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Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 22, 2015

Posted on: November 22nd, 2015 by admin

Untouchable

Barefoot, she enters my room and lies in bed next to me on my left
side. I hear the soft jingle of the cheap bracelets about her wrists
and ankles. Predawn dark, I am just awake from a dream or
sequence of dreams:

Donkeys–they seem to have been abused–a mother and foal
edging ahead in the lunatic traffic; a dark-skinned teenage boatman
on the Ganga in the predawn with eroded fingers, as though from
leprosy; an untouchable woman tiny as a child, on the burning ghat,
but away from the pyre, lying folded on the red stone with her
extended hand grasping her empty alms pail.

I can’t see the woman in my arms; she feels small. We embrace
gently, then tightly, our bodies hard against each other, our faces
flush. My hands move up and down her back and shoulders, which
feel thin, almost transparent. Her spine feels knotty from her neck to
the small of her back. Her face is thin, but her lips are full, firm, I feel
her breathing softl, irregularly near my ear. Her face gives off a
subtle tamarind scent.

We stop moving our hands up and down our backs at the same
time. I am back in the dream of the tiny untouchable woman on the
burning ghat, her face hidden in her tattered sari, her body folded on
the red broken stone like a child with her thin left arm extended, her
small brown fingers holding the empty alms pail. I am sitting on a
backless stone bench facing the smoke with my legs crossed and a
notebook on my lap.

I stand and move to her, kneeling to drop rupees into her pail, when
she pulls me down, or I fall of my own accord. Facing the fire, lying
next to her, I take her in my arms.

I am awake, we are in each other’s arms. I can’t tell whether she fell
asleep as I did. I move my hand to her head; her hair is thick and
long, though unkempt. It smells of musk.

As I stroke her head she puts her tiny calloused hand on my hand
moving with my hand as it strokes.

A macaque is grunting outside the window. I stop stroking her head.
We are on the ghat facing the flames in each other’s arms.
She holds me tight, but with the diminished strength of a small child.
Still I cannot separate myself.

Pilgrims pass by. Hindus, non-Hindus. We hear their chit-chat.
They step over or around us without noticing us. Someone notices

us long enough to drop a coin in her tin pail. We seem to have
moved closer to the smoking corpses.

But now I am driving an old tuk-tuk with some difficulty; we are
crossing the River Ganga, west to east, on a suspension bridge
erected by the colonizing Brits.

East of the Ganga is a wide sandbar, officially empty so that the
sacred sunrise can be witnessed by humans on the ghats. About
halfway is an unexpected gap in the bridge and we are forced to
deviate through tiny impoverished hamlets on rocky paths.

The humans, black and barefoot, Untouchables, live in crude
cardboard shanties. Naked toddlers frolic in the dirt and mud. The
paths are so narrow and rocky that the tuk-tuk can barely
navigate.

Finally we get to the wide sandbar on the east side of the Ganga.
We can see the burning ghats across the river. Erected on the
sandbar slightly to the north is a makeshift temple; I hear chanting to
Lord Rama.

She touches me on the arm and gestures to the temple. I
understand that this is where she worships and back there in one of
the shanties is where she lived or lives.

We are in the room in each other’s arms. It is dark. The macaques
are grunting outside the window. A dog is howling. We are in the
dream, tightly embraced on the red stone while somehow moving
closer to the flames of the burning ghat which continues day and
night. India is vastly overpopulated; there is always another Hindu to
cremate. But if you are low-caste you have to wait your turn in the
grim hospice overlooking the ghat.

Her tiny calloused hand is touching my face tenderly, inquisitively.
My forehead, nose, ears. She strokes my beard, my hair. I hear her
soft breathing. We are embracing again, tightly, as if wanting to melt
into each other.

We are on the pyre at last together.

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Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 20, 2015

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 by admin

Buddha Earth

Sitting straightbacked and composed, eyes partially closed, under
the imposing fig tree in Bodhgaya, Siddhartha Gautama is menaced
by Mara, lord of strife and covetousness, who attempts through
deceptions to unseat Siddhartha.

That Siddhartha is sitting steadfastly on Mother Earth rather than
gazing heavenward poses a special threat to Mara.
After attempting without success to seduce Siddhartha with riches,
intoxicants, infinite sensuality, Mara invokes his army of demons
who roar in unison:

You are a common man, yet you presume.
Lord Mara is God.
We, his army, testify to Him.
Who is your witness?

