The Scientific Point Of View. J B S Haldane Essay. Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

061. The Scientific Point Of View. J B S Haldane Essay. Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 14th Sep 2014. Short URL http://nut.bz/1ds8_4tt/ Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Adopting a scientific point of view is useful in many ways, whether for solving the Negro problem or for solving the problem of diseases. J.B.S.Haldane was a famous British scientist and author who later took Indian citizenship. His writings on biological subjects made scientific ideas clear and popular among people. The author argues that adopting a scientific point of view is essential and beneficial for man, rather than adopting an emotional point of view.

Scientific point of view is God’s eye-view. A good scientist, like God, will view and examine things impartially and truthfully, and will not have emotional considerations and pass judgments.

Science influences the average man in two ways- its practical applications are useful to man and it affects his opinions also. One of science’s main contributions to common man was its presenting man with a scientific point of view. Science continuously tells us we should give up smoking and consumption of liquor, and adopt walking and swimming daily activities to remain healthy. Once we viewed these warnings skeptically, but we now have begun to understand that there is sense and logic in these warnings. That is science’s contribution, creating this awareness and consciousness of health. The average man is attracted by the emotional and ethical aspects of a problem, not by the facts, whereas a scientist considers only the facts. A scientific point of view places everything and everyone on the same emotional level which is impartial and truthful. Because of this equalization in emotional levels, scientific point of view can be called the God’s eye-view. A good scientist will, like God, view and examine things impartially and truthfully, and will not have emotional considerations and pass judgments. Even though the enemies of science wish science to do both, and abuse scientists for being deaf to moral considerations, a scientist will remain such impartial that Mr. John, Mr. Chang, Mr. Smith, the Tape Worm and the Solar System will be equal to him. A scientific point of view enables people also to adopt the same view of an impartial scientist, in analyzing things of importance to him.

When Negros enjoyed friendship of whites during the American Civil War, the new Democratic Negro became a heavy drinker and died in thousands, more in numbers than were killed in the actual war.

Haldane is of the opinion that the Negro problem, i.e., the problem of Negros becoming a problem for the whites, and the problem of diseases can be solved by adopting scientific point of view. He uses these two examples to illustrate that adopting scientific point of view in solving social, human problems is feasible and useful. Though there have of course been strong oppositions to his this point of view, let us examine his observations on the living conditions of Negros in America, most of which are things of past in America now. Negros was considered inferior to white men. In the Southern states of America where slavery existed, the Negros were pulled out of cars and driven to cotton plantations to work hard in harsh sun light. Openness to nature favoured them and there they prospered and multiplied, creating thus the so-called Negro problem for whites. But had they been extended consideration and fellowship, they would have become softened and died of American diseases. This is the question J B S Haldane rises- whether emotional or scientific attitude is to be adopted in solving social, human problems, which is beneficial and useful? During the American Civil War, the Negros enjoyed friendship of the whites, as a result of which the new democratic Negro became a heavy drinker and died in thousands. The number of Negros killed that way was far greater than the number of Negros killed in the actual war. Once we shed the emotional point of view, adopt scientific point of view, we allow Negros to return to nature and live in their natural habitats, and there is and will be no problem from the Negros.

Scientific point of view is the moral equivalent of war; they are equally fast in teaching peoples lessons.

Adopting the scientific point of view helps solve the problem of diseases also. For ages, and even now, common people think that diseases are caused by the Sin of man. But now, thanks to science, more people know that diseases are caused by the attack of foreign organisms known as microbes. By studying microbes with a scientific point of view, preventive medicines can be developed against diseases. The moral use of war is its teaching people lessons fast. Scientific point of view also teaches people lessons equally fast. That is why J.B.S.Haldane theorizes that scientific point of view is the moral equivalent of war. It teaches people lessons as fast as war. Knowledge of biological facts helps people prevent diseases. Diseases are manifestations of nature’s laws. By knowing about these laws, people can cure or prevent these diseases. The only problem remains is, people not being punctual and regular in administration of their prescribed medicines. Attitudes like this are such common that discovery of insulin has not helped reduce the death rate of diabetic patients in England and elsewhere, for medicines and their usage do not still have a scientific basis among people. It is a paradox that ‘the study of medicine, apart from its scientific basis, has created more neurotics than scientists,’ Haldane observes.

In spite of scientists and science reigning in this world for so many long years and teaching, many people still think that diseases are products of our sin.

Scientists and science have reigned in this world for so many long years but in spite of their teaching that diseases are manifestation of natural laws caused by microbial attacks, a considerable number of people still think that they are products of our sin. When Jesus Christ was asked why a man became blind, he answered: ‘Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but the works of God should be made manifest in him.” He considered it an opportunity to prove God’s manifestations and cured the blind by his simple touch. The scientists cure people with diseases, instead of accusing not only them but their ancestors through generations also of sinning. In this respect, a scientist’s view of diseases is not unlike the view held by Jesus Christ. Many of his followers but still hold to views which Jesus Christ opposed. They are not scientific but emotional in viewing many social and human issues such as remarriage and abortion. When diseases affect, some of them do not treat it scientifically but pray. Many more people hold to the view that diseases can be cured by returning to nature which is just another fallacy- we will die before we begin to get rectifying restoratives from nature. To live according to nature to escape from diseases also is quite meaningless because civilization, savagery, health and sickness are all part of nature.

[Prepared In 1990]

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PSRemeshChandra
Author profileEditor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Unmarried and single. Also edits Bloom Books Channel.

 

The Home Coming. Rabindranath Tagore Story. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

060. The Home Coming. Rabindranath Tagore Story. Reintroduced by P S Remesh Chandran

By PSRemeshChandra, 14th Sep 2014. Short URL http://nut.bz/zds4wvd1/ Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Rabindranath Tagore was an educator, social reformer, poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. His poetical collection Gitanjali was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Home Coming is the tale of a 14 year old boy who was a nuisance to his mother, was sent away for studying and died there unloved and longing for his home. There has not been a single person in India who did not weep after reading this Tagore story.

The boy grew up lazy, wild and violent and thought about doing new mischiefs every day.

Phatik Chakravarthi was a fourteen year old Bengali boy whose father died very early. He grew up lazy, wild and disobedient. His younger brother Makhan Chakravarthi was quiet, good and fond of reading. Phatik thought about doing new mischiefs every day. One day he and his retinue of boys pushed into the river a wooden log meant to be shaped as the mast of a boat. Makhan, objecting to this and sitting firmly on the log, was thrown to water along with the log. At home, when he was questioned about this, he beat not only his brother, but his mother also. It was then that his uncle from the far Calcutta City arrived. He agreed to take the boy along with him to Calcutta to be educated there. The boy was only glad to leave, but the mother was only half-relieved and half-sad.

He missed the meadow, mountain and river in his native village, became a failure at school and began to always ask, when holidays would come.

Phatik’s uncle had three sons of his own and his aunt did not like this new addition to their family. A fourteen year old boy will have his own problems too. He was fast growing up. He was neither a child nor a man, crossing the line in between. He missed the meadow, mountain and river of his native village. Therefore it was no wonder he became a failure at school. He answered no questions, was beaten badly daily at school and ridiculed by all including his cousins. He grew impatient about returning to home and began always asking, when the holidays would come.

