“I think Banaras (Varanasi) is one of the most wonderful places I have ever seen. It it has struck me that a westerner feels in Banaras very much as an oriental must feel while he is planted down in the middle of London”. (MARK TWAIN)
This freedom came from the feeling that all human lives were interrelated, a certainty that they flowed into each other—a happy feeling that all events took place not only on the earth, in which the dead are buried, but also in some other region which some called the Kingdom of God, others history, and still others by some other name.(Boris Pasternak)
One of the oldest living city in the world, Varanasi, is also called Banaras & KASHI (ONE OF THE OLD NAME). The word Kashi has its origin from the word Kash. Its means light. Here light does not mean just light. Light here means “Light of knowledge”. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2020/12/01/dev-deepawali-festival-of-light-city-of-light/
Nalanda, Taxila, and Varanasi were the major centers of education in ancient times. THE CAPITAL OF ALL KNOWLEDGE”. Bhagwan Buddha gave his first sermon at a place called Sarnath in Varanasi. There will be no country in the world whose citizens do not live in Varanasi, Varanasi is also known as a tourist place in the whole world. The feeling of world-citizen can be felt very easily on the Ghats built on the banks of the Ganges. While sipping tea on the Ghats of Banaras, it is natural to remember the story of O HENRYS A COSMOPOLITE IN A CAFE. Excuse me, said he, “but that’s a question i never like to hear asked. What does it matter where is a man from?. “Is it fair to judge a man by his post office address”.? why,Ive seen Kentuckians who hated whisky, Virginians who were not descended from Pocahontas, Indianan’s who had not written a novel, Mexicans who did not wear velvet trousers with silver dollars sewed along the seams, funny Englishmen, spendthrift Yankees, cold blooded southerners, narrow -minded Westerners and New Yorkers who were too busy to stop for an hour on the street to watch a one -armed grocers clerk do up cranberries in paper bags. “Let a Man be a man and Don’t Handicap Him with the Label of Any Section”. Of course I don’t mean the Corona period. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2020/12/03/hindu-philosophy-and-the-importance-of-peace-9-11-1893-9-112001/
Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one. Marianne Williamson.
Varanasi is a great place to meet and understand people from all over the world. Sometimes it seems to me that the Ghats of Banaras are the best laboratory for understanding international relation & World Affairs. To get a basic understanding of the current Gaza Israel problem, to understand the relationship between Israel and Muslim countries, to understand the struggle of civilizations I decided to share some of my memories.
NAMASTEY & SHALOM :-
When I met a Jew for the first time :- While walking on the Panchganga Ghat of Varanasi, suddenly I heard the sound of hello-hello, I looked back and saw two foreign youths, I also smiled and replied to their greetings and asked what is the problem?
One of them said that he wanted to ask me something, I said” Yeah sure, why not ? I thought he might want some information about that place,
But astonishingly he pointed towards the helmet swinging in my hand.
Pointing that he wants to know about the helmet. Both the youths were looking for information about the price of helmet, helmet shop. I shared with him my knowledge about the price of the helmet and the item helmet stores. While walking, he told that the cost of helmets in Israel is much higher than in India. Hearing the name of Israel, I asked curiously, are you Jews? He said yes, then the other young man started talking about street-food, this young man liked the street food of India very much, after a while of normal talk, I said goodbye to those young men, they were familiar with Indian greetings, They said Namastey to me, in response I also saluted shalom.
Busy restaurant Jerusalem and favorite writers :-
Once after visiting the Ghat like this, I thought of having lunch in my favourite restaurant, I have been going to this restaurant for a few years. I love the South Indian cuisine of this restaurant. This is a small three table restaurant located on a narrow street. There I was sitting at an empty table waiting for my favourite lunch (this restaurant is run by a couple, so you have to wait more than any other restaurant)
The person sitting at the nearby table was also waiting for his lunch. After an exchange of smiles I asked ‘Where are you from?
He replied ” Israel”.
That person asked me that you must have heard the name of Israel. I said that my knowledge of Israel is limited to the media and a few books.
I named Thomas Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem and Dominique Lapierre Larry Collins s O Jerusalem. He told me the name of some other books which I do not remember now. The mother tongue of both of us was not English, due to which we were talking slowly giving each other full time. The topic of our conversation was broad – we talked about the Kashmir problem, Jerusalem, Pakistan, Hamas. We also talked about India-Israel relations. Our conversation continued while eating our lunch, Taking a sip of a coffee ,the Israeli citizen told that he is a software engineer, a smile came on his face while stating that, I asked what is the secret of this grin? He told that whenever he tells anyone about his employment in India, the next person immediately starts advising him to go to Bangalore. (Bangalore enjoys the status of Silicon Valley of India) We both thanked each other and bid goodbye to each other.
What I’ve enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn – I love it! Jamie Oliver
all images are taken from pixabay.
Group of Jewish girls whose questions made me unanswered.
