This morning I read in the Times of India a report that can delight you. or sadden you, depending on your observation-post, and what you are. But this has called up in my mind what I had written about Sone Ki Lanka in the Chapter 26 of my memoir, On the Loom of Time (2nd ed.) that you can read at my http://www.shivakantjha.org by visiting at http://www.shivakantjha.org/pdfdocs/on_the_loom_of_time_2nd_edition/39_loom_25.pdf. I wish my readers read this, and reflect on it with utmost good faith. We all stand before the bar of history at which all of us, and all our institutions are on trial. It would be sad for the destiny of mankind if the cloud-minders dominate us through their strategies and stratagems by subverting our democratic institutions.
SONE KI LANKA
In ancient times, Ravana was a demonic person, and felt precisely as the demonic persons feel: “I am God myself. I am perfect and the mightiest. Every object exists only for my pleasure.” He ruled the mighty imperium of Lanka where he had amassed wealth that he had looted from all the worlds. His capital was made of gold beautified with pearls and diamonds. Everything that could beautify it was there in plenty making it a thing of delight every moment it was seen. Its security was of the highest order, and the king was wholly invincible.
Tulsidas tells us in the Ramcharitmanasa that during His sojourn in the forest, Rama saw heaps of bones of the sages and saints. His kindness welled up, and he asked people around what had wrought their plight that way. He got a reply: “The demonic persons had eaten up the good residents of the forest (अस्थि समूह देखि रघुराया, पूछी मुनिन्ह लागि अति दया “ ). Ravana had got Lanka made by the divine architect Vishwakarma. Hanumanji, contemplating to enter Lanka in search of Sita, felt that Ravana’s capital floated on the clouds. Ravana’s aircraft had on it white mansions, water tanks with lotuses in plenty. It was called the Puspakvimana.
But Ravana’s extractive imperialism did not last long. His city, with all its might and affluence, was destroyed by of Hanuman, a monkey who was working for Rama. Even the invincible Ravana was killed by Rama. None survived even to shed tears for the mighty demon.
David Korten, in his Where Corporations Rule the World tells us about a very suggestive episode: about the Cloud Minders in The Star Trek: The Original Series. It is an allegory with deep import.
“The Cloud Minders, episode 74 of the popular science fiction television series Star Trek, took place on the planet Ardana. First aired on Feb. 28, 1969, it depicted a planet whose rulers devoted their lives to the arts in a beautiful and peaceful city, Stratos, suspended high above the planet’s desolate surface. Down below, the inhabitants of the planet’s surface, the Troglytes, worked in misery and violence in the planet’s mines to earn the interplanetary exchange credits used to import from other planets the luxuries the rulers enjoyed on Stratos.”
The Troglytes, the suffering beasts of burden, worked extracting zenite. This mineral was valuable for the cloud-minders for augmentation of wealth, though the unprocessed zenite emitted gas which made the beasts of burden lose their mental capacity. But their capitalist exploiters had good time in their world built in the sky. How unfair it is to deprive the poor of essential entitlements, and then cast them off in the ashcan because they are deficient!
To suffer unjust sufferings, tongue-tied, is itself the worst of all sins.