In his delirium, he talked about things in his native village, asked his mother not to beat him anymore and called out fathom-marks which steamer-sailors in his native village river did.

One day Phatik lost his lesson book and was scolded and abused much by his aunt. It served as the last hurt to break him. On a rainy afternoon after school, feeling fever and headache, he sought shelter somewhere and did not return home. He did not want to trouble his aunt any more. Police help was sought the next day. They found him and brought him home, shivering and fallen into a delirious state. He talked about things in his native village, asked his mother not to beat him anymore and called out fathom-marks which steamer-sailors in his native village river did. He moved restlessly, his hands beating up and down. His condition seemed critical to the doctor, and his mother in the village was sent for. When his mother arrived moaning and crying, and calling his names, he was nearing his eternal home which is Heaven. His last words were: Mother, the holidays have come.

Tagore’s story Home Coming was one of the two first glances into the grief and sorrow of little minds, the other being Coventry Patmore’s poem, Toys.

The question is how we treat our children. Children are the flowers of humanity. Yet, we do not see the grief in those tiny hearts. Up to four years, a child is said to be in the hands of the God, but since then they are this World’s property. A bit of love, a soft touch of solace or a tiny word of consolation would be enough for them, but we do not spare them. Millions of children are worn out for want of care, nursing, assistance. Tagore was purposeful in writing such a story as this to open the world’s eyes towards the world of children’s deep sorrows, unheeded by the grown up world. No wonder he was dedicated to children and started that India’s World University, Saanthi Nikethan, where teachers and students sat beneath mango tree shades and learned. Tagore’s this story was one of the two first glances into the grief and sorrow of little minds, the other being Coventry Patmore’s poem, Toys.

[Prepared in 1996]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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PSRemeshChandraAuthor profile

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Unmarried and single. Also edits and owns Bloom Books Channel.

 

Chocolate Bus. Robert Lynd Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran. Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

041.

Chocolate Bus. Robert Lynd Essay. Reintroduced By P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 5th Dec 2011  Short URL http://nut.bz/dbid7g_4/
Posted in Wikinut>Essays

 

Omnibus was the old name for a bus. When city buses were newly introduced in theLondonstreets, they were uniformly coloured chocolate. Robert Lynd disliked them for their colour which was dull and non-interesting to the eyes and also because they deprived him of the delights of walking. Like A.G.Gardiner’s Bus Conductor, Lynd’s Chocolate Bus reminds us of the many virtues which are leaving us one by one. And buses too may say farewell to us just as row boats did when bridges came into being.

The delight of walking is meeting persons on the way, spending a few minutes with them in small talk and having enough psychological delights for the day.

 Old Timer On London Road. Martin Addison. 

Suppose we are used to walk long distances and we are used also to like walking those distances. We shall meet so many persons of our acquaintance and not, shall spend a few minutes with them indulging in small talk and serious talk, and before we reach our destination, have enough psychological delights for the day. But when buses begin to ply the route we begin to become lonely on the road. Moreover it would be embarrassing for us to see a person whom we passed on the way walking in front of us at another place after alighting from a bus. In no time we will begin to hate buses. That was exactly what happened to Robert Lynd. He began to hate buses. Lynd’s essays are deep in thought but lucid in style. His essays enriched English language and literature much like his counter part Gardiner. Chocolate Bus is included in his collection of essays ‘Solomon In All His Glory.’

Birds of the least brilliant colour may sing the most brilliant songs.

 Bus in old clean London street. Dr.Neil Clifton. 

Do not anyone think that Lynd is blind in his observations, due to his prejudice against the dull coloured Chocolate Buses. He makes several strange observations in spite of these buses denying him vibrant colour patterns pleasing to his eyes and deprives him of the delights of walking. Chocolate which is dull and boring to the eyes of course is charming to the palate. Their delicious taste is savoured by all. Birds of the least brilliant colour would most probably sing the most brilliant songs. Sweets of the poorest favour may sometimes have the richest flavour. In this way perhaps the dull coloured Chocolate Buses also could be of the most beneficial use to mankind.

To see sights for ten miles from a running bus, the focusing muscles of the eyes do the equal labour the biceps muscles of the legs do to run the same distance.

One of the early sensations. Simon Osborne. 

When we travel in a bus most often we will prepare ourselves to see all the sights along the way. So we sit ourselves on a convenient side seat and begin seeing things. If we do it, before we are not over many miles, we will see that our eyes are closed and we are asleep. When we see sights from a running bus, the actual labour the focusing muscles in our eyes do to focus images before our retina to provide a stable picture is equal to what the biceps muscles of our legs do to run the same distance. No wonder the focusing muscles become soon tired and we fall asleep before long.

Thoughts originating while travelling in a bus will have high voltage and decisions taken then would be coming from a very kinetic mind.

First London Routemaster Bus. Luiz Marini.Berlin. 

But travelling in a running vehicle stimulates our thoughts too. The speed of the vehicle adds speed to our thoughts also. We know that weight into velocity is momentum. Momentum of the bus can be spent on the road but we, sitting with our fixed weight without the liberty of movement in the confines of a bus, will feel the momentum enter our mind and take off with it. Thoughts originating from us while travelling in a bus will be high voltage thoughts. Decisions taken then would be coming from a very kinetic mind.

Dante ought to have included bus travels as one of the Torments of the Inferno.

Glasgow Tram Cars Priestley Wrote. Dr Neil Clifton 

Bus travellers will often have bitter experiences. The buses would be overcrowded and there would not be empty seats. Sometimes there would not even be a foot of floor space empty to stand on. The passengers would feel they are imprisoned in a black hole that is a bus that is rocking also on the pot holes. Mechanical vibration of the bus would enter our heel, head and bones. One will wonder whether this is the fulfillment of the travel dreams of the Greeks, Romans and the other civilized races. Lynd says that the South Sea Islander lolling lazily in his lagoon is unfortunate to miss this unique experience of bus travel since there are no buses in that remote part of the globe.

If buses were made prisons the prisoners would object and crimes would cease to happen.

A London Tram Car. Photo John Bennet. 

A bus is a mechanical rhinoceros to travel inside which one has to pay also. Bus travellers get no wind except one composed of half dust and another half other people’s breathe. If buses were made prisons the prisoners would object and crimes would cease to happen. Criminals in the ancient world were put in barrels with spikes and rolled down the hills as punishment which was far lighter than to have been condemned to have a bus travel as the punishment. Lynd wonders why Dante did not include bus travel as one of the punishments among the multitude of torments in hell he described in his classic, The Divine Comedy.

The sheep in the field, the fly on the window, the sparrow on the road, all constantly keep moving. Movement is the manifestation of life.

Two Old Trams In Transport Museum. Dr.Neil Clifton 

When compared to a travel in the bus, walking has a number of advantages. Walking is a rhythmic and pleasant form of movement. There is a natural rhythm in walking. We are free to walk as lazily as an old dog or as fast as a cock picking food. Walking gives us enough time for sight seeing and thinking. One can stop at shop windows and look into things displayed there, or can peer inside. A walking man gets news also. The greatest pleasure of all in walking is the realization that there is no hurry. It is the law of nature that living things must keep moving. Movement is the manifestation of life. The sheep in the field, the fly on the window, the sparrow on the road, all constantly keep moving. This movement of limbs and wings is the very basis of life. It is pleasanter to move constantly like the planets than to sit still like a heap of stones. ‘Man is the only animal that escaped from perpetual motion and stiffened into stillness while he is yet neither a cripple nor dead.’ Sitting inert has now become a habit to man.

