Terror in Kashmir: Plight of Kashmiri HindusA film on the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from their homes after militancy took over the Valley brings out the tragedy of a community that has been living as refugees in its country.
Called And the World Remained Silent, the 25-minute film by producer and director Ashok Pandit is a product of compiling video footage that he has been taking during the last ten years – right from the frenzied demonstrations led by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Shabir Shah in 1990 to the pathetic conditions of refugee camps in Jammu where the Kashmiri Pandits or Hindus now live. The stark images of brutality committed on Hindus to drive them out of Kashmir evokes not just sympathy but reveals the kind of trauma and hardship that the community has undergone with little help from the Indian government or citizens.
Noted film maker Mahesh Bhat, who was also present at the press meet, severely criticised the apathy of the nation towards the plight of the Pandits.
*** Robert Hathaway(of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a famous think tank in Washington DC)takes no interest whatsoever in India's main terrorist problem, Islamic armed separatism in Kashmir. He merely warns Hindus not to use Kashmir as an excuse for Gujarat, and denies that Hindu exasperation at Muslim violence in Kashmir has anything to do with the Hindu reaction in Gujarat, as if he had investigated the matter. Yet, it is precisely on the Kashmiri frontline that America is most directly concerned, for it has provided indirect support to the terrorists for more than a decade. Many Hindus have been killed with American-made weapons and bombs.
The practical bottom-line of Hathaway's paper turns out to be a plea for cutting off the flow of donations to Hindu charities such as the Ekal Vidyalaya scheme of village schools. US-based Indian Communists(FOIL) have recently opened a campaign against Hindu charities......The Indian people are not financing movements violently disrupting American society. By contrast, American citizens are financing Church activities in India which often shade over into armed separatism, social disruption of tribal societies and ethnic cleansing.
(source: A reply to Robert Hathaway - By Koenraad Elst - rediff.com andDr Hathaway's patronising conclusions - By Koenraad Elst - rediff.com). The U. S must ask itself why other religious minorities in India, the Parsis, the Sikhs, the Buddhists and Jains never face the problems that Christians and Muslims in India face at the hands of ‘Hindu extremists?Why did the normally gentle Hindus take to extremism? Christian missionaries and Islamic terrorists threaten Hindus and Hindu society. The right to revenge is as much the prerogative of Hindus as it is of the U.S. (source: Christianity's compulsive need to homogenize the world - vigilonline.com). Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Moviehttp://www.jaia-bharati.org/films/and-the-world.mpg Refer to Kashmir Holocausthttp://www.hinduhumanrights.org/kashmirspecial.pdf *** A community which has suffered the maximum due to Islamic terrorism is the Hindus of Kashmir and the Pandits in particular. In 1989, a mass exodus took place in the Kashmir Valley, due to relentless persecution by Islamic terrorism, and 300,000 Pandits became refugees in their own homeland. The left-liberals did not even shed crocodile tears on the plight of these unfortunate citizens of our country. In fact, they have become the forgotten people for the English media.
Even today, while copious tears have flowed from the eyes of the English media in context of the Muslim refugees in Gujarat, it has not found it necessary to deal with the predicament of the Kashmiri Pandits. There has not been any detailed reporting about the miserable conditions in the refugee camps, which are in existence for more than 13 years. No one talks about the trauma and the psychological scars borne by these Kashmiris, whose only fault was that they were Hindus.
(source: The English media in India - Hindu Vivek Kendra). Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Moviehttp://www.jaia-bharati.org/films/and-the-world.mpg Refer to Kashmir Holocausthttp://www.hinduhumanrights.org/kashmirspecial.pdf "Gujarat and Kashmir represent two faces of the same coin. When Pandits were killed and thrown out of Kashmir, no one in India gave a damn. Now Muslims were butchered in Gujarat, and no one in India gave a damn. Yet there are differences between the situation with Pandits and hapless Muslim victims in Gujarat - not in what happened, but in the manner how the social conscience in India reacted. "Very few humanists in India came to the aid of Kashmiri Pandits. No one linked militant Islam to growing fundamentalism in the National Conference, and almost no one blamed the State government for its ineptitude or demanded the CM should be declared a criminal. "Gujarat, on the other hand, has become the hollowed ground for Indian humanists, who are eager to link berserk Hindus to the party in power, want the CM's head on a platter and see the "dubious hand" of the Center in the tragedy. " (source: Going Home - By Ajay Raina - outlookindia.com). The Kashmiri Pandits are refugees in their own country for the last 13 years. Except for the Hindu organisations, their plight is of no concern to anyone else - political or secular organisations. According to Ashish Nandy of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, secularists have been foolishly soft on minority communalism. He said: "When Hindus began to be exterminated systematically in Kashmir and to leave in large numbers, our secularist friends said then governor Jagmohan had deliberately organised the forced migration. I would like to see people leaving their ancestral homes with a sack in hand just because the governor of the state asks them to do so! When questioned later as to how the killings of Hindus were not condemned strongly enough, some of them said newspapers had refused to carry their statements." (source: Bhushan, Ranjit, "A Dangerous Symbiosis", Outlook, April 1, 2002.). (source: On Kashmir Pandits - Hindu Vivek Kendra). Refer toMy People, Uprooted: "A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal" - By Tathagata Roy It is a pity that the West, particularly the USA, with all its loud claims on human rights, has failed to express serious concern at this great tragedy of our times. It is too glaring an omission on the part of the West to be forgiven by history. (source: Will Pandits’ plight ever end?- tribuneindia.com).Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Moviehttp://www.jaia-bharati.org/films/and-the-world.mpg
A Forgotten Ethnic Cleansing
It's over 13 years now, but political rhetoric aside, we as a nation have become immune to the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, who remain largely irrelevant in the political discourse -both within and outside the country
January 19 marked thirteen years since what is generally recognized as the beginning of the process of ethnic cleansing by which the Kashmiri Pandits (descendents of Brahmin priests) were hounded out of the Kashmir Valley. Confronted with the spectre of cultural extinction, incidence of problems such as insomnia, depression and hypertension have increased and birth rates have declined significantly. (source: A Forgotten Ethnic Cleansing - by Kanchan Lakshman - outlookindia.com). It is quite ludicrous that the Congress and other opposition parties who cry themselves hoarse over the recent incidents in Gujarat have tended to neglect half a million Kashmiri refugees who were hounded out of their homes, their houses burnt and properties looted and were forced to live a life that voilates all standards of human diginity. While TV channels and newspapers are full of reports about Gujarat carnage, the hardships faced by Kashmiri refugees hardly find a mention anywhere. Are there any answers for this step-motherly treatment ? (source: Refugees in State Vs Refugees in Country - by Sunita Vakil - The Kashmir Telegraph). Kashmir Holocaust and the Human tragedyThe goal is to present to the public in India and abroad the huge human tragedy, the killings of Kashmiri Pandits over two decades, the decimation of their community, the ethnic cleansing and their forced expulsion from the Valley, the destruction of Kashmiri culture as the original inhabitants of Kashmir are forced out, the plight of the Pandits in exile in refugee camps, the impact on Kashmiri Shaivism, a unique member of the Hindu family which is now threatened with extinction and the temples now properly tended and ancient rituals and traditions are terminated by the terrorist gun; the environmental degradation of Kashmir as a result of inhuman violence. This is a human tragedy of colossal proportions taking place in our time in independent India, of which adequate awareness needs to be generated across the world. An audio-visual Exhibition will be held in New Delhi on June 16, 2003 at the India Habitat Centre in tribute to the victims of violence. (source: Kashmir Holocaust and the Human Tragedy: Campaign against Terrorism- Sponsor: Francois Gautier Co-Sponsors: Foundation against Continuing Terrorism,Indic Journalists Association International).Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Moviehttp://www.jaia-bharati.org/films/and-the-world.mpg. Refer to Kashmir Holocausthttp://www.hinduhumanrights.org/kashmirspecial.pdf Refer toMy People, Uprooted: "A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal" - By Tathagata Roy
The selective amnesia of the English media in India is simply breathtaking. There appears to be a cardinal rule: Never publish anything that would be in the least bit negative about Muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular; or about Christians; or about Marxists in general and the Chinese in particular. For instance, the Chinese genocide in occupied Tibet is glossed over, and an Indian English magazine's famous editor goes on a China-sponsored tour there and writes a glowing account of how life is beautiful.
Shabana Azmi and Kuldeep Nayyar and Human Rights Watch and the rest of the human rights cottage industry were very quiet. The US Council on International Religious Freedom was thunderously silent, too, which shows yet again that their definition of 'religious freedom' is rather unique: It means the freedom of American cults to propagate their bizarre ideas.
Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Moviehttp://www.jaia-bharati.org/films/and-the-world.mpg Top of Page Ram Sethu - World Heritage Site Floating stones found in Rameshwaram Do stones float in water? The answer would be a certain no. But in the island of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, stones, it seems, do float in water. Difficult to believe-but it's a reality. Floating stones of Rameshwaram have a mythological twist to it. According to the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place over 17 million years ago, Lord Rama and his army of monkeys used stones to build a bridge across the Palk Strait to link Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka. Legend as well as archaeological findings indicate the first signs of human inhabitation in Sri Lanka date back to the primitive age and it is assumed that the bridge's age is also almost equivalent.
G. Mohan Das, a local historian and caretaker of the stones in the temple, said that these stones could have been the kind used to build the mythological bridge. "The history of these floating stones is that when Lord Rama made a bridge to trek to Lanka to bring back his consort Sita, these are the same stones used. But today's educated people do not agree to it. They believe it is a coral which is in Australia, Chennai, in small islands. We believe there is no difference in these stones. Both the stones do not have air in them. The composition is the same and it has 40 kinds of chemicals," he said. Space images taken by NASA reveal a series of rock outcrops in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. Some historians say these could be the part of the mythological bridge linking Indian peninsula with Sri Lanka island. *** NASA Photos Reveal Bridge to Lanka According to the Ramayana,Lord Rama built a bridge to Lanka in ancient times, and the new photos greatly intrigue Hindus. Space images taken by NASA reveal a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. The recently discovered bridge currently named as Adam´s Bridge is made of chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long. The bridge´s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge´s age is also almost equivalent. This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in tredha yuga (more than 1,700,000 years ago). In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and Srilankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the supreme. This information may not be of much importance to the archeologists who are interested in exploring the origins of man, but it is sure to open the spiritual gates of the people of the world to have come to know an ancient history linked to the Indian mythology. According to encyclopedia.com(rä´me) or Rama's Bridge, chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. At high tide it is covered by c.4 ft (1.2 m) of water. A steamer ferry links Rameswaram, India, with Mannar, Sri Lanka. According to Hindu legend, the bridge was built to transport Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to the island to rescue his wife from the demon king Ravanna. (source: http://www.indolink.com/Religion/r091702-130924.php and Floating stones found in Rameshwaram). Watch video on Save Ramsetu Watch History of Ayodhya - videogoogle.com.
Hugh Joseph writes:
"I read the story headlined above with great interest. This is a story of major significance, as understanding its implications will turn the entire world of Science and History on its head. This bridge, according to accounts in the Ramayana and the Srimad-Bhagavatam, was constructed in the age know as Treta, over 2 million years ago.
How did the writers without super space-ranging satellites know about the existence of this bridge? In these ancient accounts, written over 5,000 years ago, we find discussions of, among other things, space travel, inter planetary travel, what we call UFOs and what we mistakenly call ETs. This is not only the History of the planet Earth, but also of this Universe, (a mediocre universe among many millions of universes).
Here one can also learn the real undisguised and uncontaminated truth about God. Our man-made religions are of little or no value when compared to the stunning and breathtaking revelations found in the pages of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Ramayan, Bhagavad-gita, etc."
(source: rense.com. For more refer to chapter on Vimanas). *** UPA Government destroying India's Ancient Heritage? Sir Monier Williams (1860-1888) an Indologist and head of the Oxford's Boden Chair has identified Nalasetu as the present day's Adam's Bridge (or what we call Ramar-Setu). Here is the description of the term as found in the Monnier Williams Sanskrit-English dictionary. Nalasetu - setu m. 'Nala bridge', the causeway constructed by the monkey Nala for Rāma from the continent to Laṅkā (the modern Adam's Bridge )
*** The Ram Sethu (Adam's bridge) causeway must have been a major engineering feat for its thin trace is still so clearly visible on the present day satellite images (Joseph 2004). It has resisted the relentless erosion of the sea for almost 2 million years and it attests to the great engineering skills of the ancient Indian people. It is the earliest and largest carbon-fibre reinforced civil engineering structure known to man and should be protected as a world heritage site.
Ram Sethu - A great engineering skill of ancient Indian people.
Construction of such a long bridge is a marvel in itself. Even the longest bridges of today, dwarf against the Rama’s bridge which is 30Kms. It should be regarded as an eight wonder, much significant than the Pyramids and all others, due to the bridge’s age as well as it’s longevity which stays to this day.
This structure of close to 48 kilometers which is 3 to 30 feet deep through its course and was well above the sea level till the 15th century. The oldest recorded map that mentions of Rama’s Bridge is the Malabar Bowen Map of Netherlands which is supposed to have been made in 1747, where the map mentions no name to the bridge but has mention about a place Ramencoil. Further, the same place is mentioned again in a 1788 Map of Hindoostan available in the Sarasvathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur.
This bridge has also been mentioned by James Rennel (1742-1830), was the First Surveyor General of the East India Company, in his earliest maps of India1788 as Rama’s Bridge. However, Rennel carefully and tactfully renamed the bridge as Adam’s Bridge in his 1804 version of the map.
Ram Sethu bridge.
On the basis of Hindu scriptures, it is a widely held opinion that Rama Setu is the formation to facilitate Vishnu Avatara Maryada Purushottama Sri Rama and his army to cross the Palk Strait, as described in detail in Valmiki Ramayana and other scriptures.
This bridge has also been mentioned by James Rennel in his earliest maps of India1788 as Rama’s Bridge. However, Rennel carefully and tactfully renamed the bridge asAdam’s Bridge in his 1804 version of the map.
Lying dormant under the waters, the bridge again came into light after the NASA’s satellite pictures released in the early 1990s created curiosity among historians and excitement among Dharmics. Tales started going around on the date of Rama’s Bridge starting from 1.75 million years to 3500 years. NASA though accepted the authenticity of the pictures, however refused to comment on the dating.
Few dating attempts have been made after that. While the Sri Lankan Archeological Department dates the bridge to close to 2 million years old, Centre For Remote Sensing, BharathidasanUniversitydated it close to 3500 years old.
Few questions need to be asked:
1)First and foremost question is that whether the said bridge is man-made or a geological phenomenon. 2) If it were a geological phenomenon it would assume a great importance for geologists and scientists, making it very important for us to preserve it. It would probably become the oldest natural rock formation in Indiaand the biggest and oldest natural rock formation of the world and the only one under the sea. 3) If it were man-made but not built by Rama, still it is of extreme importance as an archeological site. Probably it would classify as one of the man-made wonders of the world and the oldest ever man-made bridge to exist. 4) If archeologists and theologists can prove it to be anywhere closer related to Shri Rama, the importance would be the greatest, since it has a religious connotation and probably the biggest find relating the religion (especially Dharmic) and also of archeological importance attached with religion.
Answers to these questions would certainly direct us to only one conclusion – the Rama’s Bridge should not be touched for demolition. It might/might not be a religious site, but it is certainly beyond even what we call as “precious”. It is a natural phenomenon which has surprised scientists and geologists by its sheer existence.
If Indian government tries demolishing Rama’s bridge for enabling a shipping canal project, I might probably even think that the government might take Qutab Minar off the place because it disrupts traffic. I do not think the UPA government would want themselves to be equated with the Taliban who destroyed Bamiyan Budhas while the whole world witnessed.
In both cases of Taliban and UPA government the action is the same, destroying of world heritage, while only the motive is different.
Top of Page India's staggering heritage is in serious physical danger India has one of the world’s richest and most continuous of cultures. Since millennia it has been one of the main contributors of achievements in fields as diverse as medicine, mathematics, the sciences, technology, philosophy, theology, literature, linguistics, not to forget the graphic arts, music, dance and innumerable other disciplines. Unfortunately, much of India's staggering heritage is in serious physical danger. For instance, one of the main forms of Indian heritage tradition is the palm-leaf book. Much of India's written heritage has been passed on in the form of specially treated palm leaves, with writing in ink or engraving. According to a conservative estimate by the Oriental Department of the German National Library(Berlin), there is a minimum of 1 million such palm-leaf books, most of them unpublished. If we add all the other Indian materials (printed books, paper manuscripts, inscriptions, birch-bark texts, etc.), the Indian share of the world's written heritage as of today comes up to roughly 20% in terms of sheer quantity. It comes as a shock that this awesome heritage is materially, physically falling apart at an absolutely alarming rate. Paper, palm leaves and birch bark are organic materials with a natural life span. German scientists have determined that most Indian palm-leaf books will naturally decay within the next 50 to 100 years. In about 150 years, there will be practically none left whatsoever. This is a rapid, gradual, unstoppable process. Every day, a part of it disappears forever. The process is accelerated by floods, fires, wars, inadvertent loss. Already an immense amount has been lost. For every Indian, in fact for every human being, this must be a truly shocking discovery.
(source: Preserving India's Heritage For more information refer to Palm Leaf Manuscripts). Top of Page Reporting Bias? asks Francois Gautier Why is it that in this country, when for decades Saudi Arabia has been funding madarsas which are openly preaching sedition and are often dens of terrorism, the Indian Press finds nothing to say? Why is it that when foreign Christian organisations are pouring billions of dollars to deviously convert innocent Harijans and tribals, teaching them to hate their own culture and country, the media here keep quiet? And why is it that when a few Hindu organisations collect funds for a harmless programme like Ekal Vidyalaya - which are doing a wonderful job for tribal children - they are attacked as fundamentalist by most Indian publications?
Particularly targeted nowadays by some US-based Christian and Muslim organisations, such as "The Campaign to Stop Funding Hate", is the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), a Maryland-based charity which has denied allegations that it is raising millions of dollars from non-resident Indians and American corporations and using the money to fund a "hate campaign" in India. Yet, the Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of Northern America, Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand's SabrangCommunications, have demanded a probe by the US Congress into IDRF and also asked the IRS to blacklist it and withdraw its tax exemption status. Biju Mathews, the president of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of Northern America, a very little known group, has accused IDRF
This has infuriated many Cisco employees, such as Shyam Palleti, who wrote that "there is a malicious campaign against work done by some Indians for the benefit of Indian causes. All the money collected in Cisco went to right causes, like the Orissa cyclone of 1999, and was accounted and reported to IRS".
"The word 'duped' is insulting to employees who build innovative networking products and because of whom we can communicate with ease. I don't think the articles published in the Indian Press cause anybody to reduce their help to IDRF, but only incense them to think that their own media is not India-friendly". (source: Reporting bias- By Francois Gautier - pioneer.com).
Top of Page The Soul of India program on PBS - just another sensational show?
The PBS webpage had made defamatory statements on their web site ‘Hindu Fundamentalist’ which was later changed to Hindu nationalist. Wide Angle’ episode is the best example of how this "Biased Western Media" goes on with its mischievous reporting about Hindus and Indians without a shred of evidence.
