Saturday March 31, 2012
What is religion? ~ Birendra (Barry) Nirmal Tiwary
Religion is a philosophical system that meets a basic need of the human beings. Religion has no competition in the sense that the needs met by religion cannot be met by any other philosophical system. This is why even though some countries have banned religion for a period of time, it has reappeared after the political system that banned it has eclipsed. For example, under the influence of atheistic Marxism, the USSR was the first state in modern times that banned religion. But after the Soviet system collapsed in December 1991, religion reappeared in Russia and other countries that are the successor states of the USSR.
There are many definitions of religion. In fact there are at least as many definitions as there are religions. In this essay, we will attempt to define it in terms that are easy to understand and comprehend. About religion, Swami Vivekananda says, “To the Hindu, then, the whole world of religions is only a traveling, a coming up, of different men and women, through various conditions and circumstances, to the same goal. Every religion is only evolving a God out of the material man, and the same God is the inspirer of all of them.” (1)
So, the basic aim of all religions is to evolve a God out of man, i.e. to elevate man so as to possess at least some qualities of God. But some religions do not believe in God, e.g. Jainism and Buddhism. So what is one to do? Swami Vivekananda says, “The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also. .. “ (2)
So, God is our father and he is supposed to have qualities that man craves. Some of these qualities that man aspires to possess are forgiving the failings and sins of others, strength of body and mind, control over senses, and control over base human instincts like lust, anger, greed, attachment to material word, maya, and so on.
Thoughts of Tolstoy on Religion
Leo Tolstoy understood Religion as our true connection to the Universe. The idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly). Leo Tolstoy writes, “The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me? .. It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart.” (3)
Leo Tolstoy acknowledged the fundamental morality of all world religions is ‘Do unto others as would be done unto thy Self.’
This is what he says about the importance of faith.
“… but faith is a knowledge of the meaning of human life in consequence of which man does not destroy himself but lives. Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives he believes in something. If he did not believe that one must live for something, he would not live. If he does not see and recognize the illusory nature of the finite, he believes in the finite; if he understands the illusory nature of the finite, he must believe in the infinite.Without faith he cannot live.” (4)
About the essence of religion, Tolstoy says, “Thus the essence of religion has been, and still is, understood by people with the highest human faculty, as the establishing by man of a relationship with the infinite Being, or beings, whose power he feels over him. No matter how this relationship has varied, for different peoples and at different times, it has always defined man’s destiny in the world, from which guidance for conduct followed naturally. The Jew has understood his relationship to the infinite as follows: being a member of the nation God chose from among all nations, he must therefore observe in God’s eyes the agreement He has entered into with his people.
The Greek understood his relationship as follows: being dependent on the representatives of eternity- the gods- he ought to please them. The Brahmin has understood his relationship to the infinite Brahma in this way: he is a manifestation of this Brahma and ought, by renouncing life, to strive after unity with the Higher Being. The Buddhist has understood, and understands, his relationship with the infinite thus; in passing from one form of life to another, he inevitably suffers. This suffering originates from passions and desires; therefore he ought to try and nullify them, and make the transition to Nirvana. Every religion is the establishment of a relationship between man and the infinite Being of which he feels he is a part, and from which he derives guidance in his conduct. “ (5)
Tolstoy is very critical of the Christian church, for distorting religion. The following is what he says about this issue and the distorting techniques used by the church have been used by other religions as well.
“And thus, all the three previous methods of religious distortion- priesthood, miracles, and the infallibility of the Scriptures- were adopted wholeheartedly by Christianity. It was admitted as lawful to have intermediaries between God and man, because the Church recognized them as such. The reality of miracles was admitted because they bore witness to the infallibility of the Church, and the sanctity of the Bible was agreed because it was acknowledged by the Church.
Christianity was perverted in the same way as all the other religions with the single difference that precisely because Christianity voiced its fundamental doctrine of equality between all men with such clarity, it was necessary to use special force to distort the teaching and conceal its basic clause. With the help of the concept of a Church this was done to a greater extent than in any other religion. Indeed no other faith has ever preached things as incompatible with reason and contemporary knowledge, or ideas as immoral as those taught by Church Christianity.” (6)
The above criticism of Christianity by Tolstoy should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of other religions. In fact his criticism of Christianity applies to almost all religions today. It was just that Tolstoy focused on Christianity because it was the dominant religion of his country.
The good, the bad and the ugly
The concept of religion is intertwined with the basic, perennial questions of what is good, what is bad, what is evil, what is suffering and how to become free from suffering. The following is what Buddha says about evil and suffering.
The Buddha said: “What, my friends, is evil? Killing is evil; stealing is evil; yielding to sexual passion is evil; lying is evil; slandering is evil; abuse is evil; gossip is evil; envy is evil; hatred is evil; to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things, my friends, are evil.
“And what, my friends, is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil; hatred is the root of evil; illusion is the root of evil; these things are the root of evil.
“What, however, is good? Abstaining from killing is good; abstaining from theft is good; abstaining from sensuality is good; abstaining from falsehood is good; abstaining from slander is good; suppression of unkindness is good; abandoning gossip is good; letting go all envy is good; dismissing hatred is good; obedience to the truth is good; all these things are good.
“And what, my friend, is the root of the good? Freedom from desire is the root of the good; freedom from hatred and freedom from illusion; these things, my friends, are the root of the good.
“What, however, O brethren, is suffering? What is the origin of suffering? What is the annihilation of suffering? Birth is suffering; old age is suffering; disease is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow and misery are suffering; affliction and despair are suffering; to be united with loathsome things is suffering; the loss of that which we love and the failure in attaining that which is longed for are suffering; all these things, O brethren, are suffering.
“And what, O brethren, is the origin of suffering? It is lust, passion, and the thirst for existence that yearns for pleasure everywhere, leading to a continual rebirth. It is sensuality, desire, selfishness; all these things, O brethren, are the origin of suffering.
“And what is the annihilation of suffering? The radical and total annihilation of this thirst and the abandonment, the liberation, the deliverance from passion, that, O brethren, is the annihilation of suffering.
“And what, O brethren, is the path that leads to the annihilation of suffering? It is the holy eightfold path that leads to the annihilation of suffering, which consists of right views, right decision, right speech, right action, right living, right struggling, right thoughts, and right meditation.
“In so far, O friends, as a noble youth thus recognizes suffering and the origin of suffering, as he recognizes the annihilation of suffering, and walks on the path that leads to the annihilation of suffering, radically forsaking passion, subduing wrath, annihilating the vain conceit of the “I-am, leaving ignorance, and attaining to enlightenment, he will make an end of all suffering even in this life.”
The Buddha said: “All acts of living creatures become bad by ten things, and by avoiding the ten things they become good. There are three evils of the body, four evils of the tongue, and three evils of the mind.
“The evils of the body are, murder, theft, and adultery; of the tongue, lying, slander, abuse, and idle talk; of the mind, covetousness, hatred, and error.
“I exhort you to avoid the ten evils:
(1) Kill not, but have regard for life.
(2) Steal not, neither do ye rob; but help everybody to be master of the fruits of his labor.
(3) Abstain from impurity, and lead a life of chastity.
(4) Lie not, but be truthful. Speak the truth with discretion, fearlessly and in a loving heart.
(5) Invent not evil reports, neither do ye repeat them. Carp not, but look for the good sides of your fellow-beings, so that ye may with sincerity defend them against their enemies.
(6) Swear not, but speak decently and with dignity.
(7) Waste not the time with gossip, but speak to the purpose or keep silence.
(8) Covet not, nor envy, but rejoice at the fortunes of other people.
(9) Cleanse your heart of malice and cherish no hatred, not even against your enemies; but embrace all living beings with kindness.
(10) Free your mind of ignorance and be anxious to learn the truth, especially in the one thing that is needful, lest you fall a prey either to skepticism or to errors. Skepticism will make you indifferent and errors will lead you astray, so that you shall not find the noble path that leads to life eternal.” (7)
Buddha’s instructions to ascetics on dealing with members of opposite sex
Relationship between members of opposite sex has vexed the minds of religious thinkers from time immemorial. In modern times, some Hindu teachers who live in the West ignore the great danger of excessive intermingling between the sexes and thus invariably fall into the pit of sinful activities. The following quotation from Buddha is as valid today as it was during life of Buddha. This is for conduct of ascetics (i.e. sanyasis) who have renounced the world.
“The bhikkhus came to the Blessed One and asked him: “O Tathagata, our Lord and Master, what conduct toward women dost thou prescribe to the samanas who have left the world?”
The Blessed One said: “Guard against looking on a woman. If ye see a woman, let it be as though ye saw her not, and have no conversation with her. If, after all, ye must speak with her, let it be with a pure heart, and think to yourself, ‘I as a samana will live in this sinful world as the spotless leaf of the lotus, unsoiled by the mud in which it grows.’
“If the woman be old, regard her as your mother, if young, as your sister, if very young, as your child. The samana who looks on a woman as a woman, or touches her as a woman, has broken his vow and is no longer a disciple of the Tathagata. The power of lust is great with men, and is to be feared withal; take then the bow of earnest perseverance, and the sharp arrow-points of wisdom. Cover your heads with the helmet of right thought, and fight with fixed resolve against the five desires. Lust beclouds a man’s heart, when it is confused with woman’s beauty, and the mind is dazed.
“Better far with red-hot irons bore out both your eyes, than encourage in yourself sensual thoughts, or look upon a woman’s form with lustful desires. Better fall into the fierce tiger’s mouth, or under the sharp knife of the executioner, than dwell with a woman and excite in yourself lustful thoughts.
“A woman of the world is anxious to exhibit her form and shape, whether walking, standing, sitting, or sleeping. Even when represented as a picture, she desires to captivate with the charms of her beauty, and thus to rob men of their steadfast heart. How then ought ye to guard yourselves? By regarding her tears and her smiles as enemies, her stooping form, her hanging arms, and her disentangled hair as toils designed to entrap man’s heart. Therefore, I say, restrain the heart, give it no unbridled license.” (8)
Courtesy : B N Tiwary | Hindu Mahasabha of America | Hindu Congress of America.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Swami Abhinandan Bharati requests to attend a protest rally and ”shudhi yagna” in front of Ering’s House at New Delhi on 27th Feb 2011.
Giving a saffron salutation to Brahmachariji of Hindu Existence, I want to crave your attention to this most important news.
Swami Ramdev supporters flay Congress MP for offensive remarks
IANS New Delhi | 22/02/2011 01:09:55 | Supporters of Swami Ramdev Saturday said they will hold “shudhi yagna” (purification ceremony) on Sunday at the residence of Ninong Ering, Congress MP from Arunachal Pradesh, and not allow him to enter parliament for his “derogatory utterances” against the yoga guru at a camp held in the state.
For details please get into :
Now, we are going to give a proper demonstration very peacefully at Ering’s House at Delhi on Sunday, 27th February, 2011. We will perform “shudhi yagna” (purification ceremony)and teach him a course of Pranayam (Kapalvati, Vastrika and Anulom-Vilom, at least these three)to check his mental irritations against Bharat, Bharat Swaviman and Indian Saints, Indian Culture and Indian Heritage.
The whole programme is well designed by Bharat Swaviman Trust, Patanjali Yog Peeth and obviously by Upananda Brahmachariji.
Upon his request We will be there at any cost to teach a good lesson to a Christian Dr.(?) Ering and his nefarious supporters. We will also try to know his further activities against Baba Ramdev. We have already tracked his ugly nature and illegalities about many things including his movements in Delhi, Pasighat and everywhere. ALL THESE WILL CERTAINLY COME UNDER THE SWAVIMAN ANTI CORRUPTION MOVEMENTS. NO BODY CAN STOP US. AS BABA LOVES US BEYOND ANY LIMITS, WE WILL FIGHT FOR HIS HONOUR AND POSITION IN EVERY FOOT STEP.
JO BABA KE KHILAF BOLEGA CHUR CHUR HO JABEGA.
All of my friends, compatriots and Swaviman warriors at different places like Mu****, Rajaji Nagar, Bhi*****, Siam, Vadodara, Ja***, Noida, Ch****, Ma*****, Shivaji Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar, Kurukhestra are requested to come to the venue with full preparation.
[Personal to Rajput, why ur mob is switched off all the time. Confirm what u v said… Well done that thing.]
I would like you to request every India Patriot Citizen to join hands to stop the political trend to malign Hindus Saints and the Men against corruption. Come in hundreds and thousands to attend our “shudhi yagna” at Delhi on coming Sunday(27-02-2011) as above.
I would like to request RSS, VHP, BAJRANG DAL, SHIVA SENA, HINDU JANJAGRUTI SAMITY, ABHINAV BHARAT, HAINDAVA KERALAM AND HINDU EXISTENCE members to attend the function as above a grand success.
Jai Bharat Swaviman, Jai Hindusthan, Jai Hindu Astwitva (HINDU EXISTENCE)
Swami Abhinandan Bharati.
Friday, February 11, 2011
The on-going loot of Hindu temples.
By MV Kamath || Haindava Keralam.
WHILE Congress leaders are hell-bent on damning the RSS – it is an old game that has long ceased to have any meaning – they seem to be unaware (or deliberately wish to ignore) that as late as on July 4, 2010 the right hand of a 53-year old Christian college professor (one TJ Joseph) was chopped off by Muslim fundamentalists, at Thodapurzha, Iduki district, in Kerala, for alleged blasphemy.
Digvijay Singh probably doesn’t want to be reminded of this. Nor, one suspects, would he be anxious to know that police found out that this heinous crime was committed as part of the implementation of the verdict of a Shariah court run by fundamentalist elements in Kerala. The police apparently discovered that 14 such parallel courts have been running in Kerala for the last twenty years and Kerala State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has been reported as confessing that since 1993, twenty two murders have taken place under the direction of the Shariah courts in Kerala (vide, Mangalam Daily Kottayam, July 21, 2010).
Digvijay Singh can check this bit of information as could Rahul Gandhi. At the same time, they could both check out on the performance of The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act of 1951 which allows State Governments and politicians to take over thousands of Hindu Temples and maintain complete control over them and their properties. It is claimed that they can sell the temple assets and properties and use the money in any way they choose.
A charge has been made not by any Temple authority, but by a foreign writer, Stephen Knapp in a book (Crimes Against India and the Need to Protect Ancient Vedic Tradition) published in the United States that makes shocking reading. Hundreds of temples in centuries past have been built in India by devout rulers and the donations given to them by devotees have been used for the benefit of the people. If, presently, money collected has ever been misused (and that word needs to be defined), it is for the devotees to protest and not for any government to interfere. This letter is what has been happening currently under an intrusive law. It would seem, for instance, that under a Temple Empowerment Act, about 43,000 temples in Andhra Pradesh have come under government control and only 18 per cent of the revenue of these temples have been returned for temple purposes, the remaining 82 per cent being used for purposes unstated.
