‘What is Hinduism?’ by Jawaharlal Nehru

‘The foreigners (Muslims, Turks),’ says Vincent Smith, ‘like their forerunners the Sakas and the Yueh-chi, universally yielded to the wonderful assimilative power of Hinduism, and rapidly became Hinduised.’

What is Hinduism?

In this quotation Vincent Smith has used the words ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Hinduised’. I do not think it is correct to use them in this way unless they are used in the widest sense of Indian culture. They are apt to mislead to-day when they are associated with a much narrower, and specifically religious, concept. The word ‘Hindu’ does not occur at all in our ancient literature. The first reference to it in Indian book is, I am told, in a Tantrik work of the eighth century A.C., where ‘Hindu’ means a people and not the followers of a particular religion. But it is clear that the word is a very old one, as it occurs in the Avesta and in old Persian. It was used then and for a thousand years or more later by the peoples of western and central Asia for India, or rather for the people living on the other side of the Indus river. The word is clearly derived from Sindhu, the old, as well as the present, Indian name for the Indus. From this Sindhu came the words Hindu and Hindustan, as well as Indus and India.
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The famous Chinese pilgrim I-tsing, who came to India in the seventh century A.C., writes in his record of travels that the ‘northern tribes’, that is the people of Central Asia, called India ‘Hindu’ (Hsin-tu) but, he adds, ‘this is not at all a common name … and the most suitable name for India is the Noble Land (Aryadesha).’ The use of the word ‘Hindu’ in connection with a particular religion is of very late occurrence.
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The old inclusive term for religion in India was Arya dharma. Dharma really means something more than religion. It is from a root word which means to hold together; it is the inmost constitution of a thing, the law of its inner being. It is an ethical concept which includes the moral code, righteousness, and the whole range of man’s duties and responsibilities. Arya dharma would include all the faiths (Vedic and non-Vedic) that orignated in India; it was used by Buddhists and Jains as well as by those who accepted the Vedas. Bhudda always called his way to salvation the ‘Aryan Path’.
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The expression Vedic dharma was also used in ancient times to signify more particularly and exclusively all those philosophies, moral teachings, ritual and practices, which were supposed to derive from the Vedas. Thus all those who acknowledged the general authority of the Vedas could be said to belong to the Vedic dharma.
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Sanatana dharma, meaning the ancient religion, could be applied to any of the ancient Indian faiths (including Buddhism and Jainism), but the expression has been more or less monopolized to-day by some orthodox sections among the Hindu who claim to follow the ancient faith.
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Buddhism and Jainism were certainly not Hinduism or even the Vedic dharma. Yet they arose in India and were integral parts of Indian life, culture and philosophy. A Buddhist or Jain in India is a hundred percent product of Indian thought and culture, yet neither is Hindu by faith. It is, therefore, entirely misleading to refer to Indian culture as Hindu culture. In later ages this culture was greatly influenced by the impact of Islam, and yet it remained basically and distinctively Indian. To-day it is experiencing in a hundred ways the powerful effect of the industrial civilization, which rose in the west, and it is difficult to say with any precision what the outcome will be.
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Hinduism, as a faith, is vague, amorphous, many-sided, all things to all men. It is hardly possible to define it, or indeed to say definitely whether it is a religion or not, in the usual sense of the word. In its present form, and even in the past, it embraces many beliefs and practices, from the highest to the lowest, often opposed to or contradicting each other. Its essential spirit seems to be to live and let live. Mahatma Gandhi has attempted to define it: ‘If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after the truth through non-violent means. A man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth … Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.’ Truth and non-violence so says Gandhi: but many eminent and undoubted Hindu say that non-violence, as Gandhi understands it, is no essential part of the Hindu creed. We thus have truth left by itself as the distinguishing mark of Hinduism. That, of course, is no definition at all.
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It is, therefore, incorrect and undesirable to use ‘Hindu’ or ‘Hinduism’ for Indian culture, even with reference to the distant past, although the various aspects of thought, as embodied in ancient writings, were the dominant expression of that culture. Much more is it incorrect to use those terms, in that sense, to-day. So long as the old faith and philosophy were chiefly a way of life and an outlook on the world, they were largely synonymous with Indian culture; but when a more rigid religion developed with all manner of ritual and ceremonial, it became something more and at the same time much less than that composite culture. A Christian or a Moslem could, and often did, adapt himself to the Indian way of life and culture, and yet remained in faith and orthodox Christian or Moslem. He had Indianized himself and became an Indian without changing his religion.
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The correct word for ‘Indian’, as applied to country or culture or the historical continuity of our varying traditions is ‘Hindi’, from ‘Hind’, a shortened form of Hindustan. Hind is still commonly used for India. In the countries of Western Asia, in Iran and Turkey, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and elsewhere, India has always been referred to, and is still called, Hind; and everything Indian is called ‘Hindi’. ‘Hindi’ has nothing to do with religion, and a Moslem or Christian Indian is as much a Hindi as a person who follows Hinduism as a religion. Americans who call all Indians Hindus are not far wrong; they would be perfectly correct if they used the word ‘Hindi’. Unfortunately, the word ‘Hindi’ has been associated in India with a particular script -the devanagri script of Sanskrit- so it has become difficult to use it in its larger and more natural significance. Perhaps when present-day controversies subside we may revert to its original and more satisfying use. To-day, the word ‘Hindustani’ is used for Indian; it is, of course, derived from Hindustan. But this is too much of a mouthful and it has no such historical and cultural associations as ‘Hindi’ has. It would certainly appear odd to refer to ancient periods of Indian culture as ‘Hindustani’.
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Whatever the word we may use, Indian or Hindi or Hindustani, for our cultural tradition, we see in the past that some inner urge towards synthesis, derived essentially from the Indian philosophic outlook, was the dominant feature of Indian cultural, and even racial, development. Each incursion of foreign elements was a challenge to this culture, but it was met successfully by a new synthesis and a process of absorption. This was also a process of rejuvenation and new blooms of culture arose out of it, the background and essential basis, however, remaining much the same.


