AMBA, DURGA, PARVATI, THE MOTHER
FIND TRUTH – LISTEN TO THE HEART:
While I was posted as an Intern at Military Hospital, Ambala, a patient of my Surgical Ward reported the problem of his missing watch.
To investigate the problem, I asked all the patients to come to my office and I carefully listened to their heartbeats. It was my impression that the missing watch was in the possession of one of the patients who was not its rightful owner.
I listened to their heart beats after I had announced to them that I could discover the wrongful owner of the watch as the truth could be found in his heart. At the end of this listening session, I announced that I discovered the truth and asked the unspecified wrongful owner to return the watch to the place from where it was picked up, for that would give him a chance to avoid public exposure of his mischief. As expected by me, the missing watch found its way back to the bathroom from where it was picked up. The watch was returned to its rightful owner.
I listened to the hearts of my patients under the assumption that Indians have a deep sense of concern for truth and this concern about truth is a defining characteristic of Indian Identity. I would not suggest that my patients were gullible enough to trust my words about finding the culprit by listening to the heart sounds. They indeed have a true concern about the nature of truth and their inability to conceal truth from being revealed when man looks into his own heart in search of truth.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Personal Number – MS-8466 Rank Lieutenant/Captain Intern/Medical Officer ( 1970-71),
Military Hospital, Ambala, Haryana, India.
GLORIOUS QURAN SURAH VIII ‘SPOILS OF WAR, VERSE 61: “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower.”
” Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God “.( The Holy Bible, The Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 9)
” (This is) a Scripture that We have revealed unto thee, full of blessing, that they may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may reflect “.(Holy Book of Quran, Surah XXXVIII, “SAAD” verse 29)
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – ESTABLISHMENT NUMBER. 22 – OPERATION EAGLE – LIBERATION WAR OF BANGLADESH 1971:
Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India initiated Liberation of Bangladesh during 1971 with military action in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The battle plan of this military action is known as Operation Eagle. She had conceived this battle plan to bring peace in that region. She was inclined towards peace. She wanted to deliver peace to people of Bangladesh who had earlier declared their independence from Pakistan. During Operation Eagle, Bangladesh Operations of 1971-72, I had served in South Column, an Infantry Unit Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan. He was a great Islamic Scholar. He had explained to me that PEACE is the greeting of Righteous people.
AN ISLAMIC SCHOLAR WHO SERVED IN OLIVE GREEN UNIFORM:
A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL BK NARAYAN, THE REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY
I was in college from 1962 to 1965 and had obtained an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad. I remember this period as the Golden Age of immortal Mohd. Rafi whose melodies still fill my ears. I grew up in this cradle of Urdu language Culture and had acquired my love for ghazals and qawwalis. I had spent time in Lucknow, a crown jewel in the Urdu speaking world, where you meet in the market place, ordinary folks who speak in tones that have made the language famous for its sweetness. Much later, I had served in the Land Forces of The Sultanate of Oman and took my first lesson in Arabic language. My love for Urdu and my Knowledge of Arabic language pales when I write about this Scholar and language expert whom I had met in India during 1971. He passed away on Sunday, May 2, 2004, in Bahrain where he had worked for over 20 years as the Head of the Translation Department at the Bahrain Archives. This is not a tribute about his academic accomplishments, the books that he had published, his military career or about his famous friendly relationship with President Gamal Abdel Nasser and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. I am writing this tribute to recognize his personal qualities and the values that he had promoted. I am writing this tribute to recognize him as a “peacemaker”.He represents a symbol of hope and the light that he had shown may lead us on to a path of peaceful co-existence.
I met Lieutenant Colonel.B K Narayan; he hails from Karnataka, and he grew up as a Hindu, while he served in Indian Army in the Olive Green Uniform during the period of ” The Liberation War of Bangladesh ” in 1971. He had the unique distinction of commanding an Infantry Unit in the conduct of War while he had belonged to The Regiment of Artillery. I have not known a ‘GUNNER’ who could plan and execute Infantry Attacks on Enemy posts. Colonel Iqbal Singh, the Chief of Staff at the Force Headquarters also belonged to The Regiment of Artillery but the role played by Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan as an Infantry Commander during War is exceptional and has no comparisons that I am aware of. I had the opportunity to converse with him for extended periods of time and came to know his admirable personality. It is not the knowledge of Arabic language that has made him unique and sets him apart from all other language experts but he is special because of his love for Islamic Culture and his ability to project the deep understanding of that Culture when he spoke to others. He had performed the holy pilgrimage of Hajj and had observed all the rituals of that spiritual journey like a true and devout Muslim. When he narrated his Hajj experience, I could know the sense of joy and the purity of his intentions. His observance of hajj was genuine, real to its core.
