[Alex Paikada, a close friend of mine, is Researcher, Poet, Novelist and Thinker. His famous book – Geethanjali Express, well known for its grand language style and usage is a collection of short stories and many beautiful poems. He has also authored many other books like The Last House, Published by AuthorHouseUK, 2013.
Synopsis (by the author): The story is the cross section of the life and realities of Kerala State, South India, during the hoary and obfuscated years of internal emergency. The protagonists in the story are generally sad, and the sadness they are charged with makes them philosophical in various ways. Each one is gnawed by a nostalgia to reach out to a state of being and also to a state of mind they seem to have forfeited somewhere beyond the time-space capsule they are shut into. The story largely covers the life of Christian Syrian settlers who settled in the virgin forests of northeastern hill tracts of Kerala, destroying the forests that were there for thousands of years, supporting a community of aborigines who survived in the woods quite unobtrusively and sustainably. The relation between man and nature has degraded to be that of hunter and prey, from that of child and mother, and the socio-environmental ramifications thereof are far-reaching. Also, the story examines the relation between the rulers and the ruled from an elemental angle. The story is basically centered on a man who undergoes a spiritual, as well as political, evolution through the rigorous course of life. The desolation, poverty, political opportunism, and the poetic suffering of the rural masses of the hill tracts of Kerala State, South India, offer the fecund canvass for the development of the story. It explores the possibility of man reaching a solemn level of inner maturity across the trials and tribulations. Particularly in the backdrop of the Communist party spreading its mass base and then declining through decadence and avarice. The faces, places, and events elaborated in the story are very near to me and very dear to me. The plot is very realistic, and my own life is spread thin in the story.
In real life, Alex is a village farmer and lives a silent rural life. But for many years after his graduation, he had been wandering across the country, living the life of a vagabond. So he has seen and experienced the country from the bottom and identified himself with the country's inherent spirituality. For more information kindly visit
In this article he wirtes in beautiful English some of his experiences with pseudo intellectuals from the Himalayas to Thiruvananthapuram.
– Zacharias Nedunkanal, asso. editor, CCV]
Jingoism and clannish hubris are really honest confessions of inferiority. We experience everything good and bad as an individual and not as a community or as a nation. All the attributes of a nation, religion or clan are of no relevance when it comes to individual suffering. The more we become inferior in terms of cultural refinement and technological advancement, the more we become assertive about a fancied past, about the cultural superiority. Indeed we seek converts to our groove of faith when we are not sure of ourselves. Serving the people selflessly is one thing, but trying to sell a faith by hook or crook is a business emanating from inferiority. Spiritual enlightenment is a state of being which does not and cannot require the coterie of gullible followers. Such a man is effulgent and self reliant and he is not the custodian of truth of possible salvation. He does not sell anything nor does he seek ardent recruits. The spiritual merchandise for sale in the obscurantist eastern recesses is sheer sham. I have had enough of these charlatans and spiritual Lilliputians. The pseudo intellectuals who are the suicide squads of an obscurantist political machinery know not to what levels they prostitute the sacrosanct value systems of science and scientific temper. The so called guru with an agenda is not a guru at all. In fact there is no truth for sale and there is no guide capable of hand-holding one to realization. It, if at all, has to happen from inside. Realization is not an end product, it just happens in due course without one ever realizing it or flaunting it. There is no messiah, except oneself. There is no absolute truth within these spatio-temporal imperatives.
I reached the Himalayas many decades back and still continue to go there not with a motive to secure a shortcut to salvation or realization. I am at home with what I am. Yet I could time and again come face to face with the ugly qualmish side of spiritual pandering, whereupon institutions scoop down to cultural prostitution. In fact you cannot really do the pandering for something that does not exist. I have had the prerogative of being with a spiritual master who masters over the spiritual destiny of a large number of people representing a motley of nations across the globe. Fortunately I had no need to take a nirvana made it easy course to salvation and all that. But without him ever knowing it, I made this master a guinea pig to try out empirically a hypothesis alluded to in the first paragraph. All the stories churned out to feed the ravenous propaganda beat regarding miracles and extra sensory perceptions are a sham and the platform for a scam. Life could be lived away to the fullness without the support of such supra mundane interceptions. Be true to oneself and love unconditionally, life will reach its perfection and fruitfulness. It does not require a mediator or the goading or prodding of a man of the robes.