The desire of man to travel with the least body movement caused the invention of vehicles. His inertness is now complete.

A 1984 Electric Train. Photo. David Ingham. 

It is the desire of man to travel with the least body movement that caused the invention of vehicles. A survey of the vehicles he developed in their chronological order would reveal his inclinations. First he rode horses which provided an overall rhythmic movement to his muscles. Then came the row boat in which the hands alone had to move and the legs rested. With the invention of the wheel and the sail he became able to move without moving him at all. Cycles and automobiles followed and then came motor cycle, car, bus, ship and aero plane. And now there is the rocket too. His inertness is now complete.

The flowing streams, the playing children and the singing birds no more touch the bus traveller.

Channel Tunnel Train Emerging. Xtrememachineuk. 

It was this inertness and laziness of man that gave a chance to men with mechanical minds to make inventions. Thanks to these vehicles man is now able to transport people in bulk numbers from place to place. In all these vehicles man needn’t move his body. He only has to buy a ticket. But he no more enjoys the various amusements on the way. The flowing streams, the playing children and the singing birds no more touch him. He is now shut inside a box on wheels and carried away at top speed. One has no more life than a posted letter so far as he is sitting in a travelling vehicle. It was great movements of mind and body matter that created renaissance inItalyfour hundred years earlier. Henceforth there would be no renaissance. Riding in buses has killed the kinetic minds in our society. Thus this essay is really Robert Lynd’s ‘Ode to Walking.’

Many fear the channel tunnel will gradually destroy the euphoric and pleasant isolation England enjoyed for many ages.

 

Channel Tunnel Car Shuttle Interior. Tony Hisgett.

However, he is not a cynical critic. He concludes his essay wishing every success to the chocolate brown buses newly introduced in London streets. After these omnibuses the tram cars and the road trains came. Then there was the tube and now there is the channel tunnel which all fear would gradually destroy the euphoric and pleasant isolation the great island nation of England enjoyed for so many ages.

[First written in November 1994]

_______________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
_______________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking BLOOM BOOKS TRANSLATIONS here.

To read about the life and people and their follies of the author’s native land Kerala, read Kerala Commentary

To read more our articles already published in Wikinut visit Sahyadri Books or Bloom Books Trivandrum

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Appreciations, Articles, British Authors, British Essayists, British Writers, Channel Tunnel, Chocolate Bus, English Essayists, English Literature, Essays, Old London Transport, Omni Buses, P S Remesh Chandran, Reintroduced Literature, Reintroductions, Reviews, Robert Lynd, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, Solomon In All His Glory, Trams

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PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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Student Mobs. J.B.Priestley Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

040.

Student Mobs. J.B.Priestley Essay Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 1st Dec 2011  Short URL http://nut.bz/3dpl.fk1/

Posted in Wikinut Essays

Disciplined students under strict masters have created empires and dynasties in this world. The lone Chandragupta captivated by the severe Chaanakya Gupta founded the famous Maurya Empire inNorth Indiaand the twaine created classical political theories the world still reveres. Alexander found his master in Aristotle and the pair was responsible for the greatest changes in the political and cultural structure of the world. This article is homage to those good old days of studentship.

Simplicity, humbleness and discipline were the characteristic distinguishing marks of a student in the ancient times.

T.V, show me something creative. Emmy The Great.

We have the ancient belief that ‘a school is an assembly of teachers and a class is an assembly of students.’ In many countries this conviction is changing fast. Before Plato came, instituted his Academy and founded the academic system of education where teachers and students would come to and be assembled at the same place and lessons were taught according to a pre-determined syllabus, students had to search far and wide for a teacher’s house, perhaps miles and miles away or sometimes in other states where he had to go and reside, do all kinds of manual labour in the master’s house, please him somewhat and secure a bit of knowledge if the master so consented to. But this system no doubt produced great teachers, scholars, poets and playwrights. Simplicity, humbleness and discipline were characteristics and distinguishing marks of a student in those times. Not one unruly student could complete his education with a master.

When Britain speaks, all England listens.

 An orderly students meeting. Michael Linder.

One of the books written by the famous writer John Boynton Priestley was aptly titled ‘Britain Speaks’ and another ‘All England Listens’. It was true; when this great British orator spoke the whole world listened. Here he is analyzing the reasons for the unrest and violence among students. His finding is that students delight in destruction for destruction’s sake. He expects students to behave as true guardians of society and provide support to the families they come from. Any dutiful student will have to agree with his arguments against unruly behaviour.

They should be learning books, not burning them.

Preparation against student march. Bobby D’Marca.

Priestley joined college after a few years of soldiery in the First World War. Therefore it was no wonder he was irritated by the irresponsibility he found common among the student community in general. Irresponsible students, in their craze for establishing an identity, form mobs, take to destruction and behave like vandalists. ‘They should be learning books, not burning them.’ Peasants in the villages are losing much, particularly their favourite meals and good clothes, to send their sons to colleges. So these sons should have a manly responsibility towards them and shall not join howling destructive mobs. Priestley is of the opinion that stupid, ignorant and irresponsible students should summarily be sent out and shall not be given higher education at the expense of the community. They are wasting everyone’s time, money and energy. This right attitude towards students, which could be adopted by all members of the community, shall not be interpreted as prejudice against students.

When we see a student mob demonstration we will wonder whether those brute faces are our own sons’.

 Ideal place to watch student strike. Zaniol Simone

Most often, angry student mobs demonstrate through streets with banners, slogans and mindless grinning faces, breaking windows and smashing cars, burning books and furniture, terrifying children and women on their way, reducing laws and customs to chaos. Such demonstrations shall not be shown on the T.V. If it continues to be shown, the whole fabric of civilization, which is the work of centuries, shall be torn apart by students.

They will pass with honours B.A. in Window Smashing, Furniture Firing and Car Overturning.

 Disciplined strike, books, cut hair. Partridge Ron

Sometimes these demonstrations would be against governments but at times the governments themselves would be organizing them secretly on a rent-a-mob basis. Many governments play a leading role in the antics of student mobs. When two official policies clash, embassies are instantly surrounded by students and attacked as if in a political circus. Priestley here gives society a severe warning: ‘The time may come when ambassadors will have to move around in tanks. In the universities, students on admission will be given machine guns and flame throwers. They will pass with honours the B.A. in Window Smashing, Furniture Firing and Car Overturning. They may be weak in the sciences and the arts, the medicine and the law but they would have first-rate skills in Hooliganism.’ He wonders what type of doctors, lawyers, engineers, chemists and teachers of language they will make.

Kids are now not kids but creatures come from other planets, putting things on the railway lines for derailing expresses.

Playing Post Office. We make them mobs. S.Francis.

That students delight in destruction is a universal truth. ‘Soon there may appear in college campuses those huge iron balls of the demolition squads with whichNew Yorksky scrapers are crumbled down.’ Such massive, mobile and deep-seated would become the desire for destruction in students. ‘Whether they grow under capitalism or socialism, our children will certainly care about vandalism.’ They will take special trains to foot ball matches and burn them on their way back. Full-fed and well-paid youths are the most destructive. An old school teacher once remarked that ‘kids are now not kids but creatures come from other planets, putting things on the railway lines for derailing expresses.’