Col Narayan was able to quote the Quran from his memory and would convey his understanding of the verses with great clarity. I had personally witnessed his amazing performance in a little town called KAPTAI, on the banks of Karnaphuli Lake, Rangamati Division of Bangladesh. He had conducted the Friday Worship Service for the local Bangla Muslims and delivered a sermon which was received with great appreciation by the worshipers. His job in Uniform did not impose any obligation to organize such an event. he held that prayer meeting entirely on his own initiative and it was purely an expression of his love to worship in the Islamic tradition and it also affirms his faith that the worship of God is not limited by one single tradition. The Friday Worship Service was held at the State Guest House in Kaptai where I had stayed after my Unit had captured Kaptai. It had a large Conference Room. Col Narayan had contacted the Muslim Clerics of the local Masjid and they were absolutely delighted when they met him. His Scholarship and devotion to Islam had captivated them and they had immediately agreed to convene the local congregation at the Guest House and organize the Friday Worship Service. The Conference Hall got totally packed with worshipers. I could watch the proceedings directly from my room in the State Guest House. The Bangla Muslim Community of Kaptai were truly appreciative of Colonel Narayan and his military campaign for bringing Peace and Joy to their Community.
I knew Col Narayan’s great admiration for Arab people. He had always described them as peace-loving people. He knew this as a fact and it was based upon his understanding of Islamic Culture and traditions. I would describe Col B K Narayan as a God’s humble servant. It is important to remember and pay tribute to such “peacemakers” as we can achieve true peace through reflecting and understanding the revelations from the Holy Scriptures of all people. The Regiment of Artillery of Indian Army must record this historical contribution made by a Gunner officer who had served as an Infantry Commander during the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
R. R. Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Service Number: MS-8466, Rank: LIEUTENANT/CAPTAIN Branch: Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission;
Designation: Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle
Organization: Headquarters Establishment No. 22 C/O 56 APO.
RANI PADMINI OF CHITTORGARH
I had the good fortune to serve in the Indian Army and had the opportunity to take part in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. During my school years, I was a student of Indian History and always performed exceedingly well in that subject. In 1962, when China launched a massive attack across our Himalayan frontier, I was a young college student and took part in a protest march to express my resentment. I participated in the National Cadet Corps training but I never had the physical strength and profile to qualify myself to join Army and fight a battle on behalf of my country. I went to Medical School and in the pre-final year, I was selected in an interview and was granted the rank of Second Lieutenant and joined the Army Medical Corps. I could join the battle in support of those brave and strong men who confront the enemy. Army Service gave me the opportunity to know people of this Land and their great traditions. I take pride in the fighting spirit of each one of them, to name a few, the Jat, the Rajput, the Sikh, the Dogra, the Garhwal, the Kumaon, the Gorkha, the Maratha, the Mahar and the Madras.
I contemplate on ideas of dignity, pride, honour and courage. I knew my men well. I know their strength as well as their fears. I understood that the word courage does not mean being fearless. I see courage as the ability to meet your challenge and perform your duty in spite of fear. The ability to conquer fear is courage and it is not the absence of fear.
If I have to choose one reason to claim that I am proud to be an Indian, I would give that credit to Rani Padmini. India has produced several great sons and daughters who are well-known for their accomplishments. I am proud because of Padmini’s faith in her own personal dignity and her decision to uphold her honour and integrity when she faced the challenge of fear induced by an impending outcome that she was unwilling to accept. Her monumental courage gives me the reason to claim that I am proud to be an Indian.
What you are is your essence and what you do is your existence. Man is a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being. Man’s essence is defined by the contents of his character and conduct. Rani Padmini had set values and had defined her existence in terms of those values that she had cherished. She had responded with a great sense of courage and had dissolved her physical existence to defend her essence; the sense of dignity and the sense of honor was her true nature, and her physical being merely existed to project her essence. She had declared her Victory over Death and her spirit, her essence, her true nature still lives in the hearts of Indians making her an immortal being.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.
