval. The Decision must disclose the US Law that may provide the authority or sanctioning power to arrive at the Decision that grants the approval of the Claim for Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefit.
2. Part-2 of the above Decision states that the Department cannot pay the monthly benefit of Retirement Insurance. It must be noted that the Social Security Retirement Insurance Plan stands on the support of two pillars;
These are 1. The Contributions made by the Employee and his Employer as mandated by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA, and 2. The Age of the Plan Subscriber for the subscriber is paid monthly benefit after attaining a predetermined qualifying age called the ‘full retirement age’.
All employees working in the US are required by the Federal Law to subscribe to this SSA Retirement Insurance with or without immigration status. For example, US citizens who may not have earned enough ‘Credits’ and who may not have reached the qualifying age( currently at 66-years), is not eligible to apply for this Retirement Benefit. The Rules for ‘Lawful Presence’ or of ‘Immigrant Status’ do not establish the eligibility criteria to subscribe and contribute to the Social Security Public Trust Fund. These Rules for Lawful Presence in the US make the distinction between US citizens and others residing in the US performing work to earn their hourly wages.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION – NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD. BEHOLD THE MAN. JOHN 19:5. SOCIAL SECURITY IMPOSES SLAVERY, SERFDOM, AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE VIOLATING RIGHT TO LIFE AND FREEDOM.
GREAT LAKES PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER – THE NOTICE OF SLAVERY AWARD: SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION MAKES DECISION ON AUGUST 16, 2014 AND OCTOBER 13, 2016 TO LEGALLY IMPOSE BURDEN OF INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE ON SENIOR ALIEN WHO IS NOT A CONVICTED FELON. SENIOR ALIEN WAS ISSUED MEDICARE CARD AND MEDICARE COVERAGE EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 01, 2014. BUT, SUSPENDS PAYMENT OF MONTHLY RETIREMENT INCOME BENEFIT.
I am asking my readers to behold the Senior Alien who has to live and experience consequences of the Notice of Award sent by Great Lakes Program Service Center – Harold Washington Social Security Center.
A number of provisions in the US Code target the problems of Involuntary Servitude, Slavery, and Forced Labor. These provisions are contained in Chapter 77 of Title 18. Section 1581 prohibits using force, the threat of force or the threat of legal coercion to compel a person to work against his/her will. Section 1584 of Title 18 makes it unlawful to hold a person in a condition of Slavery, that is a condition of compulsory service or labor against his/her will by use of actual force, threats of force, or threats of legal coercion. Section 1584 also prohibits compelling a person to work against his will by creating a “Climate of Fear” through the use of force, the threat of force, or the threat of legal coercion( i.e., if you don’t work, I’ll call the Immigration officials) which is sufficient to compel service against a person’s will. Section 1589 deals with Forced Labor and it broadens the definition of the kinds of coercion that might result in Forced Labor, whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person. 1. By threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against that person or another person, 2. By means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that if the person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or 3. By means of the abuse or threatened abuse of Law or the Legal Process.
The Notice of Award violates the provisions contained in Chapter 77 of Title 18 US Code. By suspending Monthly Benefit Payments, Social Security Administration used the force of its authority to legally coerce Senior Alien to perform labor against his will if he desires to live in the US. The Decision ‘NOT’ to pay the Monthly Benefit creates a “Climate of Fear.”
The Senior Alien lives in the condition named Slavery for the Government Agency exercised power to withhold the Senior Alien’s property or financial assets invested in the Social Security Public Trust Fund. In other words, the Social Security Administration’s Notice of Award communicates a Decision causing the Demise of the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery in the US.
LIVING TIBETAN SPIRITS. MY MARGINALIZED EXISTENCE IN EXILE
Living Tibetan Spirits who inhabit my consciousness know the experience of my marginalized existence in exile.
I am alive without Freedom or Free Will to choose. I can narrate my story either as a Blessing or a Curse. In my belief, when the man suffers, the Lands gets cursed.
As the desire for Freedom is the root cause of my pain and suffering, how can I receive the Blessings of Peace?