In response Siddhartha, with his left hand, palm up, on his lap,
touches the earth with the fingers of his right hand and the
vegetable earth with its billions of inhabitants testifies silently to him.

Earth’s inhabitants are not just human but animal, vegetable,
petrified wood, the integrated organic pulse that maintains breath
against seductions of greed and power.

Siddhartha’s gesture comes to be called The Earth Witness Mudra.
Lord Mara is dispersed.
Siddhartha Gautama is enlightened.

Buddhism emerges, gains adherents, makes converts of the poor
and despised, fosters the earth, integrates the abstract noun
“compassion,” but then, admonished for its probity, is exiled from the
place of its birth, dispersed round the globe, taking on various
guises according to context, and now, on a globe turning crazily, is
perishing along with parent earth and the collective pulse that
nourished it.

The village of Sarnath, 12-and-a-half kilometers northeast of
Varanasi, is, according to legend, the site of the deer park where
Buddha taught the dharma to five disciples after becoming
enlightened in Bodhgaya. Sarnath is considered one of four sacred
Buddhist sites, each in India. The others are Lumbini, birth;
Bodhgaya, enlightenment; Kushinagar, death.

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Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 19, 2015

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by admin

Terror

Mama donkey and her foal, both beat-up looking, move deliberately
through the impossible traffic.
Sacred underfed cows and starving dogs one sees everywhere in
India, but donkeys, like horses and sheep, are seen much less
often.

Inquiring Hindus wonder why the capitalist globe responds with
collective outrage when Paris is assaulted by alleged Muslim
terrorists, but there is virtually no response to Muslim Pakistan’s
ongoing killings of Hindus in Kashmir, or to the Sinhalese ethnocide
of Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka.
The answer is that the West cannot tell the difference between dark-
skinned South Asians.
Nor do they want to.
Unless western self-interests are disrupted.
Examples:
Fossil fuel in the Middle East.
Military installations and detention camps (“black sites”) in selected vicinities across the globe.
Aggression toward the West, as in 9/11, when the US responded
like a blinded giant, not knowing who attacked, but compelled to
assault something dark and Muslim which turned out to be Osama’s
Afghanistan and Saddam’s Iraq.

What happens within India when a light-skinned Brahmin is
murdered or violently assaulted?
Fervid response from all quarters.
When a dark-skinned Dalit, or untouchable, is murdered, it is not
news.
Dalits are almost invariably darker than Brahmins.
Dalits are dark enough to be invisible.

What then of the cows and donkeys?
Hindus revere cows which are at the same time underfed, left to
wander through the maddening traffic, sleep in the cluttered streets,
scavenge garbage.
Still the penalty is severe if a cow is killed, even for food.
Murder a donkey and nobody cares.
Except for animal activists, and they are very few in number in India.

During the early 70s Henry Kissinger readily admitted that the US
“tilted” toward Pakistan because the PM of India, Indira Gandhi,
Nehru’s daughter, appeared to be playing footsie with the Soviet
Union.
Now Pakistan is the US’s enemy because of their apparent
complicity with Taliban “terror.”

Who supplied weaponry to the mujihadeen in Afghanistan during the
10-year Soviet aggression in the 1980’s?
The rabidly anti-communist US.
The Russians finally retreated with their tails between their legs.
The Mujihadeen became the Taliban using most of the same
weaponry against the US that the US supplied to their fathers and
uncles to combat the Soviet aggression.
The US has been the aggressor in Afghanistan for 15 years with
nothing to show for it except countless deaths and many billions of
dollars recklessly spent.

Wars are ritualized and unstoppable.
Racism coexists with class and caste.
We see it worldwide.
We see it in India.

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Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 17, 2015

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by admin

Ganges Dawn

Predawn, everyone’s awake, Kashi’s jumping.
Excluding the homeless thousands who are unawake.
I’m walking cautiously to the ghats in the semi-dark through littered
streets, trying to distinguish trash from cardboard and newspaper
humps of low-castes sleeping, groaning while sleeping.