Apparently even the world famous Tirumala Tirupati Temple has not been spared. According to Knapp, the temple collects over Rs 3,100 crores every year “and the State Government has not denied the charge that as much as 85 per cent of this is transferred to the State Exchequer, much of which goes to causes that are not connected with the Hindu community”. Was it for that reason that devotees make their offering to the temples? Another charge that has been made is that the Andhra Government has also allowed the demolition of at least ten temples for the construction of a golf course. “Imagine the outcry” writes Knapp, “if ten mosques had been demolished”. It would seem that in Karanataka, Rs. 79 crores were collected from about two lakh temples and from that, temples received Rs seven crores for their maintenance, Muslim madrassahs and Haj subsidy were given Rs 59 crore and churches about Rs 13 crore. Very generous of the government. Because of this, Knapp writes, “25 per cent of the two lakh temples or about 50,000 temples in Karnataka will be closed down for lack of resources”, and he adds: “The only way the government can continue to do this is because people have not stood up enough to stop it”. Knapp then refers to Kerala where, he says, “funds from the Guruvayur Temple are diverted to other government projects denying improvement to 45 Hindu temples”. Land belonging to the Ayyappa Temple, apparently has been grabbed and “Church encroaches are occupying huge areas of forest land, running into thousands of acres, near Sabarimala”.
A charge is made that the Communist state government of Kerala…. wants to pass an Ordinance to disband the Travancore & Cochin Autonomous Devaswom Boards (TCDBs) and take over their limited independent authority of 1,800 Hindu temples. If what the author says is true, even the Maharashtra Government wants to take over some 450,000 temples in the state which would “supply a huge amount of revenue to correct the state’s bankrupt conditions….” And to top it all, Knapp says that in Orissa, the state government intends to sell over 70,000 acres of endowment lands from the Jagannath Temple, the proceeds of which would solve a huge financial crunch brought about by its own mismanagement of temple assets. Says Knapp: “Why such occurrences are so often not known is that the Indian media, especially the English television and press, are often anti-Hindu in their approach, and thus not inclined to give much coverage, and certainly no sympathy, for anything that may affect the Hindu community. Therefore, such government action that play against the Hindu community go on without much or any attention attracted to them”.
Knapp obviously is on record. If the facts produced by him are incorrect, it is up to the government to say so. It is quite possible that some individuals might have set up temples to deal with lucrative earnings. But that, surely, is none of the government’s business? Instead of taking over all earnings, the government surely can appoint local committees to look into temple affairs so that the amount discovered is fairly used for the public good? Says Knapp: “Nowhere in the free, democratic world are the religious institutions managed, maligned and controlled by the government, thus denying the religious freedom of the people of the country. But it is happening in India. Government officials have taken control of Hindu temples because they smell money in them, they recognise the indifference of Hindus, they are aware of the unlimited patience and tolerance of Hindus, they also know that it is not in the blood of Hindus to go to the streets to demonstrate, destroy property, threaten, loot, harm and kill…
Many Hindus are sitting and watching the demise of their culture. They need to express their views loud and clear….” Knapp obviously does not know that should they do so, they would be damned as communalists. But it is time some one asked the Government to lay down all the facts on the table so that the public would know what is happening behind its back. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not secularism. And temples are not for looting, under any name. One thought that Mohammad of Ghazni has long been dead.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
No place for Conversion in a ‘secular’ nation
[On 21 January 2011, upholding life penalty for Dara Singh and Mahendra Hembram in the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons on the night of Jan. 22nd/23rd 1999, the Supreme Court declared there was no justification for religious conversion in a “secular” nation as it amounted to interference in the religious beliefs of others through force, allurement or false premise that one religion is better than the other. The court released the remaining 11 accused of the charge of conspiracy mooted by the CBI.
In a boost to the Hindu community, beleaguered by foreign-funded evangelists and human rights hounds, a Bench comprising Mr Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan noted that “conversion” violated the constitutional spirit of non-discrimination on grounds of religion and the co-existence of religions on the basis of “equal respect for all religions”.
It is pertinent that though the burning alive of Staines and his two sons is spectacular and gruesome, the judges refused to classify it as “rarest of rare” cases, and observed, “…The intention was to teach a lesson to Graham Staines about his religious activities, namely, converting poor tribals to Christianity.” The judgment thus upheld that there was a powerful non-personal motive behind the murder of the Staines, and hence there was no convincing case for awarding the death penalty to Dara Singh and Mahendra Hembram.
Then, following an orchestrated campaign of outrage by church organisations and Christian activists, as early as 25 Jan. itself, without notice to other parties in the dispute, the Supreme Court judges deleted critical paragraphs in their judgment, namely,
- “It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone’s belief by way of use of force, provocation, conversion, incitement or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other”
Anyone can see this really hit the Christian ‘soul-harvesters’ hard. It is unfortunate that Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan should have so hastily amended observations that were perfectly legitimate and completely in line with the 1977 judgment of the Supreme Court (a unanimous verdict by a 5 judge Bench inRev. Stainislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1977 SC 908 (Civil Appeal Nos. 1489 and 1511 of 1974: judgement pronounced Jan. 1977). The judgement clearly asserted there is no fundamental right to conversion and the state can legitimately prohibit conversion by force.
The Staines murder was investigated by the Justice D.P. Wadhwa Commission of Enquiry which submitted its report on 21 June 1999. Given the current interest in the case, and the need to contest conversions in Hindu society, particularly its weaker Tribal brethren, we publish excerpts of the Wadhwa Commission Report for the benefit of our readers – Editor,Vijayvaani]
Read the Full article here.
View this important Wadhwa Commission Report.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
‘UP monk was Bose in hiding’
Four years after the government trashed the Mukherjee Commission report, the issue has been raked up in a documentary on Bose.
Justice Manoj Mukherjee, in his inquiry report on the revolutionary leader’s death, had said Bose did not die in the 1945 plane crash, as is popularly claimed.
Now, the judge has told filmmaker Amlankushum Ghosh he “strongly believes” Gumnami Baba, the mysterious monk who lived in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, was Bose in disguise.
In his inquiry report, Mukherjee had ruled out the possibility of the sadhu being Bose, though he believed Netaji had not died in the crash.
The judge’s statement will be shown in Ghosh’s documentary, Black Box of History, which will be screened in Kolkata on February 18.
Mukherjee said he had made the comments “strictly off the record”. “I don’t even want to talk about it. I had made those comments strictly off the record. If he (Ghosh) has disclosed these personal discussions, it is neither legally justified nor ethical,” Mukherjee said.
“What I had said (in the film) concerns my belief. It has no legal basis. At the end of the day, what is important is what I had said in my report,” he added.
In the film, the former Supreme Court judge, while talking about his scrutiny of Gumnami Baba ‘s documents after the sadhu died in 1985, said: ” It is my personal feelingâ€¦ Don’t quote meâ€¦ But I am 100 per cent sure that he ( the monk) is Netaji.” Ghosh defended his decision to use Mukherjee’s statement.
” What Justice Mukherjee told me was of national importance.
It can’t be considered mere private chat. I don’t think what I did was unethical,” he said.
” A person of Justice Mukherjee’s stature could not gather the courage to go public about something as important as this. People have the right to know the truth about Netaji,” he added.
Ghosh interviewed many people associated with Bose as well as Gumnami Baba and claimed the leader entered UP via Nepal in the guise of a sadhu and started staying in Ram Bhavan, Faizabad, from 1983.
Also interviewed was handwriting expert and former additional director of the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, Dr B. Lal, who said the writings of the sadhu and Netaji ” matched perfectly”. According to the monk’s personal doctors R. K. Misra and P. Bandopadhyay – who were also interviewed for the film – about 40 of his trunks contained documents on India’s freedom struggle and photographs of Bose’s family members, which could be in possession of no one else apart from Netaji.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
MUSLIM LAND SHARKS GRABBING HINDU TEMPLE LANDS IN KASHMIR
KASHMIRI LAND SHARKS SWALLOW TEMPLE LAND
by Chitranjan Sawant
Vitasta ambles through the Kashmir valley. The hills around and the natural forests comprising deodar and pine trees present a pleasing sight to residents and visitors coming to the Kashmir valley from far and near. Of course, Vitasta is now renamed Jhelum and the demography too had undergone many changes many times.
Kalhan , the great Sanskrit poet sat in the thickly wooded picturesque Kashmir valley many thousand years ago and wrote Rajtarangini describing the important kings and queens, men and women who had contributed to the rich cultural heritage of the valley, hills and dales. Even the invaders from Central Asia who showed the prowess of their arms in the culturally rich valley were in turn influenced by the
Kashmiriat of the pre-Islamic era. The history of Kashmir bears out that the Shiva temples and the Shaiv heritage was flowing in the veins of an average Kashmiri as smoothly as the Jhelum river through numerous bends, twists and turns without losing her majestic gait sans a sense of hurry.
The Afghan invaders wrested the peace and culture of the Kashmir valley from its rulers and residents forever. He Mughals were also lured into the heaven-like hills and dales and went in for laying the large scale gardens. The maximum damage was, however, done by the Afghans to change the skyline from the temple dominated Kalash to roof-hugging minarets of mosques and Sufi places of worship that meant singing praise of the Lord for long. The Sanskrit language was replaced by the Persian language and some non-descript dialects like Dardi and Pushto from Kandahar region also made a debut. An upheaval of sorts in the realm of religion, culture, languages and apparel of both sexes was in the offing. The milieu of Kashmir stood changed in the middle ages. However, Kalhan and his Rajtarangini were as dear to the linguistically transformed man and woman of the middle ages as they were to the pre-Islamic people.
The Hindu resurgence brought the Dogra rulers back to the throne and temple Kalash were more in evidence on the Kashmir skyline than ever before. The Hindu-Dogra kings encouraged the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir and it continued to be called a Heaven on Earth.
WHEEL OF TIME
The Wheel of Time is never stationary. It moves on and on. The Dogras were replaced by an elected government but the Peace on Land remained as elusive as ever before. In 1990, the Islamist Terrorism came with full fury. The Hindus were driven away but the Hindu temples remained. The famous Shankaracharya temple on the high hill dominating the Srinagar valley is the most important landmark for locals and visitors alike. A large number of Hindu temples with land attached to them for maintenance remained at their respective places. The Mahants and Purohits were, generally speaking from the Kashmiri Pundit class except for some who came from the famous Namboodari family of Kerala. By the way, the famous Adi Shankaracharya who defeated the Buddhist bigwigs and revived the Hindu Dharma in Bharat, belonged to the Namboodari class of Brahmins from Kerala.
Right from the year 1990 when the full fury of the Islamic terrorism came into evidence, a large scale exodus of the Hindus from the Kashmir valley took place. When the rank and file of the Hindu community, but for a few, left Kashmir, what was the point in the Priest class staying back? In some parts of the Kashmir valley, not even a single Hindu family stayed back because even the local Muslim population had turned hostile. In some cases the local Muslims had their evil eye on the property of the Hindus and also on their pretty nubile girls. So, the Hindu population migrated to the Jammu region of the State, notwithstanding half a million strong Indian Army being stationed in the valley. The Indian Army was not permitted by the local government to intervene as it was only a law and order problem and not one of foreign aggression. Thus almost three hundred thousand Hindus became refugees in their own country and their own soldiers were toothless to protect them. The posterity will not pardon the decision makers who let this ethnic-cum-religious cleansing take place in blatant violation of the constitutional law.
Fake Mahants replaced the real mahants in temples. The fake mahants stepped into the shoes of the real claimants and started administering the temple property. Now it has come to light that one such mahant was not even a citizen of India. He slipped into the temple administrative hierarchy surreptitiously and acted in a manner that was detrimental to the interests of the Hindu temple. Initially, the Hindus were dazed because of the lethal blows of terrorists but once they regained their senses, they questioned the impropriety of transferring Hindu temple immoveable property to non-Hindu parties. The sale deeds were fake like fake mahants in some cases that were rightly challenged in due course of time. It is rather surprising that the State government was as immobile in questioning the illegal transfer of land of the Hindu temples as the surviving mahants in limbo in some secluded corner of Jammu.
HIGH COURT INTERVENES
Justice Sunil Hali took cognizance of numerous law suits pending in lower courts where the Kashmiri Pundits had challenged the transfer of temple property to business houses in Srinagar for purposes other than the advancement of the Hindu Dharma. It may be recalled that the House of Dogra Kings had created Dharm Sansthan in the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir over two centuries ago. Extensive land was attached to the temples to bear the expenditure of their maintenance. The land in Srinagar appreciated many fold over a period of time and the builders, property dealers etc eyed this custodian-bereft property. The present state government took little interest in the upkeep and maintenance of temples and other Hindu charitable institutions created by the Hindu endowments. This was the golden opportunity for the land sharks to make a kill and they did so. Many temple properties created by private Hindu trusts and left abandoned since 1990 after the mass migration of the Hindus were transferred to business houses for commercial motives. The state officials colluded in the illegal sale and transfer of property. The High Court has now asked the state government to stop such transfer of temple property and take possession of property lying in limbo.
But for the intervention of the judiciary, the private trusts would have become defunct and fake mahants would have sold temple lands to new non-Hindu commercial establishments and lined their personal pockets. It may, however, be mentioned that the temples and their appurtenances governed by the high powered religious trusts created by the Dogra kings are protected and well administered. Dr Karan Singh, a direct descendant of the Dogra kings is himself taking personal interest in the management of temples and property attached to them.
The need of the hour is to remain alert and prevent transfer of temple land to Muslim land sharks. Retrieval of land lost owing to fake transfers must also be pursued vigorously by the state government under the supervision of the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir.
Brigadier(Retd) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
UPVAN 609, Sector 29, Noida – 201303, INDIA. Mobile : 0091-9811173590. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Anshul Chaturvedi.||The Times of India Article.
Long ago, I too was a rebellious teenager — defiant, stubborn, questioning and even reckless. Some of those traits I still retain. But the one who triggered my transition from a docile little boy to a combative and confident individual ready to take on the world was not a school hero or popular rapper; it was a man who was long dead, having lived a spectacular life of 39 years. He spoke to me through words he uttered or wrote with a fire that remains undiminished in intensity despite the passage of time.
I picked up Vivekananda’s thoughts one day in Class XII, and haven’t been able to put them down since. I cannot quite lay claim to being what an Eklavya was to his guru, Dronacharya. Yet, when I was beginning to decipher questions of right and wrong, moral and immoral, he summed up for me the essence of it all, by saying: “Fear is the greatest sin my religion teaches.” Ever since, I’ve ensured that I do not commit the cardinal sin, whatever other errors I made.
Not a jelly fish
As a child, I learnt, as we all do, that convention and what everyone else thought, mattered. Then, I unlearnt it. “I will die a thousand deaths than lead a jelly-fish existence and yield to every requirement of this foolish world”, the fearless monk thundered through the years into my consciousness. No wonder, I was more of a difficult-to-handle nonconformist than what any teen with a dozen tattoos, eyebrow piercing and purple hair could have been.
When I was at my most despondent, unsure and rudderless, I would remember the monk’s words: “Human help I spurn with my foot. He who has been with me through hills and dales, through deserts and forests, will be with me, I hope; if not, some heroic soul would arise some time or other, far abler than myself, and carry it out.”
