Revival of Govardhan Parvat: The Mountain Moved by Krishna

In our country where mythology plays a big role in the lives of its inhabitants, many sites like hills, rivers, and caves have their associations with the mythology. One such concerns the Lord Krishna and is called Govardhan Parvat (mountain).

The legend is that when the uninterrupted deluge threatened to innundate Mathura, Krishna lifted the entire mountain on his little finger to make an umbrella to protect the Mathura.

UP government has planned to revive the almost barren Govardhan parvat situated about 23 kilometres from Mathura. Government plans to plant the herbal plants on the mountain. These are:

Kadamba: It is a tropical tree. Krishna and Radha are said to have conducted their love play under the cool shade of the tree. It is used as one of the raw materials in the preparation of “itars”.

Tamala or Indian bayleaf or tezpatta: It is commonly used in Indian culinary as well as medicines particularly for alleviation of diabetes due to the presence of highly antioxidant enzymes.

Karira: Scientific name is Capparis decidua. It’s spicy fruits are used for culinary purposes like vegetable, curries, and pickles. It is also used in medicine.

Pakar : It belongs to mulberry family. Leaves have sour taste.

Pilkhan: Scientific name Ficus virens. It grows to heights of about 100 feet. It is Avenue tree. It bears “strangler figs” because they can germinate on other trees and strangle them. It is used in Thai cuisine.

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Desires unfullfilled due to religious bigotry 

Guru Nanak, the first Guru and founder of Sikh religion, had two constant companions namely Bala and Mardana. Mardana played Rabab while Guru sang. He was a Muslim. Guru preached to the world love, compassion, and communal harmony. He also enlightened the people about the falsehood spread by some religious groups both Muslims and Hindus. It was all based on solid logic and illustrated through simple examples.

Mardana playing Rabab (illustration)

The future generations of Mardana remained attached to the succeeding Gurus of Sikhs. Of them was Bhai Ghulam Mohammad Chand, who lived in Lahore Pakistan and breathed his last on 29th April 2015 after illness.

Although he died with one unfulfilled desire. It was to recite kirtan in the Golden Temple at Amritsar. His request in 2008  was declined by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on the grounds that he was not a Sikh who was not baptized a rule that was enacted in 1947.

He has performed Kirtans in many Gurudwaras both in Pakistan and abroad. He was the sixth generation of Bhai Sadha and Bhai Madha, who sang during the lifetimes of ninth and tenth Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

His father Bhai Sunder Giani was one of the last rababis to perform in Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) before 1947. Navtej Kaur Purewal, deputy director, South Asia Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London also sponsored Ghulam Mohammad’s historic visit to the UK in 2011 and also wrote a research paper on the History of the Rababi Tradition of Shabad Kirtan.

Born in Rajasansi village near Amritsar in 1927, Bhai Ghulam Mohammad had migrated to Pakistan.

bhai chand
Bhai Ghulam Mohammad Chand

England-based Punjabi writer Amarjit Chandan, said, “Bhai Ghulam virtually died the day he was not allowed to perform kirtan in Darbar Sahib in 2008 for not being an `Amritdhari’. They didn’t know his forefather Bhai Mardana was not one either. But he was Baba Nanak’s true and first Sikh, his lifelong companion and rababi.“

Such was the pain that he carried after the refusal to perform kirtan in the Darbar Sahib that in an interview with Purewal in 2011, he said, “Who bothered to ask whether we were Gursikh (baptized Sikhs) in those days (in the days of Gurus)? Were my ancestors Gursikhs? Did they wear the `dastaar’ (turban) and show the signs of being a Sikh? No. But that never stopped them from having a passion for music and their work… Those people (the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee that manage gurdwaras in Punjab) have a short vision…“

You can listen to his shabad kirtan from the youtube links below

Bhini Rainarie

 Aawal Alla Noor Upaye

88 th Marathi literary festival in Ghuman Punjab

This year 88th Marathi Literary Festival was celebrated thousands mile away from Maharashtra in a non descriept village called Ghuman in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. Looks surprising why? The reason is that this village has an important link with Maharastra. Great saint Namdev came here during his wanderings and remained here for 18 years. He is said to have born in Naras-Vamani village of Satara district in Maharashtra, Bhagat Namdev. It was during 12 to 13 century but there are doubts. Anyway it was before the founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak was born. image Imagine about 800 years ago how the saint must have travelled nearly 2000 kilometres when the means of transportation were few and far between. And also why he chose this place only. During these years saint preached here about the one god and leave the bad customs like casteism plaguing the society here. 