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No.22
Living Tibetan Spirits
Vanished homelands of Tibet
Meghaa Aggarwal | Updated on October 18, 2019, Published on October 18, 2019
Living Tibetan Spirits. Marginalized Existence in Exile.
Uncertain ground: The politics of Tibet’s geography is so contested that even a map of the region could land the publishers in trouble.
Madhu Gurung’s deeply researched anthology Tibet With My Eyes Closed, evokes the history, culture, and identity of a community that is at risk of being forgotten
Sixty years ago, Chinese occupation forced the 14th Dalai Lama to flee Tibet and seek refuge in India. Thousands of Tibetans followed him, giving up a nomadic, agrarian life for a marginalized existence in exile. The 11 stories that make up journalist Madhu Gurung’s anthology Tibet With My Eyes Closed are true accounts of displaced Tibetans trying to find salvation in the midst of heartbreaking loss.
Dehradun-based Gurung has worked with organizations such as Oxfam, UNIFEM, BBC, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her first book The Keeper of Memories, historical fiction on the Gorkhas, was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award in 2016. The author, whose mother was Tibetan, seems driven by a passionate need to inform. She begins the book with a background to Tibet, which instinctively makes me seek out a map. That’s when the irony hits home. We are talking of such fraught geography that even an innocuous map of the Tibetan region can land publishers in trouble!
Living Tibetan Spirits. Marginalized Existence in Exile.
Tibet With My Eyes Closed: Stories Madhu Gurung Speaking Tiger Non-fiction ₹350
Prayer flags of five colors — blue, white, red, green and yellow — representing the five core elements of space, wind, fire, water, and earth respectively are synonymous with Tibetan Buddhism. The stories in this anthology have been divided under the colors of the prayer flags and have some elements of the colors woven into their background. The author has also added an insightful introduction explaining the significance of the flags and how the elements have inspired her stories. However, the associations feel somewhat tenuous and I found myself wondering whether it was necessary to divide the contents as well as feature an introduction to explain the division. The anthology opens with stories of refugees besieged by memories of home as they try to regain their lives under a foreign sky. It then transitions to the experiences of a new generation of Tibetans born and brought up in India, carving out their paths and identities in the new land. Mid-way, one learns of the tragic guerrilla wars that the Tibetans waged for their homeland from the windswept Mustang Plateau in Nepal. Towards the end, it speaks of the human ability to persevere and dream of possibilities, despite great odds. References to the Chushi Gangdruk, the guerrilla Tibetan army that waged war against the Chinese, and the 22 Establishment, a secret force of Tibetans recruited by India in the wake of its humiliating defeat in the Sino-Indian war of 1962, appear several times across the book. However, sufficient variety is provided by the stories of a Tibetan man’s pursuit of an Indian passport, of a young man who gives up monkhood to embrace his sexual identity and of a grieving old widow who finds solace in stray dogs.
Tibet with my Eyes Closed is not an unputdownable page-turner. It is a compilation of stories laced with facts and observations that compel the reader to pause. The author takes no shortcuts in her effort to build narratives that are not only immersive but also greatly illuminating. However, in places, the details seem extraneous. For instance, in the story, Tibet With My Eyes Closed, the author speaks of Tibetan poet, writer and activist Lhasang Tsering whose poem inspired the title of this anthology. She writes about how he is greatly influenced by the saint and poet Milarepa who is revered in Tibet for his songs. But she doesn’t end there. She writes of how Tsering was born exactly 900 years after Milarepa and how his songs have also been translated in English, in a book called the Shambhala. Such additions appear somewhat forced, as the story would read much the same without them. I was fascinated by the author’s journey to Mustang in pursuit of former Chushi Gangdruk warriors, as documented in the story, In the Footsteps of Buddha’s Warriors. Not only is it a testament to the author’s keen research but also to the undaunted commitment to her subject. Unlike the other stories in this anthology, In the Footsteps of Buddha’s Warriors and Amala, which is a memoir of the author’s mother, are both personal accounts. This prompted me to wonder whether it might have been better to have them as part of a longer introduction that spoke of the experiences driving the author’s writing. These, however, are minor misgivings about this much-feted collection that has been endorsed by several prominent personalities. I just wished, though, that all these endorsements had been kept on the back cover or some of them shifted inside, to leave the reader with more room to admire the striking cover painting and design by Vikram Singh Verma. With the sky and mountains in shades of red against a monastery in tones of black and white, the cover is deeply atmospheric and stirring. If the role of literature is to create empathy and build understanding, Tibet with My Eyes Closed succeeds amply. It is an important piece of literature about a people and region, that, as Shashi Tharoor puts it in his endorsement, ‘are at risk of being forgotten’.