Use of derogatory terms like "Monkey God Brigade" - Hanuman.In 1992 Hindu activists destroy Ayodhya mosque". It was not a mosque. It was a Ostructure - because nobody was using it. The program has led to great anger amongst viewers for its simplistic portrayal of the Gujarat tragedy.
Many people have canceled their subscriptions to the PBS. Their argument is that this documentary presents a one-sided, leftist-colonialist view of the events.
The leftist-colonialist view has been fostered by consultants who know little of real India, an area of much layered complexity across time and space. These consultants look at India from a Eurocentric position, using categories which confound and confuse. Gujarat Facts - Fifty Eight Hindus, mostly women and children were burnt to death by a mob of 2000 fanatic Muslims at Godhra, about 200 miles from Ahmadabad in Gujarat. For 24 hours the world did not react because they were Hindus,the inevitable victim of Islamic terrorism in India. It was only after Gujarat started burning that the so called human rights activists started crying. Total death toll in the aftermath of Godhra was around 850. About half of this number comprises Hindus, but this fact is overlooked because it does not fit into the disinformation campaign of the biased media.There are/were about 30,000 Hindu refugees in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots. Their plight is not mentioned. Gujarat state has seen communal clashes earlier too like the one in 1992. The world failed to take notice when Kashmir was ethnically cleansed of its five hundred thousand Hindus who are living in camps at present after losing about 5000 members of their community to various forms of barbarism. (source: The Soul of India Debate - By Subhash Kak - sulekha.com and Gujarat Facts - By P N Razdan -Indiacause.com). Watch An Invasion through Conversion- videoyahoo.com. Watch History of Ayodhya - videogoogle.com. PBS/Wide Angle aired a documentary on Sept 19 2002 titled "Soul of India". Top of Page Indian Science and Technology in the 18th Century The Process of Making Ice in the East Indies - By Sir Robert Barker published in 1775
Following is the method that was used to make ice in India as it was performed at Allahabad and Calcutta. On a large open plain, 3 or 4 excavations were made, each about 30 feet square and two deep; the bottoms of which were strewed about eight inches or a foot thick with sugar-cane, or the stems of the large Indian corn dried. Upon this bed were placed in rows, near to each other, a number of small shallow, earthen pans for containing the water intended to be frozen. These are unglazed, scarce a quarter of an inch thick, about an inch and a quarter in depth, and made of an earth so porous, that it was visible, from the exterior part of the pans, the water had penetrated the whole substance. Towards the dusk of the evening, they were filled with soft water, which had been boiled, and then left in the afore-related situation. The ice-makers attended the pits usually before the sun was above the horizon, and collected in baskets what was frozen, by pouring the whole contents of the pans into them, and thereby retaining the ice, which was daily conveyed to the grand receptacle or place of preservation, prepared generally on some high dry situation, by sinking a pit of fourteen or fifteen feet deep, lined first with straw, and then with a coarse king of blanketing, where it is beat down with rammers, till at length its own accumulated cold again freezes and forms one solid mass. The mouth of the pit is well secured from the exterior air with straw and blankets, in the manner of the lining, and a thatched roof is thrown over the whole.
Ice making in India. It was made in open pans.
Refer to chapter on Hindu Culture.
The spongy nature of the sugar-canes, or stems of the Indian corn, appears well calculated to give a passage under the pans to the cold air; which, acting on the exterior parts of the vessels, may carry off by evaporating a proportion of the heat. The porous substance of the vessels seems equally well qualified for the admission of the cold air internally; and their situation being full of a foot beneath the plane of the ground, prevents the surface of the water from being ruffled by any small current of air, and thereby preserves the congealed particles from disunion. Boiling the water is esteemed a necessary preparative to this method of congelation.
In effecting which there is also an established mode of proceeding; the sherbets, creams, or whatever other fluids are intended to be frozen, are confined in thin silver cups of a conical form, containing about a pint, with their covers well luted on with paste, and placed in a large vessel filled with ice, salt-petre, and common salt, of the two the last an equal quantity, and a little water to dissolve the ice and combine the whole. This composition presently freezes the contents of the cups to the same consistency of our ice creams, etc. in Europe; but plain water will become so hard as to require a mallet and knife to break it. The promising advantages of such a discovery could alone induce the Asiatic to make an attempt of profiting by so a very short a duration of cold during the night in these months, and by a well-timed and critical contrivance of securing this momentary degree of cold, they have procured to themselves a comfortable refreshment as a recompence, to alleviate, in some degree, the intense heats of the summer season, which, in some parts of India, would be scarce supportable, but by the assistance of this and many other inventions.
(source: Indian Science and Technology in the 18th Century - By Dharampal p. 169-173).
When merchants sailing from India brought delicious spices, aromatic perfumes, incense, fine silk, precious stones set in delicate and rare jewelry, complex craftsmanship of ivory, muslin, and many other goods never seen before by Europeans, the riches and mystique of the land captivated them. The stories told by many navigators about that land of wonder, where the palaces were built of varieties of marble rather than rush stone, decorated with beautiful sculptures and wooden inlay, made the Queen of Spain so covetous that she provided Columbus with all necessities for his famous journey. Columbus had heard of India's riches through the writings of Marco Polo. Polo had written that India "was the richest and noblest country of the world."
Europe, after Gutenberg's invention of the printing press, wasted no time in announcing the discovery of the New World. It was at this time that European historians began to present to the rest of the world that their land was the center of culture and civilization. In comparison to Indian society, however, the Europeans were rather crude.The ominous age of the Inquisition, with its persecution and fanaticism, the use of mechanical devices to insure the "chastity" of its women, the exploitation of the serfs, and self-destructive habits, such as indiscriminate eating and alcoholism within the higher classes, are all evidence of this.
The original Palace of Versaillesin Paris, although certainly a unique architectural creation requiring genius, was built without a single bathroom.Louis XIV (1638-1715) (the Sun King) and his court are said to have evacuated behind curtains, cleaning themselves with the same. The king, was in the habit of substituting soap with Indian perfume and awaited until his 35th birthday before he took his first complete bath.
While Europe was still uncivilized, Indian culture, as well as American culture, was highly advanced. When Europeans were still cave dwellers and nomads wandering from place to place subsisting through hunting, some American people were plowing fields and baking bread and dressing in cotton, the seeds for which came from India. (Please refer to chapter - India on Pacific Waves?). The subtlety of Indian society, both eastern and western, marks its superiority to Europe. It was a subtlety of spiritual outlook that Europeans failed to appreciate.
The Industrial Revolution of Europe was prompted by India's cotton, which competed with European wool. Later when the popularity of cotton products imported from India increased, the Europeans began to manufacture cotton in mills. Thus it was even an Indian resource that prompted Europe's claim to fame - the beginning of modern technology.
Denigration of Hinduism in American Academia The so called current Indologists have fared no better than their earlier British counterparts. They have continued the same tradition of denigrating Hindu traditions and religion.
Wendy Doniger - holds doctorates from Harvard and Oxford Universities. She is Mircea Eliade Professor of History of Religions in the Divinity School part of RISA(Religion in South Asia) author of several books, including Siva: The Erotic Ascetic; Hindu Myths; The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology; Textual Sources for the Study of Religion; and Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities, said, in a lecture titled The Complicity of God in the Destruction of the Human Race.
She has said: "The Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think," "The Gita is a dishonest book; it justifies war," Wendy Doniger told the audience of 150, and later acknowledged: "I'm a pacifist. I don't believe in 'good' wars."
“The Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think…Throughout the Mahabharata ... Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous and self-destructive behaviors such as war.... The Gita is a dishonest book …” -- Wendy Doniger, Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago as quoted in Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 November, 1999.
Jeffrey John Kripal, student of Wendy Doniger, and a regular Hindu bashing Indologists, author of several books, including the infamous book, Kali's Child writes:
"Sri Ramakrishna, the 19th century Hindu saint, has been declared by these scholars(?) as being a sexually-abused homosexual, and it has become “academically established” by Wendy Doniger's students that Ramakrishna was a child molester, and had also forced homosexual activities upon Swami Vivekananda."
The Hindu Goddess is described by these scholars as a sex maniac, with a variety of pathological conditions. Other conclusions by these well-placed scholars include:Ganesha's trunk symbolizes a “limp phallus”; his broken tusk is a symbol for the castration-complex of the Hindu male; his large belly is a proof of the Hindu male's enormous appetite for sex. Shiva, is interpreted as a womanizer, who encourages ritual rape, prostitution and murder, and his worship is linked to violence and destruction.Hindus are being profiled by these scholars, potentially setting them up for denial of the same human rights as the “civilized West.” For instance, anthropologists have concluded that nursing Hindu mothers do not bond with their babies the way white women do, that Hindus lack a sense of individuality because of their inability to perceive separation in space or time, and that the Mahabharata is best seen as Krishna's Genocide.
Sarah Caldwell - Recently, Caldwell has published another book titled, Oh Terrifying Mother: Sexuality, Violence and Worship of the Mother Kali. Caldwell supports Jeff Kripal's work, but she adds another important dimension to it: she interprets all complaints from the Hindu community as a sign of psychological disorder of the Hindu community, something that she strongly feels needs to be psychoanalyzed, in order to find out what is wrong with Hindu people.
Dr. Antonio T. de NicolasProfessor Emeritus of Philosophy SUNY, at Stony Brook, N.Y.
“Nothing of what RISA scholars claim of yoga or "Hindu Religion" has much to do with Indic texts and the practice of religion in India. Notice also, that you are dealing mostly with the University of Chicago. My personal experience with them in philosophy is as bad as yours in religion. According to these scholars, Indic texts have no rationality, they are mythical and therefore not historical and therefore false or irrational. I was told that it was impossible for a Hindu, mythic text to be philosophical for it was not historical and therefore irrational. My answer is that to proclaim one single rationality as rational is sheer irrationality and conceptual imperialism.”
Rajeev Srinivasan points out: "In particular, he pointed out that the den-mother of Indology studies, Wendy Doniger (formerly O'Flaherty) of the University of Chicago and her band of acolytes have a strangle-hold on the academic representation of Hinduism. Alarmingly, they also have a supremely Orientalist and dismissive, unabashedly racist, attitude towards Hinduism. And they do not agree that those in the tradition, the believers, could possibly have a valid opinion on said representation."
(source: Fear of Engineering - By Rajeev Srinivasan - rediff.com). Refer to chapter on Aryan Invasion Theory and First Indologists. Question to Ponder? Why does the western culture systematically portray Hinduism and India in these terms? Is this a case of a warped world views or Eurocentrism?It is the misrepresentation of Hinduism that is going on in elite Western universities under the guise of "scholarly" work.... where great Hindu saints like Paramhans Ramakrishna are made out to be homosexual, homoerotic Tantrikas and Hindu epics are reduced to pornography. This is not an isolated phenomenon, there is a fundamental flaw in the way the West approaches the study of India and Hinduism.
Phallus worship; prepuce worship In an undergraduate textbook authored by Paul Courtright, author of Ganesa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings,a Professor of Indian Religions at Emory University, Ganesha's stories and rituals are depicted from various perspectives including the following psychoanalysis. "From a psychoanalytic perspective, there is meaning in theselection of the elephant head. Its trunk is the displaced phallus, acaricature of Siva's linga. It poses no threat because it is toolarge, flaccid, and in the wrong place tobe useful for sexual purposes. ... So Ganesa takes on the attributesof his father but in an inverted form, with an exaggerated limpphallus-ascetic and benign - whereas Siva's is hard, erotic, anddestructive."
It is amazing that while Western Indologists like Courtright have written volumes on the "Cult of Phallus Worship" in the Indian tradition, the same academics scrupulously avoid any reference to a similar cult and practice in their own religious tradition.
Holy relics are an under-reported aspect of Christian history.
In the diocese of Chartres, France, in the abbey church of Coulombs was said to reside the relic of the foreskin of Jesus. It was said that the Sacred Relic gave off a sweet perfume which, when whiffed, made sterile woman fertile and helped pregnant women with easy delivery. The Holy Prepuce, not surprisingly, became much in demand. The problem was, churches all over Europe claimed to possess it. With so many Holy Prepuces clamoring for respectability, the church fathers finally had to question the authenticity of them all. Some argued that Christ must have taken his foreskin with him. A theological debate ensued: "Has Christ a foreskin in Heaven, or has He not?" Another debate followed: "Was the foreskin necessary or not?" A consensus emerged that the prepuce was no more necessary than the hair that had been cut from Jesus' head, or his nails or umbilical cord.
On March 5, 1997, London Channel 4's arts program, "Without Walls," presented a show of interest to the purposes of this Board. It was an account of British newspaper columnist Miles Kington's trip to Italy in search of the Holy Foreskin. This peculiar relic, or relics as it were, was the object of great veneration in Voltaire's time. Yet civilized Christians in Voltaire's day carried the holy foreskin in processions and paid sacred homage to it!" Almost equally lucrative was the prepuce of Jesus Christ, which was carried in a glass case at the head of processions. Its value as a money getter never diminished.
At least 12 examples of "Jesus' foreskin" were revered as holy relics at different churches. One Parisian church had the "Virgin Mary's vaginal lips" enshrined. All of these relics were brought back to Europe by the Crusaders.
The Church attempted to legitimize open worship of the phallus by replacing the penis of Priapus and substituting the supposed foreskin of Jesus - the only part of his body which did not ascend to heaven. The foreskins still extant, of the Saviour, are reckoned to be twelve in number. One was in the possession of the Monks of Loulombs; another at the Abbey of Charroux; a third at Hildesheim, in Germany; a fourth at Rome, in the Church of St jean-de-Latran; a fifth at Antwerp; a sixth at Puy-en-Velay, in the Church of Notre Dame, etc.
For some strange reason, however, the Vatican grew less and less supportive of relics, particularly foreskins. In 1900 the Vatican suggested that foreskins encouraged "irreverent curiosity" and that, somehow, this was a bad thing. Generally the foreskin fever died down with the lack of official encouragement, although it didn't disappear entirely. One church in Italy kept up the worship right through the 1980s - and each year the relic was exposed to the adoring crowds during the Feast of the Circumcision.But in 1983, thieves broke in the stole the 300 year-old jewel-encrusted reliquary and the holy flesh it contained.
Maybe Steven Speilberg should look upon this as a movie idea: Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Holy Foreskin!
Ayodhya's 2000 year-old connection with South Korea?
A princess of Ayodhya became queen of the Kaya kingdom 2000 years ago. Do you know that Ayodhya has a 2000-year-old connection with South Korea? A princess of Ayodhya sailed to the Kaya kingdom (now Kimhae city) in Korea and married the ruler of the place, King Kim Suro. And the Koreans, who discovered the connections with Ayodhya, are over the moon about it.
The Korean legend of the Indian princess is narrated in Samguk Yusa, a Korean text written by a monk, Iryon (1206 AD-1289 AD). In the text, the princess says she is a 16-year-old princess of Ayuta in India, and that her family name is Ho and her name, Hwang-Ok (yellow jade in Korean). The princess narrates the circumstances leading to her marriage to king Suro thus: "In May this year, my father and mother said, ÔWe had a dream last night, in which we saw a God who said, ÔI have sent down Suro to be king of Kaya. Suro is a holy man, and is not yet married. So send your daughter to become his queen'. Then he ascended to heaven. My daughter, bid farewell to your parents and go." Kaya was a city-state located on the banks of the Naktong river. In the sixth century, it was absorbed into the Shilla kingdom of Korea. It was the Hwang-Ok legend that prompted Kim Jong-Pil to invite Mishra for the memorial ceremony. The letter of invitation, dated March 26, 1999, read thus: "Being the 72nd-generation descendent of king Suro of the Kaya kingdom, I would like to invite descendants of the Ayodhya royal family to the memorial ceremony for king Kim Suro to be held this spring." The Koreans regard Mishra as the descendent of Hwang-Ok because his family, like the Kaya royal family, has two fishes as the insignia.
Mishra finds the Korean version difficult to believe. His family history is only 300 years old, and it is traced back to Sadanand Pathak, a landlord in Bhojpur, Bihar. Pathak's son Gopal Ram migrated to Ayodhya, and Mishra is his 11th-generation descendent. The Koreans, who believe that Hwang-Ok was the ancestor of Mishra's family, are not impressed by Mishra's knowledge of his family history. Mishra is not complaining. "It will lead to the progress of Ayodhya and I am happy," he said. "The fact that it's associated to our family makes it special."
For Ayodhya, the developments could well herald a change in focus. From Mandir-Masjid to the Land of the Morning Calm.
In the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, a visiting Korean delegation has inaugurated a memorial to their royal ancestor, Queen Huh.
More than a-hundred historians and government representatives, including the North Korean ambassador to India, unveiled the memorial on the west bank of the River Saryu. Korean historians believe that Queen Huh was a princess of an ancient kingdom in Ayodhya.
She went to Korea some two-thousand years ago and started the Karak dynasty by marrying a local king, Suro. Today, the historians say, Queen Huh's descendants number more than six-million, including the South Korean president - Kim Dae Jung.
According to a history book written in the 11th century in Korean language, “The History of Three Kingdoms”, the India-Korea relationship started in 48 AD when a princess from Ayodhya, Queen Hur Hwang-ho went to Korea and married King Suro Kim.
A Princess from Ayodhya India’s early contacts with Korea date back more than 2000 years. Two thousand years ago, a 16 year old princess from Ayodhya, accompanied by her brother, sailed from India for Korea. We only know her by her Korean name, Huh Wang-Ock. There she wed King Kim Suro, founder of the ancient Korean kingdom of Karack. The King himself received her upon her arrival, and later built a temple at the place where they had first met. She is said to have died at the grand old age of 189. Her story is narrated in the ancient Korean history books, "Samkuksaki" and "Samkukyusa". Her tomb is located in Kimhae and there is a stone pagoda in front of the tomb. The pagoda is built with stones, which the princess is said to have brought with her from Ayodhya. They have engravings and red patterns. They are believed to have a mysterious power to calm stormy seas. The Kimhae kingdom's influence is still felt in modern-day South Korea. Kimhae Kims and Kimhae Huhs trace their origins to this ancient kingdom and Korea's current President Kim Dae Jung and Prime Minister Jong Pil Kim are Kimhae Kims. In February, 2000, Kimhae Mayor Song Eun-Bok led a delegation to Ayodhya. The delegation proposed to develop Ayodhya as a sister city of Kimhae and there are plans to set up a memorial for Queen Huh.Note: Ayodhya is the modern Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. It was the capital of the kingdom of Lord Ram, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. References: Times of India. 15 May 2000, India Abroad 14 May 2000.
Another indifference to the expansion of Islam into India may well have been the approval of Indian faith by the Prophet himself, who is reported to have once said: "I get cool breezes from the side of Hind."
In Sahih Muslim, Abu Horaira says that the Prophet mentioned certain rivers as belonging to heaven and one of them was a river of India. Two Indians, Sarmanak and Ratan, who collected the Prophet's sayings, Al Rataniyab, are reported to have visited Arabia during his time. Many Islamic traditions support the high standing of Indian culture with the Arabs: Ibni Ali Hatim relates on Ali's authority that the Valley of Hind where Adam descended from Heaven, and the Valley of Mecca, which had the tradition of Abraham, were the best valleys in the world."
