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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Being Locally Useful

Editorial

KUFIT reaches readers through emails as the only means of reaching out, where we sometimes audaciously nag our colleagues to contribute with articles. And we are equally aware of possible unwelcome responses for tampering in specialized coteries in the name of sharing broader worldviews and scholarships. We will nevertheless continue to pardon ourselves for our once-a-month audacity, confident that our purposes are not unwarranted.  If the world around us still suspects what KUFIT stands for, let voices be heard. On our part, we have kept it as a platform for the thinkers of KU, who love to think in the benefit of others. 

We want to disseminate thoughts “made in KU.” This might sound outlandish, but is not impractical. Have we, as academics, begun to experience different thought patterns for which people outside KU consider us different? Have we not struggled enough in the field of scholarship to be able to claim certain potentials, which are originally ours? What has transcended our institutional and personal fixities in addition to the sagas of individual and (rarely) collective achievements? We might choose to reflect these questions in the days ahead. KUFIT aims to tickle all of us into reliving our shared contributions in the field of critical thinking, which the society we believe to have served will own now or years ahead.   

Our institutional location validates our efforts. Faculty blogs like KUFIT are not uncommon. We may one day like to work close to the standards of professors from Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, and MIT among others.  We only need the desire to represent and transmit the vision of excellence. If excellence is a point of convergence, we will be able to establish commonness while allowing healthy differences to grow. Discourses stem from differences, especially when people who love one another but respect grounds of dissent allow their alternative explanations to clash. KUFIT invites discourses based on healthy disagreements. Please disagree with your writers. If you agree, tell us what best contributes to the growth of knowledge and scholarship. Your involvement is crucial.
 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Editorial

 