Do they dream while they sleep? Is it a collective dream? Has their
2000-years of servitude infected their dreams? Can ideology, if
caste consciousness may be called that, imprison dream, arguably
the only uncolonized space left? Yes, it can. Even as the sleek white
Mercedes bulldozes the rickshaw off the road and the rickshaw
wallah accepts the aggression as his due, absolutely without
resentment.

Cremation-white smoke curling, the ghats are alive.
I’m led down steep stone steps to the primary burning ghat:
Manikaranika, whose prideful motto is: There is never a moment
when a corpse is not aflame in Manikaranika.

I read that on a postcard for tourists.
Another card in the same set has a photogenic, photoshopped army
of “warrior priests,” Shiva worshippers, muscular ganja smokers,
naked, smeared with ash, holding hands in dreamspace, en route to
the dream within a dream.
Edgar Allan Poe’s phrase.
Poe felt too much, it killed him, I admire him even more since
coming to Kashi.

Dim light in the eastern smog: dawn closing in.
On one of the steep steps, death smoke rising, leading down to the
river, a macaque monkey family of 7 or 8 is calmly grooming, picking
fleas.
Hindu devotees, no fuss, step around them.

I’m in a flimsy rowboat moving northwest, trying to keep from getting
splashed, sun not yet visible.
I’m sharing the boat with a rat snuggled into the port side.
I thought the rat was a goner but saw the long tail jerk.

The rower is a slender teenage low caste-barefoot boy chewing pan,
spitting into a small basin by his feet.
He points to a crumbling palatial structure looming over
Manikaranika Ghat.
Maharajah of Jaipur own, he says.
Why not? Maharajah gazes at death. Royal get-away-from-it-all.

Bathers and washers are in the shallows, scrubbing and grooming
each other.
Brahmins with sacred threads, not just Brahmins, both genders,
near naked, middle-aged and older, gargling the sacred water filled
with ash, body parts, dogs, dead sacred cattle.
White smoke rising.
Crows and lapwings circling.
No vultures oddly.

Other small row boats pull alongside, low-caste women selling
sweets, trinkets, postcards.
I buy a card set featuring the digitally altered warrior priests for 50
rupees.
My boat wallah and other boat wallahs shouting to each other in
Hindi.

Shouting, plash of oar, bird caws, crackling corpse fires, sacred
chanting—the sounds seem to break apart into a white noise.
Silence.
Starboard over my right shoulder finessing through the smog, finally
a bit of gold.
And here come the mosquitos, I forgot my DEET, hope they’re not
dengue.
The rat twitches its tail.
Good, we’re in this together.

Suddenly a black myna, related to the starling, lands on the prow
and stares at me with its keen black eye.
The young boat wallah turns and whispers to me hoarsely, with
feeling:
There, sir, the sun!
Even as I see the golden disc.

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 15, 2015

Posted on: November 15th, 2015 by admin

Tulsi Ghat, Benares
Sunday, 11/15/15, late afternoon

Untouchables with mobiles.
Cluster of dusky underfed humans, 20 or more, barefoot, rags on
their heads or faces glide by noiselessly, except for three or four on
their mobiles shouting into the phones in Hindi.

Self-confessed electronic utopian, Indian PM Modi, envisions a
“digital India.”
The resident macaque monkeys have not cooperated; twice they
have eaten the fiber-optic cables strung along the banks of the
Ganges.

Everywhere are incongruous signs of digital India:
Cozy Innerwear         Trade Wings Biryani
Free WIFI                     Internet Cafe

Close to where I am sitting on a backless stone platform an
untouchable beggar woman, black and tiny as a child, lies folded on
the ground with her small empty alms pail in one extended hand.

Gandhi renamed the untouchables “harijans,” meaning children of
god.
I watch a barefoot untouchable boy pass by in a t-shirt which reads:
Thank God I’m an Atheist.

More soldiers than I’ve seen elsewhere in Kashi walk back and forth
along the ghat.
They wear dusty olive Raj-era uniforms and carry long outdated
American M1 carbine rifles on their shoulders.
Neither the soldiers nor the weapons seem war-ready.

This is the week in which two major massacres took place in Paris
and Lebanon, allegedly instigated by terrorist Muslims.
Is the display of Indian army an oblique Hindu response?
The Hindu PM has a long anti-Muslim reputation which began when
he was Chief Minister of Gujarat State, Gandhi’s birthplace.