Do your duty
When I stood befuddled by the rat race, staring wide-eyed at the slippery rungs of the corporate ladder, Vivekananda reassured me: “We find ourselves in the position for which we are fit, and if one has some capacity above another, the world will find that out too….” I decided to work on my capacity, and let the world do the finding-out. When I got upset with injustices, he was at hand once again: “No man can long occupy a position for which he is not fit. By doing well the duty which is nearest to us, which is in our hands now, we make ourselves stronger, and improving our strength in this manner, we may reach a state in which it shall be our privilege to do the most coveted duties….” I resolved to do well what was in my hands and stop cribbing.
When I face flak, I recollect Vivekananda’s letter to his boys: “Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the barks of puppies frighten you — no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven — but stand up and work!” He roared: “The names of those who will wish to injure us will be legion. But is not that the surest sign of our having the truth? The more I have been opposed, the more my energy has always found expression.” And I stood up and worked, irrespective of the “barks of puppies and thunderbolts from heaven” and learnt to relish opposition — and lived to tell the tale.
Faced with slander and innuendo, my hypersensitive self itched to get even. Again, I turned to the monk whose ‘way of life’ in the US was questioned by pundits. His response: “Tell my friends that a uniform silence is all my answer to my detractors. If I give them tit for tat, it would bring me down to a level with them. Tell them that truth will take care of itself….” I learnt to not react, and to believe that facts would take care of themselves.
Money does not pay
When I wistfully looked at the 20s go by in 12-hour work days, struggle and little else, I wondered why I had neither money nor fame and whether my existential USPs were worth nothing. “Wait,” smiled the monk; “wait, money does not pay, nor name; fame does not pay, nor learning. It is love that pays; it is character that cleaves its way through adamantine walls of difficulties.” When the instinct to do what I thought was earth-shattering egged me on, only to be killed with one look at my dismal bank balance, my monk-guide asked me: “Was it ever in the history of the world that any great work was done by the rich? It is the heart and the brain that do it ever and not the purse.” I stopped assuming that I was incapable of great work if my purse was empty.
After many years of long hours and busy schedules, sometimes one yearns to simply be quiet and put thoughts into words, like now, but time is scarce when one is busy eking out a living. Vivekananda wrote to Sister Nivedita: “I was born for the life of a scholar — retired, quiet, and poring over my books. But the Mother dispenses otherwise — yet that tendency is there.” And for a moment my master and I are kindred spirits, joined in a thought though separated by at least a hundred years.”
Today, too, when I face something that makes me falter or hesitate, I go back to my guru mantra, words etched in my mind from when I first read them as a 17-year-old: “This I have seen in life — he who is overcautious about himself falls into dangers at every step; he who is afraid of losing honour and respect, gets only disgrace; he who is always afraid of loss, always loses…”
With those words, Vivekananda gave to a 17-year-old freedom from fear; he helped him become the ultimate teenaged rebel. Except that, unlike the tattoos, piercing or punk cuts, you never do outgrow this wonderful rebel instinct. Naren, you gifted me the promise of youth, and I feel not a day older than 17. Happy birthday!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Is return of displaced Hindus to Kashmir the only problem ?
~ Jogesh Saxena | Advocate Allahabad High Court.
New Delhi has wasted enough of its time in Kashmir and achieved nothing whatsoever. Kashmir continues to simmer and pose a grave challenge to national unity and the very integrity of India. Indeed, the situation has reached a stage where even those constitutionally bound to defend and promote further the nation’s paramount interests in the Valley have started tinkering with and breaking provisions stipulated in the constitution, and defending the seditionists, saying ‘we are a democratic nation and everyone has the right to express his/her opinion even if that lampoons the Indian State,.
Even Union Home Minister P Chidambaram doesn’t mind Kashmiri separatists advocating their seditious views. His only refrain is that they should preach sedition in a “peaceful” manner. His Dec. 9 statement in New Delhi to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for Home – that the contours of a political solution to the Kashmir problem may emerge in the next few months – has set off alarm bells in large parts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. News reports suggest the minister is open to the dangerous suggestion to amend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). He has also waffled on the issue of dealing with ‘the violence witnessed during protests by residents of the state’ which he claimed ‘requires deft and sensitive handling’.
The situation has thus climaxed to the point where it has become extremely difficult to distinguish between the seditionists/fanatics and the men at the helm.
The startling reason is that both are advancing almost identical arguments and questioning the very presence of New Delhi in the Valley.
It is hardly necessary to differentiate here between those demanding complete independence, and those who fall a step short of it. Suffice it to say that the ultimate objective is the same: another communal partition of India . Suffice it to say that there is no fundamental difference between those who describe Jammu & Kashmir as a “disputed” territory and those who say on the floor of the assembly that the “state has only acceded and not merged with India.”
Why has New Delhi failed in Kashmir ? It has failed because it has all along recognized and patronized the wrong persons and ignored and despised the nationalist constituency in the Valley. It has at no point of time during all these 63 years of the state’s accession tried to diagnose what ails Kashmir and the Kashmir ’s polity. The need of the hour in October 1947 was to sideline the seditionists and communalists, but Delhi acted otherwise. It put all its eggs in the basket of the seditionists and communalists.
Thereafter, it never looked back; it never introspected; it never took into consideration the grave evils that followed. The situation remains the same even today even after grave provocation. No action against the seditionists and unstinted support and full freedom to persons at the helm in the state to undermine Indian sovereignty, jeopardize national unity, and undermine the territorial integrity of India , is the hallmark of New Delhi ’s policy towards Kashmir .
What is happening these days? New Delhi is sending lawmakers to Kashmir to talk to those responsible for all Indian troubles in Kashmir . It appears New Delhi wants them to don the mantle of knights. New Delhi is also not preventing Delhi-based foreign diplomats from going to Kashmir to talk to seditionists and their supporters in and outside the establishment. No wonder then that the emboldened and glorified seditionists are issuing more and more provocative and convoluted statements. Certain “civil society” activists, whose credentials are highly doubtful and who are masquerading as representatives of Indian civil society, are visiting Kashmir at regular intervals and holding debates on Kashmir outside the Valley. They are not only issuing insidious and provocative statements, but are also glorifying the Kashmiri separatists and their savagery. As a matter of fact, they are instigating the people of Kashmir against the government and the Indian State .
As for New Delhi , it has given them a free run of time and the result is that they are openly stoking the fire of hatred and creating schisms in society. New Delhi is simply ducking issues that need to be dealt with resolutely and with amoebic rapidity. New Delhi appears to be in a state of dilemma, unclear and ambivalent about the way ahead.
Enough is enough. New Delhi cannot go on like this any longer. It has to deal with the situation as it prevails in Kashmir . It has to abandon the policy that recognizes only those who are absolutely disloyal, and are ‘green’ in tooth and claw.
What exactly ails Kashmir ? Who deserves New Delhi ’s attention? Who needs to be conciliated and won over? Who are the actual sufferers? Whose human rights have been violated in Kashmir ? The worst form of communalism and fanaticism ails Kashmir . An intolerant and regressive ideology has been reigning supreme in the Valley since 1947. Ever since then, Kashmir has been witnessing a hate-campaign against the ‘non-believers’ (read non-Muslims); ever since then, Kashmir has been witnessing the process of religious cleansing; ever since then, the Valley has been witnessing persecution of minorities. In fact, the fanatics in Kashmir have already accomplished what they wanted to accomplish – to convert Kashmir into an hundred per cent a non-non-believer region (in other words, a paradise of the believers).
Fanatics in Kashmir wanted the minorities to quit the Valley and they achieved their objective with utmost callousness. They purged Kashmir of all non-Muslim minorities. The process started in 1947 itself. New Delhi should have intervened then and nipped the evil in the bud, but it failed abysmally and instead sided with the seditionists and fanatics who dubbed the minorities as fifth columnists or Indian agents. The result was the emergence of a situation that made the minorities quit their homes and hearths.
The process of religious cleansing reached its zenith in early 1990, when all barring a handful of members of the minority communities, including Kashmiri Hindus and Jammu Dogras, vacated the Valley. Since then, the displaced minorities have been languishing in refugee camps in Jammu and elsewhere in the country. They want to go back to their land of Vitasta ( Jhelum ), but so far their efforts have borne no fruit. They have failed because New Delhi has abandoned them in its desperate bid to keep the fanatics in Kashmir in good humour. The displaced are no factor in New Delhi ’s scheme of things. So the minorities continue to suffer untold miseries in their own motherland, notwithstanding the fact that their watchword and battle cry was, and continues to be, India .
These are the people who need to be looked after and conciliated. These are the people who need special attention and special treatment because their human rights have been violated ruthlessly; because they have been deprived of their right to live in Kashmir; because they have been suffering not only politically but also psychologically; because their very identity and personality is under grave threat; because most of them have been living in an environment that adversely impacts privacy; because their religious sentiments stand outraged as a result of official patronage to those who vandalize their religious symbols and desecrate their temples and shrines in Kashmir; and because the fertility rate among them has sharply declined and mortality rate considerably enhanced.
It is disgusting that New Delhi and the so-called human rights activists, conflict-managers and think-tanks care only for those fleecing and bleeding the Indian nation and dismiss the persecuted minorities as no factor in the Kashmir ’s situation. They talk about the “alienation” of those ruling the state, exploiting Jammu and Ladakh, and those responsible for the forced exodus of the minorities from Kashmir . Their heart bleeds only for the persecutors and not for the persecuted; their heart bleeds for the merchants of death and destruction and not for those who have been suffering for their commitment to the Indian nation, Indian sovereignty, Indian culture and Indian civilization. Their heart bleeds for those in Kashmir who have vitiated the whole atmosphere and given a particular type of religious orientation to the polity in the state and not for those who want to return to Kashmir to defend the national cause in fundamentalist, regressive and intolerant Kashmir .
Here lies the basic problem. New Delhi needs to revise its Kashmir policy based on the realities as they exist in Kashmir, and one of the realities is that the problem in Kashmir is fundamentally communal. The bottom-line of the seditionists and fanatics in Kashmir is secession. This needs to be tackled forthwith using all means.
The other problem is that of the rehabilitation of the displaced minorities in Kashmir. The displaced minorities want the right to live in Kashmir and this right has to be conceded. They are the original inhabitants of Kashmir. They represent the 5000-year-old Indian civilization. New Delhi must see to it that they are not only returned to Kashmir, but enjoy all the civil, political, social and economic rights that are available to all other Indians under the Indian Constitution.
New Delhi must remember that the fight in Kashmir is between those who stand for Indian nationhood and those opposed to it. The displaced minorities belong to the first category and hence need to be protected, rehabilitated, empowered and patronized. In fact, they need to be given a dispensation of their choice.
Read More : A lost generation in Jammu’s refugee camps
By Anju Munshi || Courtesy : infochangeindia
Sunday, Decemeber 5, 2010
Cruelty to animals on the occasion of festivals
(BiharTimes) || 03-11-2010 || I cannot tell you how anguished I am by Diwali. It has been decades since it was a festival of diyas, rangolis, puja and good food. Now it is a festival of vulgar crystal gifts, noisy and polluting firecrackers, expensive alcohol based card parties and dying animals.
More than 40 animals came in last night to the shelter. All of them had been hit by firecrackers, some accidentally but most deliberately. One puppy had its mouth torn open by a rocket, several had been set on fire by phuljhadis. These are just the ones we got, think of the thousands that are still on the street dying in slow degrees. The big animals like cows die from burns. Smaller ones like dogs and cats die from hunger as they cower in sewers waiting for the bombs to stop.
But even Diwali seems wonderful compared to Bakr Id which is next week. Already the markets are crammed with goats , frisky proud skipping creatures, now totally dazed by being crammed into trucks and brought hundreds of miles into crowded bazaars. They will be dragged with jute ropes round their necks to various places, mostly illegal courtyards behind houses and there they will die. The young kids, barely a year old , who have been brought up by families and respond to names like Munni and Guddu will have their throats slit in front of the children of the house that they have played with. They will die of broken hearts long before the blood from their slit throats drips outs.
Even worse than all this are the long lines of camels that are pouring into the cities. From all over India , specially West Bengal, Karnataka ,Kerala and Andhra Pradesh , there are reports coming in of hundreds of camels that have come in and are standing bound together. Many people including me have repeatedly talked to the senior police officers in Kolkata – it has had no effect. The 150 camels standing near the Howrah station will be killed in Kolkata.
Killing camels is illegal. It is a fad that was started about seven years ago by the rich Muslims of Hyderabad. They have taken advantage of the fact that they control the politics of that city to break every animal law in India. The same problem exists in West Bengal where the politicians are so busy wooing minorities , that they ignore all the criminal activities that are turning India upside down.
Let me explain to you why killing camels is illegal in Bakr Id
a.It is called Bakr Id and not Unth –Id. This killing has official sanction in a way that Hindu sacrifices do not. But it is limited to goats and they can only be killed in designated places. You cannot kill any other animal. This is a Supreme court ruling when West Bengal’s people had started killing cows in large quantities on Bakr Id. Now , since cows have been forbidden , they have turned their attention to camels. Tomorrow , it may be bears and tigers. The point is that you cannot kill any animal you want for Bakr Id.
b. There are less than 4 lakh camels left in India. They are very slow to breed. According to official estimates they are reducing at the rate of 10 % per year – which means no camels in 10 years . The reason given is the killing at Bakr Id.
c.The camel sustains the economic health of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is a draught animal and its absence will impede all rural movement. Roads cannot be built in many places in the desert. Its milk sustains rural desert communities which will be deprived of protein. Its dung is important for the spread of many desert species of trees.
d.It has been made illegal by the High Court of Kerala by the Honourable Justice K Balakrishna Nair.The case is an interesting one . Two camels were brought to Ernakulam in 2005 by a beef shop owner and his assistant, to kill and sell on Bakr Id. I was there at the time and the district administrator was an excellent one, a devout Muslim called Haneesh. The Tehsildar of Kayannur Taluka who also exercises the power of the Executive Magistrate prohibited the slaughter. The two butchers went to court saying that their right to livelihood had been affected and that killing camels was not banned by law. The administration filed a counteraffidavit saying that all animals that were to to be sold for meat had to get a permit and that the butcher only had a permit for beef ( cow’s meat) and not camel’s meat. The camels were not subjected to medical examination so the administration did not know whether their meat was fit for human consumption. The administration further argued that “Trade of occupation or keeping of goods which are injurious to the health of and comfort of the community can be prohibited and regulated by the competent authority and in exercise of that power and in good faith”. The Health Officer of the Local Health Authority of Cochin also submitted that there was no facility to kill camels in any slaughterhouse. And , as per the provisions of the Municipality Act and the Panchayat Act only the slaughtering of cattle , sheep, goat ad pig is allowed and that too with a valid licence only and in a licenced slaughterhouse. Therefore no licence could be given for slaughtering camels. Also , the meat of an animal had to be inspected after it was killed but no vet was competent to check it and nor were the slaughterhouses as the camel is not a notified animal. The Municipal act provides that the Secretary may grant special permission for slaughtering animals on the occasion of festivals but the camel is not on the list.
The judge took all the arguments into consideration and issued a 13 page order saying that the licence to sell beef could not extend to the sale of camel’s meat. Therefore the butchers were ordered to surrender their camels and they were disallowed from slaughtering them.
