Agnostic Khushwant: There Is No God

Hay House, Inc
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Instead of entering into a pointless debate on whether or not God exists, it is more important to bear in mind that belief in the existence of God has little bearing on making a person a good or a bad citizen. One can be a saintly person without believing in God and a detestable villain believing in Him. In my personalized religion, there is NO GOD! Khushwant Singh, over the decades, has built up a reputation for coming up with something new and controversial in each book, and he does not disappoint his readers this time too. He begins with a chapter on the ‘need for a new religion – without God’, in which he questions the relevance of God. He then moves on to describe how religion has proved to be more harmful than beneficial and, in the process, debunks astrologers and the breed of so-called ‘godmen’. However, he is not dismissive of religion. Through his lucid writing, he brings out the beauty and significance of holy books such as the Bhagvad Gita, the Quran and the Granth Sahib. He provides relevant extracts to highlight the poetry and the music in such books. The author next tries to dispel the prejudices held by many non-Muslims against their Muslim compatriots by giving down-to-earth examples. He also emphasizes the importance of the Ramzaan fast. Khushwant Singh’s description of the life and times of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and his in-depth analysis of the Granth Sahib throw new light on a particularly troubled period in India’s history. The chapter devoted to the interaction of the author (a confirmed agnostic) with the Dalai Lama (probably the world’s most renowned spiritual leader) makes for fascinating reading. Here’s one book containing a wealth of knowledge and information that you would want to read or consult again and again.
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Hay House, Inc
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Published on
Oct 1, 2011
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Religion / Agnosticism
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खुशवन्त सिंह
कौन कहता है कि कहानी का अंत हो चुका है? भारत में तो अभी-अभी इसका पुनर्जन्म हुआ है और साहित्यिक पंडितों के अनुसार इसकी जन्मपत्री में लिखा है कि इसकी उम्र बहुत लंबी और समृद्ध होगी। अन्य अनेक विकासशील देशों की तरह भारत में भी कागज की उपलब्धता और प्रिटिंग की तकनीक शुरू होने से पहले साहित्य की दो ही विधाएँ प्रचलित थीं–एक कविता और दूसरी लोक-नाट्य। इन दोनों विधाओं का माध्यम अलिखित था। रचनाओं को कंठस्थ कर पीढ़ी-दर-पीढ़ी आगे बढ़ाया जाता था। सामान्य जन में शिक्षा का प्रसार होना तो अभी हाल की ही घटना है। कविता और लोक-नाट्य के बाद जो एक और विधा लोगों में लोकप्रिय थी, वह थी, ‘लतीफा’ या ‘दंतकथा’ थोड़े से शब्दों में कोई शिक्षा या संदेश देने का माध्यम होती थीं ये कथाएँ जिनका अंत हमेशा एक ऐसी पंक्ति से होता था जिसमें कथा का सार छुपा होता।
Khushwant Singh
An anthology of Khushwant Singh’s best writings on his favorite subjects, Women, Sex, Love and Lust is at once witty, informative, thought-provoking and flagrant. Definitely a book you can’t afford to miss! If you are looking for answers to eternal questions like which came first – love or lust, or debates pertaining to celibacy, chastity or arranged marriages, Khushwant Singh delivers his unique exposé. Whether he is analysing the fine dividing line between obscenity, pornography and erotica, describing sex from ‘Chaturbhani’ (200-350 B.C.) or his ideas of a composite Indian woman, Khushwant holds the reader’s attention effortlessly. But that isn’t all – years before terms such as ‘gender issues’ or ‘gender divide’ became popular, he was writing, thinking and sharing his views on them. His deliberations reveal an unexpected side to Khushwant . . . in these pages you’ll also find a rare glimpse of Khushwant the feminist. Women, Sex, Love and Lust abounds with Indian as well as foreign myths, legends, proverbs, and poems ranging from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Whitman to Kalidas, Iqbal and Faiz. Almost each page offers you delectable quotes from Russell to Wodehouse along with special anecdotes which could only come from the inimitable Khushwant. Only he could share with you his intense experience of nudo-phobia suffered in Sweden, his acute observation of Indian whoremongers when abroad, scandals amongst the literati and glitterati – H. G. Wells as a compulsive fornicator or Georges Simenon hammering away at his typewriter (and his women) at the age of eighty are only a few revelations.
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