*This blogpost is directly copied/typed from the book ‘The Discovery Of India’ !

My favorite lines from ‘The Catcher In The Rye’

Something really bizarre happened that day. I was going through my twitter home page when I saw one of the people I am following, tweet this:

Tweeet

See, yeah right! I mean seriously, who the flowers will ever give such a remark about one of the best books of all times. I couldn’t bear the insult so I started asking her about the reason of why had she not liked the book. Turns out she has read the book in her (honestly, I don’t know her exact age but she looks like in her early or mid 30’s in her profile picture).

Anyway, the point is that you need to read this book as soon as you can if you have not already. Because who knows you might become one of those uncool people giving bad remarks about ‘The Catcher In The Rye” once you read it in your 30’s or 40’s. And believe me giving bad remarks about this book:  an instant turn off !

So, here are some lines to whet your appetite. Read them and realize how much coolness you are missing.

Spoiler alert: Most of the lines are by Holden Caulfield, a teenager drop-out, who is the main character of the novel.

Here :

  • I like to be somewhere at least where you can see girls once in a  while, even if they’re only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something.
  • I could puke every time I hear that.
  • I didn’t feel like being lectured to and smell Vicks nose drops and look at old Spencer in his Pajamas and bathrobe all at the same time. Really I didn’t.
  • I am pretty sure he yelled ‘Good Luck!’ at me. I hope not. I hope to hell not. I’d never yell ‘Good Luck!’  at anybody. It sounds terrible, when you think about it.
  • I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, eve, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.
  • What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend if yours and you could call him up in the phone whenever you felt like it.
  • I didn’t answer him right away. Suspense is good for some bastards like Stradlater.
  • He gave out a big yawn when he said that. Which is something that gives me a royal pain in the ass.
  • That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a god damn toilet seat.
  • He was one of those bald guys that comb all their hair over from the side to cover up the baldness.
  • People always clap for the wrong things.
  • I certainly began to feel like a prize horse’s ass, though, sitting there all by myself.
  • She had some Navy officer with her that looked like he had a poker up his ass.
  • He was one of those guys that think they’re being pussy if they don’t break around forty of your fingers when they shake hands with you.
  • I’m always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
  • One of the troubles is, I never care too much when I lose something. It used to drive my mother crazy when I was a kid. Some guys spend days looking for something they lost. I never seem to have anything that if I lost it I’d care too much.
  • God damn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.
  • Certain things they should stay the way they’re. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible but it’s too bad anyway.
  • If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late? Nobody.
  • Girls. You never know what they are going to think.
  • The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they’ll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don’t like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they’ll say he is conceited. Even smart girls do.
  • She was about as kind hearted as a god damn wolf. You take somebody that cries their god damn eyes out over phony stuff in the movies, and nine times of ten they’re mean bastards at the heart. I’m not kidding.
  • Anyway, I’m sort of glad that they’ve got the atomic bomb invented. If there’s ever another war, I’m going to sit right the hell on the top of it. I’ll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will.
  • Boy, when you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a God damn cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.
  • It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to.
  • You can hit my father over the head with a chair and he won’t wake up, but my mother, all you have to do is cough somewhere in Siberia.
  • Boy, did he depress me! I don’t mean he was a bad guy. He wasn’t. But you don’t have to be a bad guy to depress somebody. you can be a good guy and do it.