I want you to take this article and show it to the police and the courts if necessary as quickly as possible. None of them understand the harm that the killing of camels is doing to the economics of rural India and to the law and order situation. The religion of the criminal does not matter : it is when his crime is ignored or condoned that all of society suffers. In Delhi , it is illegal to burst crackers after 10 o’clock but the bombs and crackers went on the whole night. The result has been that all of Delhi is polluted for the next six months and many people will die of respiratory diseases exacerbated by the law breakers of Diwali.
Please save the camels , wherever you are.
To join the animal welfare movement contact email@example.com
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
All Religions Are Not the Same
Barsana Dham, Austin, TX
We are gathered here at this conference of Hindu mandirs where one of the stated goals is to preserve the authenticity of the teachings of Hinduism and pass that heritage on to future generations. There is a statement many of us make which undermines these efforts. We often say, “All religions are the same.” Why do we say it? Sometimes it is out of caution. In other words, we don’t want to offend anyone, and that is a safe fallback position. It is considered politically correct. Sometimes we say it out of ignorance. In other words, we find it difficult to grasp the intricacies of Hinduism, so we fail to recognize the uniqueness and greatness of our own religion. If Hinduism were the same as all other religions, then why would we care if our children convert to other religions? If Hinduism were the same as all other religions, then why would we organize a conference to preserve the essential teachings of Hinduism and develop better ways of teaching it to our kids? If Hinduism were the same as all other religions, then why would I, who was not raised Hindu, have chosen Hinduism over other religions? In this talk I am going to explain very briefly what it is that separates Hinduism from the other religions of the world.
To begin, let’s understand that there are religions in the world today which are considered atheistic, meaning they do not teach the existence of God. For the purpose of this talk, we will leave such religions aside and focus on the theistic religions, those who accept the existence of God. First let us consider some commonalities amongst the theistic religions. One thing we can be sure of is that no matter what religion someone belongs to, if they are worshiping God, then they are worshiping the same God. There cannot be two Gods. God is only one. There cannot be a separate Hindu God, a separate Christian God, a separate Muslim God, a separate Jewish God, etc. God is God and He is one and absolute. Our Vedas state, ‘ekamevadvitiyam brahm nehananasti kinchan‘. In other words, “God is only one. He is singular and absolute. There can be no other.” Shvetashvatar Upnishad states, ‘eko devah sarvabhooteshu goodhah sarvavyapi sarvabhootantaratma‘. Meaning, “God is one. He resides in the heart of all the living beings. He is omnipresent. He is within your very soul.” If there were more than one God, then God would not be absolute or unlimited, because where one God starts, the other would have to stop. But God does not begin or end anywhere, because He is unlimited, absolute and omnipresent. He is one. So whoever is worshiping God, anywhere in this universe, is worshiping the same God.There are also certain general characteristics of God that could be agreed on by all the theistic religions. Everyone who believes in God could agree on certain basic facts. Such as, God is perfect. God is Divine. God is absolute, omnipresent, all-knowing, and all-powerful. God is Blissful. God is all-kind and perfectly Gracious. This is a good general description of God which all theistic religions accept.This is also the maximum extent of the description which is available in other religions, but not in Hinduism. The Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism reveal the knowledge of God on a much deeper level. This is both what makes Hinduism great and also what makes it more challenging to comprehend. Just like it is easy to learn what is taught in kindergarten, but it takes much more time, effort and commitment to learn what is taught in a post-graduate course; in the same way, the knowledge revealed in the teachings of Hinduism far exceeds this general knowledge which is the limit of other religions, thus it takes more time, effort and commitment to grasp the knowledge of Hinduism. It is also extremely important to have a qualified teacher from whom to learn such advanced knowledge. Anyone can teach finger-painting, but it takes someone with a PhD to teach nuclear physics. Similarly, the knowledge of Hinduism is meant to be learned from someone with not only theoretical understanding, but with practical experience of God. Someone may complain that it is so easy for the members of other religions to summarize the teachings of their religion. Why is it so difficult in Hinduism? One should know that the more general and superficial the knowledge, the easier it is to summarize and communicate to others. In Hinduism, due to the depth, scope and detail of the knowledge revealed, it takes much more skill and training to be able to understand it, distill it, and communicate it to someone else.Let us have a glimpse of the amazing teachings of Hinduism. For example, the word ‘God’ is a general term we have assigned to the supreme Divine power. It is vague and non-specific, like the word ‘fruit’. ‘Fruit’ is abstract, because fruit does not exist as such. Bananas exist; apples exist; mangoes exist. You cannot eat fruit. You can eat a banana, an apple, or a mango. If I ask you to bring me fruit, you cannot, because fruit is just an abstract term. You can bring me a banana, an apple, or a mango, because these specific fruits actually exist. If I ask you to describe what fruit looks like, you cannot because fruit is a general term. You could describe the appearance of a specific fruit. Similarly, the description of God in other religions is non-specific and general. What does God look like? You cannot tell me, because God is just an abstract term. However, in Hinduism we have the specific description of God’s form and personal names. He is Krishn, He is Ram, He is Vishnu, He is Shiv, She is Durga, etc. We know what He looks like, and we know what His Divine personality is like. We even know happenings from His appearance on our earth planet.This is just one example of what makes Hinduism unique. There are many more, but for the purposes of this talk, let me focus on what Hinduism says about God’s form. I will take you deeper into this topic with the help of a shlok by Ved Vyas from the Bhagwatam: ‘vadanti tat tattva vidastattvam yajgyanamadvayam; brahmeti parmatmeti bhagwan iti shabdyate‘. This verse explains that one single absolute supreme God appears eternally in 3 main forms: brahm, parmatma, and bhagwan. Supreme God has uncountable Divine powers. When almost all of them are dormant or inactive, then God is formless and is referred to by the term brahm. This formless aspect is inactive and does not outwardly exhibit any describable characteristics, because all the powers are dormant. When more of His powers are active, God has form, and is referred to by the term parmatma. This is almighty God, Whose 3 main forms are Vishnu, Shiv and Durga. Because His powers are active, He has a form, which can be experienced by one who has Divine senses and mind (a God realized Saint). In this almighty form, God is actively involved in the maintenance and functioning of the universe. He Graces the souls by keeping track of their karmas and giving them the consequences, and by awarding any soul who surrenders to Him His Divine Bliss and knowledge. There are many affiliated forms, such as Lakchmi, Saraswati, Ganesh, Kartikeya, Kali, Gauri, etc., but They are all related to the Divine almighty power. There is one important power which is not manifest in almighty God. That is the power of Divine love, or prema shakti. When all of God’s powers are manifested, it includes the power of Divine love. When this is the case, God appears in His loving form and is referred to by the term bhagwan. In this form, God awards an intimate relationship with Him to the soul who surrenders to Him. The form of bhagwan is Ram and Krishn. In Ram, the Divine love power is manifested in its modest form, and in Krishn, the Divine love power is manifested in its absolute supreme form. This is evidenced by the type of leelas (Divine actions) They each performed while They were on the earth planet.One should not think that there are different Gods or that God changes from one form to the other. One supreme God appears eternally in uncountable forms, which are all simultaneously omnipresent. This is how God appears to a surrendered soul anywhere in the world in the form that individual has worshiped, and that soul becomes a Saint and sees the whole world as the form of his worshiped form of God. Thus Krishn says in the Gita, ‘ye yatha mam prapadyante tanstathaiva bhajamyaham‘. In other words, “I come to you in whatever form you worship Me.” All the forms of God are Divine, whole, and absolute. That is the miracle of the Divine power that makes the impossible possible, and it is the reason that such matters are beyond human intellect until such a time when a soul surrenders to God and receives a Divine intellect.Thus we see that one single God, which is described in general in other religions is described in much more detail in Hinduism. We understand that one single God has 6 main forms: two are loving (Ram and Krishn) and are referred to as bhagwan; three are almighty (Vishnu, Shiv and Durga), and are referred to as parmatma; and one is formless and is referred to as brahm. So we see that Hinduism not only incorporates the concepts of God of other religions but also reconciles the apparent differences in the various descriptions, all the while providing an unmatched depth and elegance in the description of God.
One other distinguishing feature of Hindu philosophy is that is says God can be experienced, and in fact, that is the ultimate goal of a soul. This was one of the most compelling factors for me in my decision to adopt Hinduism. Not only does Hinduism answer all of my intellectual questions, but it clearly states that you can meet God in person. Now who wouldn’t want to do that? However, if you don’t have the full description of God, then how will you find Him? It would be like someone coming from India and landing at JFK in New York and asking the people he sees, “Have you seen my friend? Where is my friend? I want to meet him.” They would ask him, “What does your friend look like? Do you have a picture of him? What is his name? Where does he live?” The man answers that he only knows that his friend moved to America 20 years ago, but he does not remember what he looks like, nor does he have a picture of him, nor can he remember his name, nor does he know what his address is. The people he approaches will consider him insane, because he may search all over America for his whole life and never have any chance of finding his friend. Similarly, without a proper description of God, how could we hope to find Him? Hinduism provides such a detailed description of God which is like providing the photograph and the address of the man’s friend. Now all the man has to do is follow the path to reach his friend. This path, known as the path of God realization, is also described in Hinduism.
There are many more such points which illustrate the greatness of Hinduism, but that is all the time I have for today. So remember, although there are similarities between Hinduism and the other religions of the world, and as Hindus we respect all religions, nonetheless, there are features of Hinduism which are not found in other religions and which make Hinduism great. If you would like to study this topic in greater depth, I can refer you to a resource which has transformed my understanding. It is a book by H.D. Swami Prakashanand Saraswati named The True History and the Religion of India, which is available at www.BarsanaDham.org.
Nations, nation-states, religions and civilizations in their entirety have been irretrievably wiped off the face of the earth by Islam and the Church; while there is no vestige of pre-Islamic and pre-Christian religions in Rome, Greece, America and Africa, the Hindu nation, even after the combined onslaught of Islam, the Church and Nehruvian secularism, has emerged with its civilization, religion and culture intact. If anything, the surge in Hindu determination to preserve Hindu dharma and protect the Hindu nation from further predatory Abrahamic onslaught is only growing stronger.
Notwithstanding the yet floundering sense of nation and nationhood afflicting English-educated Hindus since 1885 when the Indian National Congress was created, and English-educated dark-white Hindus who considered serving in colonial administration and the Bar and Judiciary to be high honour, one Indian court while acknowledging that the Ramjanmabhumi belongs to Hindus, however delivered a fork-tongued judgment on September 30, 2010. Even as they allowed the Janmabhumi to be returned to the Hindus, two of the three judges, one Muslim and one Hindu, handed over one-third of ownership rights to Muslims, sure proof of the persistent floundering Hindu consciousness, palpable fear of standing up to Muslim violence and our propensity to grandstand to the international community, our commitment to secularism.
The territory of Ayodhya, land of the Ikshvakus and far older than Srirama, was not for the judges of Allahabad High Court to divide and distribute; juxtaposed against Hindu right to the Janmabhumi in Ayodhya, the Muslim claim to the site of ‘Babur’s mosque’ is bizarre to be polite. Just as surreal and untenable would be Christian claims to Al Aqsa, Muslim claims to Bethlehem and Jewish claims to the Kabah in Mecca. Our lawyers, judges and politicians who play God as a matter of right with the destiny of the Hindu nation, must travel to Rome, Greece and Egypt for a better understanding of their own responsibility to preserve the timeless Hindu religion and civilization on its territory.
At the heart of Athens stands the Temple of Olympian Zeus. This majestic temple, which was repeatedly razed to the ground in numerous wars, was ordered to be rebuilt by Antiochos IV, the king of Syria in 2nd century BC. However, Antiochos died soon thereafter and the temple was completed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 131 AD. Of the 104 columns which adorned the temple, each one standing loftily at 17 meters, only 16 remain as ruins of an ancient religion and civilization, now forever dead.
The Temple of Poseidon, the god of the seas, standing on a promontory in Sounion, the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula, has fared no better. The ruins of this once powerful temple and the remnants of a wall belonging to an ancient fort are all that remain of an important period in Athenian history. Aegeus, king of Athens (the Aegean Sea bears his name) threw himself from atop the Sounion cliff into the sea in despair when he saw the ship carrying his son Theseus returning from Crete with a black sail instead of white, which meant that his son Theseus had been killed in the battle with the Minotaur. The Temple of Poseidon was the beacon and sanctuary of Athens’ sea-faring warriors, fishermen, and traders alike.
Of the 42 magnificent marble columns in the temple, only 18 remain today. It is the same wretched story across Rome, Florence, Venice, Athens and Delphi. Temples to Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon, Saturn, Mars, Mercury and Venus, all made of Parian and Pentelic marble, have been reduced to rubble, to broken stones, desolate pillars and lonely columns, disfigured deities and empty prayer halls, all standing accusingly under the open sky. Of the once all-powerful Delphi Oracle, there is no sign.
The Propylaea, Parthenon, the Erectheion on the Acropolis, temples to Athena Nike and Apollo in Athens and Delphi, the Roman Forum, Caesar’s grave and the Roman Pantheon with its temples to several gods and goddesses, have been destroyed, plundered, looted, mutilated not only by Persians, Goths, Visigoths and Vandals, but also by early Christians, medieval and post-medieval Popes, and by Turkish Islamic hordes; and of course the accursed Lord Elgin. Now we know the etymology for ‘vandalism’. Beginning from the 3rd century AD and until the present day, the Church has planted the cross in temples, shrines and other monuments belonging to other faiths. Thus we can see the tragicomic cross in the Roman Pantheon, in the Roman Agora, in Hadrian’s Library, in a small pre-Christian shrine across the Loch Ness and of course in the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple in Santhome, Chennai.
Damiano, my guide who conducted me across the Roman Forum and the Pantheon is a student of History and History of Art. To a pointed question addressed to him privately about the tonnes of missing marbles and bronzes of his country’s history and religion, Damiano remarked bitingly, that if I had a discerning eye, I would see entire marble canopies, uprooted pillars, pediments, columns, marble and bronze sculptures in the churches across Italy, in the Vatican, in private collections put together from plunder and public auctions in the homes of the rich and infamous around the world. Of course, he added bitterly, if you travel to Paris and London, you will see most of the plundered history of Rome, Greece and Egypt in the Louvre and British Museum; which I did.
All of this has a bearing on the judgment on Ramjanmabhumi and its significance for this nation. The passionate desire of the people of Rome and Greece to preserve the wretched ruins, their relentless battle to reclaim the priceless items of their pre-Christian heritage now housed in museums outside their countries and bring them home to where they belong, is rooted in the primordial need of man and nations to root their self-identities in an illustrious past, to root national self-identity to an ancient civilization; more so when the past was a far superior civilization which gave brilliant expression not only in the creative arts but also in systems of philosophy and law. The Roman and Greek civilizations, like the Hindu civilization, were both sensuous and cerebral.