I stayed and observed the attitude mission and activities of this master for a fairly long period of time. He thought that I was an incorrigible fool and that I could be exploited to the hilt given my purportedly ardent spiritual thirst. His vision is that religious conversion is a sin, it is violence and thus not a Buddhist way. However, conversion to Buddhism is something natural and it is the duty of each individual to be converted to Buddhism. Yet, black skinned people are not needed in Buddhism, only Europeans and fair skinned people, please. And why should one convert to Buddhism? It is because the future of the world is only in Buddhism. In his edition of Buddhism real Buddha has already be relegated to a minor insignificant place. There is another Buddha, the eternal Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava, who was born in the 8th century in central Asia out of a lotus flower. It is interesting that the incarnations find it beneath their dignity to be born of the loins of human beings. Christ preferred to be a bastard than being fathered by a human being. This guy outsmarted the Christ also.
This Padmasambhava is not an ordinary guy, he anticipated that third world war will break out one day and the people of Sikkim alone will be saved. To ensure the safety of the mountain people he has left behind his hat in Sikkim which in due course has petrified, which the entire world ought to worship. He had predicted that China would take over Tibet and only Sikkim will remain as the holy land in the world. Also this guy predicted that man will use tobacco products in the future, which will be harmful to the species. (The truth is that man has been using tobacco products for the last twenty thousand years and there was no need of a prediction). Those who say the prayers in Sikkim will benefit one hundred thousand times than those who do it outside Sikkim also activities of charity will accrue hundred thousand times more virtues if they are done in and for Sikkim. So it is the right and duty of Europe and America to come over to Sikkim, convert themselves and part with all their wealth. Guru Padmasambhava has also let it known that there is a second sun going around the earth which the modern science is yet to discover. Deep inside the mountains of the Himalayas, under the foundations of famous monasteries, diamonds as brilliant as the sun, are going the rounds. Those who capture those diamonds will be the custodian of infinite riches and eternal life- as if the ultimate end of spiritual pursuit was eternal life and infinite wealth. The devotees have to burn sang (pine leaves) to appease the human beings living in the inter planetary space. These human beings modern science could not yet trace out. The world remains free from calamities and catastrophes only because of the prayers chanted by the monks in Sikkim. Had it not been for them the world would have ended long back. In the same token Muslims insist that the world remains safe owing to the calls of the Musseins which reverberates across the world as the sun sweeps past the earth. I was told by a pious Christian villager long back that the world remains safe only because of the Holy Mass celebrated in the churches across the world. It is promising that these zealots are anxious to keep the world safe.
This legendary master does not have the patience and tactfulness to broach the idea of conversion to the western visitors tactfully. Like a recorded speech he sings his message, it is the same all the time. Same terminology, same intonations and same dry jokes to amuse them. Straight away he demands their conversion and parting with the wealth and in return he offers salvation and peace. World wars happened because the west was not converted on time. Once a westerner pointed out that Japan also was an important player in the war and that Japanese cruelty was not even comparable to that of Germany. Straight came the reaction: Japanese are not real Buddhists, they are Buddhists only in name. I wonder whether the people of Japan would subscribe to his judgment. The Muslims who have to explain away the activities of the terrorists also come out with the same alibi that terrorists are not Muslims. Whereas the terrorists insist that they are the true Muslims. In fact the terrorists are the ones that live according to the message of the Koran. Non violent and tolerant Muslims are not Muslims at all. Koran succinctly says that one can try any method ethical or unethical to promote the faith. In fact Islam is a religion of desert bandits and it prescribes how to share the booty, how to share the women and other slaves.
