Saturday, December 19, 2009

HolidaySutra @ Konark

There was plenty going on at work and I was getting hassled....I tried wearing my 'indifferent' hat but that worked only for a month. So I decided to do what I do best. Just pick up my bag and go. This time it was Bhubaneshwar. And my friend Amitav and his family took good care of me.

I love stories and our history is full of them. Given the kind of historians we have had, unfortunately, I was on a steady diet of 'manufactured' history. Don't laugh...I know even you read the same books by N.C.E.R.T. Our historians romanced the Mughal dynasty and the British rule so much that they developed selective amnesia towards whatever happened in India before 1500 A.D.

Sample this, my Turkish friend tells me that all the countries today which end with 'stan' were at some point in history part of Bharat (modern day India). He adds, 'stan' is a Sanskrit word and not Persian/Arabic word. Further in conversation, I asked "in Istanbul, you would have plenty of history everywhere, right?" He replied, "yes, but we generally don't consider anything which is less than 600-700 years old as historic!" Wonder whether he was bragging about Turkey's history or taking a sadistic potshot at India's historians. I am no good in History so I didn't ask any more.

In line with my visit to the Sun Temple at Konark, I learnt this temple was constructed around 1250 A.D. The temple has such elaborate carvings on stone and it depicts everything from different dance postures to sexual postures and the like. Threesome, oral name it! If we were a race which carved all of this on the temple walls, how have become a race which doesn't respect its womenfolk even in its capital city?....something seems amiss. It doesn't sound like following a natural evolutionary path.

Further, I surfed around a bit and I got to know a bit more about Sun God. Every ancient civilization has worshiped Sun in some name or the other.

Greeks - Sun God - Apollo
Egyptians - Sun God - Ra
Aztecs - Sun God - Huitzilopochtli
Hindus - Sun God - Surya
and I believe the Japanese had a Sun god as well.

Keeping religious thoughts aside....worshipping the Sun makes a lot of sense to me - the single most important reason that supports life. Nothing wrong with that.

Those who question the idea of Idol worship or existence of a power above us in general, I suggest you do this; catch the sunrise and sunset alone one day in profound silence (without your camera). Best part, it doesn't matter which religion you were born into, Earthlings have got just one Sun - no scope for plurality or diverse view points here!