Kailash Mansarovar, a geographical as well as a mythological place, now in China (or rather, Tibet), is considered the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva (the Destroyer), one among the many Hindu Gods, albeit a very important one, as he is a part of the triad, or Trimurti, which also includes Vishnu (the Maintainer) and Brahma (the Creator).
You might have come across an ‘artistic representation’ of Kailash, even if you are not familiar with its name. Think of a heavenly place with a lake with swans swimming in it, surrounded by a divine garden.
There was even a South Park episode where a character tries to meditate by thinking of a place like this. Someone from the sub-continent must have suggested that to him.
The abode is considered to be at Mansarovar, but the city most associated with Him within India is Varanasi, a Shaivaite centre, apart from being one of the most ancient living cities.
Hinduism earlier was mainly divided into two streams, according to one taxonomy. These two streams were Shaivaites (devotees of Lord Shiva) and Vaishnavaites (devotees of Lord Vishnu and his Avatars). Now that distinction is being lost. More on that later.
There were also Shakts (or Shaktas), the devotees of the Goddess, but perhaps they are lesser in number. Devotees of one did not (or do not) necessarily disbelieve in the other Gods, as most ‘Hindus’ are polytheists. Even those who believe in One God, also believed in other specific Gods, perhaps as manifestations of the One God. In fact, it’s hard to say if a ‘Hindu’ is polytheist or monotheist. Survey, or some behavioural technique won’t help you in finding out.
Lord Shiva has ruled for ages over the hearts of ‘Hindu’, especially Shaivaite devotees (there is history and linguistics behind the quotation marks), one among many Gods. For more than a thousand years at the very least. Most probably much longer.
Starting in 2014, however, there has been coup to dethrone him and the coup has completed now in 2019. There is a new successor to Lord Shiva, in human form. That is unusual in ‘Hinduism’, but it has happened. Usually, when the Lords of the Heaven appear on the Earth, they come themselves (or parts – amsha – of them) in human forms: the Avatars (now you know the origin of the trendy English global term, ubiquitous on the Internet). This time, a human, with help from meta-organizations and through years of meta-politics (since long before 2014) has dethroned the heavenly Lord Shiva, while claiming to be his devotee.
Accordingly, the words associated with Lord Shiva have now been transferred to the Human Replacement. By an electoral process.
Namo, actually, Namah, but many Hindi speakers pronounce Namah as Namo (as in Om Namo Shivay) is now not used for Lord Shiva, but for the Human Replacement.
Har Har (as in Har Har Mahadev, where Mahadev is one of the names of Lord Shiva) is also now not used for Lord Shiva, but for the Human Replacement.
The word bhakti (roughly meaning devotion), which has a long Indian history (philosophical, political and literary) is a slightly different case, It was meant, as you can guess, not just for Lord Shiva, but for all the Gods of ‘Hinduism’, and even for the One God (Brahm or Brahman, not Brahma) in the monotheistic variety of ‘Hinduism’. The same goes (even more) for Bhakt (a devotee).
Now, 2014 onwards, the word bhakti is meant not for any Gods or the One God, but for the Human Replacement. Search on Twitter for Bhakt. Or even on the Urban Dictionary. It is an English word now.
Ancient and old chants, hymns, songs, slogans and so on have, thus, acquired new meanings.
It is not restricted to Lord Shiva, however. All ‘Hindu’ Gods, even the One God, are in danger of being dethroned. If you do a little bit of online research, you can find who has dethroned Lord Hanuman, the second most popular God in Varanasi. Also immensely popular all over India, but particularly in North, West and East India. By extension, the person whose devotee the Human Replacement of Lord Hanuman is, is the same one who has dethroned Lord Shiva. So, perhaps, the same one has also dethroned Lord Ram (often spelled Rama), perhaps the most popular God of today among ‘Hindus’. Lord Ram was an Avatar of Vishnu, and he has become more popular than Vishnu himself. This is common in ‘Hinduism’.
The thing to note is that Rama, being an Avatar of Vishnu, is the preferred God for Vaishnavas (Gandhi was a Vaishanava). The Human Replacement, so, has dethroned both Shaivaite and Vaishanavaite Gods.
Are you aware that Buddha, Gautam Buddha, the Enlightened One, is conisdered in ‘Hinduism’ the ninth Avatar of Vishnu?
Related to Lord Ram, there was once upon a time a chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. A kind of greeting. This was one among many many such chants/greetings in the extremely diverse country that India was.
Since the late 1980 (the fall of the Soviet Empire, the Global March of Superpower Capitalism, you know the history), ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become perhaps the most politically loaded chant in India, replacing ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (Long Live the Revolution, although there really was no revolution in India and most people chanting it didn’t even know its literal meaning or significance). It became the slogan of a new form of political ‘Hinduism’, which one can argue is not ‘Hinduism’ at all.
Just as the use of the slogan ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ most of the time had nothing to do with Revolution, the new ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant also has little to do with Lord Ram.
