Sunday, August 23, 2020


Sociology had never been a subject of interest for deep study to me. Not much. It was just about in the backdrops of my being.  I always feel we all have our perceptions and personifications. But this year it mused me as my girl discusses her studies with me.
And, the subject progresses into culture, tradition, and religion, I realized I touched upon these topics only as a believer. I never studied strategically.

Being the festive time, yesterday, as I sat down with my two, with folded hands and taught them "shlokas" both countered me with several questions. Thankfully I could handle most of them without having to call my dad or mom. My little one could confidently explain to me reciting the following shloka with the meaning.

"Vakra Tunda mahakaaya, surya koti samaprabha. Nirveghnam kurume deva sarva kaareshu sarvada".
With his tenderness in the pronunciation and his cautious grin he can now say " Oh lord with curved tusk and a heavy body, please bless us and free us any obstacles in our lives".

    Now, I am sure most of our children relate to the Ganesh very easily after the "Oh my friend Ganesha" movie was released. After which children were more inquisitive. From the time this revolution of animated cartoon videos came into vogue, there had been much a mixed commotion about why were gods mimicked? 

Whereas, I, on the other hand, a decade and a half ago, was thrilled to find numerous animated stories of gods and goddesses. Apart from reading books and narrating tales, I would play these videos for my child then 3. She enjoyed all the videos she watched and what she is today as a teenager, she feels she is grateful having watched those stories which left her intrigued. As she turned 10  she began reading this version of "Ramayana". She took more than a year to accomplish it, as she needed a lot of supportive explanations for which I was responsible. In the process, I started strengthening my knowledge too.

However, like any fashion/fad or practice is at times a circle, these "animated videos" to is now out of interest zone, at least in my life. Reasons could be monotony or that the number of videos being available on the internet makes it impossible for me to pick up the "right" ones and those that I feel are inappropriate. So it happens that the children in my house are now happy with the stories from the books. 

To add to that, it fascinates them when the storyteller in me narrates the anecdotes from my childhood. The celebrations of every festival, the temple chimes, the blowing of the conch, the soothing temple bells and the chanting of the hymns. It is endless. It has to be pepped up with tales about how I as a child made it for extra fun along with my friends.

And now, not just my children, but here comes the fact where I find that many of this generation children are learning their culture this way. The parent's narratives, their stories, few books, and of course the internet. 

Now, in phase two, touching upon another chord, we started reading the awesome book. Bhagavadgita (A handbook) by C. Rajagopalachari. I had read this alone and now reading with my children.

"The limitation of human knowledge is a familiar boundary in scientific and philosophical investigations. Dive into any truth or investigate any phenomenon or examine any distinction deep enough, and at a certain point, we reach the unknowable and further progress is stopped. We strike against God so to say is everything. The unknowable is all-pervading. The known and knowable makeup but a surface crust over a mystery-sphere of infinite dimensions."

These are a few lines from this book as an introductory.

My favourite lines from this book are: "Jnana manifests itself in the cultivation of a detached attitude in all work. Jnana is not fully expressed by "knowledge" or wisdom". It involves a complete transformation of oneself in accordance with the truth that is seen. Such transformations result from and at the same time leads to the progressive realization of one's unity with the rest of the world and of the whole world with God. Action becomes free and sinless once the motive of action is freed from selfish aims".

So, as we discuss sociology, I feel that everybody has their own personifications. Jnana is yet a perception in the limits of liberty to each individual.