When Athens built its modern, contemporary Academy of Science, it placed towering statues of Athena and Apollo at either end. Sitting majestically at the entrance of the University of Athens are Socrates and Plato while the walls are adorned by stunningly beautiful friezes of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Hippocrates, Homer, Sophocles and Euripides with anthropomorphic figures of Rhetoric, Law, History, Philosophy and Poetics. Not a sign of Christianity or the Church anywhere. And yet, one of the first acts of Emperor Justine, soon after Greece became a Christian country, was to ban the teaching of Law and Philosophy in his Christian kingdom! The Church has always destroyed not only the body but also the mind of her victims.
The Greeks and Romans today are seeking to live in a past they have rendered illegitimate and soulless. The tragedy of the people of Rome and Greece is that they want to re-connect with the same gods whom they and the religion to which they owe allegiance today, have damned as ‘pagan’ and unfit for worship. They want the body without the soul; they want the temples to be reconstructed, but in museums; they want the gods to adorn their monuments but they do not want to place these gods inside the temples for worship. The Romans and Greeks want their past in disconnected pieces.
The lesson that our lawyers, judges and politicians need to learn from the tragedy of Rome, Greece and Egypt is that while pre-Islamic and pre-Christian kings destroyed the temples of their enemies in wars, the same temples would be re-built again and again and yet again and the gods re-installed for worship. But that which Islam and Christianity have destroyed over 2000 years has not been rebuilt and revived. The destruction is final and the past irretrievable. And that is why reclaiming Ayodhya is an important battle in the war of the Hindu nation. Reclaiming, not just the Ramjanmabhumi but Ayodhya, will signal the beginning of the Hindu nation’s war to correct gross injustices perpetrated in the name of the Abrahamic religions. The judgment of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court is the first move in this battle.
Hindus not only want their gods and goddesses in their temples, they also want to get back those temples still in the custody of Islam and the Church. Hindus want their gods in temples, where they belong and not as statues in public spaces bereft of divinity, which is where they will soon be if Hindus lack the courage to protect the Hindu nation.
The author is editor, www.vigilonline.com The article war written for the Diwali Special edition of Organiser weekly.
Hindu tradition lists the Ramayana and the Mahabharata epics as Itihasa (History); thus, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are divine historical personages, and not the subject of legend or faith (read imagination) – the argument being used by opponents of the verdict to undermine its legality.
Coming to the material evidence, archaeological investigations in the 1970s showed evidence of a temple; this was validated by a Ground Penetration Radar Survey which showed several pillars below the spot where the Masjid once stood. In 2003, the Supreme Court ordered archaeological excavation of the site, which yielded convincing evidence of two temples – one a grand structure build by the Gahadvala dynasty, and an earlier smaller structure that probably made way for the grander temple. The Babri Masjid was built atop the Gahadvala temple and incorporated the pillars of the old temple into its structure – a feature typical of early Muslim architecture in India.
The historical experience of northern India is that since 1000 AD, every Hindu temple has been desecrated, razed, or appropriated; not one stands intact, save those built after the Mughal Empire went into terminal decline and could not be accessed. Hindus then became pro-active about regaining the lost sacred spaces; Akharas were formed and armed sadhus waged pitched battles at several temple sites to reclaim the sacred heritage. Hence the samadhis (graves) of thousands of sadhus at temple sites in northern India.
Ayodhya was one such contested site, contrary to the fatuous claims of Leftist intellectuals that no one had heard of it until the Sangh Parivar made a political movement of it in the last decades of the twentieth century. Sadhu-devotees clawed their way back into the sacred precincts, established and maintained control of spaces known as Sita ki Rasoi and Ram Chabutara, even as Muslim political power held sway in Awadh-Faizabad.
Ayodhya entered the annals of modern India when, on Dec. 22-23, 1949, the murti of Ram Lalla appeared under the central dome of the disputed mosque. Local intelligence believes this to be the handiwork of Seth Bishan Chand and Mahant Digvijay Nath ji Maharaj of Gorakhnath Mandir (both Hindu Mahasabha MPs); Shri Ramchandra Paramhans; and Gopal Singh Visharad, Faizabad district president, Hindu Mahasabha.
Visharad took the matter to court on Jan. 16, 1950, and won the right to worship the deity. Thereafter the ‘Ram durbar’ (murtis of Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman were incorporated into the makeshift temple). This victory set the foundation for establishing the Hindu title to the site as it validated Hindu law that ‘once a temple, always a temple,’ which was upheld by the British Privy Council in the case of the Natraj statue stolen from the premises of a derelict temple. This must be the starting point for overturning any Muslim claim to the site. The High Court judges unanimously gave the central dome where Ram Lalla Virajman is housed to the Hindu Mahasabha.
The Nirmohi Akhara became party to the court case in 1959, claiming it alone had the right to perform puja, and that it had won cases to this effect under the Raj, notably in 1853 and again in 1885. In 2010, the Akhara won the Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutra.
The Sunni Central Waqf Board impleaded itself as a party only in 1961; one judge declared it time-barred. But the more pertinent question about the Board is its legality and locus standi. There is an All India Waqf Board established by the Government of India, which is a registered body. The Sunni Waqf Board is neither registered nor a recognised body, nor is it known when it was established.
In contrast, the Nirmohi Akhara has been present in Ayodhya since the 18th century. The Hindu Mahasabha was set up in 1882 by Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandi of Bengal, and Kurtikoti Adi Guru Shankaracharya of Sringeri (which is why Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao brought the current Sringeri Shankaracharya to set up a parallel Ramalaya Trust, though the Matham had ceased to have contact with the Mahasabha). The Hindu Mahasabha was registered as a society in 1915 in Lucknow.
A more ticklish issue is the Islamic denomination of the Babri mosque-structure. Babur and the Mughal dynasty were Sunni; his general, Mir Baqi, reputed to have built the mosque by demolishing an extent temple or over the ruins of a temple, was a Shia. So was the mosque a Shia or Sunni mosque? Or was it just a structure covering a Hindu sacred site?
The question is pertinent because the Shia Nawabs of Awadh did not perform namaaz at Ayodhya, and most likely prayed at the Imambara. There are doubts if the Babri structure was ever a functional mosque as there is no wazu for washing before prayers, which is mandatory in Islam. Hence there was never a regular namaaz there, and hence the obscurity over its denominational status.
Interestingly, the Shia community was never excited over the mosque and is now even more disinterested in fighting for it. It is the Sunni-dominated All India Muslim Personal Law Board that is pushing for confrontation. And as in 1992 when some leading Muslims toyed with the idea of giving the site to the Hindus, the Secular Stalinists and Leftists in the media and academia are egging them on, opposing all voices of reasonableness and sanity.
All told, Justices Dharam Veer Sharma, Sudhir Aggarwal, and SU Khan performed yeoman’s service in giving some form and coherence to this centuries-old dispute. It is for the apex court to remove the anomalies in their judgment and give the land to Ram Lalla Virajman.
The author is Editor, http://www.vijayvaani.com The article was written for the Diwali Special Issue of Organiser weekly.
Saturday, October 29, 2010
- Rakesh Krishnan Simha
“The sea, which had been beating against the shores, suddenly broke the boundary that was imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. Arjuna saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. He took a last look at the mansion of Krishna. In a matter of a few moments it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the beautiful city, which had been the favourite haunt of all the Pandavas. Dwarka was just a name; just a memory.” – Mausala Parva, Mahabharata.
Does this account from the ancient Indian epic have a true historical core? Did Lord Krishna, indeed the favourite Indian deity, walk the streets of ancient Dwarka? Did Krishna, considered the Lord of the universe by a billion Hindus, rule the Yaduvanshi clan thousands of years ago?
Using archaeological, scriptural, literary and astronomical data, scholars and scientists are coming round to the view that Krishna was definitely a historical character.
The Rosetta stone, or the key, to the Krishna story is Dwarka. The strongest archaeological support comes from the structures discovered in the late 1980s under the seabed off the coast of modern Dwarka in Gujarat by a team of archaeologists and divers led by Dr S.R. Rao, one of India’s most respected archaeologists. An emeritus scientist at the marine archaeology unit of the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, Rao has excavated a large number of Harappan sites, including the port city of Lothal in Gujarat.
In his book The Lost City of Dwarka, published in 1999, he writes about his undersea finds: “The discovery is an important landmark in the history of India. It has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwarka city.”
Conducting 12 expeditions during 1983-1990, Rao identified two underwater settlements, one near the present-day Dwarka and the other in the nearby island of Bet Dwarka. This tallies with the two Dwarkas mentioned in the epic. The underwater expeditions won Rao the first World Ship Trust Award for Individual Achievement.
Another important find by our divers was a seal that establishes the submerged township’s connection with the Dwarka of the Mahabharata. The seal corroborates the reference made in the ancient text, the Harivamsa, that every citizen of Dwarka should carry such a seal for identification purposes. Krishna had ruled that none without the seal should enter it. A similar seal has been found onshore as well.
The west coast of Gujarat was the traditional land of the Yadavs, or Yadus. According to the Bhagavad Puran, Krishna led the Yadavs thousands of kilometres west to establish Dwarka, so they could start a new life, safe from their many enemies in the Gangetic Valley.
The Mahabharata says, Dwarka was reclaimed from the sea. Rao’s divers discovered that the submerged city’s walls were erected on a foundation of boulders, suggesting that land indeed was reclaimed from the sea.
One cannot separate Dwarka from Krishna. If the city existed, then it is true that Krishna ruled over it.
Dr Narhari Achar, professor of physics at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, has dated the Mahabharata war using astronomy and regular planetarium software. According to his research conducted in 2004-05, the titanic clash between the Pandavas and the Kauravas took place in 3067 BC. Using the same software, Dr Achar places the year of Krishna’s birth at 3112 BC.
Dr Manish Pandit, a nuclear medicine physician in the UK, after examining the astronomical, archaeological and linguistic evidence, agrees with Dr Achar’s conclusions. Dr Pandit, who is also a distinguished astrologer and has written several books on the subject, traced the route of Krishna’s journeys to shoot the documentary, “Krishna: History or Myth?”
Dr Pandit says there are more than 140 astronomy references in the Mahabharata. Simulations of the night sky have been combined with geographical descriptions to arrive at various dates. He says the chances of these references repeating are next to nothing.
According to historian S.M. Ali, the author of Geography of Puranas, “The geographical matter contained in the Mahabharata is immense. It is perhaps the only great work which deals with geographic details and not incidentally, as other works.”
Of course, none of the evidence is good enough for the ossified historians that lord over India’s academia, regurgitating the lies written by British colonial scholars, who were in reality Christian missionaries.
For the missionaries, destroying the historicity of Krishna was important if they had any chance of establishing their religion in India. Also, many European scholars were shocked to learn that Indian history pre-dated their world by thousands of years. By labelling as myth the Indian historical sources like the Vedas, Mahabharata, Upanishads, and especially the Puranas, which give exact chronologies of Indian kings including Krishna, the missionaries ensured that Indian history did not clash with their world view.
That tradition continues. Disregarding all new research, academics like Romilla Thapar, R.S. Sharma and Irfan Habib have consigned Krishna to mythology.
In his textbook for Class X, Sharma writes, “Although Lord Krishna plays an important role in the Mahabharata, the earliest inscriptions and sculpture pieces found in Mathura between 200 BC and 300 AD do not attest his presence.” What brilliant deduction. Going by Sharma’s logic, any fool can dig at a random site, and upon failing to discover an artefact, declare Krishna never existed. Sadly, millions of Indian school children are being taught such lies.
Thapar, in fact, says the Mahabharata is a glorified account of a skirmish between two “Aryan” tribes, with Krishna merely playing the role of an agent provocateur.
And what do they do when confronted with the new evidence? They withdraw into their parallel dystopian world and argue it is not clinching evidence. But, of course, they will accept as truth the myths of other religions.
Dr Rao says further digging and diving, in tandem with India’s vast treasure trove of historical facts will further corroborate key dates of our eventful and glorious past.
As the Upanishads say, pratnakirtim apavirnu – know thy past.
(About the author: Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a features writer at Fairfax New Zealand. He has previously worked with Businessworld, India Today and Hindustan Times, and was news editor with the Financial Express.)
Courtsey : The Author and www.indianweekender.co.nz
Monday, October 25, 2010
The Impact of Nepalese Festival:’Dashain’ in the world
By Dirgha Raj Prasai
Dashain (Vijaya Dashami) is a traditional cultural festivity. Before Prithvi Narayan Shah (1868), the festival of Dashain and Tihar had been revered as a common culture of all castes. After Prithvi Narayan Shah, created a modern Nepal a new tradition was set by bringing Phulpati and Jamara to Kathmandu from the Gorakhkali Temple by a Magar priest. People from both the religion of Hindu and Buddha take Tika from senior family members in order of precedence after worshiping the main gate on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. Among all religions of the world Hindu religion is considered as the most liberal. According to renowned philosopher Voltaire, Hinduism is the best gift of the East to the West. Similarly, George Bernard Shaw, Irish litterateur also said ‘Hindu religion is the most important and the most liberal religions of the world. According to Encyclopaedia of Religions and Ethics, signs of Hindu religion are even found in the present Islamic country like Iran. Stone scriptures of 486 BC found in Iran contain the words Hindu and Hindus. Even an ancient Parsi scripture ‘Shatir’ has lifted a word of Vedavyasa, ‘I am a true Hindu-born in a Hindu country’.
In the festival, interested Hindus, Buddhists and member of Muslims used to visit the royal palace to take Tika from the King. But will the national festival hold any importance under the pretext of the monarch being displaced? Some people are also dissatisfied owing to the forceful displacement of the monarch following unconstitutional process. Hence, it has become a dilemma in our national politics. Nepal was created with a joint effort between the monarch and the people. We Nepali are very much concerned about the forceful displacement of the monarch following unconstitutional process. Currently, fiends are ruling Nepal. The monsters and traitors are playing with the identity of Nepal under the guise of wolves and the Indian direction. Patriotic people are pondering how to save the nation and chase the monsters. The agendas of republic, secularism and federalism will disintegrate the nation. Nepal has been orphaned without the monarch. The Dashain celebrated in the absence of the monarch is like a nation without identity. It is a matter of grief.
On the occasion of Bijaya Dashami, the nationalist King Gyanendra Shah has extended best wishes to all Nepalese residing inside the country and abroad for happiness, peace, prosperity and progress on the occasion of the Vijaya Dashami festival. King says- Vijaya Dashami would help in making significant contribution in preserving ´our inherent culture, religion, national pride and uninterrupted national sovereignty. My sincere belief is that we have to take continuous steps towards the prosperity of the Nepalese by protecting our religion, culture, traditional customs and mores and by preserving our sanctity and development of our national glory along with political stability, the experience of good governance, assurance of peace and security and nurturing social goodwill and religious harmony.” 2010. Oct.17. On the occasion of Bijaya Dashami oct 17, I had also gone to the King for Tika, I had seen the crowds gathering of people at Nirmal Niwas- for Tika by the King Gyanendra.
