A friend’s remarks on Sanskrit being taught at schools-its current state,with my remarks from personal experience at the end

School Sanskrit curriculum was not a shot of encouragement but an inoculation against ever being interested Sanskrit.

Vapid, uncool content. Completely unnatural language teaching methodology. Not even a viva voce requirement.

Leaves the student with zero skills, no feeling that this could have any juice in today’s world, and no interest and, if anything, disdain after getting away with an easy score.

Pseudo ‘Sanskrit’ subject was merely a way for the Nehruvian Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb walas to cheat the 3 language formula system – the same tehzeeb gang who opposed the proposal for Sanskrit as national link language and voted for Hindi. Most other Indians had to actually learn another Indian language (Hindi) as part of the 3 language formula, but these guys cheated and got away with a high scoring zero-skills cop out.

Those tehzeeb walas choose Urdu via Bollywood to give them cultural juice in today’s world.

From personal experience,having learned Sanskrit from classes VI to X(including both the classes),you basically get the level of a sloppy version of just only the vākya vyavahāra book of the first level(as taught by Sri Vempati Kutumba Shastri) and that itself will get you more than 90% in the Sanskrit CBSE exam of class X. And that too will get lost/eroded to nothing within a year of non practice. This is the state of Sanskrit teaching as I have seen and experienced it. If you want people to actually like and respect Sanskrit at schools,the methodology must change a lot.

On reading gay stuff into mileus where such concepts did not exist

https://crevicesinmysoul.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/the-gay-angle-in-padmaavat/

 

This is not to say men who were attracted to men did not exist. They have existed since at least the dawn of agriculture in humankind. The definition of gay=attracted to men(and a community that defined itself like that) arose in only the 1920s-1930s Anglo-European world. Before that,there were people attracted to men in the US who would fuck straight men(or as the slang went, ‘trade’). Then people who had feminine mannerisms,and dressed such. Men who fucked other men. None of them came under that modern ‘gay’ label(as defining oneself/having an identity based on the sex one is attracted to). I am basing this on my reading of Foucault and George Chancey’s Gay New York:Gender,Urban Culture and the making of the Gay male world 1890-1940.

Secondly,I would find it grossly wrong to elevate a engendered in a situation like that-Would you endorse buying someone as your property,cutting off his balls and using him as your toy for sexual satisfaction?That’s essentially how the relationship began. There are better gay icons/icons with ambiguous sexuality in the past to look forward to,like Walt Whitman,etc.

Some mentalities

Some mentalities like the one mentioned in this section(page 71 of the PDF document) of the Laghu Yoga Vasiṣṭha set in stably only when the vāsanās favourable to generating that state of mind set in. They can be generated in various ways,like:

  • This meditation on various parts of the body(pages 44 to 50 of the document)(after completing the preliminaries to do that sort of meditation) in the Nāstika Theravāda tradition
  • Bhagavad Nāmasmaraṇa(after leading a life with moderation and control in senses)(uninterrupted rememberance/repitition of the names of various deities like Viṣṇu,Kṛṣṇa,Śiva,etc). In this light,the advice of Rūpa Gosvāmīn in the Upadeśāmṛta is helpful(quoting from Prabhupada’s translation)

 

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
 etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt
A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.
atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in devotionalism; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.
utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥsmaraṇam [SB 7.5.23]—hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa], (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.
Of course in the course of practicing devotional service as mentioned above,that vāsanā automatically sets in as a consequence of the bhava towards the deity.
So,insights like these are of a ‘yogic’ class,and do not remain stable/hardly arise in one who is not inclined to any form of yoga(hence,the reason you don’t find many anatomy students/professors becoming renunciants),and have to be cultivated and strengthened as we practice yoga.

 

 

On swacchata and śauca

(Note:This is not against the Swacch Bharat program or against technologies for public sanitation,etc)

By reducing the component of cleanliness to only just toilets,clean public,etc,one is likely to miss out the other dimensions of śuci.

Just what does this term śauca mean?

śauca means purity at not just the individual level,but at a particular environment and communal and familial level.It is not just physical purity(avoidance of bacteria),but of the surroundings,the body,the sukṣma dēha and the general atmosphere around.

And this is not really separable from our deities(that śloka apavitraḥ pavitrō vā sarvāvasthāṃ gatō’pi vā । yaḥ smarētpuṇḍarīkākṣaṃ sa bāhyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ ॥ comes to my mind). And it does make sense. Purity and the deva,who is the very embodiment of an āgāmika(deva specific or smārta) temple,are inseparable. It is only with keeping Nārāyaṇa at the centre,as noted in that verse,does one realize the fullest import of what śuci means,and not through secularized stuff,which runs contrary to Hindu frameworks and ideologies).