(source: Hindu Muslim Cultural Accord - By Syed Mahmud p. 18).
Certain words occurring in the Koran, such as tooba, sundas, and ablai, are of Sanskrit origin. A common legend suggests that after the Deluge some of Noah's sons settled in India. A son of Adam, Shees (Seth in the biblical form), was born in India and is now said to be buried in Ayodhya. The fourth Caliph is reported to have said:"The land where books were first written and from where wisdom and knowledge sprang is India."
Caliph Umar was opposed to attacking India, even when he was told that "Indian rivers are pearls, her mountains rubies, her trees perfumes," for he regarded India as a country of complete freedom of thought and belief where Muslims and others were free to practice their faith." Indeed, he rebuked Usman Sakifi for dispatching a military expedition.
Plato was more of a Hindu than a Greek Plato was more of a Hindu than a Greek, because of all nations, the Greeks were the least ascetic. Professor Edward Howard Griggs (1968-1951), in his lecture on the "Philosophy of Plato" before the Vedanta Society of New York also admitted this: "Plato's belief of attaining true knowledge, was preeminently Oriental and non-Greek." Moreover, if we study Plato carefully, comparing his ideas with those of the Upanishads and other Vedic writings, we find that his well-known figure of the man chained in the cave is merely an allegorical presentation of the Vedantic doctrine of Maya, that the phenomenal world is like a dream; while his other figure of the chariot was favorable theme of the Vedic writers who lived centuries before Plato. In theKatha Upanishad, for instance, we read: "This body may be compared to a chariot, intellect to the charioteer, mind to the reins, the five senses to the horses, whose path is the object of senses." Sir William Jones, the first eminent Sanskrit scholar among the English, confirming the fact, writes that "it is impossible to read the Vedanta, or the many fine compositions in illustration of it, without believing that Pythagoras and Plato derived their sublime theories from the same fountain with the Indian sages." Max Muller and other Oriental scholars maintain that the logic of Aristotle was perhaps a Greek presentation of the Hindu logic. Professor Edward Washburn Hopkins(1857-1932) writes, in his The Religions of India, that Thales and Parmenides were both anticipated by the sages of India, while the Eleatic School appears merely a reflection of the Upanishads. He even suggests that the doctrines propounded by Anaximander and Heraclitus might not have been known first in Greece. (source: India And Her People - By Swami Abhedananda p. 223-226). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor Top of Page
India and her adaptability
India, however, in spite of its great resources and advantageous geographical position, was a monument to human adaptability and endeavor. Only in India did mankind conquer the tropics. The lowlands of India are hot and humid. On the central plain, eight months of the year are rainy and hot, the remaining period pleasant and dry. The Deccan is humid and very warm. The tropical climate of India has always impressed and confounded European visitors. FrancisBernier, in the 17th century, declared, “The sun is but just rising, yet the heat is insupportable. There is not a cloud to be seen nor a breath of air to be felt. My horses are exhausted; they have not seen a blade of grass since we quitted Lahore. The whole of my face, my feet, and my hands are flayed. My body too is entirely covered with small red blisters, which prick like needles. I feel as if I should expire before night.”
The Indian people, on the other hand, glorified the exuberant sunlight in which they lived. This spirit of victory felt by the sun-browned conquerors of the tropics seems to find expression in the Vedic Prayer of the Sun: “O Sun! fire is born of you, and from you the Gods derive their splendor; You are the eye of the world and the light of it. Glory to Brahma, Supreme Being!”
Psychological colonization The English speaking elite, by contrast, and its mediatic and academic segments in particular, are the cultural heirs of the colonial system and consequently the enemies ofHindu Revivalism. One aspect of psychological colonization is the demonization of native civilization: "The Indian press, like most of its Third World counterparts, put a premium on all that is modern and condemns as degenerate all that is traditional....In order to put the stamp of legitimacy on modernization, we have to believe that the traditional civilization was inhuman." Instilling guilt about the "evils of Hindu society" is indeed a favorite weapon of the secularist elite. Educated Hindus are confident that a confrontation with rational thought will cost Hinduism only some deadwood, some superstitious accretions, but that the core of Hinduism is capable of surviving the exposure to the light of reason. As Shrikant Talgeri writes: "Hindus should adopt as open an attitude to pantha-chikitsa ("diagnosis of sects") of Hinduism as to that of Islam and Christianity: there is nothing to fear, since Hinduism in its essence will shine out white and pure in comparison with Islam and Christianity in their essence. It will only be cleansed of impurities which stand on its own way." Many are openly hostile to Hindu revivalism, including, Praful Bidwai,a Marxist scholar at the Nehru Memorial Library, whose assessment of Hindu revivalism, is: "utterly despicable, base and crass." Hindu revivalism is a broad trend in the 19th and 20th century India which seeks to revitalize Hinduism after a millennium of political, ideological and psychological subjection to Islamic and Western hegemony. (source: Decolonising The Hindu Mind - Ideological Development of Hindu Revivalism - By Koenraad Elst p.48-588). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor. Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Top of Page Exhibition of Hindu Bronzes Opens in Washington D.C. In an exhibit billed as "The Sensuous and the Sacred," the Smithsonian Institution will introduce the American public to Chola bronzes. The show, opening Sunday at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, includes a 28-inch bronze statue of Manikkavachakar, a poet-saint of South India who lived 1,200 years ago. This is the first time an exhibit devoted to Chola bronzes has been assembled in the United States, said guest curator Vidya Dehejia, professor of art history at Columbia University. Icons of Siva, Parvati and other Hindu Gods are included in the statues on display that were made by unknown sculptors during the Chola Dynasty in South India. The Chola kings ruled the southeastern area of India, now known as Tamil Nadu, from 850 to 1300 CE. "For the artist, and also for the viewer, the external beauty of form is almost a condition for inner spiritual beauty," said Vidya. "The two have to go hand in hand." Artists molded the figures in beeswax and surrounded it with clay that took the form of the wax. Heated from outside, the wax melted, was poured out and replaced with molten bronze. A video at the exhibit will show how this "lost wax" process is used today to create works of art in India. Additionally, live demonstrations will be scheduled. After the exhibit closes in Washington on March 9, it will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art, April 4 to June 15, and to the Cleveland Museum of Art, July 6 to September 14. HPI adds: Some Hindus consider the title of this exhibit, "The Sensuous and the Sacred," as an unfortunate description of these bronzes, which are regarded by Hindus as sacred and intended for temples. The title seems intended to increase attendance at the exhibit by implying an element of sexuality not present in the images. (source: Hindu Press International). For more information refer to Bronze Beauties - By Paul Richard). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumiand Sacred Angkor
UK Upgrades Ayurveda Medicine UNITED KINGDOM, September 26, 2002: The United Kingdom has agreed to upgrade Ayurveda from single drugs category three to one, thus accepting its scientific base. The UK government has also set up a Herbal Medicines Regulatory Working Group to consider the possibility of suggesting enhancement of law to regulate drugs and practice in herbal medicines, including Ayurveda, a government release said here Wednesday. British authorities have worked out a tentative curricula of 2,560 hours, in which Ayurveda has been allotted 1,150 hours. However, this is inadequate and, in the given situation, only two options remained -- either to be left out of the herbal medicine regulation course or have a foothold with a dominant Ayurveda content, it said. To promote Ayurveda at the international level, the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy forwarded to the British authorities a core curricula covering 1,700 hours of teaching of Ayurveda. The Indian Government is also trying to get a recognition for the five-and-half year Ayurveda BAMS course and registration of India-qualified physicians in the UK. (source: UK Upgrades Ayurveda Medicine - sify.com). Top of Page Harvesting raindrops and ancient wisdom In India, environmentalists have launched a campaignto revive an ancient water conservation method to meet growing scarcities of this crucial resource. It's called rainwater harvesting, or as conservationists term it "catching the raindrops." For centuries, it was a popular system in South Asia where the annual rainfall comes in intense spells of just 100 hours every year. To save this precious resource, villages, forts and palaces built networks of tanks and wells that stored virtually every drop. The system is simple, slope the land towards a well or a pit, pave the surrounding area, and capture rain that would otherwise have been lost. But water harvesting was mostly forgotten as the government began to harness rivers to build large dams, provided piped water to cities, and irrigation facilities to villages. However, the country's steadily-growing population made it impossible to keep pace with demand. Rivers and lakes began to shrink. In the hot summer season, water supplies to cities and villages became a trickle. In rural areas, women started walking miles for a pot of water. In urban areas, people began to tap underground water. Some years ago, environmentalists from a public policy institute, The Center for Science and Environment, undertook a survey to study the impact of growing water shortages and drought that had hit parts of the country. Eklavya Prasad from the center says experts came up with an unusual answer, tap into the wisdom of ancient civilizations to mitigate critical water shortages.Savita Gokhale is one of several volunteers at the Center for Science and Environment promoting the system. She said water harvesting is vital for cities where paved surfaces prevent rainwater from percolating into the ground.
"It helps you to replenish the groundwater. And groundwater storing is the safest and the most economical way of storing it. Once you are storing it in the ground, it is not lost due to evaporation, it is not contaminated," Ms. Gokhale said.
The campaign to harvest rainwater is picking up gradually in several Indian cities. Non-government organizations are spreading awareness in villages. The federal government is installing the system on new government buildings, including the stately presidential palace in New Delhi. Several state governments are offering city residents incentives to adopt the system.Environmentalists say the need for traditional water storage systems will be highlighted this year when monsoon rains have been deficient in large parts of the country, and millions of people across India are battling acute water scarcities.
Where there's no will to reform - there's extinction
Let's look at Biju Mathews -- promptly given so much space by Rediff's Josy Joseph. (Question: Why hasn't Joseph investigated Evangelical groups that collect money in the name of charity and spend it on printing tracts to convert Hindus...?) Mathews is a fixed feature in pinkodom, often writing for puke-sheets like "Rethinking Marxism" and with a presence on every pinko website. So of course, the garden variety Hindu "secularist" has accepted him as an atheist/secularist with nothing but the good of oppressed humanity in his noble heart... The Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of Northern America has demanded a probe by the US Congress into IDRF and also asked the IRS to blacklist it and withdraw its tax exemption status. Meaning, World Vision, Southern Baptist, Seventh Day Adventists, and hundreds of other Christian missionary groups which seek to obliterate Hinduism from India can keep funding their nefarious activities here -- but IDRF can do nothing to offset it. And guess who's the prime sponsor of the report: Teesta and Javed Anand's Sabrang Communications, of course! Take a look at their India-Pakistan friendship forum's logo on the Aman page: Observe the relative scaling of the two countries. Note the drawing of India -- with the State of Jammu & Kashmir lopped off. Not pushing towards Balkanisation...? According to Mathews, IDRF has raised funds for Bangladeshi Hindu victims of Muslim violence, Kashmiri Hindu victims of Islamic terrorism, and relief efforts following the Islamic terrorist attacks in the US. Er... what's evil about that? Does raising money for the victims of Islamist crimes amount to spreading hatred...? (source: Where there's no will to reform, there's extinction - By Varsha Bhosle - rediff.com). For more read Attack on IDRF: Little Method to Their Madness - By Prof. Beloo Mehra - sulekha.com). Top of Page Ayurveda offers hope to Chernobyl victims There is a new buzz in Russia these days, and it is Ayurveda. 16 years after the worst nuclear disaster, in Chernobyl, now in the Ukraine, hundreds of its victims are being treated by India's biggest Ayurved company, the Arya Vaidya Sala at Kottakal in Kerala. The ayurvedic preparations AVS doctors use on the radiation fallout victims have been so effective that the Russian government has recognized ayurveda as a medical science. Two years ago, AVS's work among the victims led the Russian government to recognize Ayurveda as a medical science. The Russian government signed a memorandum of understanding with India's health ministry to promote Ayurveda clinics and textbooks across the Russian Federation. (source: India Abroad - July 5, 2002 p. 26). Top of Page Anti-Conversion law - By Hilda Raja If the Tamil Nadu CM showed an inexplicable hurry in ushering in such a law the Dalit organisations are exposing their eagerness to use this as a tool to gain political mileage and the Minority church leaders are revealing their heartburns, because for them their `targets' for each year will be affected - this will affect the flow of funds too.
What is puzzling is why the church leaders while saying that they do not indulge in forced conversions are so worked up and demand the revocation of the law?
So when conversion from one faith to another is being discussed I fail to understand how it can be an escape route to equality and dignity. No religion including Hinduism sanctions oppression and discrimination. The Dalit leader Ambedkar opted for Buddhism because he found Christian religion too practised discrimination and Dalits were oppressed within its fold. So to state that in Christian churches they find dignity is far from truth and that makes it a misleading inducement - to promise equality and then deny them that.It is a sad reality that the Dalits come in handy for exploitation in every field and in any cause by the politicians, the church leaders and those who are involved in the business of conversion to suit their own vested interest. The protest against the law which prohibits forced conversions is a telling example. For one thing the Christian churches do practise discrimination even in death, and continue to bury the Dalits in separate cemeteries even today. (source:Anti-Conversion law - By Hilda RajaThe Hindu December 3 '02). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Top of Page
Ramayana in Poland
The first Polish contact with India goes back to the Renaissance. At that time several Polish travelers visited India. Among them were Erazm Krethkowski, Pawel Palczowski, Krzysztof Pawlowski and Gasper da Gama, who was not Portuguese, as one might think hearing his name, but a Polish merchant from Poznan. The first description of India in Polish, recorded in a letter from Krzysztof Pawlowski dated 20 X 1569, was one consequence of these voyages and soon Indian echoes could be heard in Polish literature. As early as 1611 a priest, Stanislaw Grochowski (b 1542, d. 1612), published a book entitled Cudowne wiersze z indyjskiego jezyka (Wonderful Verses from the Indian Language). It was nothing other than a translation of the Bhagavad Gita, which was first translated from Sanskrit into Latin by an Italian poet, Francisco Benci (b. 1542, d. 1594), and then from Latin into Polish by the priest Grochowski.
The Ramayana had to wait for its first translation till 1816. In that year Walenty Skorochod Majewski (b. 1764-1835) presented his work, Rozprawa o jezyku sanskryckim (A Dissertation on the Sanskrit Language) two fragments from Ramayana written in prose were introduced.
At the turn of the 20th century a new artistic and literary movement known as Young Poland came into being. At that time an interest in India was nothing unusual in intellectual and artistic circles. During the Young Poland period, many authors drew their inspiration and theme from Indian literature. One of them was, Antoni Lange(1861-1929) was obviously an interesting person. The Ramayana was the work that enchanted him. He was ravished by its beauty. He knew this India poem from Fauche’s French translation. Lange translated and published the abbreviated version of Fauche’s work into Polish in 1886, adding a preface in which he declared his admiration for this genuine poem. He wrote in his introduction that the Ramayana was a real masterpiece of human spirit, surpassing even the Illiad. He studied Sanskrit continuously, and soon he was able to read his beloved poems in the original. Lange recited with enchantment Sanskrit verses from the Ramayana to his friends.
Jan Kasprowicz was another poet connected with the Young Poland movement and influenced by the Ramayana. During his studies at the University of Wroclaw he had an opportunity to attend lectures on Indian philosophy and this experience impressed him very much. One literary critic mentioned that whenever Kasprowicz wanted to express a state of ecstasy or wrote about spiritual matters, he took his symbols from India.
Around 1907 he wrote Sita,Indyjski Hymn Milosci (Sita, The Indian Hymn of Love). It was a libretto to a musical drama in three acts. The drama ends with a hymn in honor of Sita’s pure salutary love. He was followed by other Polish authors like, Stanislaw Franciszek Michalski (1881-1961) and Stanislaw Schayer (1899-1941).
Priest says yoga anti-Christianity - English vicar bans yoga classes in church hall An English vicar's decision to ban yoga classes from his church hall has underlined the fragility of Britain's continuing experiment with a multi-cultural society. The vicar in question is Reverend Derek Smith, who is in charge of St Michael's Church in the parish of Melksham in Wiltshire.
Rev Smith says his decision to stop the classes is because of yoga's association with Hinduism. His wife Sue told rediff.com that the decision was taken after extensive consultations with the local parish church council. Yoga is one of the fastest growing extra-curricular activities in the United Kingdom with a following among all sections of society. A decade ago, it was actively promoted by one of India's most popular diplomats in Britain, High Commissioner Apa Pant, who delighted his friends by balancing on his head.
In London a spokesman for Britain's Anglican Church backed the right of clergymen to take a stand against any practices which "do not square with Christian teachings". He said other vicars share the concerns about the spiritual basis of some versions of the exercise regime, since many church halls across the UK accommodate yoga classes.
The spokesman added: "Yoga is used as a kind of generic term for exercise and stretching, but there are many different types of yoga. Some have a more spiritual basis as handed down from Eastern religions.
"It's reasonably understandable that someone can say so if they don't want something with a spiritual basis taught in their church hall."
The Church of England was keen to promote good relations with other religions, he said, but that did not involve being "wish-washy or mealy-mouthed" about distinctions in faith. Although there are no plans to call for a blanket ban on yoga classes in church halls nationwide, yoga enthusiasts are angered by the move, which appears to be a growing trend.
Last November another vicar in a different part of the country in Henham, Essex, took the same step. The British Wheel of Yoga, the governing body recognised by Sport England, condemned Rev Smith's action as "ignorant".
Spokeswoman Jane Hill said: "It's not a religion and it doesn't push any version of one. I don't think it will affect his flock. He should have a bit more of an open mind." Hindu spiritual leaders have also criticised Smith for his narrow-minded approach, while agreeing that every place of worship needs guidelines about what may be permitted on its premises. "I don't think there would be a problem if we opened our temple premises to our Christian brothers," said Bimal Krishan Das, secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples.
"We Hindus are broadminded and it is surprising for us to hear a Christian vicar say he will ban yoga classes.
"Most people practise yoga for health benefits, but even if they were aware of the links with Hinduism, what is the harm? There are many paths to God." Meanwhile, Rev Smith has called upon Christians who practise yoga to examine their consciences.
The 50-year-old vicar said he had no regrets about his church hall's ban on the weekly yoga classes, which were incompatible with Christianity. On the other hand, he admitted that the decision to axe the sessions, which had been running since March, had upset at least one woman parishioner. Rev Smith said that even if followers in the West used it just for fitness, spiritual leaders in the East insisted it was inseparable from Hindu devotional practice. Speaking from his rectory in Melksham, he said: "I would ask people who do yoga to think about whether they believe they were in breach of their faith or not. "If they genuinely believe what they are doing is acceptable -- and I know people that do -- of course, I would ask them to follow their consciences." He added that he would never consider trying the exercise regime because it would be wrong.