Some among us don’t seem to belong to human race.

Will our colleges rest. Trinity. Kenneth Yarham.

Priestley feels the contrast between the rough life led by him as a boy in his native village and the excessive student violence in the present times. In Priestley’s boyhood also there were fights in schools. Players and spectators of football both behaved roughly. But there were no heartlessness or hatred of life. There indeed were fights between equals but helpless people were never harmed. Now the young arrives eager to destroy, not to create. Some among us don’t seem to belong to human race. They set fire on society and purposefully discredit the techniques and apparatus of a world civilization. ‘Threats of violence rise like puffs of steam in New York city streets at night’ (in his times), he observes.

Newsreel films please show me students making something, not breaking something.

Going for making something. Mike Fernwood.

There are many reasons for this turbulence among students in their tender ages-hydrogen bomb, bad homes, no religion, irresponsible parents, boring environment and the like, all contribute. Also there are those other modern day factors as the thirst of political parties and misled organizations for young martyrs and maimed victims to pivot them to political and administrative power. And there is some unknown factor, a vast ‘X’ in the dark. Priestley prays, news reels in films in theatres show him students making something, instead of breaking something; like some scene of students marching to build a house, not to knock one down.

Dedicated to those girl scholars who rise up early, go to fields and forests to cut grass for cattle, and walk kilometers away to colleges.

Education, their gateway to future. Irving Rusinow

Many girl students in some districts in Kerala, especially in the Quilon district, studying for post graduate courses, will rise up early in the morning and go to fields and forests to cut grass for their cattle. Carrying this heavy load of fodder on their heads they rush back to their houses, wash and breakfast and walk kilometers away to their colleges. In the evenings they walk back, go to the forests with their books, collect firewood for their kitchen and a few green twigs for their goats and carrying this burden return home in the dusk and complete the household chores. They pass their examinations with first class and gold medals and become college lecturers and school teachers. That is what education and studentship is. Dutiful work cleanses the soul and prepares one as a diligent learner. My nation’s future is safe in their hands. This article is dedicated to those hard working diligent girl scholars, a few of whom I was fortunate enough to teach.

(Originally written in April 1995)

_______________________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
There are many pictures of students rioting and breaking things
in almost all nations. But we respect the vision and wishes of Priestley and so chose pictures accordingly.
_______________________________________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here. BLOOM BOOKS TRANSLATIONS.

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Appreciations, Articles, British Authors, British Writers, English Literature, Essays, J B Priestley, John Boynton Priestley, P S Remesh Chandran, Reintroductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, Student Agitations, Student Mobs, Student Strikes, Student Unrest, Student Violence

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PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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In Praise Of Mistakes. Robert Lynd. Essay Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

39.

In Praise Of Mistakes. Robert Lynd. Essay Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 25th Nov 2011 Short URL http://nut.bz/25tqv807/
Posted in Wikinut Essays

 

Robert Lynd is famous for his essays of wit, wisdom and humour. Here he is writing ‘in praise of mistakes’, how they are useful and how they are enjoyable to the world. It is his opinion that it is difficult to write something without slipping somewhere. Mistakes do not interfere with our enjoyment of a writer and the only unpardonable sin in an author is writing uninterestingly. This Irish genius who made us laugh shared the world with us during 1879-1949.

What I wonder is why I did not snatch away as much wealth as I could from the Indian Coffers.

People often write to newspapers about the frequent mistakes writers make in their articles and books. Geographical, historical or religious errors may occur in their works but those mistakes seldom make their works unreadable or unenjoyable. Instead, most often, they make the world merry for they give enough material for the world to laugh. One will wonder why writers do not make as many mistakes as they can so that the world can at least laugh heartily. In this aspect, the case framed by fault-finders against writers is a weak one. If it is presented in any court the writer, Lord Clive, may tell the jury that he wondered why he did not make as many mistakes as he could. Lord Clive was tried in the British Parliament for corruption during his India Service when he told senators, what he wondered was why he did not dare to snatch away more wealth from the vast treasure houses of the Indian Kings!

It is difficult to write about something without slipping somewhere.

Personally Lynd is a lover of accuracy but he finds it difficult to write about something without slipping somewhere. He consults an encyclopedia to avoid errors in writing. He has on many occasions risen and sweated in the very early mornings in fear of mistakes he may have made in articles which have already gone to press. A modern day writer who is born in the time of spell checker, auto correct and Internet would be totally unfamiliar with such dreadful experiences.

Mistakes do not interfere with our enjoyment of an author’s work.

Mistakes do not interfere with our enjoying an author’s work. It is not the word and its meaning that count; it is the sound of the word that is important and is appealing to human senses. It is the sound of the words that makes a poem pleasing to our senses and ears and imparts beauty to the poem. Poets, Lynd permits them, may use the names of any precious stones or anything else for that matter in their poems even without knowing their meaning, if those sounds are pleasing to ears. A jeweller’s assistant needn’t immediately go to him and correct him. According to Lynd the unpardonable sin in a writer is to write uninterestingly. If a work is interesting, it would be read and enjoyed by all. Mistakes do not matter there. Shakespeare made his multitude of mistakes in chronology and Walter Scott made the Sun rise on the wrong side of the world in the wrong time. Even then Shakespeare’s dramas and Walter Scott’s novels and poems are read by millions of people with interest.

A writer’s mistakes deserve praise, and fantastic errors are great stimulants.

Mistakes made in literature are useful to man in many ways. For example, they make the reader temporarily feel that he is an inch taller than the writer. Mistakes made by the writer are a source of delight to many readers. There is more joy over a single error discovered in a good writer than over a hundred pages of perfect writing. Error-hunters search for errors as meticulously and systematically as gold-hunters search for gold. His Eurekas are uttered not over immortal phrases but over some tiny mistake in geography, history or grammar. The famous English weekly ‘Punch’ once used to print the names of authors along with the mistakes they made. The writers protested. Lynd is of the opinion that writers needn’t protest over such dissections by print media and they needn’t consider it as an attempt to rob them of the credit for making the world happy and laughing. Since they are such useful to mankind, the writers’ mistakes deserve praise; even their fantastic mistakes, which are in many, are also thus pardonable. Lynd’s closing observation is that ‘we shall never have a novelist or writer of the magnitude of Shakespeare till one can make as many mistakes as Shakespeare made’.

Dear Reader,
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Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking BLOOM BOOKS TRANSLATIONS here.

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Appreciations, English Essayists, English Essays, English Language And Literature, English Writers, Essays, In Praise Of Mistakes, Irish Writers, P S Remesh Chandran, Philosophy, Re Introductions, Remembrances, Reviews, Robert Lynd, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Studies, Usefulness Of Mistakes

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Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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Rathnashikamani
30th Nov 2011 (#)

“A writer’s mistakes deserve praise, and fantastic errors are great stimulants”
I appreciate that.
You’ve given a differently positive perspective to the art of reading a writers mind.

PSRemeshChandra
30th Nov 2011 (#)

Writers’ mistakes have always given the world interesting material to laugh about. They do not disparage the writer but do prove to the world that they indeed are human beings, after us going through the unearthly materials they have written. Writers’ mistakes are indeed a solace to readers who are taken off with the momentum of the flow of ideas and emotions in the writing and cannot land. Seeing the mistake and reading the mistake lands them safely on the terra firma.

