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Whatever is left over from the archives of the old Raganuga.Com forums after most of the substantial threads were moved to the relevant areas of the main forums.

The Iraqi War & Dharma - Some reflections on the conflict

Mina - Sun, 16 Mar 2003 21:56:08 +0530
If anyone is interested in discussing President Bush's war plans, I would be interested in learning your views on this. I myself have mixed feelings about the politics involved. First of all, I think one needs to separate the current conflict from the history of Islamic aggression. Certainly horrible atrocities were inflicted on our Vaishnava community in Mahaprabhu's era. However, those regimes are very much different from the governments we find in Muslim majority countries today, which range from entirely despotic (Iraq) to peaceful and liberal.

There is much ado about holy war as depicted in the Bhagavad Gita, but that is also an idea that does not really apply. Although historically various wars have been fought over religious ideology, what we see today are primarily disputes over land and the control of natural resources, such as oil and natural gas. Politicians that speak out of five sides of their mouths will often sugar coat their speeches about righteous warfare with religious ethics, but at the core of all military campaigns is either national security, expansionism or a combination of the two.

I had a long conversation last week with my brother that belongs to a fundamentalist Christian sect. He is seeing biblical prophecies springing to life from the pages of the book of Revelations with the scenario of nations aligning themselves on either side of America's war on terrorism. He mentioned that some scholars interpret the prophesized battle of Armageddon as taking place in that area of turmoil.

At any rate, what role does dharma as we understand it play in this effort to root out Al Qaeda and similar organizations? Shouldn't the overall approach apply to all despotic regimes throughout the world and not just to certain groups that have targeted the USA? Shouldn't all righteous and moral people be angered over the trampling of human rights by repressive regimes, and shouldn't they strive to overcome the injustice? Why is the annihilation of two skyscrapers with three thousand people inside any more heinous than the mass amputations of the limbs of people that oppose the diamond cartel in West Africa?

Also, what about the ethical implications of endangering the planet by execessive burning of fossil fuels when there are all forms of alternative energy sources like hydrogen and solar power?

Finally, how about getting our own house in order? We have numerous domestic problems of our own in America, such as corporate fraud on a massive scale and tens of millions of people without access to adequate health care due to lack of medical insurance, not to mention increasing joblessness. If we are to take a leadership role, then we have to set an example that the rest of the world can respect. Otherwise, we will continue to project our image of imperialistic bullies only concerned with our own narrow interests on the world stage.
Mina - Fri, 21 Mar 2003 06:16:03 +0530
So it now unfolds. Certainly there is little similarity to an ancient battlefield. You don't see the generals out on the front lines. The Iraqi commander in chief is hiding out in some bunker, if he has not already fled the country and our own commander in chief is nowhere near the area. Also, Saddam's own men have little loyalty, with so many ready to surrender on day one. I have not seen a single person blowing a conch shell either.

I recommend reading an interesting book entitled "Code of the Warrior". It details how warfare has gone through permutations throughout history and how wars have been fought in different eras since the rules of engagement were first established in ancient India. More importantly it discusses the philosophical framework for warfare and how the outer conflict parallels the inner struggle of the warrior to achieve balance. Its definitely engaging reading.
Mina - Sat, 22 Mar 2003 21:23:56 +0530
On a more practical level, the warriors of today are seeking to strike with greater and greater precision, to avoid the number of innocent casualties. They are making some strides in that respect, if one can believe the news reports. That is certainly a principle of dharma. The accounts of ancient battles paint an entirely different picture. The soldiers would array themselves somewhere in a desolate area removed from any population center. However, to think that there were no unintended casualties would be simply naive. There had to be plenty of unarmed people getting caught in some bow and arrow crossfire at times, as well as soldiers getting hit with friendly fire from their own troops. Today it is just a matter of an order of magnitude, since missiles, bombs and bullets are so much more lethal than arrows.

We can only pray for a time when there will be no more need for wars. Until then, they will remain a necessary evil to topple despotic regimes like Sodom's.
Mina - Fri, 28 Mar 2003 20:55:15 +0530
Day ten of the war and the body count goes up. The entire world is lining up on either side, either for the invasion or opposing it on principle. Was this a premature operation? Could the despotic regime have been toppled some other way? Is our president neglecting the problems here at home in favor of a military victory to add to his political resume? How much of a threat in reality is there from further terrorist attacks on U.S. soil? Are the French really cowards or do they have some legitimate gripe?

There is a saying that those who win the wars write the history books.

Nitai and I went to see the Mahabharata movie (the one with the international cast) several years ago. Nitai's favorite line was where Krishna says, "Sometimes dharma is best served by ignoring it". (I'm paraphrasing, because I don't remember the quote verbatim). I think the point is that when it comes to dharma, it is not always clearly in black and white, but there are shades of grey as well.

Should only the heroism of the coalition forces be glorified? What about the poor Iraqi soldier that is just doing his duty, even if he does not like the regime he is fighting for? Should he not also be recognized for sacrificing his life on the battlefield?