PICTURE OF PRATAP-RUDRA
My elder brother Pratap and me(Rudra) come together as Prataparudra. Does that name sound familiar to you? My father taught Indian History all his life and he was clearly inspired by the names of the legendary figures found in our history books. He selected names to reflect his admiration for people who lived before and who had established a glorious period in the collective memory of Indians. My elder brother got his name Pratap to remind us of the bravery of Rana Pratap who challenged the Mughal emperor Akbar. Telugu people also take pride in the legacy of the great Kakatiya Dynasty that ruled much of the Telugu speaking areas in 12 th century A.D. The famous Thousand-Pillar Temple in Hanamkonda near Warangal was built in 1162 A.D. by the Kakatiya king Rudra Deva(1158-1195A.D.) who is also known as Prataparudra I. One of the few queens in Indian history and a most prominent ruler of Kakatiya Dynasty was Rani Rudrama Devi(1262-1295 A.D.). Her grandson, Prataprudra ascended the throne in 1280 A.D. During his reign, art and literature flourished. The conquest of South India(Deccan) by the Delhi Sultanate started in 1296 by Alauddin Khilji. The first invasion in 1303 A.D. was repulsed by the valiant resistance of the Kakatiya army. The Khilji dynasty ended and Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq ascended the Delhi throne in 1320 A.D. The first attack by Muhammad bin Tughlaq was repulsed. During 1321 A.D. after an initial failed attempt, a much larger force attacked the Warangal Fort for the second time and finally King Prataparudra was taken prisoner. While being taken as a prisoner to Delhi, King Prataparudra released his life into the loving embrace of River Narmada and preserved his dignity. Maharana Pratap, Chatrapati Shivaji and King Prataparudra are our national heroes because of their resistance to foreign rulers and occupation.
ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE :Who you are ( your essence ) is defined by what you do ( your existence ). King Prataprudra desired to exist as a man of honor and integrity and had defended the dignity of his existence and did not desire to yield his dignity to keep his existence. Indian tradition makes a distinction between Subjective Reality of Existence and the Objective Reality of Existence. The Subjective Reality of King Prataprudra who was taken as a prisoner by his enemy was not consistent with the Objective Reality of Existence of King Prataprudra as defined by his nature. The King took the extreme measure to destroy the reality of his subjective existence as a prisoner and upheld the true nature of his essence which was consistent with the Objective Reality of his existence. By killing the prisoner, the King became an immortal individual. The prisoner had died and the King lives in the hearts of Telugu people.
Our names have stories to tell and guide us to revisit the history and we take pride in our Telugu heritage.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970
The Tragic Scene at Lumbini Park, Hyderabad
Om Sarvesham Swastir bhavatu,
Sarvesham Shantir bhavatu,
Sarvesham Purnam bhavatu,
Sarvesham Mangalam bhavatu.
Om Sarve bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve santu niramayah
Sarve bhadraani pachyantu
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti hi
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti hi
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti hi.
In the Land from where such beautiful thoughts have blossomed, the people have now become increasingly vulnerable to Terror Attacks and a countless number of innocent lives have already perished because of evil forces which desire to wipe out our Identity as a people. While we commit ourselves to promote peace and goodwill and work for the well being of all people, there is no escape from the challenge that we face today. As a community and as a nation, we have no alternative other than preparing ourselves to this threat that is showing its ugly face without prior notice or warning.
A STRATEGY TO FACE THE SECURITY CHALLENGES OF TERRORISM
Terror and ruthless violence have become the tools of fanatics who would like to impose their socio-cultural agenda to bring about large scale societal changes by using coercion and not negotiation. The recent bomb attacks in the city of Hyderabad is establishing a trend. The targets of terror are very soft and nothing was known about an impending attack. There is no easily identifiable group. There is no proclaimed goal or agenda other than that of destroying the fabric of the Indian society. We should stop clinging to the traditional views of conventional wars between countries. Each incident of terror attack should be legally defined as an act of war and the suspects should be held accountable for war crimes. The Armed Forces of the country should be equipped, prepared and redeployed to join this battle at a short notice.The military planners need to evolve a strategy for urban warfare and to pursue an enemy hiding in densely populated areas and to engage enemy targets with great precision and fire power which could be delivered with greater accuracy. The military intelligence capabilities should be enhanced to evolve military operations against internal enemies. We may need trained, rapid response teams to respond to this kind of aggression and its aftermath of wounded victims. The asymmetrical war unleashed by the terror groups is of equal importance in terms of the danger it poses to our national sovereignty. The response to each attack should come from the nation as a whole with the Armed Forces keeping the option of a military strike in retaliation.
