How tapasya leads to anubhava and then knowledge

This is a very poignant post on the tapasya that is required to become proficient at taking audacious positions as Rajiv has done and explaining them.

Sujeev, a forum member, posted this article, with the following comment:

Sriram Chadalavada writes as if he was the one who discovered the utility of Confucius institutes to the Chinese. Not a word about Rajiv Malhotra, who as far as I know, is the only one who has been talking writing publicly about Confucius Institutes for the longest time. What's up with these people?

To this Rajiv responded:

  • People downgrade my tapasya when they say my contribution is merely one of "coining words" or "saying xyz" before others. My coining words or talking something comes much later, years later. First comes the tapasya that eventually leads to insights. Talking comes much later and then at times words get coined.
  • In the case of Confucian Institutes, my real contribution was that I visited the China Institute in the 1990s, where I spent days at a time learning their global strategy, and then wrote about it and talked about it later. The tapasya was not a matter of sitting at a keyboard. I also visited Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, Tibet House, Council on Islamic Education and other similar places to learn how others are doing this work. Its this hard work that matters not just speaking something.
  • Recently Aseem Shukla of HAF wrote that I was not the first to use Mutual Respect term. I agree with him. He concludes that his usage and mine are therefore on par. This I disagree with. He did not go to 100+ interfaith events and stick his neck out challenging the "tolerance" advocates by explaining mutual respect and how it differs. I did that for 10+ years before talking about it in Hindu groups. When I said this in gatherings, for years I was isolated, sidelined as "too controversial". I put up with the attacks with no Hindu willing to come to my defense. It was more convenient to avoid me as a troublemaker so that they would not spoil their image.
  • I have learned what I know by getting out of my comfort zone, sticking my neck out and taking person risks. I have been outcast from my own social high flier groups both in India and USA as most people dont want to get embarrassed by the controversies I create with my audacious writings. This sacrifice and process is what people like Aseem do not appreciate. He is a smart young man but has not ventured out of the comfort of a high paid medical career at its peak, which is what I did by age 44. Note that my children were only age 13 and 10 when I quit everything concerning career/business or income producing. My wife is a homemaker with no income. When you do this drastic transformation, you have burned all bridges from a conventional vyavaharika life, and put yourself in divine hands - my guru and the supreme being. Only then did my true tapasya start.
  • The process took many years of persistence - internal meditation + studying + external encounters with all sorts of people. 
  • At first my guru did not allow me to go public with anything I was doing, saying it would fatten my ego and I would be superficial and mainly trying to show off. Then, after many years, I was encouraged by guru to start talking about my anubhava with various matters.
  • So the difference is tapasya leading to anubhava, which eventually leads to 'coining words' and talking about xyz.
  • Unless you know what went into the tapasya, you cannot understand my anubhava, and you will not know why I create gravitas by coining of words or other discourse. There is shakti in the tapasya and this flows into the activism. One becomes a channel for the divine to work through.
  • These outputs presented to the samaj are the prasad of tapasya. 
  • This is where all these high flier new activists are deficient. They have not made the sacrifice required. They have lined up opportunistically to claim credit after the hard word and risk have been done by others. They stick to goody-goody Hindu leadership and want me to do the risky and hard tapasya all on my shoulders.
  • Their strategy is to sit on the sidelines and watch from a distance to see if my intervention succeeds or fails. If it fails they can disassociate from it, wash their hands off of it. If it succeeds, they can jump in later and claim the credit. 
  • But as I age and life withers away gradually, I wonder was it worthwhile since there are very few genuine tapasvis. 

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