Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Life comes a full circle sometimes. It seems just yesterday, but I just noticed that it has been a full two years since I tried to make sense of the concept of Anitya. This weekend I found myself being haunted by the whims of Anitya yet once again, stirred up by two TV shows.

The Kiss of Judas over the ages has probably being one of the most reviled acts of deception. Now, if the recently deciphered Gospel of Judas were to be believed, Judas was not the villain that he has been known to be after all, but he is posited as one of the foremost disciples of Jesus. The Gospel of Judas frames the act, which has vilified Judas so completely, as obedience to the instructions of Jesus, rather than a betrayal. The program aired by National Geographic last weekend was quite thought provoking. If what was shown were to be true Judas's obedience to the Lord's will probably sets a benchmark for how deep and selfless faith should be. Indeed the Gospel of Judas states that Jesus told Judas "You shall be cursed for generations." It then adds to this conversation that Jesus had told Judas "you will come to rule over them," and that "You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." The last sentence I find very significant, which appears to imply that Jesus positions the body as a cloth for the inner soul or Atman, a concept that is central to Indian metaphysical thought process.

(Note: In Hindu scriptures also various acts of the Lord's disciples appearing in guise of villains have been explored, for instance Ravana is believed to have been a incarnation of Jaya a devotee of Lord Vishnu.)

Coming back to Judas, whatever may be the credentials of his Gospel, it certainly goes on to prove that truth manifests itself through many faces and even impressions can be transient(Anitya) in nature, as I soon found my impression of JFK to be.

I had grown up knowing JFK as a hero, someone who had the courage to live and die for his beliefs about basic human dignity. A recent program on History channel showed that after Cuba repulsed the Bay of Pigs invasion, US troops engaged in burning of farms and bombing sugar mills in an effort to eliminate Castro. Civilian life and property was targeted for a political end, apparently under orders of JFK himself. I found the facts disconcerting.

Of course, I still am an admirer of Kennedy but I guess truth in this transient world is hardly ever black or white. It always comes in various shades of Greys ....