Meghaa Aggarwal works in children’s publishing and writes features on education and the environment
Published on October 18, 2019 bookreview
Living Tibetan Spirits. Marginalized Existence in Exile.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to flee from Tibet in 1959 for he sensed a threat to his life from the Chinese authority. I joined the Tibetan Resistance Movement in India on September 22, 1971. I experienced threat to my existence on three separate occasions from the Chinese authority that forces the Dalai Lama to live in Exile. The threat posed by China has stolen my freedom.
I have chosen the profile imageof my stolen Indian Army picture ID to describe my plight on account of my stolen freedom. My Indian Army picture ID was stolen in 1972 at Cuttack, near CharbatiaAir Base operated by Aviation Research Centre (ARC). My Indian Army picture ID was purposefully stolen because of my association with The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW), the Intelligence Agency of India which formulated my association with The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). My stolen Indian Army ID of 1972 resurfaced in Indian Movie TE3Nin 2016. It accounts for the loss of my freedom and the fear it arouses in my heart since 1972.
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE-ESTABLISHMENT NO. 22
Am a refugee but I enjoy India’s freedom: Dalai Lama
By: FE Online | Published: October 14, 2019, 4:16:48 PM
Dalai Lama has been living in India since 1959. He had to flee Tibet after he sensed a threat to his life from the Chinese authority in the wake of Tibetan uprising. Former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru offered Dalai Lama to set up the Government of Tibet in Exile in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Sunday hailed India for its freedom and said that he has been here for the last 60 years as a refugee but still enjoys the freedom that this country offers. “We already enjoy freedom in India. It’s been 60 years…one way, I am a refugee, but I enjoy India’s freedom,” he said while responding to a question on his freedom struggle for Tibet. When asked about whether he thinks that Tibetans can get freedom by living in India, Dalai Lama said that he had tried to go back to Tibet but that could not happen because there was no freedom to preserve “our own culture”. The spiritual leader said that he had also appealed to the United Nations in this regard.
“At that time Pandit (Jawahar Lal) Nehru advised me that the United Nations can not do much…sooner or later much better to approach Chinese and talk to China. I think that was realistic advice. And in 74, we decide(ed) not to take independence, (we) tried to remain within the Republic of China but we should have got certain rights (from China) for the preservation of our own culture,” he told news agency ANI.
Lord Gautama Buddha’s simple preachings have generated intense debate and discussion among his followers leading to the creation of different Schoolsof Buddhist Thought, varying traditions, apart from the production of volumes of literature in various human languages.
In my analysis, Lord Gautama Buddha and the various brands of Buddhism with established traditions have failed to formulate a complete ‘Theory of Man’. In my view, Buddhism as such is an incomplete study of the Man for it fails to comprehend the nature of the living matter, the living substance, the corporeal matter described in Biology as ‘protoplasm’ or ‘cytoplasm’ which is found in all living things.
The spiritual inquiry, the spiritual investigation, the spiritual study of the Man demands the learning process called ‘Adhyatma Vidya’, the Knowledge of Self, or the spiritual journey called Self-Discovery to answer the two fundamental questions about the Man. The questions are 1. Who am I? and 2. Why am I like this? Lord Gautama Buddha’s life journey begins with a quest to find answers for the conditioned nature of human existence but his study remains incomplete for he has not studied the human being whose existence is conditioned.
Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche speaks of the salient features of the religion, which originated in India
Beginning his study of Buddhism in the Gadhan Dhechenling Monastery, in Tibet, Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche, came to India in 1959, at the age of 20. He headed the Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala, for two terms. A highly regarded scholar of Buddhism, he has held many important positions with academic and administrative responsibilities. A few of them: Member General Body Indian Council of Philosophical Research; member, Governing Council, Asiatic Society, Kolkata; member of the National Advisory Committee for Buddhist Studies; President, Association of Indian Universities; President, Coomaraswamy Centre for Traditional Studies, Lucknow; member, Association of Commonwealth Universities. Member, Governing Body, Krishnamurti Foundation of India, Chennai; member, Expert Advisory Committee, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche was in Chennai for a short visit. The following are excerpts from an interview with him:
What are the distinctive features of Tibetan Buddhism?
First of all, there is no such thing as Tibetan Buddhism. It is an expression, which Western scholars use, and I do not know why they do. Do you talk of British Christianity or American Christianity? There are different schools of philosophy in Buddhism like Mahayana, Hinayana, etc. But Buddhism is not divided by geography. If at all there is any country to which Buddhism belongs, that is India, because Buddha was born here. It is Indians who can take pride in Buddhism because it originated here.
I stand corrected. Let me rephrase the question. What is special about Buddhism in Tibet?
Buddhism in Tibet is a complete tradition. Educational centers such as Nalanda, Taxila, Bodhgaya, and Sarnath produced Buddhist canonical literature. All of this was translated into the Tibetan language.
How big is this collection of Tibetan works?
We have a compilation of 108 volumes of Buddha’s teachings. It includes 3,000 titles. Woodblock techniques have been used to preserve ancient Tibetan texts. We also have 223 volumes of commentaries of Indian scholars, which include 4,000 titles. The topics range from Mahayana and Hinayana to Ayurveda, dharma, and literature.
Prof. Hahn’s dissertation was on Vrttamalastuti, where each stanza illustrated a different Sanskrit meter. It was a text that was preserved only in a Tibetan translation. And this kindled Hahn’s interest in recovering the Sanskrit literature of Buddhism from Tibetan translations. So, would it be correct to say that Tibetan translations have helped preserve the Buddhist tradition, because of the possibility of re-translations from Tibetan to Sanskrit?
Certainly. Tibetan translations are the most accurate, and the Tibetan collection is also the largest available translation of Buddhist texts. The original texts, which were in Sanskrit were lost when Nalanda University was destroyed. Mahayana texts were in Sanskrit, whereas Hinayana texts were mostly in Prakrit. In Tibet, Mahayana school is followed. So, if we want the original Sanskrit texts about Mahayana, we can now work backward from Tibetan to Sanskrit. So, in that way, the Tibetan translations help us to get back the basic Sanskrit texts.
Hahn was a close friend of mine. But even before Hahn, there were other European scholars who took an interest in Buddhist literature which had been translated to Tibetan. The Italian scholar Tucci, for instance. Tibet enjoys an unbroken lineage of Buddhism, and before the days of Communism, Buddhists from Russia and Mongolia came to Tibet and studied Buddhist teachings preserved in the Tibetan language.
You talk about Mahayana texts in Sanskrit. What about the commentaries? Were they also in Sanskrit?
Yes, but Buddhist Sanskrit is a hybrid Sanskrit. It is a mixture of Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabrahmsa, etc. Paninian sutras were not strictly followed.
Why was it a hybrid?
Because the Buddha spoke in a simple language. He wanted his teachings to reach the masses. So, he spoke a language that was easy to understand.
And what about efforts at translation now? Are they continuing?
A lot of translation work has been going on in the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi. It is a deemed University. I was associated with the Institute for 30 years, first as Principal and then director. One hundred Tibetan Buddhist texts have been translated to Sanskrit by the scholars in this University.
Where can we find the largest collection of Tibetan texts?
In the Library of Congress in the U.S.
And in India?
The Institute of Tibetology in Sikkim, the library in Dharamsala, in Sarnath and the Central Institute of Buddhist studies in Leh, Ladakh.
What is the Tibetan way of ordination for monks?