What does this maser offer to the prospective devotees? Sorry, it cannot be divulged beforehand, because you will not understand it! He says that it cannot be revealed point blank. It is as precise and as correct as (a+b)2 = a2 +2ab+ b2. (He refers to this mathematical identity to impress upon the western audience). First you have to practice the numerals, then the fundamental mathematical operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in that order. The formula of Buddha also has to be mastered like that step by step. First thing is conversion and parting with the wealth. The rest will follow in due course. This body is a hotel room, you will have to check out one day. The real you is inside. The western world does not cater to the real you inside, only Mahayana Buddhism can do that and therein lies the peace and prosperity of the world. One lady from the US asked why other religions are not capable of doing this. It is because Buddhism only is the scientific religion. The Chinese say that when the dragon flits in the clouds thunder occurs. We are very scientific, when the clouds collide, thunder happens and the frightened dragon flies resulting in the lightening.
And what is the standard of the master himself who has already mastered all the formulae and their applications? He who preaches well lives well and he who lives well preaches well. This fellow is a connoisseur of delicious food. He needs a large variety of fruits, nuts, and roots every day. His daily cuisine is enriched by beef, mutton, chicken and fish and his religion is stoutly rooted on non-violence. In the evening he needs a large spectrum of local as well as imported alcoholic drinks. Once he is drunk he is altogether incapable of bridling or moderating his passions. The eerie sado-masochist orgy does not end there. He, though 85 years old, has to rape adolescent girls, specially chosen from among the malnourished orphans. His greed for money wealth and comfort is so brazen and crass that he would straight away demand many things from the visitors. His method is so uncanny, first he would treat them with booze or food and then his demand will come out.
It is very amusing that even highly educated people also ardently subscribe to this nonsense. Every year, in early autumn, there is a week long ritual – pang rubsol. At the end of the long sonorous recitals and garish ceremonies, the evil ghosts accrued in the region are absorbed into different geometrical forms and they are taken out in procession in caparisoned palanquins to the jungle. Where they are shot at by a country gun and doused with kerosene and inflamed. So all the ghosts are consigned to the flames and the monastery is safe. When this high drama was going on I asked a professor of religion from the US, who was once a student of mine, whether he believed in all these fun. He had a ready answer, which he might have given to many in his sanctimonious life based on hoax: these seemingly childish rituals have deep meanings which laymen are not capable of understanding. That answers all the potential questions which may subsequently crop up. Very uncanny of him indeed.
The fact is that no religion is a solution for anything, no master can help you to salvation or emancipation. All religious people follow the same pattern everywhere. All of them are perverts and charlatans. You are the only messiah you have and you are the only religion you have. Almost all the so called masters and gurus are probably more degraded than you, more avaricious than you, more wretched than you. The genuinely liberated masters have nothing to sell, nothing to teach and nothing to preach. Being himself is all that he does. He does not need anything and he is full in himself like the inert gases.
Next event that caught my attention happened here down in south India which is allegedly more advanced and civilized. I went to Indian Social Science Congress at Mangalore University. The minster for youth affairs’ came three hours late to inaugurate the function. Hundreds of people had been waiting for this little man since morning. At a later stage it was informed that he had reached the rest house and was freshening up. His speech itself was a slurry of orphaned words, a sound pollution tethered to incoherence. At least if he had tried Kannada, it would not have been a frontal affront on English language. (He had the cheek to boast that he could continue his enlightening speech for hours together) He, inter alia, said that he had been to the US recently and told Americans that India was much better than the US because Indian administration is based on ‘humanity’ and religion whereas American administration is based on revenue and law. How much humane is our country? By humanity he apparently meant humane, I suppose. In the purely irreligious countries like Scandinavia etc. any woman can saunter out alone even at midnight. Any minister or head of state can move about with no escort. People do not fight in the name of religion and caste. People are not pushed to the margins of life by the caste slapped on them. No religious charlatan or conman can have his way with the gullible masses. In case of train accident no locals will swarm to pillage and rape the victims. Quite recently I heard the sad story of a well to do lady engineer from Thiruvananthapuram. At night she had been traveling in north India, she stretched out her hand into the darkness of a station and somebody chopped off her arm and ran away to procure the bangles on it. This would never have happened in an irreligious country.