The following lines are by Holden’s teacher:

  • The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom.
  • But I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause.
  • “The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
  • Something else an academic education will do for you. If you go along with it a considerable distance, it’ll begin to give you an idea what kind of thoughts your particular size mind should be wearing. For one thing, it may save you an extraordinary amount of time trying on ideas that don’t suit you, aren’t becoming to you. You’ll begin to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly.

Nehru’s take on religion and mythology

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Therefore, I thought people who are seeking to nourish their minds should benefit from the views of a great personality about his knowledge and ideas regarding religion, religious scriptures and mythology. If I continue with the introductory stuff, this post is going to get too lengthy. I will stop right here. Hope you read it till the end!

Nehru says:

“How are we to consider the scripture of various religions, much of it believed by its votaries to be revealed scripture? To analyse it and criticize it and look upon it as a human document is often to offend the true believers. Yet there is no other way to consider it.

I have always hesitated to read books of religion. The totalitarian claims made on their behalf did not appeal me. The outward evidences of the practice of religion that I saw did not encourage me to go to the original sources. Yet I had to drift to these books, for ignorance of them was not a virtue and was often a severe drawback. I knew that some of them had powerfully influenced humanity and anything that could have done so must have some inherent power and virtue in it, some vital source of energy. I found great difficulty reading through many parts of them, for try as I would,I could not arouse sufficient interest; but the sheer beauty of some passages would hold me. And then a phrase and a sentence would leap up and electrify me and make me feel the presence of the really great. Some words of the Buddha or of Christ would shine out with deep meaning and seem to me applicable as much to-day as when they were uttered 2,000 or more years ago. There was a compelling reality about them, a permanence which time and space could not touch. So I felt sometimes when I read about Socrates or the Chinese philosophers, and also when I read the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I was not interested in metaphysics, or the description of ritual, or the many other things which apparently had no relation to the problems that faced me. Perhaps I did not understand the inner significance of much that I read, and sometimes, indeed, a second reading threw more light. I made no real effort to understand mysterious passages and I passed those which had no particular significance for me, Nor was I interested in long commentaries and glossaries. I could not approach these books, or any book, as Holy Writ which must be accepted in their totality without challenge or demur.Indeed, this approach of Holy writ usually resulted in my mind being closed to what they contained. I was much more friendly and opened to them when I could consider them as having been written by human beings, very wise and far-seeing, but nevertheless ordinary mortals, and not incarnations or mouthpieces of a divinity, about whom I had no knowledge or surety whatever.

It has always seemed to me a much more magnificent and impressive thing that a human being should rise to great heights, mentally and spiritually, and should then seek to raise others up, rather than that he should be the mouthpiece of a divine or superior power. Some of the founders of religions were astonishing individuals, but all their glory vanishes in my eyes when I cease to think of them as human beings. What impresses me and gives me hope is the growth of the mind and spirit of man, and not his being used as an agent to convey a message.

Mythology affected me in much the same way. If people believed in the factual content of these stories, the whole thing was absurd and ridiculous. But as soon as one ceased believing in them, they appeared in a new light, a new beauty, a wonderful flowering of a richly endowed imagination, full of human lessons. No one believes now in the stories of Greek gods and goddesses and so, without any difficulty, we can admire them and they become a part of our mental heritage. But if we had to believe in them, what a burden it would be, and how, oppressed by this weight of belief, we would often miss their beauty. Indian mythology is richer, vaster, very beautiful, and full of meaning. I have often wondered what manner of men and women they were who gave shape to these bright dreams and lovely fancies, and out of what gold mine of thought and imagination they dug them.

Looking at scripture then as a product of the human mind, we have to remember the age in which it was written, the environment and mental climate in which it grew, the vast distance in time and thought and experience that separates it from us. We have to forget the trappings of ritual and religious usage in which it is wrapped, and remember the social background in which it expanded. Many of the problems of human life have a permanence and a touch of eternity about them, and hence the abiding interest in these ancient books. But they dealt with other problems also, limited to their particular age, which have no living interest for us now.”

