Monday, 5 March 2012

Pandat Wahi jo baat jama De !

Written by Anil Singh

After a fortnight long drama, finally, the brawl that emanated from the ashes immersion of celebrities (Singer Kailash Kher’s father’s ashes) at Parmarth Niketan Ashram Ganga ghats, Rishikesh; has finally came to an end yesterday. Swami Chidanand Muni of Parmarth Niketan and Teerth Purhohits of Haridwar, after an hour-long meeting, sorted out the differences on this matter.

Finally agreeing to the unambiguous (means clear) right of Pandas in Haridwar, granted to them by the Acknowledgement of the immense religious-spirtual-mythological significance of Braham Kund, Har-Ki-Pauri sanctum sanctorum in Haridwar, Swami Chidanand rolled back from his earlier stand.

In short, Chidanand Muni bowed down to the Pandas of Haridwar; and assured them that he will not conduct any such immersions in Rishikesh in future; and whosoever comes to him, will be sent to Haridwar for the ritual.

Overall, the parleys (means talks) helped the panda community at Haridwar, secure and expand their economic interests, whether based on right interpretation of religious scriptures or not; not only for now, but for many years ahead.

I witnessed, the peak of this dispute; and saw not only saints & pandas of Haridwar and Rishikesh acting un-saintly; but also saw & heard them trying at lengths, to prove one tongue in cheek wisdom of Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh: Pandat Wahi jo baat jama De!

If translated in English, the line means: A Wise man is one, who wins every Argument.

Although in the above line ‘Pandat’, doesn’t mean ‘Wise person’, but means “a person who conducts Hindu religious rituals to earn his bread and butter”.

To understand the line better, let I share with you a piece of humor or sarcasm of Late Om Vyas:

A Pandit went to a village in Budelkhand, to tell a story (Katha Bachhne OR telling a religious story). The programme is to take place in a nearby field, post dinner. Panditji eats well, and when he sits on the podium, he starts feeling sleepy. He controls himself; and starts telling the story. But no matter how much he tries, his eyes couldn’t open. Distracted by his own struggle; Panditji doesn’t realize that a sudden blow of wind has taken with it a couple of pages of the book, he was reading from. He keeps telling the story, in the same state, and successfully reaches to the final page; but then a man in the audience stands up and asks panditji, ‘why the story never talked of Leelavati and Kalavati?’. The man emphasizes that when he last heard the same story, it has the mention of the two ladies.

Panditji, quickly checks his book, and realizes that the pages which mentioned the same are absent. Not to be unmatched by the man, Panditji promptly said “Kalawati and Leelavati are high class women, then don’t come to desolate fields at night”.

Late Om Vyas, who was known for his sharp sarcasm, accurately explains how ‘People who see themselves as the Gauradians (or Thekedars) of religion’ act all the time. They are always desperate to win every argument, which preserves or expands their supremacy. If it suits them to call river Ganges sacred from “Gaumukh to Gangasagar” they will do so; If it doesn’t, then they will devise new arguments.

Poor Chidanand Muni, who may have informed his celebrity guests, of the sacredness of Ganges water, in all its length (even when Ganges water is in a plastic bottle); has to succumb to the religious importance debate of Pandas in Haridwar.

But understandably, Chidanand muni couldn’t risk being ostracized from his own community.

But, we don’t have any such restrictions. Can we flout such laws, created by these so called “Dharm ke Thekedars”?

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