आस्तिक दर्शन अनुसार संसारको उत्पत्ति

– रामचन्द्र पौडेल

आस्तिक दशर्नले मूलपुरुष स्थायी मान्छ । किनभने  यसको उत्पत्ति छैन र  विनास पनि छैन । यो सनातन प्रकृतिभन्दा पृथक र सर्वव्यापी पनि छ । विस्तृत यो संसारमा बीजरूप पुरूष जीवात्मा बन्छ । अनन्त अन्तस्करणका सम्बन्धले अनन्त बन्छ, । जडत्व यद्वा सक्रिय त्रिगुणात्मक प्रकृति र पुरुषका रूपमा परमात्मा तत्व बन्दा शुद्ध चेतन निष्क्रिय भएर ज्ञान स्वरुपमा परिणत हुन्छ । सत्व, रज, तम मूल प्रकृतिका तीन गुण हुन्छन् जो कुनै समय विशेषमा साम्यावस्थामा रहेका हुन्छन्  र कुनै बेला विषम अवस्थामा । जब तीनै गुणका  गुण साम्यवस्थामा हुन्छन् त्यो प्रलयावस्थामा कहलिन्छ र मूल प्रकृति र पुरुषबाहेक यस बेला अरु केही पनि हुँदैन । फेरि प्रकृतिमा संयोग हुनथाल्दा तिनै गुणमा न्यूनाधिकता हुन थाल्छ र प्रथमत:  सत्वगुणको प्रधानताबाट महतत्व अथवा बुद्धि तत्वको उत्पत्ति हुन्छ ।  बुद्धितत्वमा रजोगुणको प्रबलताले अहंकारको उत्पत्ति गराउँछ र अहंकारमा जब तमो गुणको प्रावल्य सुरु हुन्छ अनि शब्द, स्पर्श,रूप, रस र गन्ध गरी पाँचवटा सूक्ष्म तन्मात्रा उत्पत्ति हुन्छन् । तमो गुणको अत्यधिक वृद्धि हुन्छ अनि यिनै सूक्ष्म तन्मात्राबाट पञ्च स्थूलभूत अर्थात् आकाश, वायु, अग्नि, जल र पृथ्वीको उत्पत्ति हुन्छ । यी पञ्‍चमहाभूत र तीनका न्यूनाधिक सहकार्यबाट थरिथरिका स्थावर, जङ्गम सृष्टि हुन थाल्छन् किनकि प्रकृतिका सत्व, रज र तमोगुण भिन्नभिन्न स्वभावका भए पनि यिनीहरू सधैँ एकसाथ रहन्छन् र यिनीहरूकै न्यूनाधिक संयोगबाट नै संसारको सृष्टि हुन्छ । जसरी तेल, बत्ती र दीयोको तीन कुरा पृथक् पृथक् छन्, यिनैको  संयोजबाट  बलेको दीयोको ज्योतिले अन्धकारलाई हटाएर सृष्टिलाई उज्यालो गराउँछत्यसै गरी यी तीन गुणले पनि सृष्टि गर्छन् । विश्‍वका सबै मानिस र जीवहरू पृथकपृथक देखिनु उनै परमात्माको देन हो भनेर विद्वान्हरूले स्वीकार गर्दै आएका  छन् ।  श्रीमद्भागवतमा भगवान्ले आफ्नो योगमाया अर्थात् प्रकृतिरूपी उपादान कारणका सहायताले यस संसारको निर्माण गरेको विसद् वर्णन छ । संसारको निर्माणको  पहिलो अवस्थामा ब्रह्म एक्लै थियो, त्यसलाई देख्ने कुनै जीव विशेष थिएन, त्यति बेला उसले हेर्न खोज्यो तर उसले केही पनि देखेन अनि ईश्वरले ‘‘एकोऽहं बहुस्याम अर्थात् एक छु अनेक हुन्छु भन्ने भावनाबाट प्रेरित भएर त्रिगुणामयी मायाको सृष्टिा ग¥यो । अनि ईश्वरले आफ्नो अंशलाई पुरुषमा परिणत गराएर मायामा आफ्नो रेतस् (विर्य) लाई प्रवेश गरी चैतन्यलाई उत्पन्न गरायो । त्यस चैतन्यबाट सत्व रज र तम उत्पन्‍न भए । सात्विक अहंकारबाट मनेन्द्रियको अधिष्ठाता देवता उत्पन्न भए । राजस अहंकारबाट दशेन्द्रिय (वाक्पाणिपादपायुउपस्थ) पाँच कर्मेन्द्रिय, चक्षुरसनाघ्राणत्वक्श्रोत्र) पाँच ज्ञानेन्द्रिय उत्पन्न भए । तामसबाट पञ्चमहाभूत (पृथ्वीजलतेजवायुआकाश) उत्पन्न भए । 

शतपथ ब्राह्मण तथा पुराणहरूमा उल्लेखभए अनुसार जलमय संसारबाट एउटा ब्रह्माण्डको उत्पत्ति भयो, त्यस ब्रह्माण्डबाट चतुर्मुखी ब्रह्मा उत्पन्‍न भए  । उनले धेरै वर्षसम्म भगवान्को तपस्या गरे । ब्रह्माका तपस्याबाट खुशी भएका परमपिता ईश्वरले प्रजासृष्टिका लागि ब्रह्मालाई आज्ञा दिए । फलस्वरुप ब्रह्माको  दाहिने अंगबाट स्वयम्भू नाम गरेका पुरुष र बाया अंगबाट शतरुपा नाम गरेकी स्त्री पैदा भइन् । यी दुईका मिथुनी धर्मबाट सारा जीवको उत्पत्ति भएको भनाइ पाइन्छ । यो पूर्वीय मान्यता हो । यस्ता कुराहरू अधिकांश पुराणहरूमा पाइन्छन् । 