Nationalism and Internationalism – Nehru

This extract is again from the book ‘The Discovery Of India’ … I am sharing these lines because I want you people not to miss this piece by a great man. And even if you missed it, you should somehow have an idea about some important stuff in it. I can not share my opinions on what I perceive of all the things I read because I don’t feel like it. Although the following paragraphs are written during the WWII and revolves around  Indian (Colonial) Nationalism, I want you to read between the lines and see how it fits you and your condition.

Nationalism And Internationalism

“My reaction to India thus was often an emotional one, conditioned and limited in many ways. It took the form of nationalism. In the case of many people the conditioning and limiting factors are absent. But nationalism was and is inevitable in the India of my day; it is a natural and healthy growth. For any subject country national freedom must be the first and dominant urge; for India, with her intense sense of individuality and a past heritage, it was doubly so.

Recent events all over the world have demonstrated that the notion that nationalism is fading away before the impact of Internationalism and proletarian movements has little truth. It is still one of the most powerful urges that move a people, and round it cluster sentiments and traditions and a sense of common living and common purpose. While the intellectual strata of the middle classes were gradually moving away from nationalism, or so they thought, labor and proletarian movements, deliberately based on internationalism, were drifting towards nationalism. The coming of war swept everybody everywhere into the net of nationalism. This remarkable resurgence of nationalism, or rather a re-discovery of it and a new realization of its vital significance, has raised new problems and altered the shape of old problems.  Old established traditions cannot be easily scrapped or dispensed with; in moments of crisis they raise and dominate the minds of men, and often, as we have seen, a deliberate attempt is made to use those traditions to rouse a people to a high pitch of effort and sacrifice.  Traditions have to be accepted to a large extent and adapted and transformed to meet new conditions and ways of thought, and at the same time new traditions have to be built up. The nationalist ideal is deep and strong; it is not a thing based on the ineluctable facts of to-day, have arisen, the international ideal and proletarian ideal, and there must be some kind of fusion between these various ideals if we are to have a world equilibrium and a lessening conflict. The abiding appeal of nationalism to the spirit of man has to be recognized and provided for, but its sway to a narrower sphere.

If nationalism is still so universal in its influence, even in countries powerfully affected by new ideas and international forces, how much more must it dominate the mind of India. Sometimes we are told that nationalism is a sign of our backwardness and even our demand of independence indicates our narrow-mindedness. Those who tell us so seem to imagine that true internationalism would triumph if we agreed to remain as junior partners in the British Empire or Commonwealth of Nations. They do not appear ti realize that this particular type of so-called internationalism is only an extension of a narrow British nationalism, which could not have appealed to us even if the logical consequences of Anglo-Indian history had not utterly rooted out its possibility from our minds. Nevertheless, India for all her intense nationalistic fervor, has gone further than many nations in her acceptance of real internationalism and the co-ordination, and even to some extent the subordination, of the independent nation state to a world organization.”

The Discovery Of Hope

I was reading the book “The Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru, the following lines struck me real hard and compelled me to share it with all of you. I think If we apply these lines to the grief-stricken community of Quetta, It can actually become a ray of hope for the people. Now read the following passage and tell me what are your ideas.

“How amazing is this spirit of man! In spite of innumerable failings, man, throughout the ages, has sacrificed his life and all he held dear for an ideal, for truth, for faith, for country and honor. That ideal may change, but the capacity for self sacrifice continues, and, because of that, much may be forgiven to man, and it is impossible to lose hope for him. In the midst of disaster, he has not lost his dignity or his faith in the values he cherished. Plaything of nature’s mighty forces, less than a speck of a dust in the universe, he has hurled defiance at the elemental powers, and with his mind, cradle of revolution, sought to master them. Whatever Gods there be, there is something godlike in man, as there is also something of the devil in him.

The future is dark, uncertain. But we can see part of the way leading to it and can tread it with firm steps, remembering that nothing that can happen is likely to overcome the spirit of man which has survived so many perils; remembering also that life, for all its ills, has joy and beauty, and that we can always wander; if we know how to, in the enchanted woods of nature.

‘What else is wisdom? What of man’s endeavour

Or God’s high grace, so lovely and so great?

To stand from fear set free, to breathe and wait;

To hold a hand uplifted over Hate;

And shall not Loveliness be loved for ever?’

(Chorus from ‘ The Bacchae of Euripides. Gilbert Murray’s translation.)”