After the goals have now been achieved, that of unquestionable political power, now the chant has come to the street in a very ‘streetish’ form. It now means simply, ‘We will come into your own house and beat you up’, as said by the Human Replacement of Lord Shiva (and Lord Rama, perhaps). The remark, an election campaign promise (no, not condemned at all by the ‘media’), was already being put in force before the elections. For the optics, it was aimed at the country on north-west of India and the *bleep*s (Magic Word) within India, but it was a Dog Whistle meant for certain communities and for all the critics, dissenters, dissidents, activists, truth seekers, pacifists and peaceniks and whatnots.
In Folk Hinduism, every God has his vehicle, on which He/She travels. The vehicle is a divine animal, with superpowers of its own. In this enterprise, the services of these vehicles have also been employed. The ruler of the largest state in India promised that those who oppose them will be taught a lesson (a hard one, presumably) by Nandi, the Bull, who is the vehicle of Lord Shiva.
Can you guess the Human Replacement of Nandi?
One of the campaign ads introduced just before the campaign ended went something like this:
A: Brother, why to vote for the same government again?
B: See, earlier the *bleeps* (Magic Word) used to roam freely in India. Now they can’t even roam freely within their own homes.
Again, the Magic Word was a Dog Whistle for critics, dissidents etc.
It appears the Human Replacements have an obsession with breaking into other people’s homes and messing them up (the homes and the people).
You might think that you are not familiar with Lord Ram if you live outside the sub-continent, but you might actually be familiar in the same way as you may be for Kailash.
Recently the Martin Scorsese documentary Rolling Thunder Revue was released. The movie ends with some words of wisdom from the great Allen Ginsberg. He is wearing around his shoulders what we call a shawl. The shawl has a pattern made out of the word Ram written in giant letters in Devanagari. Earlier in the movie, we see Bob Dylan singing with the same kind of shawl around his shoulders. This was not unusual for those who were called, or were associated with those who were called the Hippies.
During the long long campaign, there was no talk of future policies, no promises, no plans. No mention of previous achievements and promises fulfilled. Except *bleeps*. On and on.
After the campaign, no talk of future plans or promises. Not even the Shiny Vision. Only, yes, talk of *bleeps*. And how the *bleeps* are having increased heart rate.
Out of all the problems of the sub-continent with one sixth of the world’s population, the topic is the *bleeps* from the inimical neighbouring country.
*bleeps* is Bread-and-Butter.
*bleeps* is the Philosophy and the Economy and Business.
*bleeps* is the Social Sciences.
Science and technology is for taking care of *bleeps*.
*bleeps* is also Entertainment and ‘Arts’.
*bleeps* is almost the only ‘News’.
(The list includes almost everything.)
The fight for ‘Hinduism’ (or of ‘Dharmic’ religions) was purportedly the fight against the ‘Abrahamaic Religions’. Now, *bleeps* plays the same role as Satan played in the worst days of the ‘Abrahamaic Religions’.
The Human Replacement is worshipped on TV by the chanting of Praise and the unmusical and unpoetical verses about how the Human Replacement slays the *bleeps*.
In 2014, there were literally a couple of temples made for the Human Replacement. Now the whole country is a great temple for the Human Replacement.
Why not use the pronoun, instead of repeating the appellation? I am not sure how to. You can say ‘his’ for human beings. You say ‘His’ for God. What do you write for the Human Replacement? We need new kinds of theologians.
But this is mainly optics. The real thing is what was earlier called Selling the Country Out. Now it is called Making the Nation Great Again.
This is an example of the greatest Political Magic Trick of all times.
The old meanings are not completely gone, but in India of 2019, you can’t be sure which one is meant, when you encounter any of these words, chants, slogans etc. And so, you have to be careful.
Any of these chants could be a test, a threat, a greeting, a sign of devotion, a slogan before a hate crime or a mass hate crime, or a celebratory slogan afterwards. Or an open, public incitement to violence with complete impunity. It could simply be used to annoy and psychologically harass those considered by anyone to be anti-Hindu, and therefore, anti-national.
India’s National Anthem was written by Rabindranath Tagore. If you don’t stand up when it is played before a movie in a movie theatre, you can be beaten up by a mob with impunity. The members of the mob may not have read anything by Tagore. What were the views of the author of this poem (the Anthem) on Nationalism? They were these. Here is a sample quotation:
Yes, this is the logic of the Nation. And it will never heed the voice of truth and goodness. It will go on in its ring-dance of moral corruption, linking steel unto steel, and machine unto machine; trampling under its tread all the sweet flowers of simple faith and the living ideals of man.
Swan, by the way, is the vehicle of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. One shudders to think of a possible future where ‘Jai Saraswati’ becomes the same kind of slogan. Perhaps it is good that no one cares much for Saraswati (note that I am not writing ‘Lady Saraswati’). A day is, however, dedicated to her and She is worshipped (officially) once a day by performing Saraswati Puja every year in all educational institutions of India. That’s about it.
There is constant rivalry between Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Laxmi (who is the Goddess of Wealth). According to one well-known Hindi saying, Laxmi and Saraswati can never live together, say with the same person, that is, a person can either have learning or wealth, never both.
I am not aware of a saying about having neither.
Oh, how I miss the many many (tens of millions) Gods of ‘Hinduism’. This has become another reason for nostalgia for the days gone by.
Let’s see where we go from here.
Originally published at https://anileklavya.net on June 2, 2019. Last modified on 19th June, 2019.