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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Spirituality or bust?

This is the transformation story of Lallu Prasad Yadav...nope not a movie
This is the real story

From openly ridiculing Hindu scriptures to being a devout Durga-worshipper, the former Bihar CM has come a long way

PATNA: Railway minister Lalu Yadav, it seems, has undergone a transformation. After being incarcerated at least five times in connection with the fodder scam cases and going through 10 years of trial in the special CBI courts, Lalu Yadav has become so religious now that he often spends the whole day performing rituals as advised by priests.

A hard-core politician, Lalu used to openly criticise Hindu priests and the holy scriptures from public platforms, just to prove his secular credentials and keep his minority vote bank intact.

People still recall Lalu’s clarion call to his supporters in the post-Mandal era: “Pothi-patra jalao, mandiron mein harijan pujari baithao (Burn the holy books and scriptures and replace the Brahmin priests with Dalits in the temples).”

He would also ridicule his predecessor Jagannath Mishra (former chief minister of Bihar) for wearing rings on his fingers. “Anguthi pahnne se bhagya nahi badalta hai, ye sab andh biswas hai. (One can not change one’s fate by wearing gems and stones.

It is just superstition).” He would hold out his fingers saying that he did not wear a single gem or stone, but still became the CM and continues on the post.

The same Lalu Yadav, along with his wife Rabri Devi who was a co-accused in the fodder scam case, has been on a pilgrimage to different temples for being exonerated from the charges of corruption in the case.

Just a couple of days ago, the Yadav couple inaugurated a newly-constructed temple in their native village Phulwaria under Gopalganj district where they had to perform a day-long ritual for invoking Goddess Durga. Also present were a group of priests especially called for the occasion from Mathura and Varanasi.

The couple had apparently vowed to build this magnificent temple in return for being exonerated from the case. Lalu’s transformation began only after he got booked in the fodder scam cases and had to resign from the CM’s post and go to jail. He not only consulted astrologers, but also obeyed them religiously.

A lover of non-vegetarian food, Lalu claims to have become a strict vegetarian. “While I was in jail in 1997, Lord Shiva appeared in my dreams and asked me to become a vegetarian. I could not have disobeyed him.” He has also started performing Durga puja by installing a big idol of the goddess every Dussehra at the CM’s official residence.

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Welcome to the spirituality blog

This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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