Varanasi is also known as the city of festivals. There is a tradition of holy bath in the river in almost all religious festivals of Hindus, in Varanasi this tradition is followed with great reverence. Taking a dip in the holy Ganges in the morning is a wonderful experience. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT:- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/18/makar-sankranti-is-an-ancient-hindu-festival-or-the-burden-of-old-tradition/ While walking on the Ghats during one such holy Hindu festival, I stopped at a small tea stall. There were some people at this small tea stall. It seemed that a small group of Marathi tourists were at the tea shop. When I started the conversation, it came to know that they were taking information about a Marathi restaurant from the tea shop owner. There was some contradiction regarding the distance of the restaurant from Google. Some foreign girls were sitting a short distance away, and she was also involved in the conversation of tea sellers and Marathi tourists. Those girls were from Israel, one of them seemed very curious about Hindu festivals, and Hindu culture. She asked me why Hindus consider cow as holy. And what are the religious beliefs behind it? I told about the religious reasons behind this belief and what Gandhiji’s views were about the cow.
She asked me that Hinduism is tolerant, there is no doubt about it, but why do Hindus have their religious symbols everywhere? Why do bikes, cars, houses remain Hindu symbols everywhere? I was very surprised by this question, I am seeing this since childhood but did not pay attention to it. After some thought I mentioned Swami Vivekananda’s point. (Swami Vivekananda was the first person who introduced yoga and Hinduism to the countries of the West) FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/11/is-vivekananda-still-relevant-today-national-youth-day/ What is the Aryan? He is a man whose birth is through religion .this is a peculiar subject, perhaps in this country; but the idea is that a man must be born through religion, through prayers. If you take up our law books you will find chapters devoted to this— I thought that maybe I could give the right answer to that girl or maybe I could not, so I suggested her to read some Hindu philosophers and their books. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2020/07/05/the-unknown-life-of-swami-vivekananda/
Just another surprise was waiting for me :- That girl asked me why do orange men hate Jews? I could not understand the meaning of that I said what is the meaning of orange man. That girl asked me why many Muslims in India remain Orange Man while the number of Jews in India is negligible
Why do orange men hate Jews? I could not understand the meaning of that I said what did she meant by Orange Man.
She elaborated that some Muslims who keep their beards orange in color by applying a solution of henna, do so to show their hatred of Jews. I had no idea about this. With her questions, that woman made me think a lot. Instead of taking information from Google, I had decided to read basic books. and get information on this subject from some Islamic experts. I came to know some very surprising and unique things on this subject.
A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFICULTY :- Why do Muslims have colored beards?
“And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.” When the Jews refused to accept him or his religion, Mohammed received this revelation from Allah. (QURAN 2:120)
HADIS:- Hadis is an Arabic word. Which means – report or description. It mentions the habits, life, and daily routine of Muhammad. Hadith is the most sacred text in Islam after the Qur’an. The collection of hadis forms a major part of the curriculum of Islamic schools. The Jews and Christians of the time did not dye their hair. THE Prophet ordered the Jews and the Christians do not dye their hair . you do the opposite .The editor/translator of the Hadis collection adds in parentheses, “For the simple reason that opposing the Kefir’s is necessary for doing better things.”
The population of Jews in India is almost negligible, then why do Indian Muslims want to look different from Jews? Same is the case with almost all the countries of South Asia. (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jews can be counted on the finger in all places, then why the crisis of separate identity? More than ninety percent of the population in Bangladesh are Muslims, the combined population of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists is also 9. 6% Apart from this, other religions Believers are 0.1%, then how is there a crisis of identity?
Something similar is also the situation in Pakistan. 96.47% of the population is Muslim, 2.14% Hindu, 1.27% Christian, 0.9% Ahmadiya (Ahmadiya Muslim is classified as non-Muslim by the government under pressure from fanatic Muslims)0.02% are of other religions . Most of the Muslims have no attachment to their land, civilization, history, culture, they take pride in the Islamic conquest of South Asia, and the incidents of Islamic massacre. Propagation of Wahhabi ideology among converted Muslims: – https://nithinks.com/2021/04/23/pakistan-again-at-the-cusp-of-civil-war-or-the-clash-of-civilizations/ Money donated by Saudi Arabia to madrasas and Islamic educational institutions of South Asia, and Wahhabi ideology is responsible for this type of ideology. I had not seen Orange Muslim in my childhood. Their numbers may have been very small, but the increasing number of these Orange Muslims at present reflects the growing influence of the Wahhabi ideology in South Asia. Due to the spread of Wahhabi ideology, coloring the beard is more than a burden of old tradition , a sign of further intensification of the struggle of civilizations in the coming times.
2 thoughts on “TALES OF TWO CITIES (PART 2) & Why do Muslims have colored beards?”
Thanks for sharing such an enlightening knowledgeable post, Nitin Singhji ! Keep happy and be safe-you and your family,Sir !
A nicely articulated piece! Enjoyed reading!!