!ہوتا نہیں

I am a poetry fanatic. I basically love it ! If I have to choose between a $1000,000 and a beautiful Ghazal as the following one, I would surely go for the later. But If you make that $10,000,000 I might consider my options though 😛

Saghar_Siddiqui
Saghar_Siddiqui

Anyhow, the following masterpiece is by ‘Saghar Siddiqui’. A master in poetry, I shall say. The story goes that after the partition of sub-continent, an annual poetry contest was held in Layallpur (currently Faisalabad, Pakistan) cotton factory. In 1958 another poetry genious, ‘Jigar Murad Abadi’ was heading the show. The ground for the poems were the  line ” سجدہ گاہ عاشقاں پر نقش پا ہوتا نہیں ” ! Lots of poets recited their pieces. Then came Siddiqui’s turn. He went and recited the following Ghazal.

ایک وعدہ ہے کسی کا جو وفا ہوتا نہیں

ورنہ ان تاروں بھری راتوں میں کیا ہوتا نہیں

جی میں آتا ہے الٹ دیں انکے چہرے سے نقاب

حوصلہ کرتے ہیں لیکن حوصلہ ہوتا نہیں

شمع جس کی آبرو پر جان دے دے جھوم کر

وہ پتنگا جل تو جاتا ہے فنا ہوتا نہیں

اب تو مدت سے رہ و رسمِ نظارہ بند ہے

اب تو ان کا طُور پر بھی سامنا ہوتا نہیں

ہر شناور کو نہیں ملتا تلاطم سے خراج

ہر سفینے کا محافظ ناخدا ہوتا نہیں

ہر بھکاری پا نہیں سکتا مقامِ خواجگی

ہر کس و ناکس کو تیرا غم عطا ہوتا نہیں

ہائے یہ بیگانگی اپنی نہیں مجھ کو خبر

ہائے یہ عالم کہ تُو دل سے جُدا ہوتا نہیں

بارہا دیکھا ہے ساغر رہگذارِ عشق میں

کارواں کے ساتھ اکثر رہنما ہوتا نہیں

(ساغر صدیقی)

Listening this Ghazal, Jigar became ecstatic and the audience applauded joyfully. When the turn came to Jigar to present his Ghazal, all he did was go to the stage and tear his writings to pieces and he declared Saghar as the winner !

But Mother

By : Hadi

 

But Mother

What if you die?

Today or tomorrow

Leaving behind your stories

Ending up in second hand bookshops

Or resonating with the tobacco smokes of us ‘men’. . . Once a year.

And my Dearest

What of your wrinkles:

The soul witnesses of your ‘life’.

Burying under the earth.

As if they never existed,

As if you never suffered.

But my Old Lady

What if you live forever?

With more and more wrinkles

On your dimming face,

In proportion to your lost battles. . .

No! It is not wise. YOU MUST DIE.

And let us ‘men’ celebrate you. . . Once a year.

 

A Pale Blue Dot

Copied From:Planetary.Org

by Carl Sagan
Co-founder of The Planetary Society
1994

Picture Credit : NASA

This excerpt from A Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan’s suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

My favorite lines from ‘Little Women’ and ‘Good Wives’

It has been a week or so that I have finished reading the book ‘Little Women’ and its sequel ‘Good Wives’ by the author Louisa May Alcott. By ‘the book’ I was referring to its hard copy which has both the books in one binding. So, these are the lines I picked from the whole book. Most of them lines look as if they are phrases. Therefore, you may need to read the novel to understand some of these lines.
Little Women
  • The simple, loving fashion which makes these home-festivals so pleasant at time, so sweet to remember long afterward.
  • But, dear me, let us be elegant or die.
  • Hated rain as a cat
  • For after all rich people has about as many worries as poor ones.
  • Children should be children as long as they can
  • Loves casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride.
  • Conceit spoils the finest genius.
  • The great charm of all power is modesty
  • Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people, by being modest.
  • It’s too warm to be particular about one’s part of speech.
  • Prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life becomes a beautiful success, in spite of poverty.
  • That young lady had a stand-off-don’t-touch-me air.
  • Little black ants partook of the refreshments without being invited.
  • As the girls would not, and the boys could not, eat anymore …
  • Only if Brooke is going to be a thermometer, I must mind and have a fair weather for him to report.
  • I will be a double distilled saint.
  • Men have to work and women to marry for money.
  • Felt repaid for a much greater sacrifice than the trifling one of time and comfort.
  • Fragrant invitation issuing from the nose of the coffee-pot.
  • To live for others, and make home happy by the exercise of those simple virtues which all may possess, and which all should love and value more than talent, wealth or beauty.
  • The warm grasp of the friendly human hand comforted her sore heart.
  • Some old people keep young at heart in spite of wrinkles and gray hair.
  • Such hours are beautiful to live, but very hard to describe.
  • A kind word will govern me when all King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t.
  • Men always croak when they are hungry.
  • Now and then, in this work-a-day world, things do happen in the delightful story-book fashion, and what a comfort that is.
  • My dear, I value the womanly skill which keeps home happy, more than white hands or fashionable accomplishments