In one of his compositions , he tells the God, how he was thrown out from the temple as he belonged to lower caste. He himself beseeches the God why He had ordained him to be born in the family of cloth dyers which is considered low caste. He tells God that he has returned out from your temple and sitting at the backside of the temple. Full poem in Gurumukhi with English meaning is reproduced below.



 People here still rever him. His teachings were so pious that 61 of his Shabads were included in Adi Granth , the holy book of Sikhs by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth guru of Sikhs.

Higgs Boson: The God Particle

How many fundamental particles make all what exists in the universe? In our days electrons, protons and neutrons were considered the fundamental particles making up the atoms. Atoms combined with each other according to some rules to make molecules which are the building blocks of the universe. As the research to probe into the heart of these fundamental particles advanced with the advent of high speed particle colliders, it has been found that itis after all not as simple as it looks. Only electron withstood the test of being the fundamental particle. It was shown that neutrons and protons are formed from other particles which have been observed in these particle smashers. We now know that protons and neutrons can be formed from two fundamental particles called up and down quarks. So along with electrons, all that is present can be made from up and down quarks.

But till date 12 fundamental particles have been discovered. So what are these needed for. Whether it is finally 12 or any number is also a guess because theories can get shattered by the availability of more powerful smashers.

It is known that energy and mass are the two sides of the same coin. From the mass we can create energy and vice versa. How particles get different masses?

It was proposed that space is filled with a energy field called Higgs field. If we consider it was water in a container for analogy then it is continuous with break. Water is made of molecules of water which is H2O. These molecules fill all the space occupied by water. It means water molecule is smallest unit . By analogy smallest unit of energy or the particles which make the Higgs field are called Higgs Boson. It is this field which gives the particles their different masses which represent the extent of its interaction with the field.

In the particle accelerators, atoms moving almost at 99% or more the speed of light are collided with each other. They get converted into energy field. This energy field then gets converted into numerous sub atomic particles which are recorded. It is hoped that out of these particles, the Higgs Boson will show up. At least CERN which is doing the research with giant colliders having perimeters of almost 22 kilometers announced that they have observed a particle which is most like the Higgs Boson.

Efforts will continue. Since this particle which stands as the central entity in the Standard Model which is currently the most successful system to explain the existence of the sub atomic particles, will be successfully discovered. Since it is so elusive , it has been nicknamed the “God Particle”

Price of being a whistleblower

Jagjeet Singh is a photographer. He has a shop of videography and photography in Tarn Taran. He shot video of Punjab police officials thrashing a woman in 2013. With the video becoming public he became a whistleblower and his woes began.

He got threats and harassment. He stopped getting photography assignments. After approaching the authorities he was provided with security cover. Now he is in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, to obtain permission to sit on indefinite hunger strike to withdraw his security cover because he is unable to bear the expenditure of the security. It means that security instead of guarding him has been made to burden him and break him financially.

He says his shop has been shut due to the assignments being absent under the fear of powers that be. So he is paying the price for being a whistleblower.

Jag jet Singh
Jag jet Singh

Steve Jobs and Yuddhistra

Yama, the God of death wanted to test the wisdom and knowledge of Yuddhistra, the eldest of Pandavas. The story goes that Pandava brothers go to fetch water from a pond that supposedly belonged to Yama. As soon as, the pitcher is lowered into water, Yama’s voice reverberates and warns the pitcher holder not to fill it until he answers a question posed to him. As all the younger brothers fail to answer, they drop dead by the pond. At last when all the brothers are gone and none is returning, Yuddhishtra is worried and goes in search of the brothers whom he finds lying dead by the pond. He is aghast and anguished. As all the brothers possessed extraordinary powers, he is sure that some higher power has done this with his brothers. While he is sitting by the dead bodies, the voice of Yama again is heard. He lays down the condition before Yuddhistra, that he shall revive his brothers if he satisfactorily answers five questions.

One the questions was what was the greatest wonder of this transient world? To which he replies “Day after day countless people die. It is fact that that what is born has to die one day. Yet the living wish to live forever. O Lord, what can be greater wonder?”.

Sometimes back Steve Jobs died. He was not old to die but the cancer took his life. But he was a great man who had some most popular inventions to his credit. His products with brand names  Apple and Mackintosh are matchless. He wedded the electronics with artistry. He suffered from the pancreatic cancer. After surgery and liver transplant, he became well and delivered a speech to the graduates. His speech contained 3 topics, last of which dealt with his illness. He says in his speech, I quote,

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’ life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

How strange both Yuddhistra and Jobs have exactly identical views about death. Further, Jobs likens the death to an inspiration. It is a change agent and scavenger. It continuously renews the life on the earth. Whenever, the role played by an individual is over, it simply replaces him or her with younger and brighter one. So, he exhorts, all of us to make best of the available time.