The most important task following a terror attack would be that of caring for the victims. The Army Response Teams should be called in to arrange for the evacuation and treatment of the victims in the same manner that casualties from a battle field are taken care of. The wounded should be treated, rehabilitated and be provided followup care and paid a disability pension if required. We need to take care of victims instead of forgetting about them after paying some compensation. The investigation of the incidents and the prosecution of suspects should happen under the jurisdictional directions from the military authority.There should be no public disclosures about the evidence and the tools and methods used for collection of evidence. Such disclosures would only help the terror groups to plan their future attacks better. The suspects should be tried under the provisions of the military law in military courts. Indian citizens who are accomplices to these acts of war should be charged with treason and tried as traitors. If we are at war with groups and terror outfits based in foreign countries, our trade and diplomatic relationships should reflect the state of war that exists and there should be no normalization of relationships till such time the threat is neutralized.
Our government has an obligation to protect and defend the rights of the people and we need to step up our response to these acts of war of aggression.
Kasturi tilakam la laata palake vakshasthale kaustubham,
Nasaagre nava mouktikam karatale venum kare kankanam
Sarvaange hari chandanam cha kalayan kanthe cha muktaavalim,
Gopastree pariveshtitho vijayate Gopaala choodamanee.
THE PORTRAYAL OF RELIGIOUS ICONS
Apart from the basic differences in the ideas and thoughts of various religious traditions of this world, there is a fundamental difference in the visual characterization of the religious icons. The first thing that strikes the mind of the reader of religious scriptures is the difference in the way the scriptures portray their icons. I have seen The Holy Bible, The Holy Quran and no image comes before my eyes. I have to really struggle hard to imagine as to who is speaking to me.These Scriptures have several characters which are clearly human but there is no description of their physical attributes and the portrayal is lacking in information that would help the reader to develop a visual image. If you read the above verse, the beautiful image of Lord Krishna automatically comes before you without any effort. I define this as Indian Identity, it is a reflection upon our nature and our literature does a marvellous job giving life and color to the icons and I feel it becomes very easy for me to get connected to them and listen to them as they guide us in our spiritual journey.
Yasya smarana matrena, janma samsaara bandhanaath
Vimuchyatey Namasta tasmye, Vishnave Prabha Vishnave.
Just remembering Vishnu’s name could deliver us from the trappings of samsara and the remembrane becomes all the more easier when you recall the image.
THE DIVINITY OF MOTHER AND FATHER :
Jesus taught this prayer to His disciples and it is given in The Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 9-13. ” Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” In relation to God whom He called “Father”, Jesus claimed the unique and distinctive relationship of “Son”. In an absolute and unqualified way, Jesus claimed that He is the Father’s unique Son. “No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son”(MATTHEW 11:27). Jesus expressed this intimacy of relationship by addressing God as “ABBA”, the word for father in Aramaic language. Nowhere in the literature and the prayers of ancient Judaism is this invocation of God as “ABBA” to be found. The final words of Jesus when He died on the cross were,” Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit “(LUKE 23:46).
THE DIVINITY OF MOTHER
My Indian Identity could be attributed to my claim of the Divinity of my Mother. When I speak to God, I refer to the Divine Entity as my Mother and Father. In Indian literature, while speaking of parents, invariably the word mother takes precedence over the word father. In my prayers, I address God as my Mother and Father. My traditions, my rituals and Cultural practices stress the Divinity of Mother. The river I worship is Ganga Maa(Mother Ganges), the cow I worship is Go Maata, the provider of my linguistic identity is Telugu Talli, the country of my origin is Bharat Maata. The following prayers are an example of my belief in a Divine, Universal Mother.
Siddhi buddhi pradey Devi, bhukti mukti pradaayini
Mantra Murtey Sadaa Devi, Maha Lakshmee namostutey.
Padmaasana stitey Devi, Para Brahma Swaruupini
Parameshwari Jaganmata Maha Lakshmee namostutey.
THE MOTHER PRINCIPLE IN INDIAN TRADITION :
The term or word mother describes a female parent and it also conveys an idea that mother gives birth to something, it is the source, or origin of something, it nurtures something in a manner like that of a mother, and it also speaks of having the responsibility, and authority of a mother. The word mother could be used as a title to address a female person with respect and affection. The word mother is also often used as an adjective to describe something derived or learned from one’s mother. Indian Culture has given three icons who represent the three aspects of motherhood. Goddess Lakshmi represents the mother who nurtures, the provider of material wealth, prosperity, and well-being. Goddess Parvati represents the mother who defends, the source of energy, and the sustainer. Goddess Sarasvati represents the source of knowledge, and the provider of learning, speech, and wisdom
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.