In the bhikshu ordination, mulsarvastivadin school is followed in Tibet.
Does Buddhism in Tibet follow Tantric traditions?
Wherever Mahayana is followed, there is a tantric tradition. So, this is not unique to Tibet.
Does Buddhist art vary according to the school of philosophy followed?
If you observe minutely, there might be some differences. But by and large, art is just an expression of imagination. So, there are only a few minor variations. But mandala constructions are found only in art based on Vajrayana, which is a part of Mahayana.
MY COMMENT ON THE ABOVE INTERVIEW BY MS.SUGANTHY KRISHNAMACHARI WAS NOT APPROVED BY THEHINDU.COM
Buddhism is an incomplete study of the man: I am affiliated to a military organization called Special Frontier force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment where I medically examined hundreds of Tibetan men and women. Lord Gautama Buddha’s preachings are essentially simple. However, they generated numerous interpretations and massive human literature in different languages. He examined the conditioned nature of human existence without fully examining the human being whose existence is conditioned. Buddhism remains an incomplete study irrespective of its various traditions. It is incomplete for it does not study the living matter or the living substance of the man while sharing views on the human condition of the living being with a physical form that we identify as the man.
Ms. Madhu Gurung in her book, “Tibet With My Eyes Closed” takes a fresh look at the Tibetan Resistance Movement in India.
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
Review: Tibet With My Eyes Closed by Madhu Gurung
A fresh look at the experience of Tibetan refugees in India
BOOKS Updated: Oct 04, 2019 19:03 IST
Thubten Samphel Hindustan Times
253pp, Rs 350; Speaking Tiger
There is a new interest in Tibet and Tibetan culture amongst the Indian public. This is because of the Dalai Lama’s tireless efforts to reach out to the Indian public to alert them to the relevance of ancient India’s wisdom in our vexing times. There is also whispered foreboding of what would happen to the Tibetan community in India and elsewhere and the fate of Tibet itself when he is no longer what us.
Tibet With My Eyes Closed is a fresh look at the experience of the Tibetan refugees in India and the pain of separation of families and being uprooted from their homeland. It is also of a story of how the community as a whole faced and still faces the challenges of adaption and survival.
In her exploration and discovery of the Tibetan refugee community in India, Madhu Gurung quotes an old Tibetan proverb. “If I tell you my dream, you might forget it. If I act on my dream, perhaps you will remember it, but if I involve you — it becomes your dream too.” Madhu Gurung’s dream of the Tibetan community in exile is a gentle paring of the community’s many layers of strength, weakness, human quirks and the need to survive as an individual and community.
The author kicks off her Tibetan story by narrating in broad contours the birth of the resistance movement in Tibet in the 1950s. This resistance relocated to Mustang in Nepal and then fought in Bangladesh’s war for independence. Some scholars call the Tibetan soldiers who fought in the war “Phantoms of Chittagong.” Sangay, the main protagonist in Gurung’s first story Zinda, was a little boy when members of his family whispered the formation of the resistance in central Tibet. He expressed his wish to join the resistance. He was told to wait till he became thirteen. Then, “You … will be of some use to them.”
Tibetan resistance grew not only because of repression and forced land distribution but also because of the implementation of the Great Leap Forward with its excessive stress on industrialization to the neglect of agriculture and production of food. This created the biggest famine in Chinese history and Tibet was caught up in this man-made disaster.
Madhu Gurung ( Courtesy the author )
Sangay and his father, leaving with excruciating pain other family members, including his mother, behind in Tibet, were able to escape this political disaster and the great famine. In India “everything was strange – the language, the food and the people.” At school, he got a greater shock, a huge dent to his Tibetan pride and sense of self and identity. He discovered that the Tibetans were the ‘nowhere’ people. His schoolmates did not know where Tibet was.
However, during the period of ‘liberalization’ which the post-Mao leader Deng Xiaoping initiated in China and Tibet, Sangay was able to return to Tibet and bring his mother to their new home in Dehradun auspiciously named Zinda. Shakti Gurung informs the readers that Sangay’s home village in Tibet called Zinda which the author says in Hindi means “Alive.”