I am neither a politician nor a warrior. I do think we need to have some perspective, however, in viewing these events as they unfold on the stage of history. Perhaps we as Caitanyaites should simply ask ourselves, which governments are more favorable to our tradition and are less likely to persecute us? Or, we could be more proactive and actually try to exert some political influence of our own. Obviously, the latter course is much more feasible in a Hindu majority nation like India. At least here in the USA, despite our problems, religious minorities like ours can feel safe from harassment by the government, as long as we don't break any laws.
A D R Singh - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 04:33:29 +0530
Governments of Muslim countries generally don't tolerate any other faith.
Just two days ago twenty two brahmins were killed by militants in Kashmir. The Pakistani government has for years been behind this kind of slaughter based on religion.
Their goal is to wipe out Hindus from the Kashmir valley.
A D R Singh - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 04:51:36 +0530
It's good for a devotee to be equipoised, but I'd personally support a Christian based government against a Muslim one any day.
Reason is that they usually allow freedom of religion and expression.
Mina - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 08:17:21 +0530
Yes, ADR that is generally true, but I don't really think it has much to do with a Muslim majority state versus a Christian majority state. The political infrastructure is what makes the difference, particularly the separation of church and state and the attention paid to civil rights. After, all Christian backed regimes do not necessarily have any better track record historically than Muslim ones. The Spanish Inquisition, the crusades and the Salem witch trials are cases in point. Also, don't forget that the Akbar was very favorable to the Vaishnavas, as opposed to the despot Ourang Zeb from the same era.
A D R Singh - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 09:37:19 +0530
The Christians did convert others by the sword back then.. centuries ago. Now the policy is to let people practice their faith in peace.
Akbar was one emperor who was favorouble to Vaisnavs. When you are operating on Indian soil. it's not difficult to become sympathetic to the traditions. How many of them were not? Too many in my opinion.
On Arabic soil I doubt they are as sympathetic to other faiths as Akbar was in India.
I was chastised in Dubai just for appearing in Western dress, and I was just passing through..
Maybe I'm over reacting.
Mina - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 21:21:47 +0530
Fortunately the extreme fundamendalists of all faiths, who would not hesitate to persecute outsiders, are a small percentage and don't wield much political power in the non-Arab countries. Let's just hope it stays that way. The followers of Rajneesh may have suffered some persecution as a religious minority in the state of Oregon, but that did not justify their resorting to terrorism and the use of biological weapons. Religious extremists and zealots are always a potential danger, as history has shown.

Getting back to the topic, which is the current conflict and dharma - courage in battle has always been admired, although it can also be a manifestation of mental illness. War has a tendency to cause pyschological damage to those not prepared for it, and even to many that have been trained for it. That is a good argument against a draft, plus those that have martial propensities are going to make better soldiers anyways. The higher purpose of war has always been to minimize violence, not increase it.
A D R Singh - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 23:18:52 +0530
The ideal king, according to Manu Samhita wishes to conquer his enemies and expand his territory. Our leaders are warriors no doubt, although not active as they should be.. they command the battlefield from air conditioned offices. But they are following some pattern of warfare, probably based on Vedic texts..
So a king would regard a neighboring king as an enemy, merely because he would like to bring him under control, along with his possessions.
Within his kingdom it is his duty to curb violence and crime by punishing the wrongdoer, but when at war, the enemy’s human losses are of no concern . Women and children are shielded as much as possible. Of course the war should be waged in a specific location where only the soldiers are involved.

I don’t think the human casualties are so great seeing the magnitude of the war. The allied forces are now aiming their weapons with more accuracy and planning. So it’s well controlled compared to wars fought half a century ago.
I know it’s pitiful.. all that pain and sorrow upon innocent lives, but that is the way our civilization has evolved.. It’s too bad.. and I sympathize with all those who are going through pain as a result.
Mina - Sat, 29 Mar 2003 23:27:51 +0530
During the American Civil War people would take their lawn chairs and picnic baskets out to watch the battles. I don't think that was any new historical precedent for them. I guess we have our modern version of the same thing with reporters and their camera crews out on the front lines.
A D R Singh - Sun, 30 Mar 2003 06:18:50 +0530
I had no idea that war could be such a source of entertainment. So far it's a super blockbuster. The movie industry must be feeling the blows by now.
But we must mourn the human losses as we continue to watch.
Mina - Sun, 30 Mar 2003 20:49:31 +0530
I just started reading a fascinating book - "Whey We Get Sick, The New Science of Darwinian Medicine" by Nesse & Williams. They describe the interaction between parasite and host organisms as an ongoing war. Since the parasites need their hosts to stay alive, because that is crucial to the parasites' own survival, the ones that are most adaptive may cause some illness (not all parasites do, for example the E. Coli bacteria in the lower GI tract), but it is not fatal to the host organism.

Harmful bacteria and viruses that penetrate the body's natural defenses are compared to enemy soldiers in the book.

Despotic regimes like the one in Iraq are very much like parasites that have caused an infection and inflammation within the host organism (the world community). Who is the real invader? We can view the coalition forces as the T cells and white blood cells that have been mobilized to fight off the infection.