Then came the presidential address, that was by a great scientist and mathematician from Delhi. He declared that Christ is a superstition, he was not born at all. Newton’s laws are all wrong, Pythagoras did not exist. Only Islam and Hinduism are the true religions. A Hindu nation ruled by a Muslim is ideal. Judeo Christian jurisprudence based on greco–roman traditions and values are indeed injustice. Muslim jurisprudence is the right one, it is instantaneous and prompt. All the great discoveries were originally made by India, all that are yet to be discovered are also in the Indian texts. Euclid was a hoax, so was Copernicus. All of them stole from India. The west has been plagiarizing Indian contributions. Two plus two is not four, it is a western misconception. The instrument box designed by the west is imperfect because it cannot measure curved lines. European universities emerged as centers for manufacturing missionaries. Christianity was forced on Europe by the sword and it was not possible with the Muslims. (Christianity, unlike Islam, spread through coaxing and not through violence, except in the case of red Indians. It becomes popular in Europe because the spiritual prop and promise it offered were more palatable to the ordinary masses than Aristotle and Plato, than Marcus Aurelius and Zeno, as Buddhism was more palatable to the far east than Confucius and Laotzu) To convert the Muslims universities came into being. Christian science and scientific temper should be replaced by a Hindu-Muslim system across the world. Western universities are a diabolic plot of the crusaders. Christian era based on sheer superstition has to be replaced by Hindu or Muslim calendar and the whole world should follow it.
The next enlightened being to speak was a venerable old man, a cardiologist and former VC of an educity on the west coast in Karnataka. He was honored by the nation by a Padmabhushan. He outsmarted his predecessor in nonsense. All scientists of the world should go to the Himalayas for discoveries (I had been there and my discoveries are not palatable to the zealots). Western knowledge systems and scientific methods are all wrong. They discovered that heart is the pumping unit of the body. It is wrong. A baby in the uterus does not have a heart for many months (as if the mother of the fetus does not have a heart!). In 1957 tuberculosis would have automatically disappeared from India, because between 1950 and 1957 half of the consumptives would have died and the other half would have developed resistance. But against the expert opinion of C. Rajagopalachary, antibiotics were introduced and because of their reckless use resistant strains have developed in India. India is wrongly using oral polio vaccines, we don’t need them. One scientist woman from the west went to the Himalayas and discovered that there is nothing inside the atoms. The modern science will corroborate that in due course. All the health care systems were developed in India, the west is only copying that.
These pseudo intellectuals are assiduously pushing India to the dark ages and truth becomes a casualty in the process. Indeed we have to be exorcised of the colonial ghost but we cannot shout out ourselves and boast that all is well here in India. In the comity of nations, we cannot be a possessed spectacle, haunted by a tremendous past. For that matter even the past of India itself was rediscovered by the western Indologists. The west has long ago shed the dead weight of religion and all the absurdities part and parcel to that. The scientific methodology developed by them is not a religious plot at all. The Common Era developed by them is the most convenient one with a universal acceptance, it is common era and not Christian era. The Far East has almost caught up with the west in scientific temper. India and south Asia are long way away from them. The African and Islamic nations are nowhere in the picture. It is time that we are cured of jingoism and learned to love truth, nature and life. The irreligious nations live a much better life based on human values and respect for all forms of life. We are still held prisoners by the lingering dark ages. Christianity has faded into insignificance on the western theater, so should every other religion in the rest of the world.