That Sangay survived all these ordeals is a tribute to his character and his generation of Tibetan refugees. Back in the late 1950s while on their way to Lhasa, someone in his group shouted: “Lhasa is burning.” These days rather than burning Lhasa is drowning in concrete, amazing infrastructure development and the sheer weight of the growing demographic strength of the migrant Chinese workers. Tibet With My Eyes Closed is a cautionary tale for the countries and people strung along the Himalayan belt. You might be next, maybe an exaggeration but exaggeration is not enough to describe the true intentions and scale of the People’s Republic of China’s ambitions. The book is also a cautionary tale for the coming generation of Tibetan exiles. They inherit a cohesive and productive community scattered across the globe, a legacy of the first generation of Tibetan refugees. Keeping its cohesion and productivity will be a huge challenge in the coming years of adversity.
Thubten Samphel is an independent researcher and a former director of the Tibet Policy Institute
YOM KIPPUR 2019 – REFLECTIONS ON REPENTANCE AND ATONEMENT
Yom Kippur / יום כפור
Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר or יום הכיפורים), Also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days (or sometimes “the Days of Awe”).
Yom Kippur 2019 will start on Tuesday, October 08, 2019. The event doesn’t actually start at the beginning of October 08. Instead, it will start on the evening of the day when sunset is taking place. The holiday will then last into Wednesday, October 09.
Just like with its start, Yom Kippur 2019 won’t be over exactly when October 09 comes to an end. The event will instead come to a close during nightfall on October 09. This is due to Yom Kippur being a holiday that lasts for 25 hours.
I would like to define my Indian Identity in the context of Repentance and Atonement that defines the identity of Hebrew people.
The idea of repentance is well expressed in different Cultures but the interpretation of its consequences is not the same. The Jews associate the idea of repentance with Divine Atonement and Absolution of sins.
Repentance and forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus is the theme of the Books of The New Testament. Christian faith calls upon man to repent and be converted through the act of Baptism.
In Islam, true repentance means that man must reject all other forms of belief and avoid the worship of false gods. By repenting, a Muslim agrees to truly believe in one and only God(ALLAH) and live in strict obedience to His Five Commandments and other ordinances as revealed in the Holy Scripture of the Quran. Islam also demands that the true believer must ask the non-believer to repent. Islam encourages the idea of harshly punishing all individuals who fail to truly repent.
In India, the Land described as ‘Karma Bhumi’, or ‘Karma Kshetra’, repentance is viewed upon as a personal choice. Repentance could only be used to change one’s own conduct. Most importantly, in the Land of Bharat, the idea of repentance is not associated with the idea of converting the religious beliefs of a man. The idea of ‘repent or perish’ does not define Indian Identity.
JUDAISM AND THE DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT:
Repentance is a common theme of Old Testament Prophets. Prophet Jeremiah had more to say about repentance than any other Prophet. He called upon Jews to repent and condemned them for their false worship and social injustice.
To Jews, repentance means living in obedience to Yahweh’s Will for the individual and the nation of Israel. For a Jew, atonement is expiation for his own sin in order to attain God’s forgiveness. He may achieve this in various ways, including repentance, payment for a wrong action, good works, suffering, and prayer. Repentance and changed conduct are stressed as the most important aspects of Atonement.
God set up Laws for the Israelites mostly regarding holiness and worship. The Old Testament Book of Leviticus, Chapter 16, verse 34: “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you; Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”
The Day of Atonement or YOM KIPPUR is the most important and solemn of the Jewish holidays. It is the tenth and final day of the Ten Days of Repentance which begins with Rosh Hashanah.
God has issued a lasting ordinance and has called upon the Jews to obtain Atonement once a year. After the destruction of the Second Temple at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Jews discontinued the practice of ritualistic animal sacrifice to make the sin and burnt offerings to seek Atonement.
The observance of Yom Kippur includes a 25 hour period of fasting and intensive prayer. At the end of Yom Kippur, the man considers himself absolved from his sin and is reconciled to God.