War in this context takes on another shade of meaning altogether. It can be viewed as a completely natural occurance and a mechanism of adaptation by the human species to ensure its own survival.

Aside from the military analogies used, the book is also interesting on account of the light it sheds on the adaptation of species that may not necessarily conform with the popular notions of the Darwinian doctrine of survival of the fittest. What may appear at first glance to be the fittest organisms are not necessarily the most adaptive. It is the most adaptive ones that most successfully reproduce and pass on their genes. When it comes to dharma, any given religious tradition will need to be similarly adaptive in order to survive.
A D R Singh - Mon, 31 Mar 2003 04:40:30 +0530
I’m reading Manu Samhita about the war politics of a king. Let’s see if it compares with what we see today :

He should engage in an alliance when his own future dominance is certain.
He should wage war when his subjects are in high spirits and when he has become very powerful.
He should march against the army when he thinks his army is in high spirits, and the enemy’s is the opposite.
He should camp carefully when his army and vehicles are weakened, while trying to appease the army.
When he feels the enemy is stronger he should make a dichotomy of his army.
He should seek refuge in a strong and righteous leader when he feels vulnerable to the enemy.
If it is disadvantageous to seek exile, he should put up a good fight.
If he is certain of the outcome of his present action, he can make quick decisions and he is aware of the results of his past strategies; he would not be overcome by the enemy.
Jagat - Mon, 31 Mar 2003 16:49:22 +0530

A Letter to America

You're the 21st-century Romans. Your admiring friends used to know you well: land of the brave, home of the free. Now, as you obsess over the omens of war, we wonder if you know yourself, muses MARGARET ATWOOD

Friday, March 28, 2003 - Globe&Mail

Dear America:

This is a difficult letter to write, because I'm no longer sure who you are.

Some of you may be having the same trouble. I thought I knew you: We'd become well acquainted over the past 55 years. You were the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck comic books I read in the late 1940s. You were the radio shows -- Jack Benny, Our Miss Brooks. You were the music I sang and danced to: the Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, the Platters, Elvis. You were a ton of fun.

You wrote some of my favourite books. You created Huckleberry Finn, and Hawkeye, and Beth and Jo in Little Women, courageous in their different ways. Later, you were my beloved Thoreau, father of environmentalism, witness to individual conscience; and Walt Whitman, singer of the great Republic; and Emily Dickinson, keeper of the private soul. You were Hammett and Chandler, heroic walkers of mean streets; even later, you were the amazing trio, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, who traced the dark labyrinths of your hidden heart. You were Sinclair Lewis and Arthur Miller, who, with their own American idealism, went after the sham in you, because they thought you could do better.

You were Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, you were Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo, you were Lillian Gish in Night of the Hunter. You stood up for freedom, honesty and justice; you protected the innocent. I believed most of that. I think you did, too. It seemed true at the time.

You put God on the money, though, even then. You had a way of thinking that the things of Caesar were the same as the things of God: that gave you self-confidence. You have always wanted to be a city upon a hill, a light to all nations, and for a while you were. Give me your tired, your poor, you sang, and for a while you meant it.

We've always been close, you and us. History, that old entangler, has twisted us together since the early 17th century. Some of us used to be you; some of us want to be you; some of you used to be us. You are not only our neighbours: In many cases -- mine, for instance -- you are also our blood relations, our colleagues, and our personal friends. But although we've had a ringside seat, we've never understood you completely, up here north of the 49th parallel.

We're like Romanized Gauls -- look like Romans, dress like Romans, but aren't Romans -- peering over the wall at the real Romans. What are they doing? Why? What are they doing now? Why is the haruspex eyeballing the sheep's liver? Why is the soothsayer wholesaling the Bewares?

Perhaps that's been my difficulty in writing you this letter: I'm not sure I know what's really going on. Anyway, you have a huge posse of experienced entrail-sifters who do nothing but analyze your every vein and lobe. What can I tell you about yourself that you don't already know?

This might be the reason for my hesitation: embarrassment, brought on by a becoming modesty. But it is more likely to be embarrassment of another sort. When my grandmother -- from a New England background -- was confronted with an unsavoury topic, she would change the subject and gaze out the window. And that is my own inclination: Mind your own business.

But I'll take the plunge, because your business is no longer merely your business. To paraphrase Marley's Ghost, who figured it out too late, mankind is your business. And vice versa: When the Jolly Green Giant goes on the rampage, many lesser plants and animals get trampled underfoot. As for us, you're our biggest trading partner: We know perfectly well that if you go down the plug-hole, we're going with you. We have every reason to wish you well.

I won't go into the reasons why I think your recent Iraqi adventures have been -- taking the long view -- an ill-advised tactical error. By the time you read this, Baghdad may or may not look like the craters of the Moon, and many more sheep entrails will have been examined. Let's talk, then, not about what you're doing to other people, but about what you're doing to yourselves.

You're gutting the Constitution. Already your home can be entered without your knowledge or permission, you can be snatched away and incarcerated without cause, your mail can be spied on, your private records searched. Why isn't this a recipe for widespread business theft, political intimidation, and fraud? I know you've been told all this is for your own safety and protection, but think about it for a minute. Anyway, when did you get so scared? You didn't used to be easily frightened.