The Angel In The House. Virginia Woolf. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

38.

The Angel In The House. Virginia Woolf. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 18th Nov 2011  Short URL http://nut.bz/1ns3iwjj/
Posted in Wikinut Essays

 

Virginia Woolf was a British essayist, novelist and critic. The Voyage Out, Night And Day and Jacob’s Room are her famous books. Professions For Women was a lecture she gave before a women’s meeting. A woman can be a doctor, a lawyer, a civil servant or a journalist. But in all these professions, the woman has to beat two opponents- the hold of her own womanishness over her and the fear of her opinion of what men would say.

Pianos and visits to Paris, Berlin and Vienna are not at all needed to become a writer.

Virginia Woolf, the writer and feminist.

Virginia Woolf says, becoming a writer was very easy for her. Her road to literature had been laid out clear before her by many woman writers prior to her times such as Jane Austen and George Elliot. Writing had already been made a reputed and harmless occupation for women. Writing no more affected a woman’s family life. Pianos and models, or visits to Paris, Vienna and Berlin were not at all needed to provide varying experiences for writers. Paper alone was needed which was available cheap then. She says availability of cheap writing paper was reason for the success of woman writers in those times. She simply wrote a review for a book, mailed it and received the next month a cheque for more than One Pound from the editor.

She wanted a Persian cat so she wrote a review. Then she wanted a Motor Car and so wrote a novel.

                                  Virginia Woolf with father, Sir. Leslie Stephen.

With this money gained from writing a review she bought a beautiful Persian cat for a pet. She got encouraged and grew ambitious. She got thrilled at the prospect of writing things and gaining things she wished for easily. A Persian cat is all very well but a Persian cat is not enough. She decided to have a motor car. So she wrote a novel and became a novelist. It was that simple. Nothing in this world is as delightful as telling stories. In her very early days of career she learned that writing is a very lucrative career. We readers will wonder how it can be so, with the experiences of such famous writers as Dostoevsky and many others before us. But her’s was a time when woman writers were very scarce and including a woman’s writing in a publication was a desirable change and an attraction. In modern times many a talented writer has complained that he could not get published because he could not go to an editor in skirts and rubber projections.

Removing all womanishness from her work is the real challenge for a woman writer.

                                Little Virginia with mother Julia Stephen.

For decades it was thought that writing detective novels and stories are set apart for men because no woman detective story writer could excel and surpass in devising stories as those written by G.K.Chesterton and Arthur Conan Doyle. Many critics including this writer still believe that there is something significant missing in the writings of women authors. The only exception to this was that respected lady Ethel Lilian Voynich whose immortal novel ‘The Gad Fly’ terrorized the literary world as well as the revolutionary world and still serves as the classic motivation for world revolutionaries and guerilla warfare. Even in this novel the delicate feminine caricature of Arthur, the boyhood image of Rivarus, the relentless revolutionary of later years cries aloud that the novel was written by a lady. Conceiving intricate, finished plots somehow eludes the intellectual and imaginative genius of a woman’s mind. Not that there is universal consensus that Agatha Christies’ novels satisfy us as Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels do, but through her a woman for the first time successfully established herself as a detective novel writer, at least. A professional woman has to remove all womanishness from her work. A good work of literature shall not proclaim that it was written by a woman. All women writers are hindered by the goodness of the womanishness in them. Virginia Woolf calls this phantom idea ‘The Angel in the House’, borrowing from the title of a poem by Coventry Patmore. In those last days of QueenVictoria’s Era, every house inEnglandhad its angel in it so far as the prosperity brought to that island nation from her far out colonies remained undisturbed. In the midst of this immense confiscated prosperity the women did not have to work and could afford servants. Their hands remained uncalloused. This expression, The Angel In The House, denotes the sympathetic, charming, unselfish goodness of womanhood present in all women of those times and in all times. But for a woman writer, it is an obstacle to as freely and openly dealing with a subject as men do in their writings. She cannot write something original if this phantom presence of ‘the Angel in the House’ is not killed. Though it is only an imagination of the mind, it was a great problem to the Victorian era women writers.

It is harder to kill a phantom presence in one’s mind than killing a reality.

                      Virginia Woolf’s father Sir Leslie Stephen in 1860

Killing the ‘Angel in the House’ was part of the occupation of a woman writer in the old English times. It still is. It is far harder to kill a phantom image that is existing in one’s own mind than killing something which is real and substantial. It has to be done mentally. Virginia Woolf strove hard and got rid of this imaginary presence on her mind finally. Woolf says: ‘It was she who bothered me and wasted my time and who so tormented me that at last I was forced to kill her. Had I not killed her, she would have killed me and destroyed my career as a writer.’ Without getting rid of this imaginary presence, she would never have become a good writer.

Most women writers fear that men would be shocked to see what they have written.

                         With Noel Oliver, Maitland Radford, Rupert Brooke.

Men and women have similar structure in their minds. A novelist has a peculiar state of mind. He wants to be as unconscious as possible in his inner self and in his inter relations. He is always in a trance. Any change in his immediate environment is unbearable to him. Things should be quiet and regular for him. He is really always in an illusion. Most woman writers find it hard to write freely of their feelings. They fear men would be shocked at what they have written. However, women have entered almost all professions human skill can enter. Woolf tells women: ‘You have won rooms of your own in the house hitherto exclusively owned by men. Now they have to be furnished, decorated and shared.” It is said that men in the house will have their favourite seats, and the women in the house have their favourite rooms. It is interesting to note that Woolf’s advice to women also illustrates how womanish an advice can be.

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
________________________________

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If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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Visit our sister site  Bloom Books, Trivandrum here.

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Angel In The House, Appreciations, Articles, British Authors, British Writers, English Literature, Essays, P S Remesh Chandran, Professions For Women, Reintroductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, Virginia Woolf

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Thoughts At The Ferry. E V Lucas Essay. Reintroduced by P S Remesh Chandran.

36. Thoughts At The Ferry. E V Lucas Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 23rd Sep 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/3orvhmnz/
Posted in Wikinut  Essays

 

Ferrymen and their boats are a departing lot. The world depended on them much for thousands and thousands of years to reach destinations and return to home. But when bridges came to be built across rivers, they became of no use. But in remote hamlets and in unreachable parts of the world they still can be seen, transporting people across rivers, ensuring the onward progress and flow of human life. E.V.Lucas makes a quick glance into the mind of a ferryman.

Thoughts passing through the mind of a traveller as he is waiting for the ferryboat.

E.V.Lucas, along with A.G.Gardiner, led the renaissance in English essays. This gifted Londoner had a gifted tongue which he used for creating good English prose. A rich variety of subjects were brought to human attention by these writers in their plain, lucid language. Here we see Lucas waiting for the next ferry boat. Several thoughts pass through his mind which he pens down to make us aware of the ferry man’s strange situation. The ferryman and his boat are at the beck and call of all and he makes no complaints even when called at night.

Picture of the ferryman fading away from towns and villages as bridges are built across rivers.

Canoes, departing from the world. 1886

Ferrymen were an inevitable part and constituent of life in the old world. Villages and towns depended upon them to begin and to end days. Now bridges have come across almost all rivers and the ferrymen and the ferry are a departing picture. Today it is just a nostalgic remembrance for a few and majority of the population nowadays has not even seen a ferryman. What once was a common picture of human life lives now only in articles and essays of this kind.