The identity of a nation fades away when its cultural belief is in a sequence. To avoid this Hindus, Buddhists and patriotic Nepali people scattered across the world must launch an initiation. We patriotic people of the nation pray to goddess Nava Durga Bhawani to be prosperous to the Nepalese People all around the world. Durga is the symbol of truth which annihilates Mahishashura, representative of devil.Including, the all political Parties have to work far to come on the track to save the national traditions and culture. A country’s existence and prestige can gradually be eroded by finishing off its faith and belief tradition and culture traditional faith and cultural beliefs. If anyone wants the assurance of integrity and lasting peace in this country, one must not be confused about the country’s century’s old customs and religion.
In the name of transforming the country into ‘New Nepal’ the Maoists including the so-called democrats-Congress and UML are trying to destroy our culture and traditions. A prominent journalist Mr. Pushpa Raj Pradhan wrote- ‘The Maoist ministers cut down the budgets of such festivals when they were in regime. The Maoist ministers had shown the same type of reluctance while marking other festivals which has been continued in the Nepali society for 1400 years. During the Indra Jatra festival (2008), the Newar community was agitated when they were faced with the budget cut for marking the festival. The Maoist leaders are seen reluctant in preserving our own identity.’ Until, the Maoist leaders are going to undermine the Nepalese culture- Dashain & Tihar. The Maoist leaders and former Prime Minister Prachanda have violated our traditional dress for official functions which demonstrate Nepalese identity.
Dashain (worshipping Goddess Bhagawati for Power) and Tihar (worshipping Goddess Lakshmi for wealth) is a knot of cultural interrelationship among the Nepali people. Nepalese residing outside the nation take the festival as the identity of Gorkhali Nepali people spread across the world regardless of their caste and they exchange greetings and celebrate the festival in perfect cultural harmony. There are many Goddess’s Power centre ( Saktipith) in Nepal. The goddess Gorakkali at Gorkha and Manokamana, Tansen Bhagawoti-Palpa, Bageshori at Nepaljung, Saileshori at Doti, Tripurasundari at Dolpa, Pathivara at Taplejung, Singhbahini at Terathum, Dantakali at Dharan, Maisthan at Biratnagar, Shakhadadevi at Rajbiraj, Rajdevi at Dhanusha, Maisthan at Birgung, Gadimai at Bara, Churiyamai and Bhutan Devi at Makawanpur, Kalingchok at Dolakha, Bidyabasini at Pokhara, Chandeshori and Palanchok Bhagawoti at Kavre, In Kathmandu vally- Guheshori, Dakhinkali, Bhadrakali, Naksal Bhagawoti, Kalikasthan, Maitidevi, Shobha Bhagawoti, Sankata, Indraani at Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, Nawadurga at Bhaktapur, Bagalamukhi, Taleju Bhagawoti, Bagrabarahi, Bagrajogini-Shakhun, Naradevi, Raktakali have been worshiping with great devotion. Augratara at Dadeldhura, Malikadebi is famous at Kalikot at Karnali. Similarly, we have thousands temples of Goddess in Nepal which have been devoting by the various castes and tribes in local areas.
In Darjeeling, Sikkim, Duarsh, Asaam and Deharadun and Bhutan Dashain and Tihar is taken as an occasion of Gorkhas unity. Hindus in India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Hongkong, America, Britain, Germany and Australia including other nation (where Nepali and Hindus are living) around the globe celebrate Dashain in their own ways. Dashain is common festival of poor and rich. Tika, a mixture of cord, red vermilion and rice is placed on the temple of the body by seniors with Jamara (nine days old barley seed) as flowers. The ritual starts from Bijaya Dashami and lasts till full moon day with much zeal and merriment. Tika is received from father-mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, teachers and other revered senior members with blessings. Dashain is also important to Indian Hindus celebrate the occasion without receiving Tika.
Since time infinitive, Dashain is celebrated as a widespread festival and as a symbol of power. According to Hindu mythology, an ogre ‘Rakshes’ (monsters) by the name of Mahisasur had caused pain and suffering amongst humans. Then goddess Durga Bhawani killed the monster to relieve the humans. Dashain is the festival symbolizing victory of truth over evil. The worshipping of the Nawadurga Bhawani during the Nawaratra (nine night of worship) from Ghatastapana is an ancient tradition. It is mentioned in the Devi-Puran-’Ram had proposed of launching war against Rawan in Lanka on the occasion of Bijayadashami in Ashwin Shukla Nawaratri’. Similarly, it is mentioned in the Padma-Puran- ‘Rama had killed Rawan on the day of Chaitra Shukla Chaturdashi.’
Nepali influenced by Christian religion has been creating numerous illusions with an aim to urge people to boycott the great festival. But some Christians celebrate Dadhain as a cultural value without Tika. There have been efforts to pollute the holly festival with the color of the political-party. The leaders of Democratic and communist party in Nepal are not following the norms and values of their respective parties. But they do everything what the South Block, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) advices them. This is the regretful matter for our country. Some people belonging to indigenous groups are competing with each other to show there are better by boycotting Dashain. But indigenous people living abroad are lashing out at the concept. Prof.Gopinarayan Pradhan of Darjeeling said- ‘the attempt to reduce the extensive Nepali identity to class based identity is sad.’ Swami Prapnanacharya said-’Estadev Mahadev, Parwati and Drawasam and Yumasan. Worshipping Nawadurga in Nawaratra is an ancient tradition. To pollute the ancient culture of receiving Tika on the day of Dashami or Bijayadashami at the right time is not wise.
People observe Tika receiving ceremony as an opportunity to resume past broken relations with their relatives and friends. This is a joyous festivity. Those have chosen to boycott the festival have made a mistake. This is their defeat. What can be achieved from loosing the identity? Dashain is an immense opportunity for the relatives living abroad to come together. The poor people, victims of perennial shortages, gather some to wear good clothes eat good food and celebrate the festival with joy. In reality it is not a Dashain religion, it is a traditional cultural belief. It should be kept alive. I hope that the monarchy will reinstate and the King also comes ahead in this year to offer Tika to the people. Then, we feel our glory. I extend to everyone the Greetings on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami-2010 (2067Bs).
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
See also : Nepali Festivals
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Muslim Persecution of Hindus In India — The Story You Won’t See In the Western Mainstream Media
By Phyllis Chesler
Published September 09, 2010
They are crossing the border illegally and violently displacing the indigenous population whose homes and possessions they either destroy or occupy. They are attacking the young, the elderly, and especially the girls and women, whom they kidnap, forcibly convert, or traffic into brothels. The locals are terrified of them. The police rarely come to their aid, nor do the politically correct media or government. Both are terrified by the criminals and terrorists who are riding these immigrant waves.
I am not talking about illegal immigrants to Europe or North America. I am describing Muslims who are penetrating India’s West Bengal region. These Bangladeshi immigrants are becoming conduits for criminal activities (arms, drugs, and sexual slavery) which also fund global jihad.
You won’t read about this in the Western mainstream media—or even in the Indian media, which has turned a blind eye to this ongoing tragedy because they are afraid to be labeled “politically incorrect” or “Islamophobic.” They are also afraid of reprisals. When Islamic zealots ransacked the office of the renowned newspaper, ‘The Statesman’ in Kolkata, in retaliation for a mere reproduction of an article condemning Islamic extremism, the Indian press remained silent. The editor and publisher of the newspaper were arrested for offending Muslim sentiments and no action was taken against the rioters.
Fortunately, there are a few very brave Hindus who are taking a stand against the Muslim terror campaign in India. One of them is Tapan Ghosh, whom I had the privilege of meeting recently when he came to New York City to talk about anti-Hindu persecution in his homeland. In 2008, Ghosh founded “Hindu Samhati” (Hindu Solidarity Movement), which serves persecuted Hindu communities in both West Bengal and Bangladesh.
As Ghosh emphasized in our interview, the Muslim persecution of Hindus in India is nothing new. Over a period of 800 years, millions of Hindus were slaughtered by Muslims as infidels or converted by the sword. In 1946-1947, when British India was divided into India and Pakistan, Muslims massacred many thousands of Hindus in Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, and all along the fault line which separated India and Pakistan. Anti-Hindu riots and massacres continued during the 1950s and 1960s, but it was in 1971, when East Pakistan broke away to form the country of Bangladesh, that things worsened for Hindus in the area.
As Ghosh explained to me, “The liberation movement for Bangladesh was characterized by an escalation of atrocities against the Hindus and pro-liberation Muslims. Hindus were specifically singled out because they were considered a hindrance to the Islamisation of East Pakistan. In March 1971, the government of Pakistan and its supporters in Bangladesh launched a violent operation, codenamed “Operation Searchlight,” to crush all pro-liberation activities. Bangladeshi government figures put the death toll at 300,000, though nearly 3 million Hindus were never accounted for and are presumed dead.” U.S. officials in both India and Washington used the word “genocide” to describe what took place.
According to Ghosh, there has recently been a sharp increase in incidents of “Muslim rioting during Hindu festivals, destruction of Temples, desecration of Deities, and large-scale, provocative cow slaughter.” Worse: “Hundreds, thousands, of Hindu girls have been kidnapped, trafficked into sexual slavery, or taken as second or third wives for wealthy Muslim men. In recent years, Ghosh’s organization has rescued nearly 100 such girls, and one of his main missions has been to help reintegrate those survivors into their families and societies.
Ghosh wants the Indian government to stop the illegal immigration from Bangladesh and to force the return of undocumented Muslims; to ban madrassas and polygamy; to enforce a single standard of law and education; and to arrest and prosecute known Muslim mafia kingpins and terrorists. He challenges the media to report on the anti-Hindu atrocities and to address the issue of religious apartheid.
Ghosh is not optimistic. “The establishment of massive Saudi-funded Madrasas across rural Bengal is only contributing to the growing religious extremism among Muslims, [and] implementation of Sharia laws by [Islamic] courts is quite prevalent in many villages.” His greatest fear, he tells me, is that one day shouts of “Allahu Akbar” will ring out across the land and that Muslim zealots will demand that Hindus either convert or leave West Bangal—or die.
Ghosh came to America not just to appeal to Indian-Americans with family and historical ties in West Bengal and Bangladesh but to appeal to all Americans for their support. As he sees it, the battle against Muslim persecution in India is just one front in a much larger battle against Islamic expansionism and terror throughout the world.
All Americans must realize, he told me, “that the war on Islamic terrorism cannot be won without curbing religious extremism amongst the Muslim masses, be it in the suburbs of Detroit or Delhi or villages in rural Bengal. And this will require the active support and cooperation with each other, ranging from cooperation at the highest level to those who work at the grassroots level. We hope that Americans and Westerners will come out and support the Hindus in Bengal in raising resources and creating awareness about our on-the-ground realities.”
Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D. is professor emerita of psychology and the author of thirteen books including “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman” and “The New Anti-Semitism.” She has written extensively about Islamic gender apartheid and about honor killings. She once lived in Kabul, Afghanistan. She may be reached through her website: www.phyllis-chesler.com.
The author would like to acknowledge the assistance of Nathan Bloom in the preparation of this article.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
DEAR HINDU, SIKH, JAIN AND BUDDHIST
BROTHERS AND SISTERS:
MASSIVE RALLY AGAINST MEGA MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO ON 9/11 AT 03:00 PM
RALLY ON SATURDAY
TIME: 03:00 PM
LOCATION: CHURCH STREET AND WEST BROADWAY
Thousands of Christians, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh people along several Human Rights organizations are expected to assemble after Memorial Service at Ground Zero to express their disgust and revulsion against the Mega Mosque being built by Imam Abdul Rauf.
It is our duty to cooperate with the patriotic forces who are working hard to create an awareness about the menace of radical Islam.
You are cordially requested to mark your calendar and participate in the massive rally along with your friends.
We need at least 250 Indian Americans to be present at the Rally. Please spread the word around.
We will be very thankful if you kindly let us know whether you are joining us in the Rally.
If you have any question, please do not hesitate to call us at the following numbers.
Bhupinder Singh Bhurji
Namdhari Sikh Foundation
Hindu Human Rights
Monday, August 23, 2010
“Culturally Enriched Bengali Society Could Not Provide Protection to One Single Muslim Lady !!! ” – Tapan Ghosh
Phone: (718) 478-5735
Mr. Kanchan Banerjee
Phone: (617) 306-6609
Mr. Dilip Mehta
Phone: (281) 491-7299, (713) 553-7384
Email: email@example.comWashington DC:
Mr. Shivram Sitaram
Phone: (301) 515 8504
Mr. Prasad J. Yalamanchi
Phone: (630) 359-5041,
Monday, August 02, 2010
Dr. Subramanian Swamy On the Coming Crisis of Hinduism
02/08/2010 10:09:30 Global Hindu Heritage Foundation
“If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire better than another, it is a brave man, — it is the man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.”- James A. Garfield
DR. Subramanian Swami was invited by Global Hindu Heritage Foundation to Chicago to give his assessment of the plight of Hinduism and how it can be protected. He had three sessions at different locations. Dr. Swamy is a captivating speaker and an engaging writer, known for speaking his mind, Dr. Swamy is an alumnus of Harvard University, having obtained his PhD in Economics under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Prof. Simon Kuznets.Dr. Swamy spoke eloquently on various dimensions of threats Hindu Civilization is facing today which could undermine practice of Sanatana Dharma. Unless all the Hindus are united and fight for their freedom, Hinduism may be wipe it out, the way civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Roman and Zoroastrian were. Hindus cannot therefore be complacent. Hindus have to defend their Dharma from this unprecedented onslaught by other religions, media, communists, secularists and atheists. Dr. Swamy highlight the nature of these threats and suggest what we can do both within India and while in the USA.He has been challenging the mighty government and championing the cause of preserving and protecting the Hindu way of life. His most recent notable contributions to preserve Hindu civilization are as follows:
Saved Rama Sethu from Destruction.
Fought against introduction of Islamic Banking in the state of Kerala. Opened Ayodhya Temple for Hindu worship
Leading the fight to repeal “Hindu Endowment Act” and bring Temple Management back into hands of Hindus.
We express our appreciation for Prasad Yalamanchi and his friends – Madhu Patel, Bhailal Patel and Amar Upadhyaya.
Summary of Dr. Swamy’s Speeches in Chicago
Dear friends, we want to express our appreciation to Dr. Subramaniam Swamy who has put in extraordinary efforts to come to Chicago on 22nd July. Dr. Swamy left Boston right after his class at Harvard, and then we drove straight to Bharateeya Temple in Northwest Indiana from the airport.People waited enthusiastically to hear him and they had lots of questions to debate. We went on for 2 hours, as it was getting late on a week night Bharat Bai had to call it off. Several drove 60 miles from Chicago. There were about 100 people.Friday we met human rights activists and exchanged ideas. Saturday we had meeting at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, after his speech there was again intense debate of question and answers for a total of 2 hours. Some followed him to lunch room to continue their questions to Dr. Swamy.
On Sunday evening Grand Finale at Manav Seva Mandir Patotsav Dr. Swamy appeared as special Guest over 500 people showed up. There were pujas and Bhajans and Dr. Swamy’s speech electrified the audience and was interrupted repeatedly with applause. Again there were many questions to answer. Many senior citizens came and told how much they appreciated his speech, especially he spoke in Hindi.
The essence of all his speeches is here.