You're running up a record level of debt. Keep spending at this rate and pretty soon you won't be able to afford any big military adventures. Either that or you'll go the way of the USSR: lots of tanks, but no air conditioning. That will make folks very cross. They'll be even crosser when they can't take a shower because your short-sighted bulldozing of environmental protections has dirtied most of the water and dried up the rest. Then things will get hot and dirty indeed.

You're torching the American economy. How soon before the answer to that will be, not to produce anything yourselves, but to grab stuff other people produce, at gunboat-diplomacy prices? Is the world going to consist of a few megarich King Midases, with the rest being serfs, both inside and outside your country? Will the biggest business sector in the United States be the prison system? Let's hope not.

If you proceed much further down the slippery slope, people around the world will stop admiring the good things about you. They'll decide that your city upon the hill is a slum and your democracy is a sham, and therefore you have no business trying to impose your sullied vision on them. They'll think you've abandoned the rule of law. They'll think you've fouled your own nest.

The British used to have a myth about King Arthur. He wasn't dead, but sleeping in a cave, it was said; in the country's hour of greatest peril, he would return. You, too, have great spirits of the past you may call upon: men and women of courage, of conscience, of prescience. Summon them now, to stand with you, to inspire you, to defend the best in you. You need them.

Margaret Atwood studied American literature -- among other things -- at Radcliffe and Harvard in the 1960s. She is the author of 10 novels. Her 11th, Oryx and Crake, will be published in May. This essay also appears in The Nation.
A D R Singh - Mon, 31 Mar 2003 17:36:59 +0530
War is one of nature’s way of ensuring survival of the fittest.
As the Iraqi sky erupts into flames, we see that 4000 Arabs have gone to join their Muslim brothers in this Jihad in the role of suicide bombers. Arab manpower is pouring in from Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabi, Algeria, Lebanon, etc.
In Pakistan 100,000 protesters rallied pulling with donkey carts two dogs in cages, tagged Bush and Blair, shouting for their deaths.
Meanwhile, Iraq has secretly bought 1000 anti tank missiles from Russia, and most likely possesses chemical weapons.
I’ve heard that France is talking of giving exile to Sadam. But the man is determined to fight tooth and nail to defend his stronghold... ksatriya spirit all the way. So the battle is turning uglier than the US expected.
Lets watch as the allies inch toward Baghdad. This is where real blood will be shed. Be prepared, hold tight.. there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mina - Mon, 31 Mar 2003 19:09:44 +0530
It might seem that way on the surface, ADR. However, more people have died from malaria on the battlefield than actual fighting in all of the wars throughout recorded history. That would support a hypothesis that war is more beneficial to the malaria plasmodia parasites than to the human and mosquito hosts, because it facilitates the main vector of transmission of the disease. I was also told by a Viet Nam war veteran that more deaths occured from traffic accidents during that war than from enemy or friendly fire, and that the U.S. government just neglected to say the cause of death when reporting casualties. He also told me (and this ties in with your post, Jagat) that the Vietnamese people originally saw the American troops as friends and liberators. It was not until they started raping the local women (on account of hearing about the 'sexual revolution' back home and the erotic imagery they were bombarded with in Playboy and Penthouse), that they were instead viewed as invaders and oppressors by those very same people.

As far as Manu's views on politics, I think we can safely say that the more things change the more they stay the same.

Personally I find it hard not to grow extremely despondent as a U.S. citizen when I see all of the corporate corruption and political scandals. Foreign policy is difficult to assess, since it gets to us through the filters of the media (and why should I trust a journalist any more than a politiican?). Domestic policies, on the other hand, have such a direct impact on our lives that it is easy to see the reaction from every action of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan or from every landmark verdict in the Supreme Court. What is either alarming or inspiring, depending on your point of view is the many parallels of America today with France during the ten year Revolution that ushered in the Napoleonic era. Let's just hope and pray that we have learned from the mistakes of the past in that arena.

When I talk with my fellow baby boomers, I see both the spark of idealism that was kindled back in the sixties by the counter-culture of that period tempered by a stark pragmatism that grew from the various life struggles they have endured over the past three decades. When I see the behavior of the children of our generation, I see potential waiting to be unlocked covered over by various extreme manifestations of rajas and tamas. Even the very talented ones that I have worked side by side with on software projects seem to lack a basic ethic that a person with even the slightest understanding of the Atman and karma would possess. Madhavananda Ji perhaps does not realize how rare he is among his own age group.
A D R Singh - Tue, 01 Apr 2003 04:17:14 +0530
As angry foreign Arabs gather on Iraqi soil,
To punish the invaders and protect reserves of oil.
Rumsfield commands the battle from the safety of his desk,
And generals and soldiers prepare for the grotesque.

Sleep-talker Koffi Annan is sleeping through the night.
His UN’s paralyzed alas.. food for oil is their plight.
The fighters brave the mid east heat proceeding to Baghdad.
They must uproot the enemy ..their word is iron clad.