(source: rediff.com). Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Yoga new ‘mantra’ for pilots Yoga may soon become the new “mantra” for Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots to cope with the stress of flying fighter planes. The proposal for introducing yoga in the IAF has been mooted by none other than the IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy himself. Addressing the International Conference on Aerospace Medicine in Delhi recently, the Air Chief, noting that yoga is a great stress reliever, lamented the fact that it was not being used as extensively as it should be in India to grapple with various mental and psychological problems. Quoting examples from some Western Air Forces manuals, the Air Chief said they had included yoga as a stress buster. “India, which gave this scientific art to the world, is unfortunately neglecting it”, he added. Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy felt it was high time that the IAF pilots practised the “asanas” to combat gravitational pull related problems. (source: Yoga new ‘mantra’ for pilots- Tribuneindia.com). For more on Yoga refer to chapter Yoga and Hindu Philosophy). Top of Page
Smallpox inoculation started in Ancient India - and Reaction in the West
One of these curious facts was the inoculation against small-pox disesase, practiced in both north and south India till it was banned or disrupted by the English authorities in 1802-3. The ban was pronounced on “humanitarian” grounds by the Superintendent General of Vaccine (following Dr. Jenner’s discovery in 1798).
Small pox has a long history: it is discussed in the Hindu scriptures and even has a goddess (Sitala, literally “the cool one") evoted exclusively to its cause. It seems therefore almost natural to expect an Indian medical response to the disease. The inoculation treatment against it was carried out by a particular tribe of Brahmins from the different medical colleges in the area. These Brahmins circulated in the villages in groups of three to four to perform their task.
The person to be inoculated was obliged to follow a certain dietary regime; he had particularly to abstain from fish, milk, and ghee (a form of butter), which, it was held, aggravated the fever that resulted after the treatment. The method the Brahmins followed is similar to the one followed in our own time in certain respects. They punctured the space between the elbow and the wrist with a sharp instrument and then proceeded to introduce into the abrasion “various matter”, prepared from inoculated pistules from the preceding year. The purpose was to induce the disease itself, albeit in a mild form: after it left the body, the person was rendered immune to small-pox for life.
The Brahmins had a theory of their operations. They believed the atmosphere abounded with imperceptible animalculae (refined to bacteria within a larger context today). They distinguished tow types of these: those that are harmful and those not so.
The Brahmins therefore believed that their treatment in inoculating the person expelled the immediate cause of the disease. How effective was the inoculation? According toDr. J. Z. Holwell, FRS, who had addressed the College of Physicians in London:
“When the before recited treatment of the inoculation is strictly followed, it is next to a miracle to hear, that one in a million fails to receiving the infection, or of one that miscarries under it.”
A later estimate by the Superintendent General of Vaccine in 1804 noted that fatalities among the inoculated counted one in 200 among the Indian population and one in 60 to 70 among the Europeans. There is an explanation for this divergence.
Most of the Europeans objected to the inoculation on theological grounds.
Timothy Dwight, a Presbyterian divine and the eighth president of Yale University from 1795-1817, a acknowledged religious leader and intellectual leader in US in his era preached passionately against the newly developed invention called vaccination.
He said: "If a certain person should die of small-pox, it would be a frightful sin, to avoid and annul that decree by the trick of vaccination."
Book Tries to Link Hitler with Buddhism and Hinduism
Hamburg, Germany, September 19, 2002: Adolf Hitler was fascinated with Buddhism and Hinduism, and many of his henchmen viewed him as a Krishna-like divine warrior who would cleanse the Earth of "vermin" in a baptism of fire, according to a headline-making new book. The book Hitler-Buddha-Krishna is by a controversial Austrian husband-and-wife team of authors who have generated publicity in Europe with a number of books exploring what they call the "violence- prone" side of Buddhism and Hinduism.
It was this side of those Eastern philosophies - the image of the vengeful demigod annihilating enemies without mercy to create a new earthly order - which fascinated Hitler as a young man and which continues to fascinate impressionable young neo-Nazis, say the authors. In fact, there is little new in the book by Herbert and Mariana Roettgen, according to this article in the German press, who write under the pseudonym Victor and Victoria Trimondi.
Beyond linking the swastika with Hindu symbolism, the authors fail to prove that Hitler himself actually had more than a brief flirtation with Eastern philosophy in pre-World War I Vienna. But this latest book has nonetheless drawn press attention in Austria and Germany, with more- or-less serious interviews appearing under invariably sensationalist photos of Hitler superimposed over the Buddha. "Hitler was a Buddhist" screamed a typical headline in Bild, Europe's biggest tabloid.
"Christianity had the capacity to stop Nazism before it came to power, and to reduce or moderate its practices afterwards, but repeatedly failed to do so because the principal churches were complicit with—indeed, in the pay of—the Nazis.
Reinterpreting the Gospels to shift blame for the Crucifixion from the Romans to the Jews (the “Christ killer” story) courted favor with Rome, an early example of Christian complicity for political purposes. Added energy came from Christians’ anger over most Jews’ refusal to convert. The first outright extermination of Jews occurred in 414 C.E."
Most German Christians supported the Reich; many continued to do so in the face of mounting evidence that the dictatorship was depraved and murderously cruel. Elsewhere in Europe the story was often the same. Only with Christianity’s forbearance and frequent cooperation could fascistic movements gain majority support in Christian nations. European fascism was the fruit of a Christian culture. Millions of Christians actively supported these notorious regimes. Thousands participated in their atrocities.
Early Christian sects promoted loyalty to authoritarian rulers so long they were not intolerably anti-Christian or, worse, atheistic. Christian anti-Semitism sprang from one of the church’s first efforts to forge an accommodation with power. Reinterpreting the Gospels to shift blame for the Crucifixion from the Romans to the Jews (the “Christ killer” story) courted favor with Rome, an early example of Christian complicity for political purposes. Added energy came from Christians’ anger over most Jews’ refusal to convert. The first outright extermination of Jews occurred in 414 c.e." Anti-Semitic practices pioneered by Catholics included the forced wearing of yellow identification, ghettoization, confiscation of Jews’ property, and bans on intermarriage with Christians. European Protestantism bore the fierce impress ofMartin Luther, whose 1543 tract On the Jews and Their Lies was a principal inspiration for Mein Kampf
Hitler's Pope: Vicar of Christ or Instrument of the Devil? The revelations contained in John Cornwell's new book Hitler's Pope, The Secret History of Pope Pius XII, just published by Viking, are a total vindication of our claims that there was active Papal collusion with the Nazis in World War II. Having joined forces to exterminate their enemies, Fascism and Popery have now come to each other's defence and are pretending that none of it happened. Hitler himself made it clear in his book Mein Kampf that he both admired and modelled his tactics on the Jesuits:
Above all, I have learned from the Jesuits. And so did Lenin too, as far as I recall. The world has never known anything quite so splendid as the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. There were quite a few things that I simply appropriated from the Jesuits for the use of the Party. [Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf, p. 478; see also pp. 485, 487, 882; my translation.]
The Concordat that Hitler signed with the Vatican in 1933 bore the signatures of chief negotiator Cardinal Pacelli (who became Pius XII, 1939-1958) and Hitler's Deputy (Vice-Chancellor of the Reich) Franz von Papen, who was a leading Roman Catholic. In a German newspaper called the Völkischer Beobachter of January 14, 1934, von Papen wrote the following: "The Third Reich is the first power which not only recognises, but puts into practice, the high principles of the Papacy." What is this if it is not an unambiguous statement that the Nazi régime used the Roman Catholic system as a model?
The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion and were, indeed, a parallel development from their common Indo-European cultural root which began to branch out probably five thousand years ago. The Druids were not simply a priesthood. They were the intellectual caste of ancient Celtic society, incorporating all the professions: judges, lawyers, medical doctors, ambassadors, historians and so forth, just as does the brahmin caste. In fact, other names designate the specific role of the "priests."
Only Roman and later Christian propaganda turned them into "shamans," "wizards" and "magicians." The scholars of the Greek Alexandrian school clearly described them as a parallel caste to the brahmins of Vedic society. The very name Druid is composed of two Celtic word roots which have parallels in Sanskrit. Indeed, the root vid for knowledge, which also emerges in the Sanskrit word Veda, demonstrates the similarity. The Celtic root dru which means "immersion" also appears in Sanskrit. So a Druid was one "immersed in knowledge."
Because Ireland was one of the few areas of the Celtic world that was not conquered by Rome and therefore not influenced by Latin culture until the time of its Christianization in the 5th century ce, its ancient Irish culture has retained the most clear and startling parallels to Hindu society. The structure of Old Irish, says Professor Watkins, can be compared only with that of Vedic Sanskrit.
The vocabulary is amazingly similar. The following are just a few examples: Old Irish - arya (freeman), Sanskrit - aire (noble) Old Irish - naib (good), Sanskrit - noeib (holy) Old Irish - badhira (deaf), Sanskrit - bodhar (deaf) Old Irish - names (respect), Sanskrit - nemed (respect) Old Irish - righ (king), Sanskrit - raja (king) The ancient Irish law system, the Laws of the Fénechus, is closely parallel to the Laws of Manu. Many surviving Irish myths, and some Welsh ones, show remarkable resemblances to the themes, stories and even names in the sagas of the Indian Vedas. . Rivers were sacred in the Celtic world, and places where votive offerings were deposited and burials often conducted. The Thames, which flows through London, still bears its Celtic name, from Tamesis, the dark river, which is the same name as Tamesa, a tributary of the Ganges. Not only is the story of Danu and the Danube a parallel to that of Ganga and the Ganges but a Hindu Danu appears in the Vedic story "The Churning of the Oceans," a story with parallels in Irish and Welsh mytholgy. Danu in Sanskrit also means "divine waters" and "moisture." Celtic cosmology is a parallel to Vedic cosmology. Ancient Celtic astrologers used a similar system based on twenty-seven lunar mansions, called nakshatras in Vedic Sanskrit. Like the Hindu Soma, King Ailill of Connacht, Ireland, had a circular palace constructed with twenty-seven windows through which he could gaze on his twenty-seven "star wives." (source: Hinduism Today). Druidism, Culdee, Faerie Faith, Hinduism, and Wiccanism are very closely-related religions. Druidism and Hinduism both sprung up around the same time (around the first century ACE). They are thought to have come from an Indo-European culture, and many things are similar, like rebirth (although the Celts did not believe in karma), and achieving a oneness with one’s self. Druids and Hindus, and most of the Native Americans, all worshiped the sun. They taught that the present universe came into being through the activity between two distinct principles, one intelligent and omnipotent, which was God; the other, inactive and inanimate, which was matter. This reminds us of the Rajas and Tamas of the Hindus, Rajas signifying activity and Tamas inertia.
Druids are a unique spiritual phenomenon, their only counterparts are the rishi seers and brahmins of ancient India. The Greeks, who managed to bring yogis back from India to Athens, rarely saw, let alone conversed with, druids. The Hindus had their triad of Brahmä, Vishnu, and Siva, representing the sun at. morning, noon, and evening; so the Irish Druids had their triad of Baal, Budh, and Grian, and they called time May festival La Budha na Baal tinne (the day of Buddha of the Baal fires). Chrishna was another Hindu name for the sun, and the Irish had Crias, a name for the sun likewise.
The belief in the cyclicity of life, was fundamental and common with the Hindus and the Druids. They both believe inreincarnation. Stonehenge Long considered a sacred site by the Druids, these massive stone monoliths are three stories high and arranged in a circle to form a perfect solar calandar, many with equally impressive blocks placed on top of them ! Having accurately marked the passage of time for centuries, each gigantic "garage sized" block weighs in at many tons.Indian cosmogonic and astronomical systems, while developing independently of western systems, bear remarkable affinities with the latter. For instance, the calculation of the year in both systems are very similar. The Arya Siddhanta and Rajamriganka systems are in use even today.
And now, a quick look at the other major calendar systems of the world. England`s Stonehenge, dating back to 2000 BC, is perhaps the most famous.
Observations were made by lining up stones with a marker and watching for the appearance of the sun or moon against that point on the horizon that lay in the same straight line. Today more than 600 structures, perhaps contemporaneous with Stonehenge, have been discovered across Britain.
(For more on connection between Druids and Aryans refer to chapters on Nature Worship and Aryan Invasion Theory). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Top of Page Jihad and kafir in India Are the concept of Jihad and Kafir, at least in their aggressive connotation, are applicable to India, where more than 80 per cent of the population is Hindu? Aggressive monotheistic religions, like Christianity and Islam, divide the world into believers and non-believers, with the former going to heaven and the latter to hell. (While Christians and Muslims agree that non-Christians and non-Muslims are non-believers, they would exclude each other from the category of believers.) This belief makes it incumbent on the follower to convert others to his/her faith.
In Islam, the concepts of kafir and jihad are used to take this scheme forward. A few years ago, a respected librarian in Bihar, belonging to the Muslim faith, said that kafir is not applicable to Hindus. The Muslim clergy raised a hue and cry on the issue, and came out with a definitive statement that the librarian was wrong The non-Muslims view the situation with trepidation. It is not easy for a Hindu to comprehend the concepts of jihad and kafir. A Hindu believes that each person has to create his/her own spiritual path to salvation. Thus, the Hindu has a lot of freedom and is thus forever evolving. A Hindu has never made any demands on the host community. Even as he/she has kept the Hindu identity alive and flourishing, there is a total assimilation in the life of the host country. It is a record that needs to be emulated by others. The aggressive monotheistic faiths have caused a huge amount of violence in their paths. It is time for them to determine how they will look at those who refuse to accept that their way is the only valid way. And having made a choice, if the ‘non-believers’ react in a manner not to their liking, they should not be surprised.
(source: Jihad and kafir in India - indiacause.com). Top of Page The powerful Hindu psyche and Dharma The power of the Hindu psyche persists till long after a Hindu gets converted to Christianity or Islam, and invites frowns and fierce lectures from the missionary and the mullah. This power of the Hindu psyche is illustrated by the story of a Hindu lady in Kerala who got converted to Christianity for some reason. The missionary who had presided over the conversion paid a visit to her home one day, and found her worshipping the old Hindu Gods and Goddesses of the family. The missionary was red in the face and rebuked her in the name of the only True God. The lady smiled and said, "So what? My becoming a Christian does not mean that I have renounced myDharma!”
The Western “Science” of Comparative Religion, which is only another name for Christian theology, is trying to pooh-pooh this psyche as a vestige of primitive animism which was at best only a crude form of religious awakening.
A more serious attack on this Hindu psyche is mounted by the Christian missionary. He pronounces that Hindu psyche has been heavily “polluted” by pantheism which sees a God or Goddess “in every bug that bites, and every cockroach that crawls”. He believes that Hindus can be “cured” of this “perverse” psyche only by being baptised in the Christian Church, and by accepting Jesus Christ as the one and only saviour. And the missionary and the mullah are not mere preachers of some distinct doctrines. They are also crusaders and mujãhids who believe that Hindus should either be converted to the “true faith”, or killed and consigned to eternal hell-fire. Destruction and defilement of the images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, demolition of Hindu temples and monasteries, desecration of Hindu places of pilgrimage, and burning of Hindu shastras are the fundamental tenets of their faiths.
(source: Defense of Hindu Society -Hindu Spirituality Versus Monotheism - By Sita Ram Goel).Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Top of Page The History of Bharatavarsha By Rabindra Nath Tagore (1861-1941) - Bhadra 1309 Bengal Era (August 1903) The history of India that we read and memorize for our examinations is really a nightmarish account of India. Some people arrive from somewhere and the pandemonium is let loose. And then it is a free-for-all: assault and counter-assault, blows and bloodletting. Father and son, brother and brother vie with each other for the throne. If one group condescends to leave, another group appears, as if, out of the blue; Pathans and Mughals, Portuguese and French and English together have made this nightmare ever more and more complex. However, while the lands of the aliens existed, there also existed the indigenous country. Otherwise, in the midst of all the turbulence who gave birth to the likes of Kabir, Nanak, Chaitanya,and Tukaram? It was not that only Delhi and Agra existed then, there were also Kasi and Navadvipa. The current of life that was flowing then in the real Bharatavarsha, the ripples of efforts rising there and the social changes that were taking place, the accounts of these are not found in our history textbooks. But it is with the Bharatavarsha, which lies outside our textbooks, that we have our real ties. If the history of this tie for a substantially long period gets lost our soul loses its anchorage. After all, we are no weeds or parasitical plants in India. Over many hundreds of years, it is our roots, hundreds and thousands of them, which have occupied the very heart of Bharatavarsha. But, unfortunately, we are obliged to learn a brand of history that makes our children forget this very fact. It appears that in India, as if, we are nobody; as if, those who came from outside alone matter.
It is the history of our country that has kept our own land obscured to us. From the invasion of Mahmud to the arrogant imperial declaration of Lord Curzon, that is, all the historical annals till yesterday, are only a mass of strange mist for Bharatavarsha. These accounts do not help clarity of vision about our motherland. The ability to perceive this oneness in diversity and to strive to extend unity are the native characteristics of Bharatavarsha. It is this quality that has made her indifferent to political glory. The kind of unity that the European Civilization has opted for is discord-centered; the kind of unity that Bharatavarshiya Civilization has opted for is concord-centered. Bharatavarsha knew the secrets of integration. The French Revolution had the haughtiness to think that it would wipe off all differences among men with blood. But it has produced the very opposite results. In Europe, the rulers and the ruled, the wealthy and the common people, all the repositories of power, are gradually becoming fiercely antagonistic to each other. The goal of Bharatavarsha too had been to tie everybody in a bond of unity; but the method she adopted was different. Bharatavarsha tried to delimit and demarcate each of the antagonistic and competitive forces of the society and make the body- social fit for both functional unity as well as diversities of occupations. It is not only in social organization, but also in the area of faith and belief we notice the same trend of the building of unity and harmony. The effort to establish harmony between knowledge, action and devotion that we see in the Gita is a trait that belongs especially to Bharatavarsha. It is impossible to translate in Indian language the expression called 'religion' that exists in Europe, for within the domain of faith Bharatavarsha has resisted the dividing of the mind. Our intellect, our belief, our conduct, all that we hold dear in this world and in the next, all of these together constitute our Dharma. Bharatavarsha has not divided the faith into the pigeonholes of 'everyday use' and 'formal occasions'
Amongst the civilizations of the world Bharatavarsha stands as an ideal of the endeavour to unify the diverse. Her history will bear this out. Amidst many travails and obstacles, fortunes and misfortunes Bharatavarsha has been seeking to experience the One in the universe as well as in one's own soul and to place that One in the variegated, to discover that One through knowledge, to establish that One through action, to internalize that One through love, to exemplify that One through one's own life. When through the study of her history we would be able to realize this everlasting spirit of Bharata, then the rupture of our present with the past will disappear. (source: Translated from Bengali by Sumita Bhattacharya and Sibesh Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla India). For more refer to chapter onGreater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor Top of Page
Mahatma Gandhi, a pacifist, was a great activistic Hindu leader, perhaps the greatest this century has produced. It was customary until recently to dismiss Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse (1910-1949), as a fanatic and as one opposed to the vigorous reform for Hinduism that Gandhi represented. Recent developments in India reveal the shallowness of this assessment. It would be fatal not to recognize the role of partition in this context. It has not been sufficiently emphasized in current discourse that the demolition of the mosque in 1992 is a direct, if delayed, consequence of the partition in 1947.