The world literature is full of ferrymen and their boats.

Always at the beck and call of all. Scotland 1858

But the world literature and history is full of stories of their invaluable services. Had there been no ferryman as Guhan who was willing to transport Rama and Sita in his boat, the epic of Ramayana would have progressed in another way. Human souls would not have reached their assigned place had there been no reckless ferryman there to ferry them across Hades in the Stygian Land.

It is a universal legend that ferrymen sing. Who can sing in the presence of such silence and gloom?

Campsite of a ferryman. Always lives nearby.

Ferrymen everywhere are mostly gloomy. There is a wealth of reasons for their lack of mirth. One is the course of the boat. Had it travelled along the river it would have been a pleasure but it travels across the river always. It constantly crosses the river from side to side, and that too from the same spots on either side, which makes the journey monotonous and gloomy. Then, it is a legend that ferrymen sing. Lucas had as a boy a pretty song in his memory about the Twickenham Ferry. But in actuality the ferrymen never sing. Who could carol in the presence of such silence and gloom?

All the world may go wayfaring during Ramazan, Christmas and Passover but not he!

There are ferrywomen too in Kerala backwaters.

The ferryman shall not leave his post. It is expected that he would be present on his post day and night. This is another reason fro their gloominess. All the world may go wayfaring but not he! Many live in hovels close by. When Christmas, Ramazan and Passover comes, he should be there to transport those who go to partake in these festivities but he and his family cannot partake in them. He is always in the open with blowing breeze and racing clouds around him. Exciting sound of running water constantly falls in his ear. Such a thrilling and intoxicating atmosphere would have made anyone an explorer but the ferry man cannot leave his place. ‘Travel appears for us the exploration into the unknown but for him it is the narrow confines of the known.’

The ferryman is always there at the beck and call of all.

Monotonous journey, mute companions.

There is yet another reason for his hatred of mankind. Whenever we call he should be there. He may be annoyed, and it may add fuel to his misanthropic fire, but whenever we call he does come with the boat. Though he thus strives prompt and hard to serve the world, the world seems not to consider him enough. ‘Even great charitable persons like Carnegie have not left some legacy to any ferryman.’

Why do they write songs like ‘The Ferryman And The Goose?’ Why cannot they write ‘The Ferryman And The Swan?’

Hailing the ferryman. Daniel Knight 1910.

Companionship of the ferryman’s passengers is brief which also adds to his gloom. People of various cultures daily enter his boat providing him with good scope for conversation. But no sooner they reach the other bank of the river than they step out and are gone. Therefore ferrymen often keep dumb animals as their companions. Some carry dogs, some carry parrots and some others geese. These companions will have great fidelity to them. However, poetry titles like ‘The Ferryman and the Goose’ stain and degrade them. Why can’t they write something like ‘The Ferryman and the Swan?’ The ferrymen deserve the companionship of the better and the most beautiful. Thus, if we examine the more and the more closely, the ferrymen appear the more and the more dismal.

A fine song reflecting the righteousness and reserve of the old England times.

Prompt to come at any time. Edmund Blair Leighton.

Do not think there have not been good ferryman songs. Christina Rossetti’s ‘The Ferryman’ is a fine ferryman song in English literature. We can see in it the righteousness and English reserve of a ferryman of that time. The damsel in the song tempts the ferryman by mentioning that she has blue eyes which may mean she is blue-blooded, available or both but he does not fall into the seduction. This song, with a 21-year old ferryman and 18-year-old English girl is a fine piece for orchestration and filming. And the music Christina incorporated into this song is immortal. In fact, there have been multiple tunes to this song, one as slow rhythmic as a gently flowing stream and another as quick as a rapid. But no orchestration or filming has ever been made of this song. It is lying open, waiting for its time.

The Ferryman: Christina Rossetti’s famous song portraying the charm of bygone rural life.

A passenger is waiting on the other bank. Leighton

THE FERRYMAN

Christina Rossetti

Ferry me across the water
Do, do boatman do;
If you have a penny in your
Purse, I will do.

I have a penny in my purse
And my eyes are blue,
So ferry me across the water
Do, boatman do.

Step into my ferry boat
Be they black or blue,
And for the penny in your purse
I will ferry you.

 

 

_________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
_________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

 

 

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Appreciations, Articles, British Authors, British Writers, Christina Rossetti, E V Lucas, English Literature, Essays, Ferryman Essays, Ferryman Literature, Ferryman Songs, Ferrymen And Their Lives, P S Remesh Chandran, Reintroductions, Renaissance In English Prose, Reviews, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, The Ferryman, Thoughts At The Ferry

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Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books,Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Buddha, The Light Of Asia. Earnest O. Haucer Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

32.

Buddha, The Light Of Asia. Earnest O. Haucer Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 1st Aug 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/1kg0sufh/
Posted in Wikinut Essays

 

Monks fighting invaders, attackers, aggressors, robbers, daylight thieves and foreign legions is not a new thing. It has been done innumerable times in the past ages and monks in monasteries, temples, pagodas, pavilions and caves were specially trained to defend and protect the places of their worship which also served as seats of learning and centres and stores of knowledge. Remember the Cultural Revolution and cleansing which gained nothing but was a waste of human lives. It is happening again.

Dedicated to the monks undergoing international persecution in Tibet and Nepal.

A Mural From Thailand.

What do China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka have in common? It is Buddhism. Started from the awakening and enlightenment of North Indian prince Siddhardha Gauthama, fighting the evils and killer attacks from Hinduism, Monarchism, Autocracy, Democracy and Communism, it is continuing its journey through centuries, guiding human souls in Continents, to the right path of living. This article which was originally written by Earnest O. Haucer is reintroduced here in the light of new developments and is dedicated to the monks undergoing international persecution in Tibet.

The Golden Age of Philosophy in which three great teachers lived in three corners of the world at the same time.

Invisible God protecting extreme ascetic practices

Buddha in India, Confucius in China and Socrates in Greece lived during the same age, i.e. during the Sixth century B.C. Because the world was blessed with the presence of three great philosophers in the three corners of the world during this period, it is called the Golden Age of Philosophy. There are about 270 million Buddhists in the world. This article illustrates how Prince Siddhardha Gauthama became the Light of Asia. Kingdoms were offered as alms at his feet but he wandered through North Indian States with his begging bowl, teaching the world the philosophy of Right Living.

A prince wandering, begging and searching for the meaning of life.

Teaching always in the lap of Nature.

Siddhardha was a prince in the Himalayan kingdom Kapilavasthu. He was married and had a child. In the midst of princely happiness and pleasures, he remained thoughtful. Old helpless men, dead men and holy men troubled his thoughts. During days and nights, the picture of the sufferings and pain of his people haunted him. Gradually he decided to give up all earthly pleasures and material wealth which his kingdom and the world offered and search for the true meaning of existence. One day in the dead of night he slipped away from the castle.

There have been so many Buddhas in the past, and Gauthama has not been the last.

A Buddhist Temple in Dali, Yunnan, Chine.