नासदीय सूक्तका अनुसार सृष्टिपूर्व संसार भनेको केही थिएन । सत्यअसत्य, चौध भुवन, केही  पनि थिएनन् । जन्ममृत्यृ र रातदिन भन्ने पनि थिएन, तर एउटा निराकार परब्रह्म  वायुविना पनि आफ्नो इच्छा अनुसार शेष थियो र त्यसबाहेक यस संसारमा अरू केही पनि थिएन । चारैतिर अज्ञानको अन्धकार थियो र शून्य थियो । यसै बखत त्यही परब्रह्म (आत्मतत्व) आफ्नो संकल्पशक्तिले प्रकटित भयो । त्यसपछि सृष्टि गर्ने कामना (ईच्छा) जाग्यो र मनको उत्पत्ति भयो जसलाई सिर्जना र संसारको आदिबीज मानिन्छ । त्रिकालदर्शी मुनिहरूले ब्रह्मको यो सबै सृष्टिविकारलाई असत्का रूपमा लिएका छन् । अब यहाँ प्रश्न उठ्छसृष्टिको त्यो रश्मि (किरण) कसरी विस्तारित भयो ? एकै पटक चरअचरको सृष्टि भयो वा क्रमागत रूपमा भयो भन्ने प्रश्न उठ्नु स्वभाविकै हो । वास्तवमा सृष्टि बीजरूप भोक्ता (जीव) र भोग्य (सांसारिक पदार्थ) को दुई रूपमा सृष्टि भयो । यसरी कर्ता र कर्मको आविर्भाव भएको देखियो ।यथार्थमा सृष्टिविज्ञान दुर्बोध्य र दुरूह छ। यसको रहस्य कसैले पत्ता लगाउन सकेको छैन। यसबारे देवताहरूलाई थाहा छैन, किन भने उनीहहरू भौतिक पदार्थको सृष्टिभन्दा धेरैपछि आविर्भाव भएका हुन् । यहाँनेर  के भन्नु युक्तिसङ्गत् हुन्छ भने यो सृष्टिचक्र जहाँबाट सञ्चालन भए पनि यसमा निरन्तरता रहेको हुन्छ। वास्तवमा यो सृष्टि उसैलाई ज्ञात हुन्छ जो संसारको नियामक र सर्वत्र व्याप्त छ। 

यसरी सृष्टिको रहस्य, सृष्टिपूर्वको शून्य स्थिति तथा परब्रह्मको सर्वव्यापकता जस्ता पक्षहरूलाई चर्चामा ल्याउने नासदीय सूक्तलाई वैचारिक उचाइको चिन्तन भन्न सकिन्छ । यसमा जन्मपूर्व र मृत्युपश्चात्को रहस्यलाई समेत जान्न चाहने उत्कण्ठा छ । अन्ततो गत्वा सबै रहस्यलाई परब्रह्ममा पु¥याएर चिन्तनलाई निराकार तथा निर्गुण तत्वमा केन्द्रित बनाइएको छ । संसारभन्दा भिन्न परम तत्व (परब्रह्म) को परिकल्पना गरेर संसार नाशवान् तथा परब्रह्म नित्य छ भन्ने जुन दृष्टिकोण यहाँ पाइन्छ । त्यो आर्यहरूको आस्थागत भावनाको परिणाम हो । नाश हुने जीवनका लागि तेरोमेरो भन्ने विचार राख्न हुँदैन भन्ने वेदान्तमुखी शिक्षाउपदेशलाई समेत् नासदीय सूक्तले स्पष्ट पारेको छ । त्यसकारण नासदीय सूक्त वैदिक साहित्यमा वैचारिक उचाई भएको सूक्त हो ।  यस सन्दर्भमा नासदीय सूक्तका केही उदाहरण तल दिइएका छन् ।
       नासदासिन्नो सदासीत् तदानीं नासीत् रजो नो व्योमा परो यत् ।
       किमवरीव: कुह कस्य शर्मन् अम्भ: किमासीतद् गहनं गभीरम् ।।
अर्थात् सृष्टिपूर्व महाप्रलयको समयमा न सत् थियो न त असत् नै । लोक र आकाशहरू पनि थिएनन् । परम पद भन्ने समेत थिएन । यो जगत्को आवरण पनि देखिएन । गहन जलप्रवाह पनि थियो कि थिएन सृष्टिपूर्व केही थिएन, अदृश्य रूपमा केवल परब्रह्म थियो । उसको इच्छा मात्रले विन्दू विस्फोट भयो र यस विस्फोटले सृजना आरम्भ ग¥यो । यो भनाई र ४३५ करोड वर्षका महानिशा पछि ग्याँसको पिण्डीकरण र पिण्ड विस्फोटपछि बनेका अनन्त पिण्डमा हुने रसायनिक प्र्रतिक्रियाबाट यो सृष्टि भएको हो  भन्ने सङ्केतहरू पनि मिल्दाजुल्दा नै देखिन्छन् । यसरी ऋग्वेदको नासदीय सूक्तले पनि सृष्टिकोबारे चर्चा गरेको पाइन्छ ।
 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Discourse