Repentance is not a personal choice for the Jews.
THE MESSAGE OF JESUS – THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NEAR AND THEREFORE REPENT:
“REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!” – Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 3, verse 2.
The Baptism of the sinless Man. From that time on Jesus began to preach, “REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NEAR.” – Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 4, verse 17.
Jesus announced the approaching Kingdom of God and therefore called people to repentance. Jesus’ call to repentance is grounded in this message of the approaching Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ preaching, repentance does not mean a prerequisite or precondition or even a penitent contemplation of oneself but, rather a consequence of the proximity of the Kingdom of God.
The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2, verse 38: Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Christians believe that the redeeming of mankind and the reconciliation of God with man is brought about by Jesus’ suffering and Crucifixion. As per Christian belief, Jesus came to Earth and became the sacrifice for all mankind. It was the sins of all mankind that have put Jesus on the Cross. Christians seek forgiveness through Jesus Christ the Savior.
Risen Lord – Jesus the Redeemer. The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 3, verse 19 :”Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
LENT SEASON: The period of forty weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter is observed variously in Christian Churches by fasting and penitence. Christians do not celebrate a ‘Day of Atonement’. Christians seek forgiveness of sins through the GRACE of their Risen Lord.
Christian traditions accept the announcement of God’s willingness to forgive all those who truly repent of their sins. Christians are sharply divided about the Doctrine of Conciliation and the power to “bind and loose”. Jesus after the Resurrection told the disciples:”If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”( Gospel of John, Chapter 20, verse 23 ) This statement is interpreted in different ways. Catholics believe in Sacramental Absolution of sins and they extend the power to “bind and loose” that was conferred by Jesus on the Apostles to all of their priests. Martin Luther, the leader of Protestant Reformation in Germany had asserted that daily repentance is the repeated actualization of Baptism. The Protestants have ruled out the Fourth Sacrament of Roman Catholicism.
ISLAM – “ALLAH IS HE WHO ACCEPTS REPENTANCE”:
“Know they not that Allah is He who accepts repentance from His bondsmen and taken the alms, and that Allah is He who is the Relenting and Merciful.” SURAH IX, At-TAUBAH, verse 104, Holy Quran.
The Revelations stated in the Holy Book of Quran state that it is always possible for a sinner to repent( Taubah or Tawbah) and redeem himself by a genuine conversion to the truth. Genuine repentance has the effect of removing all sins and restoring a person to the state of sinlessness with which he started his life.
(Triumphant) are those who turn repentant( to ALLAH ), those who serve( Him ), those who praise ( Him ), those who fast, those who bow down, those who fall prostrate ( in worship ), those who enjoin the right and who forbid the wrong and those who keep the limits ( ordained ) of ALLAH – And give glad tidings to believers! – Holy Quran, At-Taubah, Surah IX, verse 112.
In Surah IX, At-Taubah ( Repentance ), Holy Quran issues stern Commandments against idolater, disbeliever, transgressor, the Jews and the Christians for they have taken as lords beside ALLAH their rabbis, and their monks, the Messiah, and that son of Mary.
Quran was sent down as a guidance for the people. ( Surah II, verse 185 )
The ninth month of the Muslim Year during which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for the people is observed as a period of daily fasting from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is seen as an obedient response to a command from God and to a lesser extent it may represent a period of Atonement.
THE LAND OF BHARAT: SUBMISSION OF ALL ACTIONS TO GOD:
Indian Prayer seeking the total surrender to God. Man desires no Free Will to perform actions on his own.
While the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims are constantly reminded to repent and to seek forgiveness of God for all of their sinful actions, in the Land of Bharat, the people are counseled to submit to God all of their actions; either good or bad. Whatever actions that a man accomplishes with his body, with his speech, with his mind, with his organs of motor function, or because of his attitude or temperament; all of those acts without any exception should be dedicated or submitted to the Supreme Lord known as Narayana. Without making any distinction between good or bad actions; the man should refrain and should not desire the fruits of his actions.