It was six years after Godse left the RSS that he assassinated Gandhi.Godse killed Gandhi out of a resentment and anger felt at the partition of the country in 1947 by almost every Hindu. His target was wrong, but his aim was right. The partition of India was a tragedy for almost all Hindus; Godse only intensified the tragedy by making Gandhi also its victim. His own commitment to an undivided India is dramatized by the fact that, though Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in the sacred rivers of India, Godse’s ashes have been preserved, in accordance with his will, to be immersed in the Indus River after what is now Pakistan has once again become part of Mother India. Moreover, by killing Gandhi, Godse was signaling to the Hindus that Gandhi’s non-violence had failed to prevent partition. However, the medium obstructed the message; Gandhi’s martyrdom loomed larger in the Indian imagination than his failure – until recently.
Opposition to Gandhi came from all quarters Aurobindo, Annie Besant, people within the Congress Party, etc., all opposed Gandhi on one issue or the other. To claim that the RSS was inspired by European fascism is yet another piece of nonsense which has been peddled by Indian Marxists and those opposed to the RSS. Koenraad Elst has detailed how at the time in the mid to late 1920s very few people had an idea of the nature of fascism and the consequences that were to follow.
The British had disarmed India so completely that, idealism apart, Gandhian methods alone proved practicable. However, the Hindu militant (kshtriya tradition) was kept alive by such organizations such as the National Volunteer Corps” known by its Indian initials as RSS, founded in 1925. The Hindu tradition avoids but does not exclude violence. Even Gandhi preferred violence to cowardice. Let us consider the test of facing a robber. Gandhi pointed out that although ideally people should allow themselves to be robbed rather than resist, “such forbearance can only be exercised out of strength and not out of weakness. Till that power is acquired they must be prepared to resist the wrongdoer by force” for violence may be an evil “but cowardice is worse than violence.”
Top of Page India Supreme Court Decision on Textbook Changes
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education - 2002 rejecting allegations that it was an attempt to saffronise the syllabus for schools. The three-judge Bench comprising Justice M B Saha, Justice D M Dharmadhikari and Justice H K Sema by a 2:1 majority held that non-consultation with Central Advisory Board for Education (CAB), in the framing of the NCFSE could not be held as a ground to declare the national syllabus framed by NCERT as unconstitutional. Dismissing the petition filed by Aruna Roy and others, the court vacated the March 1, 2002 interim order of the apex court, which had stayed the implementation of NCFSE across the country. In the result, the new syllabus will become effective for the Secondary Education in the country. Study of religions could not be equated with imparting of religious instructions, Justice Saha and Justice Dharmadhikari said while delivering the judgement.
Holding that NCFSE was framed by NCERT, an expert statutory body, the judges said "what is sought to be imparted in the new syllabus is value education and the essence of all religions which is based on the same principle of love for all".
*** "Saffronizing" is a term used in a negative sense by the Indian press to mean changing or adapting something to match the views and teachings of Hindus in general. Vajpayee said ever since his government came to power, allegations were being leveled against his government that it was "saffronising" education. "It was good that the matter came up in the Supreme Court which turned down the plea that the education was being saffronised," Vajpayee said at a function organized by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in memory of Swami Vivekananda. Vajpayee in a lighter vein wondered what was wrong with this. "If saffronisation is taking place, what is wrong in it," he said amid laughter. Vajpayee went on to say "Bhagwa (Saffron - Kesari) is a good color and it is associated with the battlefields for ages. The color has a long history." The Prime Minister said people in India must be made aware of the country's rich cultural heritage. An indigenous Indian curriculum would celebrate the ideas of the country's thinkers such as Sri Aurobindo, Vivekananda, Dayananda Saraswati, Mahatma Phule, Gandhi, Tagore, Zakir Hussain, Krishnamurthi and Gijubhai Badheka. While our children know about Newton, they do not know about Arryabhatta; they do know about computer, but do not know about the advent of the concept of zero (shunya) or the decimal system. Our ``secularists'' are nothing if not original and highly imaginative. They will cry ``wolf'' even if they see a rabbit. Even if there is no living thing anywhere, in sight. Crying wolf has become a habit with them. The slightest move on the part of HRD Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi to set education in India in the right direction and our secularists will see red. Actually, not red but saffron. To our secularists, the Vedas, the Upanishads, Yoga, Ayurveda etc. are anathema. Most of them, in the first place would not have read the Vedas, practized yoga or ever resorted to ayurvedic medicine, the latter, incidentally, getting more and more popular in the west, even as Yoga is. But to our secularists Yoga is synonymous with Hinduism, Hindutva and, yes, fascism! It is to such a pathetic state that secularism has been reduced to. Brought up to condemn everything that our ancient heritage stands for, taught to laugh at our own culture, accustomed to despise rituals and rites as representative of superstition, accustomed to treat Sanskrit as ``a dead language'' our secularists can only have words of criticism. For more on the glory of Sanskrit, please refer to chapter on Sanskrit. (source: 'Saffronisation' of education? Court snub to secularists is the right answer - By By MV Kamathsamachar.comFor more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor. Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com. For history of the flag, please refer to The Ancient Dhvaja (source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_65859,0008.htm and Know your valueabout NCERT controversy). Top of Page
Doctors study the health benefits of yoga
Yoga is one of the hottest fitness trends sweeping the country. Now many doctors think it can also cure what ails you.Physicians in the U.S. and abroad are conducting a variety of studies gauging whether yoga offers health benefits beyond general fitness and can relieve symptoms associated with serious medical problems. Early results suggest that a regular yoga regimen -- involving a variety of postures, deep breathing and meditation exercises -- can offer relief for patients suffering from asthma, chronic back pain, arthritis and obsessive compulsive disorder, among other problems.
Yoga therapy hasn't been widely studied in the U.S. Most of the research has taken place in India where yoga originated 5,000 years ago. But today, several reputable American doctors are pursuing randomized yoga studies, and the National Institutes of Health is funding clinical trials of yoga for treating insomnia and multiple sclerosis. For more information, check www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Dr. Vad, who consults with the men's professional tennis and golf tours, notes that in India, where yoga is widely practiced, lower-back problems are virtually unheard of.Yoga has been shown to relieve stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate and improve cardiovascular endurance, she says. "We are on the cusp of a big shift. I think what's changed is people are demanding it, and they want to look at these alternatives."
Patka,"that long and elegant strip of textile which adorned nearly every noble waist in India once", continues to interest me. The names by which this costume accessory was known vary, of course—pattika, katitra, kamarband, sash, phenta,cloth-girdle, and the like—depending so much upon period and language and court and region, but it seems to have been everywhere. One just has to look at early sculptures and medieval paintings to become aware of its ubiquitous presence: kings tied it around their waists as much as commoners did; we see it worn by courtiers and sanyasis and cowherds and foot-soldiers; it could be made of silk or cotton or wool; could be plain or printed or intricately woven and brocaded or embroidered. But, as I said, it was everywhere. This is why a note that I read recently on some Indian patkas having once been in the wardrobe of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (ruled 1594-1632)intrigued me greatly. The discovery of these textiles in the Swedish royal collection makes for a fascinating story in itself. Agnes Geijer who was cataloguing oriental textiles in Sweden came upon these two textiles; knowing nothing about their origin, she sought the advice of a Professor of Historical Studies at the University of Princeton, who, in turn, advised her to consult other scholars, among them an expert, Florence Day, working in the Islamic Department of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. It was Day who noticed that the 'sashes', as they were being referred to then, were not Arabic as first imagined, but Indian, for there were some Hindi numerals or price marks entered in a corner. Norman Brown, Oriental scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed this, saying that they were indeed inscribed with Hindi numerals: they gave in fact the exact price of the object: " four rupees, eight annas." The tracking of these objects down does not end here, and one is astonished at the routes and channels that objects took as they traveled half way across the world. Anyone would like to know, I am sure, how these objects landed up in Sweden, of all places. In style, as John Irwin observed, the two patkas were "Indo-Persian", a term long since discarded, as it happens, meaning that the motifs on them were Persian in inspiration but the treatment and the weaving was Indian. They seem in fact to have been produced in Gujarat or Sind. From here, it seems, the patkas or sashes were regularly being exported: not only to Islamic countries in West Asia and North Africa, where they were in great demand, but even as far as Poland where they were much fancied by the nobility and by military officials. But these exports received a true fillip when the Dutch and English East India Companies began trading from their bases in western Indian ports, especially Surat. For, the route they took was not overland, with all its attendant uncertainties and heavy duties, but by sea. The English merchants were quick to see that large profits were to be made by shipping such goods, first to England, and then re-exporting them to Turkey, the Levant and Poland. A flourishing trade seems to have been established, availing of the imperial concessions granted to the East India Company, especially from the 1620's onwards. One finds notes made by the 'factors' of the company listing piles of sashes which were purchased from Surat, and then sent further. Thus, 250 sashes at five shillings per piece; 100 of them at 8 shillings per piece; 25 of them at 20 shillings per piece. Clearly, the price of the object bore a relationship to its quality or its preciousness. No visual records are available, but one can imagineguldar (flowered) or khashkhashi (of the colour of poppies, perhaps also bearing poppy flower motifs) patkas of the most beautiful kind being sent to distant markets. When students of textile, or art historians, speak of patkas, their natural concern is with matters relating to technique and design, or cultural meaning and significance, especially in the context of royal courts. Mercantile concerns, however, were entirely different and all that one picks up from them are lists and prices, and the like. But even these one is grateful for. Or else how would one have known how Gujarati patkas found their way around a royal waist in Sweden?
Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh were the target of widespread violence before during and after the general elections in October last year, in the Bangla Nationalist Party and Jamaat–e–Islami led alliance’s successful bid to grab power. Perceived as supporters of the ‘pro–minority’ Awami League, a large number of Bangla Hindus were killed, women raped and their property looted or destroyed, leading to their distress migration to India. A fresh round of violence in recent months indicates that the minorities of Bangladesh are being targeted with a vengeance yet again. In early April, a report in the Far Eastern Economic Review described the country under the new political dispensation as a "cocoon of terror." But within days of the ban on the April 4, 2002 issue of the magazine, a Buddhist monk and a Hindu priest were killed in their monastery at Hingala (Raozan PS, Chittagong district) and a temple at Manikchhari (Khagrachari district) respectively. Following a field investigation and interviews with victims, Rabindra Ghosh, an advocate and the Dhaka-based country co–ordinator of the global organisation Human Rights Congress of Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM) reported gang rape of Hindu women and torture of men in Palagram village in Chittagong district in separate incidents on May 8 and May 14. In the assault on the night of May 14 by an armed group whom the victims described as "Islamic terrorists". (source: Communalism Combat). Watch History of Ayodhya - videogoogle.com. Top of Page Perversity of Indian secularism For them, secularism means exclusion of Hindu ideas, symbols and customs only. They have measured the nearness to secularism by the extent of explicit distaste for anything Hindu in origin.
That is why pure secularists even scorn the idea of lighting lamps at functions - because it is a Hindu symbol. But in the US, the Government declares a whole year as `Bible Year' - that does not make the Government unsecular.
Ronald Reagan was not charged with imposing the Christian Agenda when he declared 1983 as the `Year of the Bible' in the US.
When he moved the resolution for the declaration, Reagan said: "Now, therefore, I Ronald Reagon, President of the United States of America, in recognition of the contribution and influence of the Bible on our Republic and our people, do hereby proclaim 1983 the `Year of the Bible' in the USA. I encourage all citizens in his or her own way to re-examine and rediscover its priceless and timeless message." His appeal was to all citizens - not just to Christians.
But, in India, even common traditional and national values, which linked the different religions and communities are being labelled as `Hindu values'. The result is that the minorities are slowly and steadily drawn away from all points which connected them by tradition with their mother Hindu society. The "secularists" have convinced the minorities that secularism means rejecting everything that has a Hindu origin.
None of these great men - not to mention the great woman from Italy who pontificates on secularism to India - even know what role the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita have played in our national regeneration. And in raising a mighty national awakening that transformed into the movement for India's freedom.Swami Vivekananda and Maharishi Aurobindo who built the intellectual foundation for the freedom movement were influenced by all that our secularists from India and Italy call unsecular - the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita. Balgangadhar Tilakwrote the Gita Rahasya as the guide for his participation in the independence movement. Mahatma Gandhi said that but for reading the Gita he would have committed suicide. Whether it is Guru Tegh Bahadur or Guru Gobind Singh, who sacrificed everything, including their lives to protect the Vedas and the Cow, or a Ravidas or a Surdas, a Nandanar or Sri Narayana Guru, their inspiration came only from ancient Indian thought.
In fact, Dr. Annie Besant and Sister Nivedita, with whom the lady from Italy is often compared by her admirers to indiginise her, upheld all that is Hindu in origin as the main inspiration for them to serve India. Besant said: "Minus Hinduism, India is irrelevant." Yet for the "secularists", Hindu ideas and symbols are anathema. This is the perversity of Indian secularism.
Marxist Praful Bidwai, writes: "Since 1998, Hindutva fanatics have relentlessly pursued one agenda. They tried to thrust Saraswati Vandana down our throats... "Saraswati Vandana is unsecular," said the Marxists.
One song Vande Mataram - turned into a war cry and sent thousands of youths to the gallows and jails in the cause of freedom. The idea of secularism which rejects the concept of Vande Mataram in effect disowns all those who were inspired by it to fight for our freedom.
Among those who approved the singing of Vande Mataram at the Nagpur Congress was Mahatma Gandhi.
Today those who claim to be the political heirs of Mahatma Gandhi are boycotting Saraswati Vandana.
Mahatma Gandhi said that he was proud to be a ‘Sanatani Hindu’. That is an idol worshipping, rudimentary Hindu. Today a former chief minister cites an encyclopaedia in Hindi, the language he always held as imperfect, to say that Hindu means a thief. Of course he will not look at the better-known Encylopaedia of Britannica, which defines the very word ‘Hindu’ in glowing terms. This is what the Mahatma once termed as gutter inspection. That is looking at the worst, not the best.
Again, a Mahatma Gandhi risked his life by a fast unto death to ensure that the British did not separate Harijans from Hindus. Today a lady congress leader tells a foreign TV channel that Harijans and tribals are not Hindus. These characters define secularism today.
India's "Succular" (sic) thinkers, writers, artistes and politicians Abuse of the word Hindu
So, one of our new secular ministers tells us that the Sindhu Darshan festival, started by the last government to celebrate the river India gets her name from, will be made less communal. Excuse me?
The word Hindu is being used as a term of abuse. Hindu fanatic, Hindu fundamentalism, Hindu nationalist, Hindutva. Mostly, that is how the word Hindu gets used and nearly always pejoratively.
It bothers me that I went to school and college in this country without any idea of the enormous contribution of Hindu civilisation to the history of the world. It bothers me that even today our children, whether they go to state schools or expensive private ones, come out without any knowledge of their own culture or civilisation. I believe that the Indic religions have made much less trouble for the world than the Semitic ones and that Hindu civilisation is something I am very proud of. If that is evidence of my being ‘‘communal’’, then, my inner voice tells me, so be it.
He’s a man in search of his Indian roots. After his ancestors left Indian shores for Thailand centuries ago, he is back ‘home’ on a mission. To find a suitable place where children of Thai Brahmins (“Brahmanas,” he corrects) can learn ancient Vedic texts and scriptures. Attired in white with his lock of hair tied neatly behind in a bun, Var Rajaguru Vamadeva Muni is a picture of serenity seated amidst his aides and well-wishers. “I am here to scout for a suitable place to send Brahmana children for pursuing Vedic studies. I want to send Brahmana boys from Thailand so that they would learn more about priest craft, philosophy, etc,” he says while sharing the overriding purpose of his visit. “The root of Thai Brahmanas,” he says, “is in south India, our ancestors come from that place, and having their children study Vedic scriptures here would enable the younger generation to go deep into their roots.”
The Rajaguru (Royal Court Chief Brahmin) to King Bhumibal Atulyatej of Thailand, Vamadeva Muni is the purveyor of all things religious, as it were, for the Royal Family. The Rajaguru coronates the King in a strictly Brahminical ceremony. Also, presides over the ploughing ceremony when the land is tilled in the presence of the King. In ancient days, says Var Rajaguru Vamadeva Muni, the plougher was supposed to be King and tradition has it that the King chooses the person who tills the land for the ceremony. In India on a personal visit, the Rajaguru on Sunday met with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On his itinerary are meetings with Union Minister of Home Affairs L K Advani and Union Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi. During his stay in India, the Rajaguru would also call onShankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Jayendra Saraswati. His aides say visits to Tirupati, Mahabalipuram, Trichy, Chidambaram, Rameshwaram and Thanjavur are also planned.
That Hinduism still holds a special place in the religious and cultural history of that country, he says, can be appreciated by the fact that ceremonies like the Tiru Vempavai and Sankranti have survived centuries and are observed to this day. While Tiru Vempavai, or the Mundan ceremony, is observed for a fortnight every January, Sankranti is celebrated nationwide on April 13 not only by the Brahmanas but by other sections of society. Reminiscing about his “umbilical cord” with mainland India, he says there is a lot to be learnt from ancient Hindu traditions and beliefs. (source: A Thai Rajaguru in quest of Vedic roots - By Ramesh Ramachandran - tribuneindia.com). Top of Page Christian Missionary desperation? Father Bede Griffiths (1905-1993) who has an "ashram" in South India, did puja instead of mass, wore the ochre vestments, used the "Aum" symbol and called himself "swami." It is a remarkable fact," write Fr. Bede, "that the Church has been present in India for over fifteen hundred years and has had for the most part everything in its favor, and yet in all this time hardly two in a hundred of the people has been converted to the Christian faith. The position is, indeed, worse even than this figure would suggest, as the vast majority of Christians are concentrated in a very few small areas and in the greater part of India the mass of people remains today untouched except in a very general way by the Christian faith. It is necessary to go even further than this and to say that for the immense majority of the Indian people Christianity still appears as a foreign religion imported from the West and the soul of India remains obstinately attached to its ancient religion. This may have been true in the past, but in recent times there has been a remarkable revival of Hinduism, which is more or less consciously opposed to Christianity, and the educated Hindu regards his religion as definitely superior to Christianity."
Decades ago the Catholic bishops of India at their National Center in Bangalore had figures of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and the Nataraja displayed on window grills of their church. The Hindu Astheega Sangham took them to court and had the images removed.
The plaintiff's attorney, Mr. Parasaran, argued, "If you wish to honor or respect Hindu deities, place them on your altars and not on your window sills."
The mission strategists are now making Christianity drop its alien attire and get clothed in Hindu cultural forms. Christianity is being presented as an indigenous faith. Christian theology is being conveyed through categories of Hindu philosophy; Christian worship is being conducted in the manner and with the materials of Hindu puja; Christian sacraments sound like Hindu samskaras; Christian Churches copy the architecture of Hindu temples; Christian hymns are being set to Hindu music; Christian themes and personalities are being presented in styles of Hindu painting; Christian missionaries dress and live like Hindu sannyasins; Christian mission stations look like Hindu ashrams.
There are at least two large Christian terrorist groups operating in Tripura, the ATTF(All tiger tripura force) and the NLFT(National Liberation fron of Tripura). These groups have announced their intention to "free Tripura of Hindu rule" and establish a "country for Jesus Christ". Thousands of people have been killed by them and lakhs displaced, many have been forcefully converted. Among other things, the NLFT has also killed Hindu priests and banned Hinduism for the last 4 years. These incidents have been covered up by the secular press, sometimes under the guise that tribals in Tripura are not Hindus and it is a tribal conflict. This article describes that the tribals have declared that they always were Hindus and that they will oppose this terrorist might of the church in the North East.