 

Dolmia’s Different Direction

 – Kashiraj Pandey
A middle-aged woman, tall and tired, accompanied by a charming child steps down from an airliner that brings the majority of workers back home and some tourists to Kathmandu from the Middle East everyday around lunch time.
Everybody was in a hurry to reach their destination, some to their long missed family members and others to a hotel, most probably.  Dolmia, a village lady, who had left home some ten years ago, now with her baby appeared so lonely and confused. The beautifying new set of garments and high-heeled shoes she wore made her look younger than her actual age. She was sitting with a boy in one of the far off rows of chairs that otherwise would be occupied only during the rush hour. She neither talked to anyone nor moved ahead towards immigration.
People came and went, passengers from around the globe, some from Bangkok, some from Beijing, and others from Delhi or Doha. Nothing touched her. Everyone looked at her and passed by. 
“Mamma, Lit’s go”, says Mohammed who is visiting Nepal for the first time. 
“See mamma… there”. The boy poking his mother points in the direction of all the other passengers waiting for their turn to be cleared by immigration.
“Wait for some time. I am wondering where to go”.
“Everyone has gone over there. I am hungry.”
“Okay. Here you go.”
Dolmia unzips her hand bag, takes out a packet of biscuits, and gives them to Mohammed. “Great”, expressed with a sense of happiness on finding some water saved from the flight, and a muffin.  She gives them to her boy. 
She stares at everyone who passes the arrival desk when everything around seems so alien to her.
“Dolmia Lama from Qatar” shouts the airline staff. Full of mirage, she wakes up. 

“Yes, Yes. I am here.” 
“Oh you have unclaimed baggage. Yours is the only one left from Flight 354. We were wondering what had happened to you. Please come and take your stuff. Two pieces, right?”
“Yes.”
Dolmia proceeds further, fills in the form, and passes through immigration. The man at the counter stares at them, verifying their documents; Mohammed, a very unlikely name to suit this Family of Dolmia. After official procedures, they walk down to the baggage claim, then to the customs counter, and then outside.
Fresh air and a natural life with all her people, people all alike, her own type. 
Dolmia is very nostalgic. It’s a cool and chilly afternoon. 
Dolmia and Mohammad on one side and a whole lot of people gazing at them on the other. Some were waiting to receive their own friends and relatives and others for the tourists. No one knew about Dolmia’s arrival today. Today, she is with Mohammad, her 6 year old child.
“Mohammed, your name is Mohan from today. You can call me by the same name, “mamma” but you will be addressed as Mohan. No one ever from now onwards will call you Mohammed.
“And Papa?”
“No. We will not meet him again and you will never remember that man. He will be forgotten.”
……
Dolmia was alone when she left Nepal. She had promised with Karma and two grown up girls that she would return soon with much affluence. She left this fantastic family with hope that one day she would return and pay off their loans and buy their own piece of land to build a home of their own. Her mission was to work in Qatar for three years as a caregiver. 
All her life in Nepal, she was a good wife, a mother of two girls, and an honest member of the society. The poor economic condition of the family was responsible for sending her abroad. It was against her interest but the very usual trend of people in her village forced her to think of foreign employment.
After long and deep consideration, the family together took the decision that Dolmia would go to Qatar for three years while Karma would take care of the two girls in her absence. Karma, though he had never gone to school himself, was very devotional and dedicated to the prosperity of their children’s future. He raised the girls with full care — fed them well and sent them to school with appropriate amenities. Dolmia too would send money to the family, until she experienced a twist in her life. 
Waiting outside the airport, where many taxi drivers ask her destination at minute intervals, Dolmia is speechless. 
She talks to herself, “should I go to my own family, to relatives, or towards an unknown place to other people?” 
Seeing his mother in a very confused state, Mohan speaks.
“Mamma, what are we waiting here for? Let’s go to meet my sisters. You said I have two lovely sisters waiting to see me, didn’t you?”
“Darling! Hold on. Let me think.”
“What mamma? What has happened to you today? I am so excited to meet and play with my sisters.”
“Mohan, my dear son, as I changed your name today, everything has changed. We are neither seeing Karma, nor your sisters. We should go to a hotel, to a place where no one knows us. A place where we two can have our own world, my space and Mohan’s space. A new place where you will play with me, and I with you. Something that we never had. ”
“Taxi…. taxi…. !” Shouts Dolmia. 
“Take us to a moderate hotel, will you?”
“Rupees 1000, for the ride. I will drop you at a nice hotel with a very reasonable tariff.”
“Okay, let’s go.”
 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Literature