The Russian interest in Iraq may draw them to the war.
The fighting will be furious.. who needs to ask for more.
Duryodhans and Ravanas would never stand a chance.
When the Lord picked up his weapon they'd need to soil their pants.

If Bush was a thoughtful fellow with a brain inside his head,
He’d allow sleeping dogs to lie and dead bury their dead.
T’is sad for me to mention that the outcome of this mess
Would be a thousand Bin Ladens.. perhaps a dozen less !
Mina - Tue, 01 Apr 2003 05:26:05 +0530
Houston's polluted! Houston's polluted!
I disembarked from the plane and noticed a hideous smell.
It reminded me of descriptions of the inner circles of hell.

Houston's polluted! Houston's polluted!
"What happened here?" my indignation queried.
"This is a Bush town" my voice of reason parried.

Houston's polluted! Houston's polluted!
Where have all the creatures gone?
"To their respective hideouts," screeched the swan.

Houston's polluted! Houston's polluted!
Look there's free peanuts and pop.
But that odor could make a grizzly drop.
A D R Singh - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 03:27:36 +0530
"Sadam is dead," declares the press, "this man here is a double"
But old Sadam behind the scenes is causing plenty trouble.
"Create smoke, heat, fill drains with oil we want the city blazing.
Choke. blind the infidels at once their prowess is amazing !"

The infidels responded with three thousand bombs one day.
Suicide bombers boarded planes intent to join the play.
Protests, peace strikes in every town.. could they be spoiled that rotten?
Three thousand World Trade victims dead.. so quickly they’ve forgotten !

Planes loaded up with goods arrive, to buy Iraqi tribesmen.
Food opulence goodwill expressed.. the strategy of bribesmen.
Powell just came up with a plan to have a talk with Turkey.
Good luck to him.. be careful they don’t treat him like a jerkie.

Without the grace of god who’ll win.. no one knows, not a clue
Ah well vaisnavas till we meet I bid you all adieu.
Mina - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 03:50:32 +0530

"Who'll win?" is your rhetorical question? Do you really think Sad-sack-dam really stands a fighting chance? Or are you counting on several Arab nations jumping into the fray?

Perhaps you were just waxing poetic.

At any rate, I enjoyed it immensely.

Luckily I am too busy to watch much of the coverage - I would not want to become addicted to such news.


"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

"Now, we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by god, I actually pity those poor bastards we're goin' up against."

"All right, now you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel and I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That's all."

"Victory is fleeting."

- General George C. Patton
A D R Singh - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 05:34:45 +0530
I'm quite patriotic but I'm counting on Arabs to jump into the fray to enhance the battle. I know I could be hated for this. (smiles)
Anyway I don't trust the US media coverage. I get my vibes from Indian newspapers.
More tomorrow..Adieu
Mina - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 09:45:14 +0530
I haven't checked out the Indian press lately. Are they favorable to the war or against it? I suppose if it were Pakistan being invaded, they would be gung ho in favor of it.

What was interesting in my reading about the French Revolution the other day was that it was actually the one that all the other revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries were patterned on, rather than the American Revolution, despite the fact that it ultimately led to a dictatorship.
A D R Singh - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 17:43:27 +0530
Their reporting is less biased. I read a few of the columnists, though I don't agree with all the views.

They feel the US policy of not supporting their desire to fight with Pakistan who backs terrorism against Hindus in Kashmir, is a serious sign of double standards.

That the US has no right to invade. Sadam hasn't done enough to provoke it.

Sadam is a friend of India, despite the fact that he is a criminal. They fear that trade with Iraq mainly of wheat and gas will be slowed down due to the war.
The government is neutral so far.
Mina - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 18:41:37 +0530
Two kids from different tribes in the sandbox playing
Both started wishing – they even took to praying
Little Ram wished he could drive his daddy’s big fancy car
Little Raven coveted the lifestyle of a famous Russian czar

Their respective gods heard those prayers and said with a smile
“We shall reward the two of them” as they opened the next case file
Little Ram got his hands on that shiny automobile
Little Raven made a killing in the high price of oil

Little Raven liked to torture the other kids for sport
Little Ram was not an athlete, so he wore cheerleader shorts
Little Raven saw little girls as something to be collected
Little Ram liked them too, but felt they should be respected

Alas that sandbox was too small for two kids with such big dreams
One might even say that it was bursting at the seams
So when the situation became far too hot to handle
They found themselves locked in a playground battle

Little Ram needed Raven's oil to drive his luxury car
Little Raven needed Ram’s cash to become a bigger czar
They tried to strike a bargain
But it broke out in a war


Legal Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
A D R Singh - Wed, 02 Apr 2003 20:44:07 +0530
None of these men are saintly kings, for us it’s useless siding.
A vaisnav would be best off doing bhajan, somewhere hiding.
But who's to guard the saintly ones ? we need a couple Gandhis.
Protection must be made avail to dear bhajananandis.

Devoid of saintly rajahs, we’ve seen it come to pass
Demon Mc. Donald has arrived in Braja dham at last.
And you could see them sprawled out, parking for a hundred car.
As they display their fast foods, kms from Mathura.