A man walks slowly toward me in the common Indian manner, one
hand clasping the other wrist behind his back.
He is gray haired with a scruffy gray beard.
Barechested with a white dhoti and rubber sandals.
He has the horizontal Shiva-worship lines painted on his forehead.
Namaste, he says, folding his hands together with a slight bow,
sitting beside me.
He wears several rings on the right hand, which I’ve observed on
other Hindu males.
The rings have an astrological significance.
Namaste, I reply.

You are from?
Switzerland, I say, not wanting to bring the US into the discussion,
and unexpectedly thinking of Giacometti, one of my favorite artists,
born in Switzerland, but lived and worked in the 14th quartier of Paris
for 40-odd years.
Once, when he was about to get run over by a small Citroen,
Giacometti said to himself: Finally, something is happening to me.

How do you like this place? The Hindu man asks.
Familiar question and nearly always phrased in that way.
Interesting, I say.
He swivels his head favorably but not without ambiguity.
You are a . . .
Medical doctor, I lie again. I am studying the recent outbreak of
dengue fever in northern India.
It takes a while for him to absorb this.
There is no fever in Kashi, he says, then stands and moves away.

I insulted him, though not deliberately.
There have been thousands of reported cases of dengue fever in
northern India.

Behind me to the left an unseen bird is clicking repeatedly in a small
densely-leaved fig tree.
I don’t recognize the sound, it is not a cheery click.
To the left of the tree a young barechested saddhu is intently,
meditatively washing a squat stone sculpture of the Shiva lingam.
Four or five older Hindus, almost naked, with the twice-born sacred
thread across their chests, are washing and praying in the Ganges
below.

A little girl, maybe five years old, dark-skinned, low-caste, is
standing barefoot on the stone ghat steps facing the river playing
notes on a wooden flute.

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 14, 2015

Posted on: November 14th, 2015 by admin

Acid

A 23-year-old Russian tourist sustained severe burns on her face
and neck after a man whose marriage proposal she allegedly
spurned attacked her with acid Friday morning in Varanasi.

Police said the tourist, Daya Yurieva, arrived in Varanasi five days
ago and was a paying guest at the Hriday Lal Srivastva “Homestay,”
in the heart of Varanasi.

She told the police that Hriday’s grandson, Siddhartha Srivastava,
24, hurled acid at her around 4 am, while she was sleeping in the
balcony of her second floor room, raising concern about the easy
availability of acid despite official restrictions on its non-commercial
sale.

Yurieva mentioned to Siddhartha that she planned to return to
Russia in 9 days, which prompted him to propose marriage to
Yurieva after knowing her for only 5 days.

She rejected his proposal.

She saw Siddhartha as a guide and perhaps a friend, she said, but
he seemed to fall in love with her almost at once.

Now she is in hospital severely burned on her face and neck.

The next 72 hours will be very critical for the Russian young lady,
said Dr KK Gupta, medical superintendent of the Acid Burn Unit at
Shivalingam Hospital where the victim was admitted.

Siddhartha fled soon after the incident, but investigators have
questioned his father, brother and grandfather.

Prima facie the incident appeared to be a case of spurned love
unfortunately ensuing into an acid attack.

Police teams have been deployed to arrest the suspect.

In 2013 India made acid attacks a separate class of crime amid
growing incidents of revenge on women who rejected sexual
advances or marriage proposals.

Although the government has moved to stop the sale of non-
commercial acid, the attacks continue unabated, a fact underlined
by women who boldly spoke out against the practice in an award-
winning television documentary: Stop Acid Attacks on Women.

Friday’s acid attack was just the latest in a series of acid-related
crimes reported by foreign women visiting India.

An American from the state of Arkansas accused two Indians of
raping her in Dharamsala then dousing her breasts with acid.
An Okinawan woman accused an Indian tour guide of drugging her
with LSD, informally known as acid, then raping her in Rajastan.

Perhaps the oddest attack was reported by a 20-year-old Chilean in
the process of “transitioning” from male to female.

S/he accused her male yoga instructor in Himachal Pradesh of
convincing her to swallow an acid concoction which put her into a
“trance,” so that she was compelled to watch helplessly while he
“examined” her genitals.

