- Jan 3, 2010
J.S. ANAND’S ‘LUSTUS’: AN EPIC DEPICTING MODERN SITUATION BY AMALGMATING EASTERN THEOLOGY WITH THAT OF WEST
Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal
Ex Dean Desh Bhagat Univeresity
Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal
Ex Dean Desh Bhagat Univeresity
We are watching the war between Russia and Ukraine which also involves proxy war between the two great powers USA and Russia. The destruction of human beings and nature and environmental degradation is beyond redemption. Threats of atomic blasts causing huge destruction further are in the air. It will be a total annihilation if an all out atomic war starts. Evil forces are playing their games through these agents of evil. Behind these are not the wise minds but the satanic minds, which for not a very plausible reason have brought the world to such a state. Dr Jernail Singh Anand finds that from the world of Satan of World War I and II, it is now Satan’s powerful cousin Lustus who has prepared regimes for the Third World War and is steadily pushing them into this. Dr Jernail Singh Anand's modern epic 'Lustus: The Prince of Darkness', presents a vivid depiction of the global situation at present as opposed to the good old world of the God fearing and moral law-abiding. Dr Anand is moving very close to realities of the Global world. ‘Lustus’ is an epic, intelligently built around Lustus who gets the charge from Satan who has become old and is incapable of developing his mission of demonising the entire universe. After taking over, Lustus plans to expand his sphere of influence, not only to the men but also the birds, trees and other elements of nature. Thus, the operational area of the Epic is global as the poet has successfully tried to marry the west with the East, Milton's ’Paradise Lost’ and ‘Paradise Regained’ with Guru Gobind Singh’s ‘Chandi Di War’ and Hindu Epic ‘Mahabharat’.
This epic is also a strange amalgamation of Eastern and Western theologies to depict this entire nature of the situation. The situations in East have been described earlier by philosophers but with some differences under different names and categories. For example Milton's ‘Pardise Lost’, Shakespeare's ‘Mecbeth’ and Indian epics ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharta’ have different cultural settings and events are varied based on different philosophies and locations. However, by bringing both these philosophies on common platform by reducing the cultural and linguistic differences, Dr Anand has made a successful attempt to bring both the theologies on a single global platform relating to this global situation. The situation of the world is described by the author through Vishnu and Indira.
God called Brahma and asked him to know more about the mayhem caused by Lustus. Brahma sent Vishnu to evaluate the situation who found the extremely deteriorated situation in the entire universe. A war between the evil and the virtue continues in which the evil is shown in the process of overpowering the virtues. This evil consisting of anger, greed, attachment, pride, ego etc., has helped increase passions, lust, deceit, duplicity, desire, revenge, internal fires, malice and prejudice which have subdued love, compassion, forgiveness and other morale values. Self and self-interest have taken over the spirit of global welfare (‘sarbat da bhala’). Religion is no more a matter of faith but has become a mere ritual. It is now being used as a tool of increasing power, spreading hatred, converting God-loving people into hard core vocalists and assassins who take pride in subduing others and making them slaves.
God had written the destiny but further destiny writing is now in the hands of the newly crowned Lustus. His Grand Design is prepared on the human lust, anger, greed, affection attachment, deceit, desire, duplicity, revenge etc., which are all against humanity and human values. Addressing his team of minions, Lustus explains that as the West imperialised various nations of the world and educated them through constructed knowledge changing the value system based on godliness, good and welfare into love for Mammon, trickery, treachery and falsehood, he succeeded in putting all evils into their minds through new corporate culture weaning away the mankind towards his world. Lustus has gone much farther from the trickery of Satan who made Eve taste the apple of knowledge; he has increased his sphere to the entire world including plants, birds, reptiles and animals. The system of equibalance between the Good and Evil set by God is upset by Lustus by increasing evil even into the minds of those who once feared, loved and obeyed God, and his commandments.
Love has been converted into lust as minds have been polluted by these evil forces and bodies have become full of lust; men and women are seen not as a source of regeneration but as a matter of pleasure. The ‘Maya’ of the world has so vitiated the minds of the people that the man is made the slave of work. The increasing desires and needs of the body have killed the joy, peace, happiness, love and simple easy life. The rich corporates are making man move faster than his capabilities as he is engaged in non-stop working and worrying about incomplete work and is having nightmares rather than sweet dreams at night. The true light has gone off and man is hankering after Mammon in this dark.
Vishnu explained further that Lustus by introducing artificial light of knowledge has been able to spread evil so fast that the human beings are engrossed in boldily pleasures and have lost their conscience. This has resulted in tilting all proportions and balances; losing even the grace in their conduct. Through this artificial knowledge taught in schools, colleges and universities, they became highly educated gaining high degrees but in turn they have lost all moral values and their attachment to God. Their behaviour too has become abnormal. Indira informed that the desires for the body have taken over mind. Lust for sex has overtaken their consciousness and they are now after pleasures of life, forgetting the name of God altogether. They have lost all moral values and sense of humility. They have become sex maniacs, psychopaths, sociopaths and rapists. Lustus has prepared a strong team of officials, industrialists, black marketeers, court workers, businessman, shop keepers, soothsayers, psedo gurus, saints and mahants who have diverted God's systems to build their own small empires under the shadow of Lustus. They are attracting the innocent public with slogans of freedom, love and pleasures through sex, liquor and drugs. Now all the beings are asking for freedom from God and the gods and want to remain in the bidding of Lustus.