 

My Beijing Experience

-Jangab Chauhan
The last month of 2011 left esteemed reminiscence in my heart. In the chilling cold of December, I was heading to the People’s Republic of China as one of two-member delegate led by the Registrar of Kathmandu University, Professor Bhadra Man Tuladhar. The raison d’être of our visit was participation in Sixth Conference of Confucius Institute. For me, it was also an opportunity to have first-hand witnessing of the worlds’ second greatest economic power. This sojourn, however, was my second visit; during my first one in 2005, the country had not attained the record; it was striving and my visit was not official.

During the visit, I had reached Beijing while returning from Moscow by trans-Siberian railway, which runs through the great part of Russia, Mongolia and China. I had been cordially welcomed in the quarter of China Radio International (CRI) by my friend Kamal Lamsal, whom I had known since my student life in USSR. The experience that I had shared about my trans-Siberian journey and China stay in CRI Nepali program is so vivid that it reverberates like yesterday’s episode. After having seen the grand view of eastern civilizations such as The Great Wall, ancient palaces and museums of Ming and Qing dynasties, Beijing Temple of Heaven, grand structure of Tiananmen Square, Badachu Park for five days I had travelled back to Hong Kong. It was during September. It was during this journey, I had got an opportunity to feel the grandeur of People’s Republic of China via rail journey – both the high and plain land – from northern to southern border.
I was impressed by the Chinese people’s sense of discipline in work-force, love for the nation, respect for language and culture. What would happen in such a huge country and consequently in the world if the people went anarchic! Even thinking of any undisciplined spark brings chill to the bone. Thanks to the visionary leadership and disciplined citizens of the People’s Republic of China for making the country a centre of worlds’ attraction and attention. 
Coincidently, a year after my visit i.e., in 2006 Confucius Institute was established in the name of 6th century BC Chinese thinker and social philosopher. 
Confucius is an indexical figure in Chinese tradition and belief. Based on the foundation of respect for ancestors and love for family, Confucius postulated on indispensability of family as the base of ideal state. Philosophizing further, his notions express ethical concern – do not behave with others which you do not anticipate from them. I realized that this simple sounding but very ethical and grave practice stands as golden rule for the Chinese people. Confucianism in this sense is humanism of Chinese tradition. The same of ethicality can also be observed in Confucius’s preference for exemplary governance. He would regard orders unnecessary and un-pragmatic if the leaders appropriately take in tow. Indeed, decoding underlying intelligence of the philosopher’s sense of shame would impart very evocative sense. 
From among many issues discussed in the conference, the précis I have drawn is that the People’s Republic of China has been in commendable direction. So, Confucius cannot only be linchpin of Chinese people; he is the cultural pillar of the world. 
 Confucius Institute in Kathmandu University with the co-operation of Hebei University, for us, is the matter of both happiness and pride. We wish for very active and productive presence of an institution that reminds of such a great person in Kathmandu University. 
While writing these paragraphs, I recall the concluding remarks of Dr. Hao Ping, Vice-Minister of education minster and executive member of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters:
“Do wholeheartedly whatever you do.
… This gathering is a forum for diverse cultural experience.
… Confucius Institute not only belongs to the Republic of China; it is the common heritage of the world.”     
[Translated from Nepali by Khagendra Acharya]
 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Memoirs