Good Wives

  • Genius is eternal patience
  • Money cannot buy refinement of nature, that rank does not always confer nobility, and that true breeding makes itself felt in spite of external drawbacks.
  • If I can’t have it as I like, I don’t care to have it at all.
  • It was a People’s Course- the lecture on the Pyramids,- and Jo rather wondered at the choice of such a subject for such an audience, but took it for granted that some great social evil would be remedied, or some great want supplied by unfolding the glories of the Pharaohs, to an audience whose thoughts were busy with the price of coal and flour, and whose lives were spent in trying to solve the harder riddles than that of the Sphinx.
  • Fame is a very good thing to have in the house, but cash is more convenient.
  • Everything went on smoothly till the day before the fair opened; then there occurred one of the little skirmishes which it is almost impossible to avoid, when some five-and-twenty women, old and young, with all their private piques and prejudices, try to work together.
  • Because they are mean is no reason why I should be.
  • They will feel that more than angry speeches and huffy actions.
  • A kiss for a blow is always best, though it is not very easy to give it, sometimes.
  • Laurie ceased to worship at many shrines.
  • For with Jo, brain developed earlier than heart.
  • After studying himself to a skeleton all the week, a fellow deserves petting.
  • It dawned upon her gradually, that the world was being picked to pieces, and put together on new, and, according to the talkers, on infinitely better principles than before; that religion was in a fair way to be reasoned into nothingness, and intellect was to be the only God.
  • Clung more closely to the dear human love, from which our Father never means us to be weaned, but through which he draws us closer to Himself.
  • A woman’s happiest kingdom is home, her highest honor the art of ruling it – not as a queen, but as a wise wife and mother.
  • Short answers save trouble.
  • Queens of society can’t get on without money.
  • It is wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can’t have the one you want.
  • Hope can comfort love, and faith make resignation possible.
  • The self-forgetfulness that makes the humblest remembered sooner in heaven.
  • He did not own it till long afterward; men seldom do, for when women are the advisers, the lords of creation don’t take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do; then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it; if it fails, they generously give her the whole.
  • If all brothers were treated as well as Laurie was at this period, they would be a much happier race of beings than they are.
  • The fresh winds blew away desponding doubts, delusive fancies and moody mists; the warm spring sunshine brought out all sorts of aspiring ideas, tender hopes and happy thoughts – the lake seemed to wash away the troubles of the past, and the grand old mountains to look benignly down upon them, saying ‘Little children, love one another.’
  • She knew it without words.
  • Parents who had taught one child to meet death without fear, were trying now to teach another to accept life without despondency or distrust, and to use its beautiful opportunities with gratitude and power.
  • It’s not half so sensible to leave a lot of legacies when one dies, as its to use the money wisely while alive, and enjoy making one’s fellow creatures happy with it.

“Is this, then, Life?” – Mark Twain

I had quite fun while reading all the way through ‘The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer’. Well, Tom Sawyer is one hell of a naughty kid! Anyhow, I am not going to bore you with much details but would rather suggest you to read that piece by Mark Twain. Its Fun! Now, this para is taken from the same book in which Samuel Langhorne has elegantly described a certain behavior of a Youthful soul. I just thought to share it with you because I for person LOVED it … It goes like this
“In the common walks of life, with what delightful emotions does the youthful mind look forward to some anticipated scene of festivity! Imagination is busy sketching rose-tinted pictures of joy. In fancy, the voluptuous votary of fashion sees herself amid the festive throng, ‘the observed of all observers.’ Her graceful form, arrayed in snowy robes, is whirling through the mazes of the joyous dance; her eye is brightest, her step is lightest in the gay assembly.
“In such delicious fancies time quickly glides by, and the welcome hour arrives for her entrance into the Elysian world, of which she has had such bright dreams. How fairy-like does everything appear to her enchanted vision! Each new scene is more charming than the last. But after a while she finds that beneath this goodly exterior, all is vanity, the flattery which once charmed her soul, now grates
harshly upon her ear; the ball-room has lost its charms; and with wasted health and imbittered heart, she turns away with the conviction that earthly pleasures cannot satisfy the longings of the soul!”