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 14, 2015

Posted on: November 14th, 2015 by admin

Shiva Kashi

Kashi is said to be Lord Shiva’s city.
Shiva destroys to recreate.
Shiva defies categories of pure / impure, auspicious / inauspicious.
Shiva is beautiful and terrifying, anointing his body with fragrant
sandalwood and with the gray ash of the cremated.
Shiva is fearsomely ascetic and boundlessly passionate.
It is said that in passion Shiva’s semen is so hot that it must be
cooled in the Ganges before his consort—whoever she may
be—can bear the divine penetration.
It is fitting that Kashi, Lord Shiva’s city, be called both the Great
Cremation Ground and the Forest of Bliss.

Shiva has no concern for purity, nor love of the auspicious, nor
disdain for the polluted, nor reverence for family and lineage.
Shiva wanders naked or clothed in the bloody skin of a slain tiger.
He makes his home in the cremation grounds.
He anoints his body with ashes of the dead.
He wears snakes about his neck.
He rides a bull and carries a trident.

Lord Shiva has renounced wealth, family, caste.
He presents himself as the epitome of the dreadful and
inauspicious.
Yet he is called Shiva the Auspicious.
He is the merciful wound dresser, deathbed mentor.
When tending to the needy Lord Shiva takes on a personal form.

It is recounted that the goddess Annapurna held in her lap the
corpse of a man, while Shiva knelt to whisper the taraka mantra in
his ear.
Whispered by Lord Shiva, the Taraka mantra permits the dead or
dying to cross over.
Death in Kashi is not terror but joy.

Where then is Kashi?
Kashi is high above earth on Shiva’s trident.
When the inevitable waters of the Kali yuga swell to engulf creation,
they do not touch Kashi.
Kashi alone is exempt from dissolution.

*Much of this text is “treated”; that is, it is paraphrased from Diana L. Eck’s
Banaras: City of Light (Columbia Univ Press, 1999)

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 13, 2015

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 by admin

Monkeys

As India launches an $18 billion plan to expand the information
“revolution” to its provinces, many of the problems it faces are
holdovers from the past–electricity shortages, congested cities, an
exponentially increasing population, resurgence of infectious
diseases–and monkeys.

The clash between the old world and the new has come sharply into
focus in the massively overcrowded 3,000-year-old holy city of
Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Thousands of opportunistic monkeys live in its temples and along
the city’s rooftops.
They are fed and venerated by worshippers of Sri Hanuman, the
monkey god and devotee of Lord Rama.

The monkeys will eat just about anything, but they feast on the fiber-
optic cables strung along the banks of the Ganges.

Chief communications engineer A.P. Srivastava said his team had
to replace riverside cables twice after the monkeys ate them less
than ten weeks after they were installed.

Because Varanasi, with nearly 200 million humans, is impossibly
crowded; laying underground cable is out of the question.

The electronic zealot Prime Minister selected Varanasi as the first of
an eventual 2,500 locations singled out for street-level Wi-Fi.
It has not worked.
And a shortage of electricity means daily power cuts, frequently for
hours at a time.

Boatman Sandeep Majhi makes a living ferrying pilgrims and
bereaved families who scatter ashes in the river after performing
cremations on the burning ghats.

Sandeep Majhi recently purchased his first smartphone–the PM
advocates smart phones for every Indian adult–which he uses to
promote his boat business on Facebook.

Majhi said that the PM needs to pay equal attention to the municipal
services in a city which remains dependent on a 500-year-old, leaky
drainage system for its sewage.

Free Wi-Fi is good for tourists but I think officials should think about
cleaning the ghats, Majhi said, gesturing to the badly eroded stone
steps down to the Ganges.

PM Modi’s government pledged to lay 700,000 kms of broadband
cable to connect India’s 250,000 village clusters within three years,
build 100 new “Smart Cities” by 2020, and shift more public services
like education and health to electronic platforms to improve access
and accountability.

Digitalizing India’s chaotic cities has proved to be more than
daunting.

India’s urban population is forecast to swell to twice its size by 2031,
which would surely overwhelm an already inadequate infrastructure.

Many of the new digital projects are fundamentally directed at
improving existing civic amenities, such as time traffic information to
help people better plan their journeys, or systems that allow
individuals to monitor water leakages or waste management then
inform local authorities.

Nonetheless, the monkeys are “old school,” without smart phones,
and infinitely prefer to eat fiber-optic cables to monkey staples like
bananas.