Bribed their way into India, pretending to sell goat.
Watch out for Radhakunda, we must construct a moat !
The sadhus need assurance so they could meditate.
PM Vajpayee and his men have gone to levitate.

Oh well it’s Kali yug once more, the kings are hard of hearing.
Let’s go back to the middle east, see how the troops are faring !
A D R Singh - Thu, 03 Apr 2003 07:37:28 +0530
Iraqi POWs eighth thousand were captured in the battle.
No choice left but surrender.. gave up like frightened cattle.
Chrystal called a press meeting informing of the winning.
Take care Sadam, be careful.. no more is Allah grinning !

March on roll on brave comrades, hear, war sirens are screeching !
“Allah ho Akbar, one more time !” musulman clerics preaching.
Courage the coward G Bush calls orders from white casa.
His foe unbending Sadam could well be in Mombassa.

Total control of petrol paid for with human life.
Old program of the US.. defeat with sword and knife.
Blow, blow ye winds of victory, choose whom you think the strongest.
Let’s wrap up this one quickly, it shouldn’t be the longest.

Hello you sons of Iraq, I see your boots are quaking.
Hands up, come over join us, our troops are tired baking !
They’re moving into Baghdad, from south east and south west.
Oh vaisnavs, what scenarios in the desert Arabesque !
Mina - Thu, 03 Apr 2003 19:25:13 +0530
Little Ram enjoyed the smooth ride and the speed
As he quickly forget what his passengers might need
So they all started to grumble as their hungry bellies ached
Ram said "I feel your pain and my plan is not half baked"

"Don't worry my friends I will get us quickly yonder
To that rainbow's pot of gold and plenty of war's plunder"
But the car started to swerve as they approached a curve
And the brakes they would not work and Ram started to lose his nerve

"Quick", he cried out, "Get Dad on the cell phone
I can't seem to control this jalopy on my own"
Dad said "I never could make the brakes work on that car of mine
But if you try the CD player, you will see it works just fine"
A D R Singh - Thu, 03 Apr 2003 21:18:42 +0530
A meaningful song ..written by Pete Seeger

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, everyone.
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn ?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing.
Where have the young girls gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men, every one.
When will they ever learn? when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers, everyone.
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone.
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing..
Mina - Thu, 03 Apr 2003 21:44:55 +0530
"How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky?
And how many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?
And how may deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind."

- Bob Dylan
Mina - Thu, 03 Apr 2003 21:53:24 +0530

- a poem in three stanzas by Minaketana Ramdas
(Copyright © 2003, All Rights Reserved)


Winter warning...
World watching...
Wire washing...
Warmongers walking...
Werewolves whistling...
Wranglers whipping...
Women waning...
Wombfruit wailing...
Winds whispering...


Walls waffling...
Wells winding...
Watch wandering...
Wick wavering...
Wild whooping...
Wren wheezing...


Western warbling...
Wicked weaving...
Willows weeping...
Wheels wobbling...
Warriors winnowing...
Worm wriggling...
Winner wagging...

A D R Singh - Fri, 04 Apr 2003 00:00:52 +0530

- Donovan
Mina - Fri, 04 Apr 2003 05:54:03 +0530
From "The Code of the Warrior" by Rick Fields:

Due to Duryodhana's intransigence and treachery, war seemed inevitable, and the two sides met in council to review the rules of the great battle that would decide the succession to the kingdom. According to dharmavijaya (literally "dharma conquest", or conquest by righteousness) Brahmans were considered exempt from battle unless they attacked first, and armies desisted from battle when a Brahman "desirous of peace goes between two contending armies." Farmers and other noncombatant citizens were also considered exempt.

Ideally, dharmavijaya was a great tournament. As with the Greeks, Indian battles took place at a prearranged time, on an open plain suitable for chariots. The battle itself was a series of duels in which "only equals should fight each other." This meant, in particular, that "elephants should oppose only elephants; and so the chariots, cavalry, and infantry should attack only their opposite number. A king should fight only with a king, and a commoner should not strike a monarch. Simlarly a Kshatriya should fight an equal in battle, a man of his own order. Those indulging in wordy warfare should be fought only with words."

The rules of dharmavijaya went far beyond the notion of equality, however, to concern and responsibility toward weaker or disabled opponents and innocent noncombatants. "Those who leave the ranks should never be slain. One should strike another only after giving due notice, and only when justified in so doing by considerations of fitness, daring and might. No one should strike another who is confiding or unprepared or panic-stricken. A foe engaged with another should never be struck, as also one without armour, or whose weapon is rendered useless. Chariot drivers and draught-animals, men engaged in transport of weapons, and drummers and buglers, should not be attacked. A kshatriya should nto strike one who is fatigued and frightened, weeping and unwilling to fight; one who is ill and cries for quarter, or one of tender years or advanced age."


