Dear Rashid Ali
A very wonderful greeting to you from heaven! You seem to be mistaken about so many things and please refrain from attributing things which I am not responsible for. It’s your weird perception about me that you saw me as Arun Govil. I can’t be reduced to one person. Let me steal a line from Walt Whitman’s poem to describe myself- ‘I contain multitudes.’
You are the second person to write a letter to me. The first person was Allama Iqbal who is famous more for his poem- Saare Jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara. I really loved his Shikwa (complain to Allah). It was a beautiful poetry. Even I could not have written better than him. The only problem I found in his poem was his reductionism of Islam.
Well, how come I fit in here? Your question sounds apt in the given context of partition of religions. But I am the same Allah of 1913 as I was the same Rama of 1992. It’s the problem of Muslims if they reduce me to Islam.
Precisely this poem did the same. In the letter, Iqbal asked me to give back the lost glory of Muslims and Islam. He wanted me to make Muslims the greatest race on the earth. Well, I could not have done that as I exist even in Lucifer. For your reference I am as much Vritrasura as I am Indra.
Rashid, don’t you think Islam is just a limited category as Hinduism is. You are certainly wrong about my age. I was neither born nor will I die ever. Iron Age is also a metaphor of history. I know most religions were born during this period but I was present in proto religions as well. Whether govt or private, entertainment channels sell me like a commodity which I am not. Just look at your perception. If Doordarshan era had existed now you would have dubbed me as slothful. To my understanding, this is purely an economic consideration. Private always drives out the public.
I can understand your unease. But I am surely not there to rein in these pseudo bhakts. Let them create mayhem if they wish to. They all have free will to rape, incarcerate and destroy a religious space. If tomorrow people do all such things, will you be held responsible?
I would just request you not to bring the discourse of predestination. That will definitely put me in a fix. I know you are an atheist and you don’t give damn about me. I do admire a person like you who despite being so feeble can dare to write to me.
Rashid, like other humans, you contradict yourself. At times, you find me shapeless and often you treat me as a human, as an avatar of Vishnu. Dear friend, I have evolved from non-entity to a lord. You will find no reference of me in Rig Veda.
I exist there as Indra but again not in human form. Therefore, I would certainly never have a brother or father or even for that matter a wife. I never asked Lakshman to go and seek knowledge from Ravana. As Bhakts have a figment of imagination about me, you also have an alternative perception. The good thing about your perception is that it doesn’t trigger violence.
Please don’t discredit me by fixing me to a throne. I never want such worldly pleasures. I am beyond all this. Worldly pleasures are for the mortals. You guys have partitioned society into nations, religions, sects, castes and races. I only created men and women but not in the sense of gender. That’s your creation.
I do feel smothered when you concretise me physically as well as philosophically. Most philosophers explain me as an abstract entity. When I am an abstract entity, I absolutely have no abode. Those who find Ayodhya as my birthplace reduce me to nihilism which says that I have no real existence.
They see me only in forms, shapes and idols. Worshipping me this way was introduced during the Gupta period. Probably it was difficult for a common person to worship a formless, nameless and attributeless God. My worship may have started from there. I was further concertised by Tulsidas when he challenged the linguistic orthodoxy of Sanskrit and reproduced me in one of the vernaculars of the then north India. I was further concertised in the visual regime of Doordarshan popularly known as Ram
in Ramayana serial of Ramanand Saagar who was once part of IPTA, the cultural wing of undivided Communist Party of India. You know this is quite a complex history of my construction.
You saw me crying in your dream? Why should I not cry, my dear friend? Who told you that Gods don’t cry? In fact, Mirza Ghalib explained me much better than what I could have done, in his famous couplet- hame kya bura tha marna agar ek baar hota. Yes, I could have saved that child who was hung onto the Trishul but you see, I need to test the bestiality of humans- to what degree one can harden into a beast.
Did I ask you guys to make weapons? See, I don’t run the business of atom bombs, missiles and trishuls. You better ask your super-ego which defies me when it comes to pure business. When your super-ego finds no answer, it turns to me.
That’s utter Tartufferie. You know there have been so many Tartuffes since Moliere’s time to the present age. Many of them have landed in Indian jails. Do you want me to name them? Please don’t drag me into any controversy or the same devotees will call me names.
Don’t regurgitate on the face of this world. The world is a beautiful place. There can be thousands of such worlds in the universe which I am myself not aware of. Let your science delve more into the heart of this universe and you shall fly to another world one day. At this moment your technology is too obsolete.
Once you step into the universe, you will need other Gods who will be far superior to me.
You know my name is constructed in Sanskrit language. In other Indo-European languages either I don’t exist or I maybe having another name. So I can’t tell you with certainty that you will find me in the space beyond you.
You see me only in the dohas of Kabir but I exist almost in all the texts of the world. All epics mention me in one way or the other. See how beautifully Rumi, a Persian poet has described me. He has equated me with Jesus:
Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.
Devotees who have assembled at Ayodhya to call out to me are forgetting one thing, that in seeking me, caller and called disappear. I become them and they become me. I didn’t have any goosebumps when they chanted my name.
I was just collecting dextrously cooked pooris thrown in the garbage in the form of this man. Just look at this photo and remember me. Now, you must not find me in temples or mosques. I hope I have answered your difficult questions. If you are still not satisfied, write back. I would love to engage with you.