THE THREE MODES OF MATERIAL NATURE – ‘GUNA TRAYA VIBHAGA YOGA’:
The Lord’s Song known as Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XIV, verse 5 states that the material Nature consists of the three modes – goodness ( Sattva ), passion ( Rajas ), and ignorance ( Tamas ). And when the living entity comes in contact with Nature ( Prakriti ), he becomes conditioned by these modes which enslave the immutable consciousness of the self within the body. Man acts under the influence of any of the three different modes of material Nature.
The Lord’s Song further states that when man is able to rise above ( transcend ) these three qualities are known as Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, the embodied soul can become free from birth, death, old age, and their distresses, and can enjoy “Amrit” ( the Divine Nectar that bestows Immortality ) even in this life. The Supreme Lord is transcendental to the three modes of Nature. Man is released from his bondage to his own sinful actions by acquiring the true knowledge of the Supreme Lord. This liberation or emancipation ( Vimukti ) from the conditioning effects of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas defines Indian Identity in the context of Repentance and Atonement.
INDIAN VIEW – REPENTANCE DOES NOT REMIT SINS:
In the Sanskrit language, the word repentance is described as “PASHCHATH TAPA”. It is the feeling of sorrow or grief experienced by an offender for his own actions that inflicted pain or caused an injury or insult. The Indian thinkers have described repentance as mental catharsis. Repentance is an act of purification of the mind. A man cannot unburden his conscience by concealing his actions, or by suppressing the memory of his actions. The emotional stress and the burden imposed by a sense of guilt could be alleviated by bringing the memory of our actions to consciousness and by giving expression to sorrow or grief caused by these actions. The offender does not merely regret his actions. He mentally experiences the pain caused by his actions and gives expression to the emotion of sorrow or grief. In the Indian tradition, grief is manifested by actually shedding tears of sorrow with which the offender cleanses the feet of his victim. This process of mental catharsis brings about changed conduct. The man is enabled to change his mode of conditioned activities. The activities performed in the mode of ignorance( Tamas), and passion( Rajas) lead to distress. Man acquires real knowledge while acting under the influence of the mode of goodness or Sattva. Repentance helps the man to move up into the mode of Sattva ( goodness ) from that of Tamas( ignorance ), and Rajas ( passion ). Through repentance, man changes his thoughts, desires, his habits, and his actions.
Please also view the related blog post titled ‘East and West – The Idea of Forgiveness’
TO GIVE ‘THANKS’ TO THE HIGHEST GOD AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST ABOLISH SLAVERY
On Thursday, October 03, 2019 I ask American people to give ‘Thanks’ to the Highest God by abolishing Slavery. The United States was transformed into a ‘Slavedriver’ by President Bill Clinton on August 22, 1996, by signing into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PL 104 – 193) which denies the opportunity to the alien hourly wage earners to receive the monthly retirement income benefit after attaining the full retirement age of 67 years. In my analysis, an individual who has no right to his property, earnings, or income benefit is a “SLAVE.”
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
Special Frontier Force
President Lincoln proclaims official Thanksgiving holiday
On October 3, 1863, expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863.
The speech, which was actually written by Secretary of State William Seward, declared that the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. This announcement harkened back to when George Washington was in his first term as the first president in 1789 and the young American nation had only a few years earlier emerged from the American Revolution. At that time, George Washington called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not yet become an annual event.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president, felt that public demonstrations of piety to a higher power, like that celebrated at Thanksgiving, were inappropriate in a nation based in part on the separation of church and state. Subsequent presidents agreed with him. In fact, no official Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by any president between 1815 and the day Lincoln took the opportunity to thank the Union Army and God for a shift in the country’s fortunes on this day in 1863.
The fourth Thursday of November remained the annual day of Thanksgiving from 1863 until 1939. Then, at the tail-end of the Depression, President Franklin D.Roosevelt, hoping to boost the economy by providing shoppers and merchants a few extra days to conduct business between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, moved Thanksgiving to November’s third Thursday. In 1941, however, Roosevelt bowed to Congress’ insistence that the fourth Thursday of November is re-set permanently, without alteration, as the official Thanksgiving holiday.