This sounds more like rules of a modern football or basketball game than current military rules of engagement and the Geneva convention. Still, the military codes followed today are modelled on those ancient ones. The coalition forces are following them very strictly, whereas the Babylonian barbarians seem to be totally unaware of them.
A D R Singh - Fri, 04 Apr 2003 07:47:04 +0530
According to Manu’s teachings on the science of warfare from the Samhita translated by Wendy Doniger and Brian Smith,
“The king when he has besieged the enemy, he should encamp and harass his kingdom, and he should constantly spoil his food, fodder, water and fuel. He should break the tanks, ramparts and ditches, and ambush him, and terrify him at night. He should talk over to his side he whom can be talked over, and find out what the enemy has done, and when fate is favorable, fight to win. He should try to conquer the enemy by bribery, concilliation or dissension. If these do not work, then he should put up a good fight.”
So far so good. Bush and Sadam are not on the battlefield themselves, but the coalition forces are doing very nicely as far as Manu is concerned..They are terrorising the place to the max.
He also declares that “To save himself, a king should give up territory even if it’s salubrious. He should save his wife at the cost of his money. He should save himself at the cost of his wife and money. He should try all these means separately or together.”
If bad boy Sadam is alive, and still in Iraq, he is probably cornered by now, especially since his airport has been bombarded. Manu’s advice would be that he should save himself by surrendering control of Iraq. It’s too late to go into exile or reconcile with his foes. However, since he is a dictator and listens to no one, he is hanging himself with his own rope, just like his stubborn friend Osama.

Of course militant Muslims believe they’ll go to heaven if they die in Jihad…not a bad idea for the rest of us who want to LIVE in peace.
A D R Singh - Fri, 04 Apr 2003 08:11:33 +0530
Talking heads and spin doctors are flying ‘round the place,
The airport has been battered to control the menace.

Iraq has just expelled the Al Jazeera sympathiser.
Bad move there Mr. Hussein, I figured you were wiser.

Chief talking head, C Powell has threatened last night late
To withdraw aid from Turkey if they don’t cooperate.

According to news sources there’s lotsa people dead.
They don’t practice cremation, they dig mass graves instead.

Human bombs and chemicals are starting to cause worry.
Some enjoy their last supper of almond rice and curry.
A D R Singh - Fri, 04 Apr 2003 09:04:03 +0530
Nice verses, Ramdas. Why, where, who, when..
Could you please give the answers to those ? I'm getting lost and I'm not a very good guesser.
Mina - Sat, 05 Apr 2003 09:31:33 +0530
QUOTE(A D R Singh @ Apr 3 2003, 09:34 PM)
Nice verses, Ramdas. Why, where, who, when..
Could you please give the answers to those ? I'm getting lost and I'm not a very good guesser.

I wish I knew all the answers. Nitai and I were discussing the political climate this morning. We were trying to decide if Bush is really calling the shots or if he is merely a puppet leader and others are pulling his strings.

My idea is that we need a grass roots movement to get the actual politicians out of all leadership positions. I am not just talking about government either. We need to oust them from the military, corporations, schools and religious organizations as well. They have had their chance for centuries to run things. Now it is time for them to step down and let people with stronger ethics and better problem solving skills take over.

What do I mean by actual politicians? It is those that are acting out of selfish motivations to either increase their power base or line their pockets with huge amounts of money, and that don't care about what they may or may not contribute to the greater good.

"The meek shall inherit the earth" the prophecy says. I don't think one can consider any of these powermongers and misers as meek.
A D R Singh - Sun, 06 Apr 2003 07:02:11 +0530
My god, Ramdasji, have you been visiting Fantasy Island?
Who could we convince in these times to rally behind this grassroot movement? I really doubt anyone is prepared to sacrifice time and lives to topple the establishment, as they did during the revolutions.
The masses are satisfied with the system of government..which is why they turn out to vote every four years.. it’s their way of correcting things...the “democratic” voting process, and there is no way to get around it at this point. “Democracy” means that you just find a new top dog every four years to continue the dirty work.. Does it make sense ? Not in my opinion but…
People depend on the powerbrokers to secure their lifestyle and the powermongers depend on the people to ensure their position, and it is a global disease. Such a movement could be effective, but it might take lifetimes to have effect, because our governmental structure is well rooted and protected by the super powers.
Mina - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 00:54:34 +0530

Whatever happened to your youthful idealism? Ramarajya is but a mantra away. The French Revolution only turned violent during the Reign of Terror. We don't need no CMP from Bengal, and we don't need no peacenik marchers with banners. This is a revolution of consciousness, my dear. It has already begun. I started it myself, or did I? It does not really matter. It is a very infectious idea and should spread rapidly like those malaria plasmodia. Kenny Lay and his cronies are waiting to accept whatever justice is meted out to them. The Beast of Baghdad is probably dead already. That is the sign that momentum is building. The sparks just need to be fanned to become flames and then the big conflagration is but a breath away.

Information is the weapon in this new revolution. It is far stronger than even the brahmastra of legend.