Jamatia Hoda's no to `taxes', to carry on resisting ultras
The State-level conference of the Jamatia Hoda, the highest body of the community, has decided to ban payment of all kind of tax to the militants. They also decided to carry on the struggle against the insurgents, specially against the National Liberation Front of Tripura, who are interfering with the religious and social affairs of the community.
The 410th conference of the Hoda, which the leaders claim was established in 1,590 also resolved unanimously that the Jamatia are Hindus and they will continue with this identity. Two Akra's (leader) of the community Bikram Bahadur Jamatia and Hari Charan Jamatia were re-elected in their posts.
The conference held at Hadupa village under Teliamura Police Station in West Tripura district assumed special significance in view of the present onslaught against the Hindu tribals by the NLFT. They were forcing the tribals to convert into Christianity and also was preventing them from performing their traditional rituals.
The Jamatias, the most organized tribal community in the State first revolted when the NLFT issued notification imposing ban of performing of Garia Puja and Durga Puja, last year. The Jamatia Hoda decided to defy the ban and performed both the festivals.
Since then, the two Akra's are organizing a massive agitation against the militancy. They also organized volunteer forces to resist the entry of militants in Jamatia dominated villages. The two-day conference on December 9 and 10 has approved it and decided to further intensify the agitation.
Inspired by the Jamatia's few other tribes like Reangs, Chakmas and Uchoi's also launched anti-militancy agitation in villages dominated by them.
Pratnakirtin-apavrnu, “know thy past”, was the exhortation of the Vedas and the Upanishads of India more than 5000 years ago.
Knowing the past does mean knowing only the achievements and failures in the material field but something more important and durable in the spiritual field – the value system inherited by the nation.
For the Indian, the foundation of inspiration are the Vedas, Upanishads and the Epics, which are often discarded by scholars as mere myths and legends or as purely religious texts of little historical value. This mystical tradition is the foundation of Indian Civilization, its culture and philosophy. It has withstood the tremors of foreign invasions for thousands of years and absorbed some of the philosophic concepts of the foreign thinkers. It is, however, the Upanishadic thought and practice which has sustained the core of Indian spiritualism.
In India, world history's largest ever people-event spread over six weeks, passed off without fuss or incident. Perhaps it's a sign of India's self-confidence that it doesn't chortle about what it has just brought off. its of a piece with India's nonchalance when criticism is heaped on it. India just does it and keeps going!
The colour and the theatre of the event have been well-covered by the world media. Puzzled audiences the world over have been shown the strange and varied lot called Indians -30 million of them- trudging up to a river, without a prompt or any publicity, to take a dip and assert a uniqueness all their own.
Sandipan Deb a columnist for 'Outlook' was there and notes of the pilgrims :"...two unbelievable crore [20,000,000!] of them on one single day, the holy Mauni Amavasya, and if all of them stood in single file the line would have stretched from Allahabad to Miami."
'India Today' called it the "Kleenex Kumbha" and said: "the Kumbha has been a revelation of India's hitherto hidden skills in civic management."
The Maha Kumbha such as the one just passed occurs but once in 144 years. Long before the next one arrives, India will have learnt to replicate the Kumbhnagar success all across the country.
Adivasis and Christian Missionaries Whether Adivasis are Hindus or not has always been a question of great controversy. The Niyogi Commission's Report of the Christian Missionaries Enquiry Committee MP, Nagpur,1956 (Vol I, Part I, Chapter I) states, "The Missionaries have throughout claimed that they are not Hindus. A continuous attempt has been made by these organisations to foster a sense of separateness amongst the Tribes from the rest of the Hindus. Speaking about the separation of the aborigines from the mass of the Indian population Gandhiji remarked: 'We were strangers to this sort of classification -- animists -- aborigines, etc, but we have learnt it from the English rulers.' To the question put by Dr Chesterman whether Gandhiji's objection applied to areas like the Kond hills where the aboriginal races were animists, the unhesitating reply was, 'Yes, it does apply, because I know that in spite of being described as animists these tribes have from times immemorial been absorbed in Hinduism. They are, like the indigenous medicine, of the soil, and their roots lie deep there'." (I wonder what our Gandhivadis have to say now.) Whatever the Adivasis may have been originally, there's no doubt that they were gradually absorbed into the Hindu fold -- just like the pagans of Saudi Arabia and northern Africa were into Islam, but only many, many centuries earlier. So does that give Hindus poaching rights over Arabs...? The Niyogi Report states, "Where a tribe has insensibly been converted into a caste, it preserved its original name and customs, but modified its animistic practices more and more in the direction of orthodox Hinduism. Numerous examples of this process are to be found all over India and it has been at work for centuries." Besides, what's the difference between Hindu forms of worship and the Adivasis' "animism" anyway? Don't Hindus worship trees on Vat Savitri, snakes on Nag Panchami, and cows everyday?
In 1891, J A Baines, the Census Commissioner, considered as futile the distinction between tribals who were "Hinduised" and those that followed a tribal form of religion because, "every stratum of Indian society is more or less saturated with Animistic Conceptions but little raised above those which predominate in the early state of religious development." Ms B Nivedita, of the Vivekananda Kendra at Kanyakumari, writes, "The missionaries called the Gods and Goddesses of these [north eastern tribal] communities 'spirits'... First introducing and then popularising the use of 'spirits' for the Devi-Devata of these communities, the missionaries started their campaign for conversion. The people were told, 'You do not have God. You worship only spirits. What you have is only primitive ideas of religion and a bundle of superstitions. If you want to be saved then follow the Only True God'." In the census of 1901, Sir Herbert Risley The People of India and commissioner of the 1901 census, observed that "Hinduism itself was animism more or less transformed by philosophy," and that no sharp line of demarcation could be drawn between them as the one melted away into the other (The People of India, 2nd edition). In 1931, the census commissioner, Dr J H Hutton, admitted that the line between Hinduism and tribal religion was difficult to draw and the inclusion of tribals within the Hindu fold was easy (Census of India, 1931, India Report, Vol I, Part I). The deputy commissioner of Amravati, Mr Stent, sent a note to the census officer saying that the educated Indian officers maintained that Gonds, Korkus, Bhils, Gowaris and Banjaras were Hindus, and that he himself conceded that when members of these tribes settled in a Hindu village they became Hindus. He commented on the tendency of Hinduism to absorb the religion of other people, and also pointed out that the aboriginals returned themselves as Hindus... (Census Report, Central Provinces and Berar, 1931, Volume XII, Part I). Sir Herbert Risley described Hinduism as "animism transformed by metaphysics." The Niyogi Report states, "It is not easy to find any sound reason for isolating the tribal people from the Hindus in view of the repeated admissions made that the animistic or tribal religion was hardly distinguishable from the Hindu religion. The mystery is solved when we come to examine the Missionary activities within these tribal areas." (source: Towards Balkanisation, V: Adivasis - By Varsha Bhosle rediff.com). Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Top of Page
Rev. William Adam and Ram Mohan Roy
On March 19th 1818, a missionary of the Mission Society, Rev. William Adam(1796-1881), joined the Serampore coterie and was soon entrusted with the holy task of bringing Raja RamMohan Roy(1772-1833)the great Hindu scholar and reformerto Christ.
His assignment inevitably brought Adam in frequent contact with Ram Mohan Roy but subsequent events soon made it clear to Adam that he had been given a formidable task and that he was no match for Ram Mohan Roy. Rev. Adam was so impressed with the arguments which Roy advanced in support of Unitarianism as propounded by the Vedas and against Trinitarianism of the Bible that Adam soon started having serious doubts about the Christian cult of three Gods. In a letter to a friend, N. Bright, he wrote: “It is several months since I began to entertain some doubts respecting the supreme deity of Jesus Christ…” In about three years of his joining the Serampore Mission, Adam had reached a point of enlightenment where he had begun to doubt very seriously his earlier Christian convictions.
The conversion of a Christian missionary from biblical Trinitarianism to Vedic monotheism, a heresy in the eyes of the Church, created an unprecedented commotion among Christian missionaries in London and emotional turmoil in mission circles of the USA.
Most Christian missions which were then operating in India for the purpose of converting the heathens of India to Christianity and their headquarters in London suffered, in consequence, such psychological convulsions that it nearly shook the entire missionary network in India down to its foundations. The Church tried to keep the news of his conversion and subsequent excommunication a closely guarded secret.
Rev. William Adam had gone to gather wool but had returned clearly shorn. As a first step, therefore, of reprisal against Rev. Adam he was declared a heretic and a Socinian. (Socinians, a sect of Unitarians taking their name from Faustus Socinus. Besides denying the doctrine of the Trinity, they deny divinity of Christ and the divine inspiration of the scriptures). A statement appearing in the Annual London Report of the Mission Society regarding Rev. Adam declared: “We mention with deep regret that MR. Adam, late one of their member had embraced opinions derogatory to the honor of the Savior, denying the proper divinity, of ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ’ in consequence of which the connection between him and the Society has been dissolved.”
The Positivism of the Dasabodha - Saint Ramdas and Shivaji
The Dasabodha by Ramdas (1608-1681) is a work in 20 books. Each Book is furnished with 10 sections, and is therefore called a Dasaka. The sections are called Samasas. So there are altogether 200 Samasas in the entire treatise, each of which is furnished with a colophon. The Samasas are of diverse sizes. The Dasabodha is described in every colophon as Gurusisyasambada (conversation between the master and the disciple). It is, however, throughout composed in the form of the master’s sayings rather than in that of interview, i.e. questions and answers.
The sayings in these 200 Samasas deal with such topics as bhakti (faith), rajoguna (activism), tamoguna (inertness), dukha (pain), mrity (death), Brahma, moksa (liberation), atma (self), anatma (not-self), yugadharma (duties or mores of the Kali age) etc. It is necessary to observe that of politics there is hardly anything in this treatise. There are but just a few references to raja karun (king’s functions) in this work, voluminous as it is. Its make up is non-political.
The work is mainly made up of ideas relating to man as an animal and as a person. The verses are terse and epigrammatic and simple enough to pass from mouth to mouth becoming thereby the household words of the masses. Although the gods are mentioned once in a while, the Dasabodha is not a treatise of god-lore. It is principally a work of psychology and morals. Its teachings are calculated to have a sober influence on the mind and character of individuals.
As such its spiritual significance is considerable. Like the Sanskrit Gita and the Tamil Kurul, the Dasabodha is one of the greatest classics of world literature.
Ramdas was one of the greatest saints of the world. He was the inspirer of King Shivaji. He was born of Suryaji Panth and Renuka Bai in Jamb, Maharashtra, in 1608 A.D. Ramdas was a contemporary of Sant Tukaram. As makers of Maharastra and remakers of Hindustan, Ramdas and Shivaji will always go together as one ideological complex in the historical scholarship of future generations.
(source: Creative India - By Benoy Kumar Sarkar p. 399-400).
Top of Page Fear of NRIs ? There is also a collective 'Fear of NRIs. I think, along with the irrational fear of engineering. The 'secular progressives' realize that NRIs, and in particular NRI engineers, especially those who made money in the high tech boom of the 1990s, are not so likely to swallow their propaganda. These NRIs have seen the world and done well in fully competitive circles, do not have inferiority complexes, and do not need to suck up to some white academic like Doniger for crumbs like travel grants, which the 'sepoys' of Indology in India crave. In other words, the NRI engineers are shouting from the rooftops, 'The Emperor has no clothes!' This is, of course, distressing to those who have been supplying non-existent clothes to the Emperor and profiting mightily therefrom. These NRI engineers have also come to realize that there is something precious in India that is under grave threat from the Sino-Islamic axis and Christian fundamentalists. And they have begun to organize; and the results are beginning to appear. Partly through NRI assertiveness, but mostly through local strategy, the Hindu right wing is beginning to get its act together regarding vulnerable Dalits and Adivasis and about the leftist-missionary stranglehold on education. Note the signal Supreme Court ruling that has, finally after 50 years of Nehruvian Stalinist fascism, allowed the school curriculum to reflect some ground realities as well as the results of new research. As a result of all this, it is getting to be a little more difficult for Christian cultists to prey on unsuspecting tribals or to brainwash children. Thus the increasing 'secular' 'progressive' paranoia and fear of NRIs. (source: Fear of NRIs, fear of numbers, fear of logic - By Rajeev Srinivasan - rediff.com). More Tantrums against NRIs ? For years Christian missionaries in India have received funds from abroad to convert the poor Hindu heathens, but now new allegations have been made by a group ofIndian leftists that Indian charities and NRIs.... Columnist Varsha Bhosle writes: "Why hasn't Joseph investigated Evangelical groups that collect money in the name of charity and spend it on printing tracts to convert Hindus...?) If you read Chapter 4: Funding Hate of the "report," you quickly realise that the only aim of the campaign is to halt the funding of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, Vivekananda Kendra, Vanvasi Seva Sangh, Sewa Bharati, and Ekal Vidyalays -- ALL being educational institutions set up for the upliftment of Dalits and Adivasis. Those whom the vultures target... (source: We are not duping NRIs, US firms: IDRF - rediff.com and Where there's no will to reform, there's extinction - By Varsha Bhosle - rediff.com.For more information on missionary activities in India, refer to chapter on Conversion). The Hidden Agenda - Rediff readers response to charges against IDRF Indian news media ever eager to gulp down hook, line and sinker anything they can beat up the Hindus with. The hypocrisy - While the massive foreign and NRI funding of proselytizing Christian missionaries who run schools in tribal areas is deemed "secular" Why is that Hindu bashers and Indian leftists in the US have of late beencranking up campaigns against one teacher schools in tribal areas? How many of the missionaries and evangelists use money raised abroad to help Hindus/Muslims in distress in India - without the intent of converting them - few aren't they, so why selectively blame Hindu groups? Christian missionaries are engaged in charitable activities with the ultimate goal of getting converts to Christianity. If Hindus do it, is it a crime? If Indians and Hindus do not support Hindu organizations, who else will? It is none of any "Mathew"s business. Where did these 'Mathews' go when Kashmiri Pundits were butchered and driven out of their own land? Who else will voice for Hindus? It is a fact that Christian missionaries working in India have been getting huge funds from abroad for decades. All that they have been doing is conversion. In tribal areas of Thane district, missionaries clash routinely (physically) with communist organisations. This has been never been bone of contention. Madrassas have been getting huge amount of petro dollars for years. No one complains. Now that Hindu support organisations are able to get funds for the first time people are nervous. The reporter of the news item and Mathew use the words "violent, sectarian Hindu supremacist organisations". May I ask who decides all this?Prof. Mathew should check his own premises about what the Missionaries in North-Eastern India are doing and where the money is coming from. How about the Nagaland violence back in 60's and 70's. Would he not know it was financed by the Churches? The anti-IDRF crowd is acting on fear and prejudice and not on facts. If devout Christian groups can organize relief worldwide, why can't a Hindu group organize relief in India? (source: Reader Responses to rediff and http://www.letindiadevelop.org/). For more on IDRF read Attack on IDRF: Little Method to Their Madness - By Prof. Beloo Mehra - sulekha.com. The Foreign Exchange of Hate: IDRF and the American Funding of Hindutva -- An Analysis - by Ashok Chowgule - sulekha.com). Narayan D. Keshavan, an award winning former Washington Times journalist, says, "I have been waiting for a long time for a report detailing who and how much money is flowing into India from various Christian organization and churches. I am also waiting for a report on how much money has flown from Middle Eastern organizations and governments for proselytising purposes. Those are the only reports that count because it is the money from these organizations that is doing real, deadly harm to India and its unity. The Mathew report is utter gibberish and is of no importance." (source: LetIndiaDevelop.org). Yvette C. Rosser Department of Curriculum and Instruction The University of Texas at Austin wrote: "How much does the Jehovah Witness church send every year to India? What about the Southern Baptists and the Roman Catholics... how much do they send to support their schools and clinics in India? What about money from the Gulf States sent to support the many Madrassas?The amount coming in from these other sources is exponentially, hundreds of thousands of times greater than the measly amount raised so diligently by Mr. and Mrs. Prakash in the past twelve years." (source: IDRF Transparency vs. Sabrang/FOIL/FIACONA Tamasha - by Yvette C. Rosser). The Christian attack on IDRF is not accident and has nothing to do with Gujarat. It is to prevent Hindu welfare organizations from reaching those tribals so that the well-funded Church organizations have unfettered access to them for their "harvest of souls". (source: sulekha.com/newshopper). Biju Mathew is a leftist and is pushing a political agenda even if it goes against the poor and backward people of India. Indian American donor community is intelligent enough to understand that propagation of education, development and health care in the rural areas by IDRF supported NGOs, is hurting the evil designs of these people," he adds. (source: Community leaders renew support to IDRF- Indian Herald).
Christians organizations get lion’s share of foreign funds-By Inder Sawhney
Christian missionaries and allied groups continue to be largest recipients of foreign funds. They received Rs 15.88 crore (75.69 per cent of the total foreign funds) in April-June this year compared with Rs 11.41 crore during the corresponding period last year and Rs 12.67 crore in the first quarter. A study of the receipt of foreign funds by religious/ non-political organisations and other groups in April-June, based on Intelligence reports gathered by the Home ministry, indicates a sharp increase to Rs 20.98 crore compared with Rs 14.02 crore during the corresponding period in 1998. The US with donations of Rs 4.10 crore (as against Rs 2.26 crore during the same period in 1998) displaced Germany as the leading donor. In the first quarter of 1999 also, the US was the highest donor with Rs 3.31 crore. In the second quarter of this year, Kerala received the largest amount (Rs 3.09 crore) followed by Himachal Pradesh (Rs 2.87 crore) , West Bengal (Rs 2.73 crore) Maharashtra (Rs 1.69 crore), Andhra Pradesh Rs 1.3 crore and Karnataka Rs 1.2 crore. Rajasthan was the lowest, accounting for a mere Rs 4,000. Non-political organisations were the other major recipients of foreign funds (Rs 1.38 crore) followed by Muslim organisations which got Rs 64.13 lakh compared with Rs 23.06 lakh received by them in the second quarter of 1998. According to the study, there was a fall in the receipt of funds by non-denominational organisations, including ``pseudo-religious'' bodies. They received Rs 22.99 lakh in the second quarter of this year against Rs 70.99 lakh in the corresponding period last year. (source: Publication: Times of India - Date: August 16, 1999 ). Top of Page
Russians join Indians in Janmashtami celebrations
In keeping with a tradition in vogue for the past years, Indians and Russians celebrated the birthday of Hindu god Krishna with cultural programmes and religious functions here. The lone Hindu temple, run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) in downtown Moscow, was flooded with devotees throughout Friday, even though it was a working day.
A surprising fact was that Russian Hindus outnumbered their Indian counterparts at the function in a country that barely had any of its citizens claiming to have converted to Hinduism before the Soviet disintegration nearly a decade ago.