Thus Dr Jernail Singh Anand selected 'Lustus, the Prince of Darkness' to depict this dark age suitably. The simile amply moves the entire compendium on present situation through Lustus, the inheritor of Satan who has lived his life during this dark age (kaliyuga). He has rightly described that the true intelligence has been kept under lock and key and artificial intelligence has taken over. It appears clear when we see father glued to facebook, mother attached to Youtube and the children attached to comics; all on their own mobiles and TVs, the sources of this artificial intelligence. The true intelligence about our scriptures imparted by the Grandparents is no more available to the new generation as the old are left in Old Age Homes since the sons and daughters are unable or reluctant to take care of them. Companions of Lustus, Dr Vainall, Dr. Fireall, Beelzebub, Fightall, Faustus etc., are created to compare the anger, greed, attachment, pride, ego (kam, krodh, lobh, moh, hamkar, haumai) of the eastern world and are fitted here into the western culture to bring both ideologies closer.
The engulfing of light by the dark is certainly a matter of great concern. The Hindu mythology compares Satyuga as the age of Truth, the age of true light age and Kaliyuga as the dark age, the age of falsehood. Guru Nanak too, has described this situation in verse:
"The Dark Age of Kali Yuga is the knife, and the kings are butchers; righteousness has sprouted wings and flown away. In this dark night of falsehood, the moon of Truth is not visible anywhere. I have searched in vain, and I am so confused; in this darkness, I cannot find the path. In egotism, they cry out in pain. Says Nanak, how will they be saved? || 1 ||(M 1, SGGS, p.470)
As the state of deteriorating situation caused by Lustus and his further designs to rule the world through his evil minions, is described to God, he calls Brahma to do something about it so that Lustus could be stopped. Evaluation of the entire situation becomes essential. Brahma feels that Lustus has been able to win away the people from the Right, True path of God and has enticed them into Evil. This number is continuously increasing and needs to be essentially checked. God calls the meeting of all gods to find out ways to contain Lustus and his depredations. Listening to all this, God asks Brahma to contain Lustus from imbalancing the world and from interfering in God's systems by spreading evil.
Since Lustus and his supporters do not come to an agreement by dialogue, only course left was of a war. As in Gita, Lord Krishna says: " Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in sinfulness, O Arjun, at that time I manifest myself on earth. To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age." (Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata. Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham. Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam. Dharmasangsthapanarthay sambhabami yuge yuge). (Bhagwat Geeta, Verse 7 & 8) To annihiliate Lustus, the epitome of adharma (irreligiousity), Durga is approached to eliminate Lustus and his team of devils. The battle between Durga and devils starts. One is reminded of 'Chandi Di Vaar' written by Guru Gobind Singh where Durga eliminates the devil Mehkhashur. The author relates this battle to Kurukshetra where the evil Duryodhna and his army is defeated by Pandvas who have stood on the path of Truth. However, in the present case, after a lot of bloodshed from both sides, both sides agree to stop war and Lustus is asked to stay within his limits.
Unlike Chandi Di Vaar in 'Lustus' the war does not end by killing of demon by Durga thereby eliminating the evil, hence virtue winning over evil but it ends by accepting the balance of virtue and evil and Lustus is forced to function within laid down limits. This is a unique outcome where the poet accepts the advancement of the world like undulation of sea waves caused by ups and downs through virtue and evil. The poet also stresses on changing the education system which is persistently based on mathematical and scientific approach where the heads and computers do all, whereas ideals, ideas, and soul are left apart. This education system helps the evil rather than the virtuous which should have been the case otherwise. During Maharaja Ranjit Singh's rule, education was based on religious and spiritual value systems and scriptures were the key material for knowledge from where the society gained strength and morality.
This system was clandestinely changed by the British after 1859 when the Western educational philosophy was used to create wealth. Mammon has been the key master of the new education. This system of education resulted in adverse affect on ethics, morality and spirituality; otherwise essentially required to be parts of teaching. Faith in God has been the strength of Eastern cultures and even in the West 80% people believe in God. This, however, has been kept out of school/college or university syllabii with a deliberate purpose to provide a dry life to the East and to control the minds so that ttheir consciousness is subdued and they remain acting as slaves. Even though the British have left, yet we have been continuing with the British pattern of education. We must change this pattern and ensure that the scriptures, religious philosophies and spiritual education become the central thrust of our teaching.
Dr Jernail Singh Anand is an author of global reckoning and has authored more than 140 books so far. He has a great flavour in writing philosophical literature in English. He has been organising international seminars and conferences regularly on literature and helped numerous new writers to stand up. He has been globally acknowledged and honoured with many international awards. Lustus is the new feather in his wings which has already been well received globally due to its mesmerizing impact on mind and heart and for providing a new direction to the new world.
May God keep him fit and fine and help him regularly to add to the literature improving human value system and removing all the evil now spreading all over the world and needs a strong check.