“800 years of Islamic rule and 200 years British rule India remains 83% Hindu. Compare that with it took Arabia 50 years, 25 years for Persia to become Islam, and Egypt 50years, and Europe turned Christian in 50 years.
Patriotic Hindus should understand the structural limitation in the theology that individualism, mistakenly taken nowadays as apathy, and find ways to rectify it for the national good.This limitation must not only be overcome but we must rectify it, based on durable foundation as Hinduism is being targeted today as never before by terrorism, religious conversion, minority appeasement, debasement of history and gross distortions in mass media.Hindus had Dharmic rules of war, like fighting only in open fields between sunrise and sunset, besides sending the loser with due honor and dignity. But Muslim and Christian invaders changed rules of combat used devious methods to seize power and establish their own state.Change of rules what Pridhviraj Chauhan had not realized while repeatedly defeating Mohammad Ghori and then forgiving him. But today terrorists and religious missionaries are doing precisely that again of playing by new and even more clandestine and deceptive rules. We Hindus have to accordingly devise our strategy for dealing with them, and will be successful only after understanding the rules by which these enemy forces will scheme against us.
In the name secularism, it was taboo for a public servant even to break a coconut or light an oil lamp to inaugurate an official function on the ground that religious symbols must not invade public life. This orthodox concept of secularism has depleted the civilization independence of the nation since 1947 when we recovered our freedom.The Agenda of Vedic Values for National Renaissance.
Therefore Dr. Swamy’s call is first and foremost for undiluted unity of Hindus, a unity based on mindset that is nurtured and fostered on the fundamentals of renaissance.
The concept of Hindustan defines the identity of India.That is, Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and those others who proudly accept that their ancestors are Hindus. Muslims and Christians are part of Hindustan, if they accept this truth and revere it. That is FIRST DIMENSION OF NATIONAL RENAISSANCE. IN this inclusive concept of Indianness, we have to examine and determine if the present divisive caste system can be considered as sustainable or we must seek ways to jettison.The identity of India is thus Hindustan a nation of Hindus with Vedic values and those others who acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus thus respect Vedic values. It is this acknowledgement that remains pending today, delays the unity of the nation on a historic identity based Vedic values. we can accept Muslims and Christians as part of Vedic family when they proudly acknowledge this fact and accept that change of religion does not require change of cultural values. Thus the cultural identity of India is undeniably, immutably, and obviously its Hinduness that is rooted in Vedic values.Second:Resolve that Sanskrit and Devanagari script will be learnt to the mother tongue and its script, and which will one day in the future be Hindustan’s link Language.All the main Indian languages have already a large percentage of their vocabulary common with Sanskrit. Hence the second item of Agenda has to be a commitment to re-throne Sanskrit as Hindustan’s Link Language.Third:Hindus and those others who are proud of their Hindu past and Origins Learn the correct History of India.That History which records that Hindus have always been, and are one:That caste is birth-based nor immutable but a code of discipline by choice and adherence. India is a continuum, Sanatana. That is ancient Hindus and their descendants have always lived in this area from the Himalayas to Indian Ocean called Akhand Hindustan, and did not come from outside. There is no truth Aryan-Dravidian race theory.
It must be said at this juncture the Hindus committed to Vedic Values, and barring a small exception despite being duped by perfidy of the aggressors for the last thousand years, and even in defeat remained steadfast in their individual commitment, to defend the Hindu religion. Thus despite state patronage to the ensuing onslaught, plunder, impoverishment and victimization, spread over thousand years, those of Hindu faith could not be decimated, and thus today, Hinduism remains the theology of the vast Indian majority in the length and breadth of terrain of India.On his way home to the airport, I asked Dr. Swamy why are you putting this treacherous travel every single week, instead of spending time with your family. Then Dr. Swamy said he talked over with his wife, “ well I could stay home and have a good life for ourselves, then what kind of world are we leaving for our Children, if we do not speak out against tyranny.”
Why Islamic banking is not acceptable in India
By Subramanian Swamy
Islamic scholars argue that payment of interest is a bane on the society. What are the alternatives especially example, for old-aged people who live on the interest from deposits of their lifelong savings, if interest is prohibited? How will banks survive without charging interest on loans extended?
An Islamic banks cannot charge interest, but then what does it do to survive? By giving by one hand, and taking away twice as much or more by the other hand! Let us take an example: If you want to purchase a house worth Rs 10 lakh an Islamic bank will not give you a loan of Rs 10 lakh at a rate of interest and fixed maturity as non-Islamic banks would. Instead the Islamic banks will purchase the house and sell it to you at a higher price! This means they will make a profit and such profit is called halal, as per Sharia! They will ask you to pay this back in say 15 years or so. Of course, interest-free. This is back-door collection of interest.
Thus, an Islamic bank is like a boiled ice cream; it cannot exist in real life without tricking our confidence.
An Islamic bank, or even NBFC, that operates in India, would violate at least the following laws, rules and regulations:
1. Partnership Act (1932), which stipulates a maximum of 20 partners, since KSIDC says it will be an open partnership between it and private investors without limit.
2. Wagering (not permitted under Sharia) as per Section 30 of Indian Contract Act (1872).
3. Sections 5(b) & (c), 9 and 21 of Banking Regulation Act (1949) on prohibition of profit-sharing, buying and selling property, and for not charging interest.
4. RBI Act (1934)
5. Negotiable Instruments Act (1881)
6. Co-operative Societies Act (1961)
Islamic banks will not be permitted by Sharia to give loans for liquor manufacture, cinema, hotel, entertainment industry, etc. These however are under current laws of India legitimate and legal activities. When the government is a partner in the NBFC (as proposed in Kerala), how can an NBFC, which is partnered by KSIDC, deny loans for such legitimate activities, without violating Article 14 of the Constitution, a fundamental right of equality before the law?
It is clear that Islamic bank or NBFC cannot be started in India without violating numerous laws and regulations. Can Kerala legislature amend the laws to make it Islam-compliant? Not possible because under Article of the Constitution 246 only the central government is empowered to change banking and financial statutes. Moreover, Article 27 explicitly bars using tax money with government for furthering any religion.
The G.O issued by the Kerala government explicitly states that the Islamic bank and NBFC would be Sharia-complaint.
Why then is the CPM-led Kerala government so keen? Because the government of Kerala, through KSIDC, is out to placate Muslim voters by promising Islamic bank, voters that the Nandigram incident in West Bengal drove away from CPM. This shows how bogus is CPM’s commitment to what they call secularism.
And why does the Congress not protest? Because they do not want to annoy rich Dubai-based industrialists and hawala operators. Moreover, since the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary TKA Nair is the Chairman of the KSIDC, and Dr Manmohan Singh believes that Muslims must get first charge on our resources, they are keeping silence, much as Bhisma and Drona kept quiet when Draupadi was disrobed. Hence, now patriots in Kerala must rise and protest to save Kerala from fast-creeping Islamisation. And rest of India must help.
(The writer is former Union Law & Justice Minister, INDIA.)
Saturday, 5 June, 2010
Report of the Chicago Hinduism Summit held on Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (June 05, 2010)
Passionate speeches, a rapt audience, reverberations of an auspicious conch, the sound of ancient Sanskrit verses, a unique idol of Lord Ganesh on display and an exhibition of objects attacked by ghosts were just some of the highlights of the second Hinduism Summit held in Chicago on Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (5 June 2010) ! The Summit was held by the Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) and the Lake County Hindu Temple. Around 100 attendees in person and 200 attendees online took the benefit of this event.Shri. Dileep Thatte, an ardent student of Hindu philosophy, has presented his “Seven Stars approach towards learning Hinduism” at various universities, groups and also at the recent World Parliament of Religions. Shri. Thatte spoke on ‘Learn the basics of Hinduism to counter misconceptions’. His lively speech spoke about how to get the youth of today interested in Hinduism. In his experience young people, around the age of 16-17 start asking fundamental questions about Hinduism, which often parents cannot answer. He feels that if those questions are answered clearly, the youth today will stay interested in Hinduism and identify themselves as Hindus. He shared a simplified version of the basics of Hinduism like non-duality, soul, Law of Karma, etc., to understand Hinduism and dispel common misconceptions about it.Shri. Shrinarayan Chandak spoke about the anti-Hindu bias in the media. Shri. Chandak, a graduate of IIT Madras and IIT Chicago, and a long-time professional in the fields of Technology and Management Consulting, is a founding board member of Sewa International that is serving the needy through healthcare and education. Shri. Chandak’s presentation clearly illustrated the anti-Hindu bias in the media, its reasons and what can be done about it. The solutions he presented were based on Sree Krishna’s teachings and resonated with the audience. He shared examples of media coverage, of how he has worked with the media to present Hinduism accurately and in a positive light. He asked all organisations to work together in this cause and share media contacts.Smt. Kalpana Sharma, a volunteer of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF), spoke with conviction about the spiritual dimension underlying Hinduism concepts and Hindu issues. She presented SSRF’s spiritual research that shows that subtle negative energies breed unrighteousness (adharma) and so we have to learn about them and how to combat them if we are to be successful in preserving Hinduism. Her speech and videos provoked thought about the need to consider the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias. The SSRF video demonstrated the power of Saints and the need for Their blessings in any mission.Shri Hakumat Shroff of Lake County Hindu Mandir was felicitated for his efforts towards Hinduism. He welcomed everyone on behalf of the Hindu Mandir and urged them to share with others interested in Hinduism what they have learned at this Hindusm Summit. He reminded everyone that the Hindu temple is a place for Hindu worship, but also Hinduism education.Shri. Dewang Gadoya, an avid reader of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti website, who had come for the Hinduism Summit all the way from Canada, spoke on ‘Know denigration and preserve Hinduism’. Shri. Gadoya spoke about what is Hinduism (Dharma) and how the denigration of Dharma today has resulted in the deteriorating condition of society. He shared the true impact of denigration at the psychological and subtle level. At the subtle level the kind of distressing vibrations the denigratory object creates affect us subtly, at the level of our thinking. It reduces the purity and clarity of our thinking, and consequentially, our actions. It sets the wrong precedent for initiates into Hindu Dharma, including the youth/children, as they feel then that it is ok to trivialize the sacred. “If one does not have reverence for the divine, how can one attain the devotion that is essential to worship and experience the divine?” he asked. He shared things that any person can do towards this cause, things within the reach of the common man, like protesting some denigration we come across, peacefully, but surely.
Dr. Richard Benkin spoke about the current situation of ethnic cleansing and religious persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh. Dr. Benkin is a human rights activist, author and speaker. During his fiery speech, Dr. Benkin not only made all the attendees aware of the plight of Bangladeshi Hindus clearly, but also shared practical things for everyone to do toward this cause. He shared how 9 million Jews had stopped the might of the Russian government. How all Jewish people had got together and collected donations, started protests, held rallies, etc. If 9 million Jews can do that, there are 900 million Hindus! We should be able to do much more. It is our responsibility, no one else will do it. His practical tips included contacting our elected representatives regarding this situation; supporting his organization in whatever way we can; awakening the Hindu community to the plight of Hindus everywhere; holding any protests we can, however small, in front of the Bangladeshi consulate, etc. He shared that he had recently received 3 emails from Anti-Hindus asking him not to attend this Summit so whatever we were doing there must be working. He received spontaneous applause from the audience several times during his speech.
The final speaker, Smt. Bhavna had the audience spellbound as she spoke about the current challenges the Hindu community is facing. She emphasized that the main reason for the conversion and other problems faced by Hindus today is the lack of Hinduism Education. She said that such is the state of Dharma that the so-called scholars and educators of Hinduism today are either non-Hindu and often anti-Hindu, like Wendy Doniger, a professor of Hinduism at the University of Chicago. The solution is to take and impart education about Hinduism that shows its unique spiritual scientific basis. Once anyone knows that, including the youth, like Hindus apply vermillion (kumkum) for its spiritually pure properties that aid concentration, they will be inspired to understand, live and preserve Hinduism. Smt. Shinde also shared how to be a Hindu by promoting spiritual purity in oneself and in the surroundings. How the quickest way to attain the aim of Hinduism, God realisation, is through the grace of the Guru. She ended the speech with a saying that in the current age of Kaliyug there is strength in unity and urged Hindus to make concerted efforts to preserve Hinduism. She shared a success story of how just a few Hindus protesting denigrating books in the academia have been able to stop the books from being given awards or circulated further. The audience applauded section after section of her speech.The summit concluded with unanimous passing of the following resolutions (some of them will be submitted to our policy makers) :1. The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!
2. We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren !
3. Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism !
4. We shall protest every denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely !
5. We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices !
6. We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism !
Report : Tejinder Singh
Wednesday, 26 May, 2010
Jazia on Amarnath yatra: furthering the Islamic cause
Here are three messages on this issue: It has to be noted that while the Govt of India spends over 800 crores per year on Hajj subsidy, the predominantly Islamic Govt of the India state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) imposes heavy taxes in various forms on Amarnath visiting Hindu pilgrims
A) Jazia on Amarnath yatra: furthering the Islamic cause
Nancy Kaul ; 21 May 2010
B) Many Taxes On Amarnath, One of World’s Oldest Pilgrimages
sita ram ; Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:45 AM
C) BJP opposes imposition of tax on pilgrim vehicles
Shakti Pandita; May 12, 2010
In a message dated 21/05/2010 13:30:42 GMT Standard Time,
Jazia on Amarnath yatra: furthering the Islamic cause
21 May 2010
The dark ages of Islamic domination seem to be slowly seeping back into independent India. First was the Kashmiri Muslim hegemony of not allowing land and infrastructure for Hindu yatris; and now Jazia has been levied on the pilgrims and langars for the revered Amarnath Yatra.
In their appeasement of Muslims, the Omar Abdullah Government and Governor N.N. Vohra-led Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), have fallen on the repressive Mughal policy of imposing Jazia (religious tax) on Hindus in their very own country.
The abode of Lord Shiva, Amriteswara tirtha, is a pilgrimage precious to Hindus; the Shiva lingam manifests itself in the holy cave of Sri Amarnathji. The yatra to Sri Amarnath is as old as the history of Kashmir and Neelmat Purana bears testimony to this. Rishi Kashyap, Adi Sankara, Vivekananda
and the common Hindu find peace and solace in the darshan of the Holy Lingam; the soul is entrenched in the divine manifestation.
A levy of Rs 15/- from each yatri (pilgrim) for registration was not considered sufficient by the authorities, so they imposed a charge of Rs 2,800/- per day (earlier Rs 300/day) on the buses and trucks, and Rs 2,300/- on light vehicles, carrying food supplies and pilgrims, in addition to the toll
tax on entering the State of Jammu & Kashmir at Lakhanpur. The State Government has not stopped at this, and has further sponsored the radicalisation process by asking the Langar committees, which constitute religious and social organisation, to deposit a non-refundable sum of Rs 25,000/-! At the same time, the area on which the langars are to run has been considerably
The proponents of Islam have thus imposed religious tax on Hindu yatris, whereas they spend thousands of lakhs of rupees on Muslims in terms of Urs and Haj.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in one breath does away with the tax on houseboat owners and hoteliers in Kashmir, and on the other hand imposes Jazia on Hindus; they will have to pay even for placing their shoes in the racks near the cave and toll on entering the State. These measures reek of an illogical bent towards Islamic talibanisation and immense hatred channelled at slighting the religious sentiments of the Hindus. Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) is in charge of the yatra and the money that the devotees offer. The Board has yet to come clean on how the money is
used. The money accumulated should have been used for infrastructure development and yatri comfort; however, typically this money donated by Hindus is being diverted towards the amusement and entertainment of Kashmiri Muslims. In 2006, the then Governor Lt Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha launched a Sufi festival (SASB along with ICCR) in Srinagar on the banks of the Dal Lake, where artistes from Pakistan apart from others participated, with the money of Sri Amarnath Shrine Board! Lakhs was spent and since then ever year this sham of Sufism is conducted from the money of the devotees of Amarnath ji.