Artistes from the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre (JNCC) under the Indian embassy and child artistes from the Indian School presented dances dedicated to Krishna on a huge stage especially built for the occasion outside the temple. Dances that celebrated the bond of love between Radha and Krishna, by the JNCC artistes, had the audience spell-bound.
A local theatre group, Gaurang, comprising only Russian artistes, staged a drama on the life and love of Krishna and Radha.
The festivities, which continued till midnight Saturday, ended with 'aarti' or a cleansing ritual.
'Prasadam', or the holy offering, was continuously served to visitors and devotees throughout the evening.
Janmashtami for many Russians is an occasion to get acquainted with Indian culture, art and food and to purchase exotic Indian souvenirs, for which the organisers had made adequate arrangements.
Pune, capital of the Peshwas, the last great Hindu power before British rule. The members of the Chitpavan caste are still physically distinct by their taller and lighter features (some even have blue eyes), pointing to their immigrant origins. They are said to be Maga Brahmins whose original homeland was Shakadwip, i.e. Central Asia. Apparently, they came as refugees from Seistan (western Afghanistan) at the time of the Muslim conquest in the 9th century (as would a few centuries later the Saraswat Brahmins from Kashmir, now largely settled in Goa).
According to their own traditions, laid down in the Sabyadri Khanda, they were washed ashore as corpses but Vishnu’s incarnation Parashuram “brought the corpses back to life” by a reversal of the cremation process: the pyre (chita) merely purified (pavanam) them, hence their name Chitpawan.
For a long time, they were looked down upon and used for menial services by the native Deshashth Brahmins. But at the turn of the 18th century, a Chitpavan clan shot to prominence in the wake of the Maratha commander Shivaji’s successful liberation of parts of Maharashtra from Moghul rule. Shivaji’s progeny proved incapable of ruling and extending the Maratha empire, and in 1713 effective control passed into the hands of their Prime Ministers, the Chitpavan Peshwas.
For half a century, Peshwa led armies scored victory upon victory, until they overplayed their hand and suffered a shattering defeat in the third battle of Panipat in 1761 against the Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali. In spite of this setback, they remained the main power center in India until their decisive defeat by the British East India Company troops in 1818.
At the end of the 19th century, Chitpavan Brahmins like V. K. Chiplunkar, G. K. Gokhale and B. G. Tilak took a leadership role in the fledgling freedom movement against British colonial rule.
The British rules considered them the most dangerous caste in India; in jest, they abbreviated the caste’s alternative name Konkanasth Brahmins as KoBra.
A history of the Bene Israelis, who settled in the Kolaba district of the Konkan, claims the Chitpavans as fellow Jews who became separated from their shipmates.
The British distrusted the Chitpavans. Nanasaheb Peshwa (18th century), from a portrait that is available may be called best specimen of Chitpavan manhood. Nanasaheb's son Vilasrao, when 18, was killed in the Third Battle of Panipat (1761). Kashiraj has described him as the most handsome among the Marathas; even in death he looked so handsome that Ahmedshah Abdali ordered his dead body to be brought before him - in order to have a look at his handsome person.
Vedas, the texts which encapsulate the essence of the ancient Indian Civilization, may have found an evangelist in the nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar.She promised efforts in this direction while addressing the second three-day national Vedic conference at the Y. B. Chavan auditorium here on Saturday.
Among the galaxy of dignitaries on the occasion were Sandyojan Shankarashram Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of the Chitrapur Math; Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi, conference convener Moreshwar Ghaisas of the Ghaisas Guruji Vedpathshala, Ram Shevalkar and former city MP Anna Joshi.
Joshi, who inaugurated the conference, set the ball rolling in his speech, inviting the celebrated singer to lend her voice to the preservation of the Vedas, which incidentally, have been passed down millennia through the oral tradition. Joshi also pledged central assistance for such a project.The late Vinayak Bhatta Ghaisas Guruji award worth Rs 25 lakh, instituted by the Ghaisas Guruji Vedpathshala, was also presented to the Ratnagiri-based vedpathshala (vedic school) on the occasion.
Abduction of Turmeric - Pirates in the garden of India
The war began thus: In May, 1995 the US Patent Office granted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center a patent [#5,401,504] for "Use of Turmeric in Wound Healing."
Well, well, well. Some discovery, that. Indians grow up with a constant awareness of turmeric. It permeates their life. It is an easy and generous plant [curcurma longa] that grows throughout the sub-continent. The tuber when dried keeps practically forever. Its decoction is a stubborn dye. It is a condiment that adds character to Indian food and helps digestion. Turmeric powder heals open wounds. Drunk with warm milk, it stems coughs, cures colds and comforts throats.
Indians paint doorways with turmeric paste as an insecticide. Women in the south make a depilatory skin cream with it. Add the juice of fresh lime to dry turmeric, let it marinate for three days, dry it in the sun and grind it to a fine powder and voila, you have the brilliant red kunkum that 'dots' Indian women's foreheads and surrounds the gods in the temples. Roots are exchanged between people as a formal symbol of goodwill. Indians place freshly uprooted plants at the altar during Pongal and offer worship . For Indians turmeric is a benevolent goddess. For sound reasons, it transpires. Indian physicians had always packed their kits with turmeric. Now West's formal research was confirming many of its virtues. It is now believed to be able to treat dysentery, arthritis, ulcers and even some cancers. It is also found to protect the liver. Turmeric's grace is stunning cancer researchers. COX-2 inhibitor drugs have been known to block an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 which aggravates arthritis. Dr. Mitch Gaynor at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center, New York uses these drugs in cancer treatment to impede this undesirable enzyme. Turmeric goes one step further: Dr. Chintalapally V. Rao of American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY believes that while COX-2 inhibitor drugs battle the enzyme, the curcurmin element in turmeric prevents even the formation of the enzyme. Consider the implication of 'turmeric patent' #5,401,504. If an expatriate Indian in America sprinkles turmeric powder -- just as her ancestors in India have done for centuries-- on her child's scrape, she would in fact be infringing US patent laws and was open to prosecution. (source: Goodnewsindia.com). Refer to chapter on Nature Worship. Curry Spice May Inhibit Tumor Growth A compound found in the curry spice turmeric may suppress production of a protein that spurs tumor growth in the body, researchers report. The researchers mixed human pancreatic cancer cells with different amounts of curcumin, which is the substance that gives turmeric its yellow color. (source: Yahoo News.com). *** Hundreds of herbs used for centuries by traditional healers in India could soon be on western pharmacy shelves. Clinical trials have shown that herbal remedies for asthma, diabetes and even sexually transmitted diseases may be effective. may be effective. The council is looking at treatments for a range of other conditions used for over a thousand years by practitioners of Ayurveda and Siddha medicine. Professor Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, a member of the council, said that in some cases the herbs may be more effective than Western-style medicines. "We have plants for bronchial asthma, hepatitis and arthritis," he said. (source: Doctors investigate Indian herbs - BBC - Sept 30 2002). Top of Page
India Losing on Patents ?
Indraprasth, Dec 8 (UNI) - After Neem, turmeric and jamun, now it is cow's urine, traditionally used for medicinal purposes in India, which has been patented in the United States as a distilled bio-enhancer. The government was aware of this fact and was considering the steps to be taken in this regard, official sources said here. Cow's urine is a component of 'Panch Gawya,' a mixture of cow's milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung, used from ancient times as a component of food and medicine. It is also used in various ayurvedic medicines. Though there was no separate strategy for popularizing use of Panch Gawya, it was being popularised as part of the popularisation of the Indian System of Medicine and Health medicines, they said. Now with the patenting of Cow's urine has confirmed the belief of naturopaths that it has got medicinal properties which enhances the life span. Former Prime Minister Morarji Desai was among the staunch supporters of cow' urine. Earlier, the patenting of turmeric and neem in the US had created a furore in the country as people protested the patenting of traditional Indian knowledge abroad. Recently, the Jamun fruits that has been widely used in the Indian system for treatment of diabetes, has been patented in the US. (source: Cow's urine patented in US as bio-enhancer -The Hindu December 6' 02).
Now, a US patent for atta chakkis
Patent relates to method of producing flour used for rotis
New Delhi, December 9:Now it is the turn of atta chakkis. The traditional knowledge of producing atta has become a victim of the patent rights regime. Hundreds of atta chakkis and modern flour millers and wheat exporters may fall into the trap being laid by a Nebraska-based company, ConAgra. The US Patent Office has granted patent rights to ConAgra Inc for the “method for producing an atta flour” vide no 6,098,905. The patent application filed by ConAgra said “the present invention relates to a method for producing an atta flour, which is typically used to produce Asian breads such aschapati and roti. Deputy DG of ICAR, Dr Mangla Rai, said that not only attempts should be made to document and preserve our traditional knowledge but also we should make innovations on the basis of our traditional knowledge and patent the same.
Dr O. P. Agarwal, advisor and head of R&D, CSIR said, “The filing of such patents rights by foreign companies should be a wake-up call for us to not only go for documentation of our traditional knowledge on a war footing but also to immediately identify areas of traditional knowledge which are likely to fall as an easy prey to piracy in a fast growing industrial economy.”
After the patents of neem and turmeric, it is now the turn of Vastu, a popular ancient Indian architectural concept, which has been found registered as a trademark nearly five years ago by a German company.
This fact was recently uncovered by the Delhi-based Vastu Shastra Institute, which is considering taking a legal recourse against the registration. "We found out that the term vastu is a registered trademark in Germany and under the World Trade Organisation rules, companies in other countries cannot use the word vastu in any comemercial venture. We are planning to fight the registration and will examine what legal recourse we can take under the German trademark law," Ashwini Bansal, director of the institute, said in New Delhi. Bansal said no Indian company has registered the term vastu, even though the science has existed in the country since the Vedic period. "We find the mention of vastu in the Rig Veda," he said.
India has been fighting against patents granted for the use of neem and turmeric by several countries. It has in the recent past also fought patents granted to basmati rice.
Forty Indian concepts including Veda, ayurveda and Gayatri have been found registered as trademarks in Germany, director of New Delhi-based Vastu Shastra Institute Ashwini Kumar Bansal said. While Veda had been registered as early as in 1984, Gayatri had been registered very recently, he said.
Contrary to popular belief that communal violence stems from the Old City, it is this part of the city that is showing the peace path during the Vinayaka festival.
One of the oldest Vinayaka devotee groups in the city, Sri Balveer Bhakta Samaj, which has been taking out a Ganesh immersion procession for the last 93 years, has people from all communities participating in it. In Hussaini Alam, in the heart of the Old City, Hindus and Muslims come together every year to celebrate Vinayaka chaviti. Muslims organise the ‘pujas’ and ‘aarti’ in the morning and evening as well as receive the devotees.
“When festivals are celebrated together it is more fun,” said Abid Ali, one of the organisers. Most of the volunteers of the Sri Balveer Bhaktha Samaj are members of Maithri Committees. “After a few violent incidents occurred in the Old City after the Gujarat riots, we decided to educate the people that peace was necessary for coexistence. Violence will not help us get our bread,” said Syed Hamiuddin, a member of the Hussaini Alam Maithri Committee. Participating in the tradition of performing Ganesha puja at Hussaini Alam, deputy commissioner of police (South) Govind Singh said, “Residents should celebrate and have fun but respect timings and limits.
If we impose timings and limits it is not because we do not want people to celebrate, but it is because one’s celebration should not cause pain to others. Students have to study and aged persons need to rest,” he said. Singh asked the organisers to follow timings strictly and switch off the public address system at 10 pm. “We have no problem if you want to have bhajans all through the night.
But do not use the speakers after 10 pm for the purpose,” he said. Joint commissioner of police (security) Kaumudi said a large number of additional security forces have been brought in for the festival. “We hope we will not have to use them. They are a deterrent to antisocial elements who do not want peace in the city,” he said.
Top of Page A revival of traditional Indian games By Papri Sri Raman, Indo-Asian News Service
Chennai, Sep 5 (IANS) Tamil Nadu is rediscovering age-old Indian games, thanks to an enterprising woman. People have forgotten traditional Indian games," said Vinita Siddartha, who has been working to revive interest in them.
The desire to preserve a part of India's rapidly vanishing heritage is what made her decide on compiling and reviving some of the traditional games like 'ashtaa chemma', a game like ludo, and 'aadu puli aatam', which is akin to chess. Vinita has now re-created a set of 10 traditional Indian game kits that can be used indoors. The kits, made of eco-friendly materials like recycled paper, wood, seeds and shells, have already caught peoples' imagination here. Traditional games are now so much in demand that Vinita has started a small company called 'Kreeda' to convert these into board games with an investment of less than 100,000 rupees. The prices of Vinita's board games range from Rs.40 to 175. The kits have become popular because it is difficult to find the materials needed to play traditional Indian games in urban areas. "Try finding a collection of cowrie, or tamarind seeds, in a metropolitan city like Mumbai or Chennai and you'll know," said Vinita. Vinita got into the games business almost accidentally. She had an assignment to write about traditional Indian games for a magazine. "I found that there were hardly any books on traditional games in India. There were just a few small references in some texts." "If you think the game of snakes and ladders had continental origins, you are wrong," says Vinita. "The game was developed from 'moksha patam' or 'param padam', as it is still known in India. Victorians in India loved it and took it to England. "The last rung of the ladder in the Indian version of the game represents 'Nirvana'. The good rungs for virtue and faith lead you up towards emancipation. The bad rungs for vanity and theft lead you to the snake's mouth. The Victorians replaced the Indian virtues with their own like thrift and industry." She plans to bring the Indian game to the market by October, before the festival of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, when this game was traditionally played in earlier days. In Vinita's repertoire there are traditional games from many regions of India. 'Chatti' is a popular schoolgirls' game from Kerala, played with a pile of stones. 'Daria bander' is another outdoor game played by teams of six on the island of Andaman. The game of 'chinesepiel' is a proof of the intermingling of Chinese and Indian cultures in northeast India.'Palangudi' is a popular southern Indian game, played with tamarind seeds, while 'pachisi' comes from Maharashtra. The material she found during her research of traditional Indian games fascinated Vinita. She and her team wrote several articles for the youth section of a newspaper. (source: yahoo.com). Top of Page Manufacture of Iron and Steel in India
The substance which seems to have evoked the most scientific and technical interest in the Britain of the 1790s was the sample of wootz steelby Dr. Scott to Sir J. Banks, the President of the British Royal Society. The sample went through thorough examination and analysis by several experts. It was found in general to match the best steel then available in Britain, and according to one user, "purpose of fine cutlery, and particularly for all edge instruments used for surgical purposes."
After its being sent as a sample in 1794 and its examination and analysis in late 1794 and early 1795, it began to be much in demand, and some 18 years later the afore-quoted user of steel stated, "I have to use it for many purposes. If a better steel is offered to me, I will gladly attend to it; but the steel of India is decidedly the best I have yet met with."
Till well into the 19th Britain produced very little of the steel it required and imported it from Sweden, Russia, etc. Partly, Britain lag in steel production was due to the inferior quality of its iron ore, and the fuel, i.e. coal, it used. Possibly such lag also resulted from Britain's backwardness in the comprehensive of processes and theories on which the production of good steel depended.
Whatever may have been the understanding in the other European countries regarding the details of the processes employed in the manufacture of Indian steel, the British, at the time wootz was examined and analysed by them, concluded, "that it is made directly from the ore and consequently it has never been in the state of wrought iron." Its qualities were thus ascribed to the quality of the ore from which it came and these qualities were considered to have little to do with the techniques and processes employed by the Indian manufacturers. In fact it was felt that the various cakes of wootz were of uneven texture and the cause of such imperfection and defects was thought to lie in the crudeness of the techniques employed.
It was only some three decades later that this view was revised. An earlier revision in fact, even when confronted with contrary evidence as was made available by other observers of the Indian techniques and processes, was intellectual impossibility. "That iron could be converted into cast steel by fusing it in a close vessel in contact with carbon" was yet to be discovered, and it was only in 1825 that a British manufacturer "took out a patent for converting iron into steel by exposing it to the action of caruretted hydrogen gas in a close vessel, at a very high temperature, by which means the process of conversion is completed in a few hours, while by the old method, it was the work of from 14 to 20 days."
According to J. M. Heath, founder of the Indian Iron and Steel Company, and later prominently connected with the development of steel making in Sheffield, the Indian process appeared to combine both of the above early 19th century British discoveries. He observed: "Now it appears to me that the Indian process combines the principles of both the above described methods. On elevating the temperature of the crucible containing pure iron, and dry wood, and green leaves, an abundant evolution of carburetted hydrogen gas would take place from the vegetable matter, and as its escape would be prevented by the luting at the mouth of the crucible, it would be retained in contact with the iron, which, at a high temperature, appears from (the above mentioned patent process) to have a much greater affinity for gaseous than for conrete carbon; this would greatly shorten the operation, and probably at a much lower temperature than were the iron in contact with charcoal powder."
And he added: "In no other way can I account for the fact that iron is converted into cast steel by the natives of India, in two hours and half, with an application of heat, that, in this country, would be considered quite inadequate to produce such an effect; while at Sheffield it requires at least four hours to melt blistered steel in wind-furnaces of the best construction, although the crucibles in which the steel is melted, are at a white heat when the metal is put into them, and in the Indian process, the crucibles are put into the furnace quite cold."
Terrorists Attack Akshardham Hindu Temple in Gujarat, 44 Dead
Forty-four people, including men, women and children, were killed and another 100 seriously injured in a deadly attack by terrorists on the Akshardham temple complex here on Tuesday evening. The dead included 11 women and four children. Some Hindu monks have been reported among the casualties. They arrived in an ambassador car and climbed over the temple wall to enter the premises. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 rifles. Armed to the teeth terrorists stormed Gandhinagar's Akshardham temple, owned by Gujarat's prosperous Swaminarayan sect, on Tuesday evening. They had killed 30 people and injured at least 100. The terrorists, entered the sprawling Akshardham temple complex at around 4:45 pm and started shooting indiscriminately at the visitors. Three to four grenades were also hurled at the devotees.
Unidentified attackers stormed into a popular Hindu templein western India on Tuesday, killing at least 23 worshippers in a shooting spree, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani said. With the gunmen still inside the Swaminarayan Temple, dozens of state commandos were surrounding the sprawling complex in the city of Gandhinagar in Gujarat state. Twenty-six persons were feared killed on Tuesday evening when gunmen stormed the famous Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, capital of Gujarat. The suspected terrorists, believed to be four in number, first threw grenades in the complex and then started firing indiscriminately. The temple is a popular destination for people of the Swaminarayan sect and others, including foreigners. A government spokesperson said that about 25 persons may have been injured in the attack.Five hundred devotees have been rescued.
