In this festive season, I have been trying to read something unusual. It’s a manuscript of a proposed book with a potentially high-impulsive title ‘Muslim Devotees of Lord Krishna’.
Yup, its still not a book!!
Between wisdom and compassion there could be always a debate over which one actually precedes the other. The life of Lord Krishna and his teachings on the context of what he preaches Arjuna perhaps offers an answer to that debate. From a blogger perspective, similarly, there is a strong link between the spiritual capital and the intellectual capital. In the context of Indian civilization, the spiritual capital is far bigger than its estimation. Whatever is projected is only a miniscule of the whole. Thus, there could be anomalies if the spiritual capital is not understood properly.
The time and teachings of Lord Krishna offer certain answers.
Frankly, my interest in this proposed book at hand, ‘Muslim Devotees of Lord Krishna’ arose from this curiosity. Now, about writing a sort of a preview on the book; it takes certain confidence in any case to agree to write a few paras. But it takes great arrogance to agree to write on a subject you hardly know.
Is not the subject of the book, ‘Muslim Krishna-bhaktas’ itself so bewildering?
Importantly, much confounding is one’s knowledge about Dharma and its relation to Lord Krishna and his message. Moreover the subject of the book is also readily political and thus controversial. But it’s juicy, my journalism has always encouraged me to explore.
The author of this book, Dipankar Deb is younger to me by age and thus the need to encourage him surpasses everything else perhaps.
Anyways, in my judgement, Lord Krishna’s messages generally revolved around Karma (action) and Moksha (Redemption). Dharma again in Hindu civilizational context is an ideal or an ethical code of life. Now the obvious question, whether fulfillment of that Dharma itself – for instance following the teachings of
Krishna – could
bring us true happiness.
The book brings out salient features of a few individual but interesting Muslim-born Krishna-bhakts and there in perhaps remain a few answers. Lord Krishna’s teachings – especially in the form of articulation to war-bound Arjuna – lay entire emphasis on a selfless journey.
Here the goal and the means seems to be the Karma; - an action devoid of emotion, affection, ego and personal consciousness.
“You cry for those for whom you need not cry,” Lord Krishna tells Arjuna.
To my understanding this singular rhetoric is the most operative part of the Bhagavad Gita as
dissuades Arjun from falling victim to emotions and almost run away from the
battle field. Lord Krishna reminds the Pandava prince that it is the Dharma
that has brought him to the battlefield and the utter truth that the ‘self’ is
neither born nor it would die.
|Krishna Mandir at Kuala Lumpur|
If the spiritual and moral essence of these basic teachings is understood, one has conquered the happiness. Muslim individuals too could agree on this, without doubt.
My stance also is: perhaps these basics of an ideal Hindu life can easily attract people from other religions to the teachings of Lord Krishna.
In fact, here lies the relevance of this book as it tries to bring in a few interesting stories from a reader’s perspective.
There is mention about ‘devotees from the
Middle East’ being apprehensive to talk to the author as
they fear angry reactions from Islamic fanatics in their own countries. This is
a fascinating area from a journo’s point of view.
Although an admirer of Lord Krishna, I am not a hardcore devotee thus my interest on Him revolves around politics. My favourite chapter in this book is ‘Beyond Fanaticism and Secularism’. The emphasis here is to co-relate religion with ethics and thus the chapter runs, “real peace and freedom are guaranteed not by the materialistic or secular state but the state whose leaders and followers pursue highest ideal of self-realization”.
Secular and enlightened readers would also find the compendium interesting as it profiles Muslim Krishna bhaktas from across the globe – from
to . Bosnia
I pick up for you the story of a Kazakh painter, Satchitananda Das. Again a poem in beautiful Brajabuli language by Nasir Mamud is worth referring.
Finally, when the book is out, I am sure its pages would be worth turning.
(watch out for his space)