Friday, June 11, 2010

Questioning the Questions

Churning is good. Churning of the ocean had brought forth the Divine Nectar. Churning of the mind brings forth insights, I feel. The entire drama created by the "literary terrorist" Mrs. Shobhaa De and her minions has got me thinking a lot about whether we are abusing our right to 'freedom of expression'. Does freedom of expression mean: open mouth, shoot words? Or is there some kind of code of conduct that one must observe on one's own?
We give far too much importance to our opinions. Being highly opinionated is supposed to be intelligent! And I feel it's really silly to have an opinion about any and everything and regard that as the ultimate truth. Shobhaa expressed her opinions about Sri Sri from a handful of second-hand experiences which, for her have negated all the rest of the life-transforming first-hand experiences that more than 20 million people have. And that, I think is truly silly. Very myopic and impulsive.
There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, that]. There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms]. There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question. There are questions that should be put aside. These are the four ways of answering questions ~ Budhha

The journalists of today think that the fact that they ask questions is almost like doing service to humanity. But what's the point in asking questions when one is not even interested in knowing the answers! Isn't the process incomplete?
And many people on Shobhaa's blog also have asked a lot of questions like "why does AOL charge money for courses?" or "why does Sri Sri need new utensils for the food to be cooked?"(yes, someone has also asked THAT!) or "why are spiritual retreats held in Zurich?" or Shobhaa herself asked Guruji in one interview, "How can singing and dancing at Satsangs solve problems in one's life?". Well, it's like this: Imagine a kid going to a rocket scientist and asking him/her questions. "Why is the fuel tank on the outside of the craft?" or "Why does the acceleration have to be more than 9.8m/s2?" or "why do you people wear only white lab coats?" or "why do you travel in a Toyota Corolla when you are already wasting so much fuel?" and such other questions. Now the first two questions are still warranted. But even if the scientist were to offer a superb explanation for the same, will the kid understand anything at all?! To receive an answer too, one must have a certain cerebral capacity, some basic development. The latter two questions are the typical Shobhaa De kind of questions. She asked Guruji about his hair, his clothes, his lifestyle, money etc. And THAT is supposed to be intelligent. HOW?! It's like you are with the rocket scientist and asking him/her why they wear white coats instead of some other colour! How is that NOT silly?

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” ~Naguib Mahfouz

So questions can be endless. And even after receiving an answer, the mind does not stop questioning.
What should be encouraged in genuine enquiry. It is at least honest in the sense that it begins with an urge for knowing something and not with an assumption that 'I already have an opinion about this which I know is true, so whatever answer you give it doesn't make a difference'. So, in turn, if one already has a firm opinion, why ask?!
On a parting note, I did find the question about 'why are retreats held in Zurich?' question quite amusing! Where else will people from Zurich go for the retreat if not IN Zurich?! To Jhumritalaiya?! But spiritual retreats would also happen in Jhumritalaiya if there were such a place to begin with. And why not? Because it also happens in places like Botswana, Jammu, Patna, Faridabad, Phaltan, Kolkata, Sydney, Siberia, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Kazakhstan, Durgapur, Rio de Janeiro, Vidharbha, Latur, Tokyo, Pakistan, Kosovo, Osaka...well you get the picture! Not JUST in Zurich.

Jai Guru Dev!

1 comment:

nands said...

Wow!!! :)