Radhe! Radhe!
A D R Singh - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 01:38:23 +0530
Dear Ramdasji

Do you want me to start sellin' holy books or just start witnessin' to tribes wot livin' on the internet ?
I ain't holy enough these days to do none. I wuz a sankirtanist once, sellin' plenty books 'bout Krishna but I is too occupied right now with bad boy Sadam and the it's kinda rubbin' off on me. What do you advise?
Mina - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 03:10:19 +0530
Attend to de bhajan, mon! All else, it be a followin', or so me guru told me. He ought to know, you know.
A D R Singh - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 04:14:18 +0530
I like de advise your guru give, man. He sound real high. I need to zero in on some bhajan.
All this lip dialogue ain't go get me far. That is wot I feel..sometime you end up babbling jazz wot aint benefitin' de meditation. De real pleasure comes from mindworks. Wot you tink, sah?
Mina - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 08:02:28 +0530
We all retire to forest and chant - sound cool to me, mon. Let de non-rasta unhip square men in black sort out all de chaotic non-reggae dissonance, metinks.
Guest_bharat - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 08:07:56 +0530
QUOTE(A D R Singh @ Mar 28 2003, 11:03 PM)
Governments of Muslim countries  generally don't tolerate any other faith.
Just two days ago twenty two brahmins were killed by militants in Kashmir. The Pakistani government has for years been behind this kind of slaughter based on religion.
Their goal is to wipe out Hindus from the Kashmir valley.

United States has supplied hundreds of milliions of dollars worth of military equipment to Pakistan. Pakistan uses it to protect terrorists. Who is perpetuating terrorism now?
A D R Singh - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 08:51:49 +0530
Mina - Mon, 07 Apr 2003 19:33:53 +0530
From Tripurari Maharaja's latest newsletter:

Q. What are the responsibilities of Iraqi and American leaders and
soldiers, dharmically speaking?

A. The Gita teaches that a warrior who fights for a just cause is acting
religiously, and he or she will benefit spiritually by such fighting. It
suggests that there must be rules of war, especially with regard to
innocent civilians. If what we hear is true with regard to the cruelty of
Saddam Hussein's regime towards its own dependents, and the regime has lied
to the U.N. and in fact possesses weapons of mass destruction that it
intends to eventually use in acts of aggression, those coalition forces
fighting to free innocent people from this regime's reign of terror are on
the side of dharma. In this scenario, the best thing the Iraqi solders can
do is to join the coalition forces and revolt against Saddam Hussein.

If, on the other hand, as some media sources report, the coalition forces
are motivated primarily by the desire to rule Iraq and its oil and Iraq has
no weapons of mass destruction or intention to acquire them for terrorist
purposes, the coalition forces are not on the side of dharma and would do
best to desist from their military campaign, while Iraqi soldiers now dying
in battle are martyrs.


It sounds to me like the Maharaja is speaking out of two sides of his mouth. Are the human rights violations not enough of an injustice? Ulterior motives will always be there. That is the nature of this world. Often we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils. We inevitably get called upon to take a stand. Arjuna had to choose between fighting and laying down his weapons. Krishna did not have to make the hard choice, because he is a Deity. Us mere mortals, on the other hand...

Besides, there is no question of 'if' when it comes to Saddam's support of terrorism. After all, he is a terrorist himself. With all due respect, I mean, really now, Maharaja Ji! Certainly there are biases in the media, but do you really think all of the reports of oppression and torture in Iraq could be fabrications? Does that mean you also think Castro might be a nice guy that just has a bad PR firm working for him? Sure, and all those people that risk life and limb to cross shark infested waters to get to Florida on makeshift rafts are just a bunch of disgruntled capitalists that are trying to escape socialism. Paranoia of governments may befit a right wing extremist paramilitary militia group out in Idaho, but it is unbecoming for a follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.


To do bhajan or not to do bhajan - that is the question. What would Krishna drive? I say either a Segway, a Lincoln Navigator, a stretch limo, a hundred foot crane, a bulldozer or a U.S. army tank, depending on His mood.
Mina - Tue, 08 Apr 2003 03:49:03 +0530
I was at the doctor's office today. There were a few other people in the waiting room with me, including several adults and two small children with their mother - a brother and sister. As I opened a golf magazine with an interesting article about chip shots, I noticed that the little boy was talking at great length to his sister. (There is a little play area for kids with a bunch of toys for them - and of course they were over there.) So, just out of curiosity I started to listen to what he was telling her. It sounded like a bunch of rules of engagement for some impending battle. Then he said, "OK, go", as he lifted a Lego helicopter into the area and proceeded to dive bomb her little play house, making the best helicopter sounds he could. I pictured him some day as a future army general diagramming strategies on the map, just like he was in his childhood fantasy.

"Out of the mouths of babes!"
Jagat - Tue, 08 Apr 2003 21:15:26 +0530
The tangled web of this war! Ultimately I agree with you, because I think that the time for despotic governments has to come to an end. If this means a neo-colonialism, so be it. We cannot stand by and let such abuses go on in the name of sovereign jurisdiction. It was, however, to be expected that there would be resistance to such a move on the part of the international community because of the huge precedent it sets. The big thing now is that the U.S. follows through appropriately and not abscond prematurely. If they find chemical weapons they can say "I told you so." No one will be unhappy to see Saddam go, for as Prahlada said, modeta sädhur api vrizcika-sarpa-hatyä!
Mina - Tue, 08 Apr 2003 21:28:27 +0530
Carpe diem!