The runaway wandered through the Northern and the Eastern Indian kingdoms as a homeless beggar with a begging bowl, seeking the true meaning of existence. He studied with famous Hindu teachers and fell among ascetic monks. After this long wanderings and learning, he meditated for seven days and nights under a Bo tree in Bodh Gaya in Bihar at the end of which he began to see things in a different way, with a new outlook. He had become a Buddha or ‘The Enlightened One.’ It is believed that there have been so many Buddhas, so Siddhardha was the Gauthama Buddha.

When we die, our soul enters another body, human or animal, moving the Wheel of Life a little.

Golden Temple in Kyoto Japan. Photo Ellywa.

Buddha became a moral teacher. He found material life the source of all pain and evil. Therefore he trained his followers in spiritual life. It is believed that our soul, upon our death, enters another body-human or animal. This repetition is known as the Wheel of Life. One can escape this prison of rebirth through Nirvana. For this, Buddha set forth Four Noble Truths. They are: Life is painful. Pain is caused by the craving for pleasure. Pain will cease when a person becomes free of desire. There is a way leading to the stopping of pain. This way is the Noble Eight-Fold Path, namely, right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right thinking and right concentration.

Pain from an evil act follows us like a wheel follows the hoof of the beast that is drawing the cart.

A Korean Buddhist Temple. Photo Richardfabi.

We are the result of our thoughts. If we speak or act with evil on our minds, pain follows us just like a wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the cart. For about 45 years, Buddha wandered through North and East Indian regions teaching these philosophies to people. The spiritual life, especially under so lovable a teacher appealed to many and as a result, there were so many mass conversions into his religion. His followers were not allowed to have too many possessions. Most often they were satisfied with a long single robe and a begging bowl.

A friend of monkeys, snakes, elephants, human beings and the birds.

A Simple Buddhist Temple in Sri Lanka.

Buddha was notably friendly with monkeys, snakes and elephants, a result of long rest and life in the forests. He did not like noise. He spent his time either inside the monasteries or out in the forests. He would often withdraw for periods to some lonely spot, allowing just one monk among his followers to bring him some food. His meditation added to this. Buddha passed away at the age of 80. “Strive earnestly,” was his last message to the world.

 

 

_________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
_________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Appreciations, Articles, Asian Religions, British Writers, Buddha, Buddhism, Earnest O Haucer, English Essayists, English Literature, English Writers, Essays, Gauthama Buddha, Literature And Language, Oriental Religions, P S Remesh Chandran, Prose, Reintroductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Siddhardtha Gauthama, The Light Of Asia

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Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Comments

Steve Kinsman
2nd Aug 2011 (#)

Excellent article – awesome photographs. Thank you PSRemishChandra.

rama devi nina
2nd Aug 2011 (#)

What fabulous pictures you’ve found for this! Always wonderful to read about Buddha. Blessings, rd

PSRemeshChandra
2nd Aug 2011 (#)

Dear Steve Kinsman,
I am troubled by the harassment and persecution the Buddhist monks face during the present times, especially after the United States consenting to China claiming Tibet for them. China has a great economy and trade with the Sino is very lucrative. Therefore assuring support to China in whatever they do is the present fashion and trend even among countries with proven democratic and socialist commitments. U.S. and France once were synonyms of protest against international violation of human rights. Signing export and import pacts with China and embracing Dalai Lama at the same time is the present diplomacy. The world nations do not feel any shame in it. For decades, India has been publicly supporting the cause of Tibetan monks and for the same reason, China has been making united moves with Pakistan to weaken India’s position in this matter. As the land of origin of Buddhism and also as a land of fearless opinions and political stand, India has been doing good and right in defending the Buddhist monks’ cause, whatever be the world opinion in this regard. India’s firm stand with the Buddhists’ cause is exactly similar to America’s firm stand with and support to the existence, endurance, integrity and sovereignty of the Jewish nation of Israel. Thank you dear Steve Kinsman for your going through the article and adding your views.

PSRemeshChandra
2nd Aug 2011 (#)

Dear Rama Devi Nina,
I wrote this article years earlier, after teaching Earnest O. Haucer’s essay to a band of graduate students. It rested with me all through these years. In the light of the present international political developments and special circumstances, I thought publishing it would be relevant and good. No one is nowadays going to read Haucer’s writing, especially this one. But it is a must that people should go through this article again. That is why I published it. Buddha taught his disciples to endure and suffer. They are now suffering silently everywhere. They deserve international sympathy and the world’s support. Not only in Tibet, but in China itself they are mercilessly hunted and tortured, the details of which someday will surely come out, just as atrocities in Russia came out and their nation crumbled. All know that world communism limited and shrunken to just one nation in this world cannot stand against the loftier ideals of Buddhism. It is so because the present day communist leaders are steeped up to their necks in splendour, opulence and luxury. See the serenity in the face of Buddha and in everything that is associated with him. Feel the tranquillity in the pictures. It is this serenity and tranquillity that is now disturbed by petty puny little-minded mean politicians. Why can’t they stand aside, appreciate and tolerate?

 

 

All The World’s A Stage. Shakespeare Song. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

 

31.

All The World’s A Stage. Shakespeare Song. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 12th Jul 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/.ajc3xow/
Posted in Wikinut Poetry

 

Human beings are born far earlier than when they are ripe to be delivered. If they are retained inside mother body till sufficient growth, the child cannot come out due to large head size. So it has been arranged that they come out early when the head is comparatively small, and remain an invalid infant in the outside world for a very long time, compared to the relatively short infancy of other mammals. That is the price human beings pay for their higher intelligence among the mammalian world.

Life progresses in a circle in which the feelings and passions attached to a particular moment will have to be gone through again.

William Shakespeare was one of the great English poets and dramatists of the Sixteenth Century. All The World Is A Stage is a song from his play As You Like It, which in the play is sung by the melancholy philosopher Jacques. Whether life progresses in a straight line or in a circle is a question still remaining unanswered satisfactorily by philosophers. A point in a straight line will never be repeated, and the feelings and passions attached to that particular moment can never be enjoyed anymore. But a circle is the only figure where every point flies straight forward along its tangent and at the same ends where it starts. If life progresses in a circle, the feelings and passions attached to a particular age certainly can be gone through and experienced again in life after a time as illustrated in this song, the old age being an exact replica of the infancy. But it has to be agreed that Jacques’ description of the various stages of man’s life is rather cynical.

Suppose a man and a monkey are born on the same day: The monkey attains maturity far earlier.

Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. Stratford Upon Avon.

Man’s history on earth seems to be pitiful and comic. He has seven distinct stages in his life in this world which appears as characters one after the other in a play. Infant, school boy, lover, soldier, magistrate, old man and the dying man-all these parts are played by us one after another on the stage that is this world, unless untimely called back to the place where we came from. Mankind has the longest infancy in the animal world. Suppose a monkey and a man is born on the same day. When it is one year old, the monkey would be performing many wonderful tricks and impossible feats in the trees, but the human child would still be lying there invalid, vulnerable and unable to do things by itself.

The most beautiful thing in this world is the morning face of a child going to school.

Shakespeare’s Statue in London.

This long period of helpless infancy is a preparation for the future mighty acts that are to be performed by man. Shakespeare spells this philosophy strongly in the song. A newborn baby kicks and cries in his nurses’ arms. The whining school boy with his heavy set of books and a shining morning face creeps like an unwilling snail to his grammar school. Yes, times have not changed much. The scenes are the same even today. The most beautiful thing in this world to look at is still the morning face of a child going to school, and when he returns in the evening from school, he still looks like returning from the battle field after a fight.