Governor Vohra has increased the paradigm of this entertainment sham and it continues. The role of Shri Vohra during the Amarnath Yatra and his overtures to Muslims are neither reformed nor new. His closeness to the People’s Democratic Party is no secret, and along with the Kashmiri Muslims he was largely responsible for the atrocities heaped on the nationalistic Jammu
population when they stood up for the Yatra in 2008.
As Chairman of the SASB, N.N. Vohra wanted Muslims as Board members, a move which would have meant direct Muslim interference in a Hindu shrine, whereas no moves to include Hindus in Wakf Boards are ever conceived. Yet the present committee of six members has so far maintained silence over this issue.
The present Chief Minister, who has yet to prove his acumen, has rushed to play to the separatist gallery. His by now famous speech in Parliament, “I am a Muslim and I am an Indian…” and, “not even an inch of land will be given,” with reference to the Amarnath agitation of Jammu cannot be wished away.
Omar Abdullah is so emotionally overwrought for the gun-totting terrorists and their life in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, where they went for terror training to unleash violence in Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of India, that he wants the Centre not to ask them to surrender, but to give them an
honourable return. He wants the Central Government to clear four crossover points for them to return to India with their families. Such magnanimity for one group, such pettiness for another community!
The terror network that these terrorism-trained Kashmiri Muslims are part of in PoK and Pakistan is still intact; so is the motive to unleash terror on India through overt and covert means and thousand cuts. Pakistan has not resiled from its agenda of terrorism against India, nor has
Lashkar-e-Toiba and many such terror factories. In a recent meeting organized by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (new name of the banned LeT) in Lahore, it demanded that the government of Pakistan should either stop India from building dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan or give a ‘free hand’ to the ‘Kashmiri mujahideen’ (read terrorists) to deal with the issue. After the meeting a joint
declaration was issued by the JuD which asked the Pakistan government to keep open the option of using force to protect its water resources if India does not stop work on projects on rivers flowing into the country.
The head of JuD’s political affairs wing, Abdur Rehman Makki, and the group’s Pakistan Water Movement convener, Hafiz Safullah Mansoor, presided over the meet. It included representatives of major political parties including the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Jamaat-e-Islami and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaaf.
Interestingly, Omar Abdullah wants the Indian State to give amnesty to terrorists who could still be part of this terror network. The terror network with the active help of Pakistan is also taking advantage of the trade and bus routes between Kashmir and POK. Recently, two PoK citizens were sent to judicial lock-up for smuggling satellite phones for a commander and working for militants (read terrorists). One of them had reached Poonch via the weekly Poonch-Rawlakote bus service, while the other was arrested in Mendhar for travelling via the Wagah border.
Another ISI agent managed to return to PoK after spending a month in Mendhar; his involvement surfaced only after he had gone back. Earlier, few traders on Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote route were found working for militants/terrorists by providing hawala money which was being used to fund militancy and terrorism. Sources confirm that the intelligence agencies
have issued an alert on this front again.
As if this was not enough, Omar Abdullah has further rushed to the rescue of terrorist Afzal Guru, who has been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for masterminding the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. He wants Afzal Guru to be treated like other criminals. A person holding the office of Chief Minister should know better, for Afzal Guru is no criminal but a terrorist. This love for a terrorist is followed by another MLA of Kashmir.
Abdul Rashid, MLA from Langate, attended the funeral prayers of three terrorists killed in a recent encounter with security forces in Handwara area of the frontier Kupwara district. A fortnight ago, the Army launched Operation Thunder Strike, to neutralize terrorists. The MLA in his speech in
Shazipora grounds wanted the government to talk to armed terrorists. “The key of peace lies with militants, and there should be direct negotiations with them for they have rendered sacrifices,” he said.
This appalling love for Islamic terrorists and Jazia for Hindu Yatris raises vital questions about the efforts of Pakistan, terror organisations, and the likes of Omar, Mufti, Rashid and others. The effort to Talibanise Indian Muslim society is getting a fillip by such overt and covert actions.
It will be pertinent to watch what the UPA chairperson will do about this tax on Amarnath, as it was her mother-in-law and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who desired the concrete flight of stairs to be made in the 1970s; Indira ji’s love for Shiva and Shakti is well known. Her interpretation of
Kashmir was not Islam, but the thousands of years of Advaita Shaivism and Shakti – the fountainhead of Indian Hindu Sanskriti and heritage. She would visit Amarnath and a Shakti peeth in Kashmir with deep devotion. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will also have to answer the nation for this talibanisation in Jammu & Kashmir under his watch. On a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, First Lady Gursharan Kaur, the Prime Minister’s wife, insisted on wearing her usual dress of sari and half-sleeve blouse. Will she stand up this time too?
Will the Prime Minister, for he had said:
Deh shiva var mohe hai shubh karman te kabhun na daroon na daroon ersoh jab chahe laroon, nishche kar apni jeet karoon [O Siva, grant me the boon that I will never fear to do the right action
That I will not fear, will fight when I want, and with determination will be victorious]
- Guru Gobind Singh
Or do Indians have to look for Guru Teg Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh, and Shivaji Maharaj.
The author is convener, Daughters of Vitasta
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
From: sita ram
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:45 AM
Subject: Many Taxes On Amarnath, One of World’s Oldest Pilgrimages
Friends, one tax after another is being levied on one of the world’s oldest pilgrimages.
If you are going to Amarnath, not only do you have to pay registration fees, there is more taxes, taxes, taxes. Some of this may be for development of Kashmir and increase government revenue but why so many taxes on a pilgrimage in this era of liberalization.
You will be taxed at Lakhanpur, while crossing into Jammu from Punjab. You will again be taxed at Qazikund, while entering the Kashmir Valley. You will be again taxed, when entering the Pahalgam by the Pahalgam Development Authority. If you are going via Baltal, you will be taxed by the Sonmarg Development Authority. Parking fees have to be paid separately to the government on a daily basis for the time your vehicle is parked in Pahalgam or Baltal while you are walking to Amarnath.
Authorities have now imposed a charge of 2,300 rupees per day (earlier it was 300 rupees) on the buses and trucks entering the state for Amarnath Yatra. This is in addition to the usual toll tax. Charges of Rs 25,000 have been imposed on those setting up langars or community kitchens. Earlier it was a refundable deposit, now it is a non-refundable deposit.
More than 100 langars are set up along the Amarnath Yatra route every year, which contain all kinds of vegetarian dishes available in the country. You mention a dish, and it is there. Tea, fruits, vegetables, rice, chapaties, dosa, paranthas. Now government is trying to reduce the number of langars by charging them license fees.
It is these langars, which ensure that a pilgrim doesn’t have to spend a single penny on food during the yatra. Regular pilgrims say that the Amarnath Yatra is successful each year because of two reasons, one is the security forces and the other is the excellent langars.
Because of the langars, Amarnath Yatra used to be one of the cheapest organized pilgrimages. Now with taxes, the yatra is being commercialized. If a langar agrees to give tent accomodation to pilgrims, he is penalized. Pilgrims are forced to live in costly private tents.
It is not just about taxation alone. The road near Baltal is in horrible condition. It is a 2-3 kilometers stretch but It cannot be made pucca because under the rules no permanent strucuture is allowed to be built even though it is not in inhabitable terrain and with current modern equipment, coaltar can make the road pucca overnight. The trek for the yatra starts only after Baltal. At least here the road should be improvised.
The vindictiveness of the administration has prompted devotees to compare current rules to those of the Medieval ages when Jaziya was imposed on non-Muslims. Currently, Jaziya is only imposed by Taliban on Sikhs and Hindus living in the north-west frontier province of Pakistan.
Amarnath is now widely regarded as world’s oldest pilgrimage with historical references of more than 2,000 years ago but sadly the current dispensation wants to use it for earning revenue.
Subject: [kashmiripandit] BJP opposes imposition of tax on pilgrim vehicles
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 22:38:50 +0530 (IST)
From: Shakti Pandita
Bharatiya Janata Party has strongly opposed the charging of Rs 25,000 as non refundable security from the social and religious organizations willing to set up langers in the state during Shri Amarnath Yatra.
Terming it a highhandedness on the part of the J&K Government, the BJP State president, Shamsher Singh Manhas said that his Party is also opposed to the imposition of Rs 2300 on each vehicle entering Lakhanpur carrying yatra related material or groups of pilgrims.
Manhas, who was on the five days tour of Doda district was addressing a rally on the last day of his visit here today. During his tour he visited the far flung and hilly areas of Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda.
He said charging such a huge amount from Langer parties and the trucks is not less than a Jazia and such decisions have always been taken whenever the Congress Party joined hands with any regional party to share the power in the state.
He said it was during the 2008 of Congress–PDP coalition rule that the Jammu people had to agitate for 63 days to settle the Swami Amarnath land row.
The BJP state chief also criticized the elected representatives of Doda, Bhadarwah and Kishtwar for their biased approach towards a section of people and neglecting the others in matters of development and welfare related schemes.
Manhas alleged that many Kandi areas lack adequate water supply as the inhabitants there belonged to some other faith. The elected representatives should work in an impartial manner and treat all the people of their constituencies equally, irrespective of their religion, caste, colour or creed, he added.
Raj Kumar Khajuria, Sunil Sharma, Shakti Parihar, Ishtiaq Wani, Dalip Parihar, Swami Raj and Basant Raj were the other BJP leaders who also addressed the meeting.
- Parent Directory
- AMARNATH CAVE.jpg
- AMARNATH-SHIV LIMGAM.bmp
- CARAVAN OF PONIES TAKING PILGRIMS UPTO THE HOLLY CAVE.jpg
- EN-ROUTE TO AMARNATH CAVE.jpg
- LADY USING YATRA SERVICE.jpg
- LADY USING YATRA SERVICE_1.jpg
- PILGRIMS ABOUT TO ENTER THE CAVE.jpg
- PILGRIMS ABOUT TO ENTER THE CAVE_1.jpg
- PILGRIMS GOING TO AMARNATH YATRA.jpg
- SADDU RESTING EN-ROUTE TO THE HOLY CAVE.jpg
Sunday, May 2, 2010
They are the sons of the soil in this Birbhum district of West Bengal. They are Hindu tribal people. They have lived in this region since time immemorial. They used to live here in peace with the forest as their neighbour. They are not ambitious. They are not greedy. Their need is meager. They are hardworking. Their only assets are the neighbouring forests and their hard labour. Here the land is rocky and the yield is very little. And they were satisfied with it. They owned this rocky land.
This rocky land turned a curse for them. Of course 2 additional factors contributed in this curse:
(1) their innocence and (2) growing demand of stone and stone chips for our urban civilization. Especially the roads and real estate industry.
So the greedy men came from the cities and towns and converted the rocks and the land into quarries. They set up Stone Crushers for making stone chips to be transported to cities and towns. The environment of the area changed. The clear sky became covered with stone dust. This dust smothered the crops. The tribal people lost their livelihood. Hence they were compelled to take up jobs in those quarries and crushers as labourers.
These owners brought Muslim managers, labour supervisors and a large number of Muslim labourers from nearby Murshidabad district. In Mohammadbazar block, one noted antisocial Seikh Kamaal Khan took the lead. Once upon a time, a petty criminal Kamaal Khan now owns at least 3 quarries and a number of stone crushers, of course by all fraudulent and illegal means. Local people believe that this Kamaal Khan is in regular contact with ISI of Pakistan. Read more here in Hindu Samhati Web-site………..
Courtesy : Hindu Samhati.
28th April, 2010.
Hindu Villagers Attacked by Muslim Mafia in Birbhum, West Bengal. Four dead, several injured.100 thatched houses of Hindu tribes were set on fire by Islamic mob.
Hindu Existence Fact Finding Team reports from Rampurhat on Wednesday, 28th April, 2010 :
A huge rally of various Tribal hindu organization under the banner Adibasi Raksha Manch ( Forum for Protection of Tribal People) gave a demonstration to the the Sub Divisional Officer, Rampurhat with 12 point demands including protection of tribal women from sex-exploitation, health security of stone crusher workers, minimum wages, ban upon child labour, illegal stone crusher mills and out comer Mafia rackets causing harms to the local people, culture and enviorment.
The rally comprising Birbhum Adibasi Gaonta, Majhi Pargana Baisi Adibasi Sangathan, Adibasi Lok Samskriti Parisad, Adibasi Sramik Oikya and other tribal forums started from the village Tumbuni and the Rampurhat Town with their transitional tribal weapons like bow and arrow, spears and Tangi. Numbers of tribal women also participated in this rally. Tribal leader Surendra Tudu told before the press that the local Adminstrative and Police authority favoured the attackers upon the tribal villages and conspirators for the communal riots and registered the cases against the innocent tribal people very unjustifiably.
The HE Fact finding team reveals some truth that :
Mohammad Kamal Khan, his brothers and son along with Nazir Hossion Mallick ( both of them are Stone crusher mill owner i.e. khadan mallik and leaders of Mill Owner Associations) fomented the Muslims against Hindu Tribal people and lead directly the arson, looting and molestation in tribal villages.
At the time of rampage in Chanda Para, Nagram, Pamchmi, Kapasdanga, Talbandh, Sagarbandhi, the Police acted as mere on-lookers under a mysterious equation with the Crusher Owner Associations, dominated by communal Muslims.
The main Muslim culprits operated with logistic and other supports from Chandni Chak, Kolkata, Patna and Ranchi. These Muslim Mafias have strong Arabic – Islamic connections outside West Bengal also. The hands on trainer for bomb-making came from outside the locality.
The notorious anti-hindu Mahasweta Devi’s agents Birbhum are trying hard to establish the communal clash between Hindus and Muslims in the present case is nothing but an out-brust of owner-labour problem in Khadan areas. It is evident that the communal clash spread in the area after one Stone Trader and habitual persecutor (upon the tribal people and women) Basirul Shiek was hacked to death in the village Baromesia in first instance.
Section 144 is imposed in the entire Bhanrkata and adjacent areas. The around the clock own Tribal vigilance and protection groups in most of the affected tribal villages are being heckled by the police administration so far. But it is noticed that the Muslim preachers and anti-socials are gradually maneuvering the ares for further anti-tribal actions.
posted by Upananda Brahmachari.
29th April, 2010.
A beautiful art work on Hindu-Jewish Unity by Sambuddha Gupta.
Posted by Upananda Brahmachari.