Krishna’s Advice to Arjuna

Krishna's Advice to Arjuna

by T. Wignesan

14: If the soul meets death when Sattva prevails,
then it goes to the pure regions of those who are seeking truth.
15: If a man meets death in a state of Rajas,
he is reborn amongst those who are bound by their restless activity;
and if he dies in Tamas, he is reborn in the wombs of the irrational.

The Bhagavad Gita, XIV, transl. Juan Mascaro.

« It is incorrect to assume that Hindu thought strained excessively after the unattainable and was guilty of indifference to the problems of the world. We cannot lose ourselves in inner piety when the poor die at our doors, naked and hungry. The Gita asks us to live in the world and save it. »

S. Radhakrishnan, The Bhagavadgita.


When Thodti was born at Nelveli in the latter half of the XXth century
  his ancestors had been living out-of-right
     for the past XXX centuries
on never-never land under villages with-out-back twenty-hutments
now overgrown to two one-thousand hovels in towncentre marshalling              
no sewers gurglecourse under their feet
nor piped potable water flush their long-curdled alimentary canals
nor showers chase the clinging cloaca stench
nor even un-broken drains
    tarred roads
        garbage removal vans
find mouth on election platforms

the towncentre = the bus-terminal churning flipping putrid mud after    
   three-day drubbing storms
and bulging humanfleshed trains
                            run on forgotten time
the lav’s stinging week-long turds splashvomits the feast of flies

temples carved with mantric-mouthed hands from the VIIteenth &    
gopurams in congested tiered runaway curlicue rococo-baroque    
rose chalk kunkumam ripe mango yellow pitch black indigo
bulging fuming thick mascara eyes Zapata moustaches dangling over
        burgeoning bellies
lithe white cows gracing Ganesha’s flanks
garlands of roses hibiscus jasmine
identical buxomy lasses ballooning commodious backs ample thighs  
        their sarees
a deliberately clasped transparent veneer of pudeur
the jingling nautch girl anklets
                          vain reminders of Kannagi
bangles bracelets armlets tiaras talis earrings noserings fingerings      
         toerings kolusus
the prancing stained eyelashes the full lascivious lips
and that eternally round-eyed vacant supercilious stare
              past the invisible sanctum sanctorum
the vast sinking steps of the holy tank murky with blodok
torn bookmatches ceremonial paper ferns water-lilies lotuses and  
                        centuries-old ooze
caked ulcerous washing feet and tick-milling matted hair

see how trailing reams of wishes and private wants
rise in pre-paid puja-thin mantric magic smoke to high heaven

for Thodti trailing barefeet his dried coconut-stick broom on cracked
in the gutter festering oozing fresh month-old drying turds urine remains of fed-up banana-leaves skins withered jasmine garlands drained motor-oil from scooter-taxis overfed flies lean stray kids fowl cows
all that was wonder from afar
magic mythic mystery the lingo of gods on earth
the brahmin vegetarian clattering-pans over order shouting eating-
as though the heavens deigned to camp down on his doorstep
derailed on their celestial inter-galactic circuit

his mind if he cared to exercise one was of little use to him
         nor were they to his ancestors
called upon only to clean the bottoms off those who
shat upon his forefathers for ages
his only use for his intelligence
                                                is to know his place
minus the alphabet
   minus arithmetic
       minus the patinenkilkkanakku
minus the grandold Vedic mystic gods and rishis
minus the right to think for himself

only the dullard’s right to die daft dull damned
and be reborn in the womb of ignorance

So much for your Godly advice Charioteer Krishna
For don’t Gods only talk to Gods on Earth

Detach yourself first then
Do not feel for those you kill

For what lofty ideal the Mahabharatha
pitted mythically gambling polyandrous cousins

Is India today a magical-realist myth
or a cranking up Indo-Pak Armageddon

Sattva Rajas Tamas

          Sattva Rajas Thodti


Sattva: pure intelligence and goodness
Rajas: impure mental energy and restless passion
Tamas: dullness and inertia

Blodok or belodok (also beluduh): Malay for large-eyed goby, found in tropical or
equatorial muddy flats
Gopuram: the tiered, sculptured towers over the main entrances to Hindu temples

Kannagi: heroine of the medieval Tamil epic Cilappatikaram
Kolusu: ornamental anklet chains with bells worn by Tamil women
Kunkumam: saffron ( yellow or red) powder serving as adornment marks of
auspiciousness on women’s faces
Patinenkilkkannakku: the traditionally collective name for eighteen Tamil classical
Tali: usually gold chains worn by married Tamil women round the neck or tumeric-
stained cords in lieu of
Thodti: a caste name for Night Soil Men


T. Wignesan



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