The universal picture of lost lover, heaving sighs like a hot furnace.

Shakespeare’s Family Circle. A German Engraving.

The third stage is that of the lover who has loved and lost who sighs like a hot furnace and sings sad songs about his lost love. Such sentimentality and unripeness shall be forgiven, as it also is a natural stage in the normal evolvement of the human psyche and physique. Then the stage of the lover strongly and silently evolves into that of the soldier, when sentimentality withdraws and strength appears in its place. In this stage, which is unusually colourful and lively, he seeks chivalry and glory and is even ready to get into and explode himself inside the cannon’s mouth to gain a bubble reputation, though momentary.

A person standing outside this world, watching us, would be amazed at the naturalness of our acting

King John acted at Drury Lane Theatre.

Now come the rest three successive stages of the middle aged man, the old man and the dying man, which also we act such extremely well on the stage that if someone stands outside this world and watches us, he would be amazed at how naturally we act. The fifth is a transition period in which man is equipped with the energy of the young and the experience of the old. How fortunate and prime a time and state to form oneself a statesman! In this middle age he is exceptionally able to distinguish between the right and the wrong and behaves like a magistrate, the man of justice. Then he becomes old, his body becomes weak, and he begins to wear light slippers in place of heavy boots. He wears spectacles and his cheeks are baggy. His trousers are now loose, and they become a vast playground to his thin legs. We may like the old men if at least their sounds are sweet and their words are meaningful, but alas, he has now lost several of his teeth and his words have lost their sweetness and meaning. In the seventh and the last stage, which ends this strange history of man’s life on the world’s stage, he looses all his teeth, loses sight and taste and everything else and becomes again a child to close the circle. And perhaps after death he may go beyond this world and reside in other realms of this limitless universe, or born again in this world itself to repeat everything.

 

_________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
_________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

 

Tags

All The Worlds A Stage, Ancient Dramas, Appreciations, Articles, As You Like It, British Authors, British Writers, English Literature, Essays, P S Remesh Chandran, Playwrights, Poetical Dramas, Poets, Reintroductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, William Shakespeare

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PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Learning To Write Poems. Essay by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

28.

Learning To Write Poems. Essay by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 10th Jul 2011.   Short URL http://nut.bz/8px9np69/
Posted in Wikinut Essays

 

Poems are made of human thoughts. They are the spontaneous, natural outflow of emotions evolving from close and objective observations of the things and circumstances around us. Since human mind carries a bit of cosmic world inborn in it, it cannot prevent itself from rising to elations at the revelation of truth at moments of discovery. How to create and write poems has been an eternal question, the answers to which occupies a considerable portion and major status in philosophic literature.

Where did all the poems voiced into the jungle, mountain, sea shore, wind and running stream go?

Poetry. The joy of learning and counsel of wise.

As soon as dialect and alphabet were invented, the first poem was written. Writing poems was one of the earliest engagements of the human mind, second only to painting. Since the earliest poems were written on leaves and tree barks, they unfortunately did not survive. At least worms went through them and avian beauties sat on them. Those which were fortunate enough to be written on papyrus rolls, cave walls and rock faces survived, constantly reminding us of the naturality and delicateness from which our literature has fallen. And those which were simply voiced into the jungle, mountain, sea shore, wind and running stream never came back, but were taken to the higher realms of Ether.

Children three to five are born singers and song-makers, gifted by Nature and the Universe.

Goddess of Learning, Weightless and Deliquescent.

One who sings songs can easily learn to write poems. It helps mastering the technique of arranging sounds as words in a poem. Singing as many songs as one can will create an appetite, voraciousness and lust for creating more songs our own way. It is true that if we observe children at their ages from three years to five, they can be found to be making up their own songs and singing them to themselves melodiously. All of us have done it at that age. That is a gift from Nature and the Universe to those who are come new to this world. We will wonder whether singing would be the main pastime in the Creator’s land. As we become conscious of ourselves and more and more haughty and capricious in the course of our lives, this godly faculty fades away, leaving us alone in the middle of a desert of selfishness.

How does the Goddess of all Learning, Knowledge, Poetry and Music sit on a Lotus Flower that does not submerge?

Light enough to bear the weight of learning.

Poetry is a benediction of the Muses. To make it possible, the writer should be simple in mind and consider him as a nonentity. In the Hindu philosophy, the goddess of learning and music, Saraswathi Devi, is seen sitting on a lotus flower in the water, holding the musical instrument Veena. A frequently asked question is, in spite of the weight of her learning, why does not the lotus submerge. Philosophy explains that She is simple, and so her learning has not at all any weight. Therefore the first step to learn to write poems is to shed all pride, haughtiness and capriciousness from our person, and to sing as many songs as possible. Whoever sings will feel the breath of God on his back. It is said that He is standing just behind the persons who are singing. That is why they are singing.

Reattain the lost innocence, allow children to sleep in your rooms and see their sleeping night face. It is once in a life time.

Age at which all are poets.

The next prerequisite to learn to write poems is to reattain the once-lost innocence. Remember that tiny little infant making songs for herself and singing all by herself. Without offending anyone, it may here be said that such tender and ardent scenes from human life can be observed and modelled upon only in communities where children are slept with parents in their room instead of in a separate baby room, and the infants are looked after by their own mothers and not by ayahs, nurses or caretakers. Anyway, imitating those infants in instant song- making is a giant step towards learning to create poetry.

A tiny stone can close the origin of a mighty stream, and the removal of one can cause the bursting out of an eternal stream.

Brought a piece of poetry with them to this world.

Thus when the ground is set, one can begin to read as many poems as one can from the world literature. Reading the epics and classics in literature has created more poets than all the Universities and classrooms in this world combined have done. Readingof epics and classics gets us acquainted with whatever a writer of poems needs to know. Once these ground preparations are completed, one cannot help writing poems. It will come spontaneously, bursting out from the depth of the childhood innocence that is in every man. Just as a tiny stone can come rolling down and close the mouth of a stream, the removal also of a tiny stone can cause the outburst and flow of an eternal stream. Thus it is a pleasure learning to write poems. And once it is learnt, it is a source of delight to the entire world.

 

_____________________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
Child And The Wise: Oil Painting by Guido Reni.
Goddess Saraswathi: Oil Painting by Raja Ravi Varma.
Child Pictures: Oil Paintings by William Adolph Bouguereau 1825-1905.
_____________________________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Appreciations, Essays, How Poetry Is Written, How To Write Poems, How To Write Poetry, Learning To Write Poetry, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Theory Of Literature, Theory Of Poetry

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Comments

rama devi nina
11th Jul 2011 (#)

Wonderful! Bravo on your star page. This is well conceived and presented. Love the artwork choices, too. Jai Saraswati!
*Namaste*

PSRemeshChandra
12th Jul 2011 (#)

Namasthe Dear Rama Devi Nina, Thank you for going through the article. As a well-versed poet yourself, you would be more knowing about the presence of Saraswathi Devi on your back while writing poems. Sometimes she reveals her own poems through us and seems to write for us. She passes through us as a head to hand spark. Otherwise we would not have written many of our poems, at least in my case.

 

 

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