There has been talk in political circles of culling the monkeys,
reducing their number by half or more.
But they are prolific creatures.
Nor would their religious advocates stand for it.

The most common monkey seen in Northern India is the aggressive
Rhesus Macaque.
The male is heavier in build than the female and can be
distinguished by its reddish fur on the loins and on the rump.
The male can reach a height of around 2 feet and weigh almost 10
kg with females around 1 to 1 ½ feet and weighing up to 6 kg.

Rhesus macaques often move in troops of 20 or more and can be
seen almost everywhere there is food to cadge.
Their specialty food is fiber-optic cables.

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 12, 2015

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 by admin

Leper

Every Diwali (one of India’s major holidays comparable to Xmas),
Bhupendra Mahapatra and eight other residents of his colony knock
on people’s doors in the early morning hoping to get alms.

It is a familiar exercise for these and more residents of Premnagar
Kushtrogi Kalyan Samiti, who formerly suffered from leprosy.

They visit virtually every house in their locality with cymbals and a
drum, chanting to Lord Rama for the prosperity of those who give
them alms.

The survivors complain that though they are cured of leprosy and
are no longer contagious they are still marginalized and suffer
discrimination.

They are refused jobs and are rejected by mainstream society.

The leper survivors claim they would celebrate Diwali whole-
heartedly the day they were admitted into the culture that other
Indians routinely inhabit.

Mahapatra concedes that even though he has been cured of leprosy
his spinal nerves have been damaged and his fingers are disfigured.

The survivors who accompany him have suffered similar damage.

Some people give us food or sweets, we accept their gifts and pray
for their prosperity, said Bairagi Bora, another member of the group.

Approximately 85 leprosy survivors live in Premnagar Kushtrogi
Kalyan Samitiu, previously segregated as a leper colony.

It is located more or less halfway between Kashi and Sarnath,
where the compassionate Buddha was reported to have preached
his first sermon after becoming enlightened.

I don’t want to beg, said Mahapatra, but people refuse to accept us.
Just because we suffered from this disease we are forced to live like
beggars.

Each of the cured lepers bears marks of the disease; some have
gone blind, others have lost partial control of their facial muscles,
have bent spines, or disfigured fingers and limbs.

People stare at our marks and make faces, said Bairagi Bora. Even
though I no longer suffer from the disease people insist on viewing
me as a leper, he complained, displaying a discolored claw-like left
hand.

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – November 11, 2015

Posted on: November 11th, 2015 by admin

Ganges River Water

Were I to collect Ganges River water into a parcel, bind it then mail
it, what then?
Would I be able to capture the water to package and bind?
If so, to whom would I send the Ganges water parcel?
What would the recipient think when opening the parcel and having
the water pour into his/her lap?
Would it matter that the water in his/her lap were from the sacred
River Ganges?
Would the recipient feel that being suddenly soaked below the waist
in Ganges water was a blessing?
How would the recipient know the source of the water?
That, for example, it wasn’t Hudson River water.
Attaching a note to the parcel would seem to defeat the purpose.
What purpose?
Conferring grace.
How can one confer grace if he himself does not possess grace?
Why would attaching a note be inappropriate?
How important is it to know the “answers” to these questions?
Is it not the gesture that vibrates?
For the gesture to vibrate wouldn’t the recipient have to respond
intuitively?
Can someone not intuitive become intuitive when receiving a
Ganges water parcel that when opened pours into his/her lap?
Does intuitive here mean visionary?
Is it possible that Ganges water delivered in that fashion can turn
the non-visionary recipient into a visionary recipient?
A kind of satori response.
Of course, satori, when it comes, comes after long practice.
Is long practice obligatory?
Someone has a “near-death” experience and is changed instantly
without prior practice.
Changed how?
For how long?
For a minute.
For a year.
For a lifetime.
Does it matter?
Transience is transience.
Now especially when we count Planet earth’s remaining viable years
on our fingers and toes.
Kali yuga.
Who has theorized it more precisely than the Hindus who worship
the Ganges?
I wouldn’t call Hindu theorizing precise.
Nor, at this dying juncture, would I put much stock in what you call
visionary.
But I take your point.
Say it again.
Were I to collect Ganges River water into a parcel, bind it then mail
it, what then?