*** The un-swept trail of blood on white marble floor, unpicked turbans, handbags, shards of black glasses and a grenade hole in front of Hall number 1 and encircled bullet marks...These are enough in the revered Akshardham temple here to reconstruct the terror unleashed on innocent devotees on Sept.24. The monument dedicated to the founder of Swaminarayan Samparaday, Lord Swaminarayan is located in Sector 20 and is very close to the ministerial enclave. Akshardham means the “Abode of God”. (source: rediff.com and msnbc.com and Tribuneindia.com). Top of Page English media in India and Pogrom, etc. The Editors Guild Report frequently uses words like pogrom, massacre, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, in describing the post-Godhra events in Gujarat. If these terms are valid for Gujarat, would it not be fair to say that it has an even greater validity in Kashmir, where the scale of deaths and refugees is much higher? However, the English media in India refuses to use the terms for Jammu & Kashmir. This habit is nothing new. In March 1998, in context of the alleged attacks on Christians on a communal basis, Arun Shourie had narrated the following dialogue between him and an American journalist. “And what about the pogroms that go on from time to time?,” the caller asked. Late at night, an editorial writer with one of the world’s best-known papers was calling from the USA. It was becoming evident that the BJP would form the Government, he was gathering background information. “What did you say?,” I asked. Even though I had heard the word clearly enough, I wanted to see if he would repeat it. “Pogroms,” he repeated. “What do you mean, ‘pogroms’?” “It is an East-European term....,” he began. Now, even a brown Asiatic like me knows the meaning of the word. The person had lived in India for some time, as the India correspondent of this important paper -- enough years to know that even we know that it is a term which is used to describe the massacre of millions of white Europeans by white Europeans.” (India Connect, March 23, 1998) In an article in the Mid-Day, KR Sundar Rajan, wrote: “After (December 6, 1992), many (foreign) journalist flew down to report ... India’s impending collapse. But newsmen back home were disappointed. One told me he expected a Bosnian-type civil war between Hindus and Muslims. ‘We were influenced by what your own government and newspapers said, (who) painted a very depressing and unbalanced picture of India,’ he said.” (July 13, 1993) It would seem to us that hysterical writings are a special feature of the English media in India. (source: The English media in India - Hindu Vivek Kendra). Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.com Top of Page
Indian Goddesses Bound for Danish Museum
Clay images of two Indian Goddesses, Durga and Kali, selected for their mystical qualities and considered representative of Hinduism, will find a permanent place in the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Shyamal Kanti Chakraborty, curator of Kolkata's Indian Museum, said the Danish foreign ministry had written to him about Copenhagen's desire to promote understanding of Indian art, culture and religion. "The Indian Goddesses will first be showcased in an exhibition at the Danish National Museum under the Images of Asia section. Thereafter the deities will find place in a permanent gallery of the museum," Chakraborty said. Also on display will be various materials and ingredients used in the worship of the two Goddesses and the musical instruments played while conducting the rituals. The worship of Durga over a four day period in autumn constitutes the Bengalis' biggest festival of Durga Puja. Two Danish officials were in Kolkata during Durga Puja celebrations last week studying the religious rites, while taking copious notes for illustrations to accompany the clay images of the Goddesses. The Danish museum will not only exhibit the images of Durga and Kali, but also models of the various stages of making of the icons.
The Prince at the British Golden Jubilee Banquet held in London, made some remarkable disclosures. First, he thanked India for "its civilizing influence over Britain", then proposed a toast for "real India, the enduring and everlasting India", an India that had preserved its identity through its experience of colonization, and which must now fight the invasion of satellite television. This is amazing. India having a civilizing influence over Britain? Where does that leave the white man's burden?
What a volte face for a nation that systematically during its 300 years of rule, denigrated every aspect of the 'native' culture, including its philosophy and spirituality, and supplanted it with its own imperial values, attitude and approaches.
In the same vein, he went on to congratulate us for having withstood the experience of colonialism, a 'colonialism' his own country imposed! Here is an implicit acknowledgement of the less than salubrious impact of colonialism; a concession that their conquest may have damaged us. Considering that his mother did not have the bigness to apologize for the Jallianwallah massacre, this is downright handsome of the son. On the same occasion, the Princequoted Vedic hymns, revealing his acquaintance with the heart of India's philosophy and spirituality. His fondness for Indian classical music, which derives its aesthetics from the same philosophy, is yet another indication of the Prince's attraction and affinity for our culture.
'We will not permit Sanskrit hegemony', thundered Congman Peter Alphonse from the precincts of St. Andrew's Church, the venue of the anti-ordinance protest a few days back.... Peter's Sanskrit-phobia virtually passed unnoticed, barring a casual mention in some newspapers.
Now, Sanskrit, as we all know, is no longer in vogue as a spoken language. Its only relevance today is by virtue of it being the language of the vedas and the Hindu scriptures. It is the sacred tongue of the Hindu religion which values the antiquity of the language as much as it does its literature for posterity. Now, would it not be logical to conclude that any attack on Sanskrit was meant to be an attack on Hinduism which is the real target?
Now, how can a Peter call for ending Sanskrit hegemony, assuming it exists? And when this Peter targeted Sanskrit which is wholly Hindu and nothing but Hindu, was he behaving like a secularist or like a Christian?
Peter Alphonse's tirade against Sanskrit is a direct and an uncouth display of an evil intent that of striking at the very roots of the Indian culture, and though he himself is a nonentity he is indicative of a larger mass of anti-Hindu opinion harboured by minorities and secularists. And we all know what sort of a hegemony is sought to be put up as an alternative to Sanskrit, read, Hindu, 'hegemony': An all too familiar hegemony that would be perfectly fine with the Peters. The history of the world over centuries stands testimony to the destructive character of this hegemony that rides on proselytization and its purveyors.
Divide and Convert; Divide and Rule French-born Michel Danino has been settled in Tamil Nadu for 25 years; he has given many lectures in India and is co-author of The Invasion That Never Was. He is also the convener of the International Forum for India's Heritage. He has written on the devastation caused by Christian missionary activities in the North-East.
"The last point was brought to us in sharp focus during our interactions with a few tribals of Arunachal, who voiced the same distress at the methods used to secure conversions to Christianity: not only monetary allurements, but psychological pressure on the sick, promises of cure upon conversion, pressures to rope in the rest of the family when the promises don't materialize, and finally to throw out of the family those who continue to "worship Satan".
In fact some missionaries and Christian educational institutions openly refer to tribals, Hindus, and Buddhists as Satan ka bachcha (children of Satan) while Christians are Ishwar ka bachcha (children of God).
We heard several heart-rending tales of teenage boys or girls having been thus expelled from their families when they refused to convert, accused by their own parents of being "Satan". Converted families are then instructed not to have contacts with the non-Christians, as a result of which they refuse to take part in traditional harvests and other aspects of the community's collective life; the centuries-old harmonious working of the community suddenly becomes divided, and indeed division is a great way to secure conversions: "divide and convert", until you can "divide and rule". That ultimate step is already visible in the militant movements of the North-East, most of which are rooted in Christian ideology. Witness the conversions the militants secure at gunpoint in remote villages at night, a fact asserted to us repeatedly. I remembered a Don Bosco father in Tamil Nadu telling me a few years ago how "tribes have no future within the Indian Union" and explaining why he was exhorting them "to take up guns". It all fell into place."
Hate Literature - by Christian Missionaries in India
Christian fundamentalists are aimed at destabilising the Hindu society and also the state. Christian fundamentalists’ literature is making rounds in the whole country, heaping abuse on Hindu deities and mocking at the religious symbols and practices of the Hindus. Apart from “aggressive harvesting” efforts this literary insinuation against Hindu religion is one of the major causes of communal disturbance in the country.
The magazine Indian Messenger (September 1998) calls the great Kumbha Mela, which attracts millions of Hindu devotees, a superstitious deception. “The belief that the mud of sins in human souls can be purified for ultimate liberation through Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati is superstitious. The Kumbha Mela represents this superstitious deception,” it says.
Just how divorced our "secular" education system is from our tradition and history became obvious...to me when, during my recent trip to Kailash-Mansarovar, I expressed a desire to pay homage to the memory of Zorawar Singh. I found most of my 10 odd companions had no idea about the gallant hero who had integrated Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", with India through his military expedition in 1841.
The "samadhi" of Zorawar Singh, "Sing-ba Ka Chorten" to the locals, is located between Taklakot and Zaidi outside a sleepy village, Toye. It is marked by mountainous topography of Gurla Mandhata range. Oblong Rakshak Tal spans its western side whereas vast Mansarovar spreads on to its East. Mount Kailash is a distance glimmer on further north.
The man whose memory rests here is actually Zorawar Singh Dogra, the general in the army of Maharaja Gulab Singh. His singular - and truly remarkable - contribution to history was bringing Ladakh within the political domain of India. In 40 years of his monarchy, the phenomenal Sikh ruler, Maharajah Ranjit Singh, had galvanised the region from a hub of vying Sikh chieftains into a strong unified Hindu nation. (All contemporary records and correspondence refer to the Maharaja as a "Hindoo" king). In 1834, five years before Ranjit Singh passed away (on June 27, 1839, at Lahore), his favourite satrap Gulab Singh's general, Zorawar Singh in Kishtwar, took advantage of internal disorders in Leh, and demanded the restoration of an estate supposedly held by a Kishtwar chief in former times.
Much snow has melted in those hills since the establishment of People Republic of China, the latter country's occupation of Tibet in the 1950s, and China's border war with India in 1962. However, if still the most spacious district of India, the "Little Tibet", is with India, it is owing to the selfless sacrifice of one man, Zorawar Singh.Grateful nations normally salute the memory of such heroes.
Thanks to our "secular" education, we are oblivious of them.
Why is India intact? Farrukh Saleem - wonders how India, more diverse than any other country in the world, has survived undivided.
The population comprises 800 million Hindus, 120 million Muslims, 25 million Parsis, 23 million Christians, 19 million Sikhs, besides Buddhists and Jains. Hindus are further divided among 2,800 unique communities. The caste system has Brahman, Kshatriya, Vashya, Sudra, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The Scheduled Castes are further divided into 450 distinct communities. The Scheduled Tribes have 461 distinct communities and Other Backward Classes are divided into 766 distinct communities. This is a division like in no other country. All the possible fault-lines exist: religious, ethnic, linguistic, geographic and communal. And these divisions run deep. On top of that, for the past half-century there have been at least nine significant centrifugal movements seeking autonomy, secession or independence from India. Because India is democratic.... (source: Why is India intact? - By Farruk Saleem).
The BBC reports still say "Gujarat witnessed widespread religious violence earlier this year when Muslim mobs were accused of setting fire to a train carrying Hindu activists", while it has been established beyond doubt that a group of Muslims set the train on fire at Godhra, though the official enquiry into the incident is still on. The attack at Akshardhama, Swaminarayan Temple was an attempted Godhra-II with similar intent of massacring Hindus. The silence of the so-called secular forces in India, be it Arundhati Roy's or the communist Sitaram Yechuri's is unexplainable. Imagine a similar attack on Jama Masjid in New Delhi and it is held under siege by some fictitious Hindu terrorist organization and some thirty odd Muslims are slain by Hindu mercenaries. In such a case, all kind of uninvited reactions would have poured in from these very pseudo-secularists against the possible involvement of RSS, VHP and the BJP and it would have started a fresh debate against the burgeoning Hindu ultra-jingoistic belligerence propelled by the BJP led government. Though this attack at Akshardhama may be attributed as a reciprocation of the Gujarat riots and may be blamed on Modi's instigating remarks but nobody is concerned about the provocative remarks of the Shahi Imam time and again. The appeal of all the secularists right now is of restraint (read and implied as Hindu Restraint Only) because Muslims have shown no restraint in the past and I earnestly doubt that they ever will. But if such dastardly acts of terrorism continue against Hindus, such a fictitious Hindu terrorist organization may actually come into existence to save the Hindus from this planned pogrom.
Lord Ganesha has attracted new devotees in the capital and surprisingly in the embassy of Ireland, a predominantly Christian country.
``Let Ganesha, considered to be a symbol of luck and prosperity instil confidence and shower blessings on hundreds of visa seekers who frequent the embassy'', said the Ireland Minister of Trade and Commerce, Michael Adhern, unveiling the 3x4 ft. black granite statue at the green embassy lawns today.
The Minister who is on a trade visit said the installation of Ganesha will not only prove auspicious for the Irish embassy, but also link the cultures of India and Ireland.The Ambassador of Ireland, Philip Mc Donagh, who was instrumental in bringing the deity to the consulate, said during a visit to Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, he was fascinated by the Ganesha statues made by Bhaskaran, a sculptor and ordered one for the embassy.
He has already supplied shiploads of Ganesha statues to many foreign countries.— PTI
Top of Page Wishful thinking ??? Hinduism Collapsing - says Indian Christian Evangelist Vishal Mangalwadi Vishal Mangalwadi points to several key indicators that India's spiritual makeup is changing. Hinduism has never been stronger philosophically, politically, and economically. The collapse of modernism in the West and the consequent interest in mysticism, Hindu gurus, Tantra, and Yoga have given unprecedented philosophical strength to Hinduism. New Age proponents like Deepak Chopra and Shirley Maclaine are hugely successful in India. Vishal says these writings are very influential because these books have been paraphrased into the everyday language of the people. The environmentalists in the West argue that Christians are at the root of the ecological problem because man has dominion over the earth and man has made a mess of it. "Those who read this say that nature worship is the way to go because man will learn to respect nature when he worships it," he says. When people buy into this thinking, that reinforces Hinduism. Vishal says the great majority of Indians don't realize that their freedom is a fruit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When William Carey, the first Protestant missionary from England, came to India in 1793, he argued that the best way to change India was to give them the Bible. It would change India as the Word had changed Europe. (source: http://www.cbn.org/700club/profiles/vishal_mangalwadi.asp - 700 Club). Top of Page 14 foreigners embrace Hinduism Fourteen foreign nations who are here to attend an international symposium on Vedic astrology have embraced Hinduism. The conversion ceremonies were performed at the office of the Arya Samajam here in the last two days. Two of them later got married according to Hindu religious rites at the Azhakodi Devi temple here. The Arya Samajam 'purohit' (priest), Indrajit Singh, who performed the rituals to initiate the foreigners into Hinduism, told THE HINDU, that he had received a few more similar requests. The foreign nationals having the US and British passports have assumed Hindu names.
The Kanchi Acharya, Jayendra Saraswathi, offered worship at Thumbaipatti near Melur in Madurai district last night. The temple, worshipped by people living in 18 villages, has a Dalit as the priest.
Addressing a gathering at the Veerakali Amman temple after worship, he emphasised tht Hindus were always living as a 'family', as brothers and sisters. The religion did not entertain any discrimination and people all sections were treated as equals.
Equality was the hallmark of the Hindu religion though there were some differences in society.
The Acharya appealed to the people not to foster differences among themselves as the strength of the religion was its unity.
The visit of the Acharya, according to the organisers, was arranged in the backdrop of the criticism that discrimination often forced Dalits to embrace other religions. The rituals at the temple are performed by the family members of the late Minister, P. Kakkan. But people from all castes offer worship there. The temple at the birthplace of Kakkan is also a symbol of communal harmony, as Muslims also participate in the annual festival held in January.
The Acharya presented shawls to representatives of the villages surrounding Thumbaipatti.
(source: Kanchi Acharya worships at Dalit-run temple - The Hindu November 12 2002). Top of Page A Muted Hindu political identity?
The Religious Consequences of Freedomfor Hindus in India
The British while ostensibly maintaining a secular stance, embarked on a policy of keeping the Hindus and Muslims from coming together, as these two constituted the major religious groups. The British also tried to prevent the Hindus from presenting a unified front as well by trying to separate the untouchables into a distinct group.
Indian secularism did not possess as firm a wall of separation between the Church and the state as in the USA, ironically because Hinduism does not possess a church. The state had to step in to take control of Hindu affairs at the national level by default, and spearheaded many reforms, such as the Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act. Hindu political identity, which had so far remained submerged in the sea of an Indian identity, is beginning to surface like a giant whale with unpredictable consequences. While the government did not feel any scruples in modifying Hindu practices through legislation, it was extremely solicitous of the minorities. Such was the political legacy of the Independence Movement in which Hindu political identity was kept muted to encourage the growth of Indian nationalism by making the minorities feel secure. The bridge is now becoming a barrier. According to Article 30 of the Indian Constitution: “1. All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. 2. The state shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institutional on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.”
This article actually confers more rights on the non-Hindu minorities than to the Hindu majority.
This explains why a strange quirk of history, that denominations of Hinduism, supposedly the religion of majority, have sought and secured protection under these provisions from interference by the state in running their educational institutions, in those states of India where non-Hindu or anti-Hindu parties have gained political power, sometimes by claiming that they are not Hindu! The Arya Samaj won the status of a minority religion first in Bihar and then in the Punjab in 1971, where Sikhs tended to win political power. The Ramakrishna Mission won a similar recognition in 1987 in West Bengal with a Marxist government in power.
This uneven nature of the Indian Constitution, which functions with political checks in dealing with minorities and without them in dealing with the Hindus, was already identified by Donald Eugene Smith in 1963 as potentially problematical in the secular context. The government has retreated from the directive of framing a uniform civil code for all Indians as required by Article 44 of the Constitution, by exempting the Muslim community on grounds of protection of minority rights on the one hand, while on the other, its interferences with Hindu practices, sometimes well-intentioned, as symbolized by enactments against the glorification of Sati passed in 1987-1988, continues unabated and feeds the feeling that Indian secularism is increasingly being directed against Hinduism.
Essentially Hindu nationalism is the belief that “the Hindu majority is a persecuted majority” and that India’s minorities have “acquired privileges beyond their dues.”
Top of Page Secular Boomerang! It is heartening to know that secularism can fire both ways. If not handled with care, it can blow up in the face of even its expert proponents, like a bomb in the making. Of course, such occasions are rare in this very tolerant' country, given the one-sided secular-sermons that the people are customarily and consistently subjected to, but a wonder has indeed happened. The Madras High Court while ruling that the closure of schools and colleges run by minorities in the State for a day is not clothed with legal sanction', has also dropped a few pearls of secular wisdom that the inveterate secularists can do well to pick. After declaring that the Court knows no religion, the learned Judge goes on to say: No student who is studying in minority institutions, regardless of religion, shall be involved in this kind of protest and we hope that they shall not be dragged into any kind of controversies, religious or political, and be spared only for the purpose of developmental activities like education, sports, etc. so that they grow up as healthy secular students'. Note the catch phrases: ...knows no religion' and ...secular students'. These are normally hurled by the secularists and of course, the minorities to hound and humble the Hindus.The secular boomerang has struck at them with greater force than they had unleashed it with. The Court had wanted to know from the defendant secularists why at all the schools run by them have to be closed when there were several other ways of expressing their protest, particularly when the ordinance was applicable only to conversions through force, allurement or fraudulent means.The Christian community leaders and their secular sponsors were obviously suffering from a high degree of presumptuousness - that they can get away with anything. This in turn has been wrought by decades of over-indulgence to them, their whims and their religion, by everybody who is somebody, both in politics and society. So, any step to rectify anomalies, balance the scales or check their activities is met with stiff resistance and dubbed as an anti-minority atrocity which has to be shunned forcefully and shelved forthwith! But for once their bluff has been called with the State government making it clear that if they went ahead with the closure of the schools run by them, (and not wholly funded by them, mind you), then the aid would be cut forthwith. Very few people know that most of the so-called Christian-run institutions are heavily aided by government doles. These educational institutions and even those which are self-financed, rely heavily on secular students for sustenance, charging them fees that are in no way less than the market rates. Rendering of Saraswathi Vandhana was deemed a blashpemy in this secular country, but day in and day out lakhs of students, majority of them Hindus, studying in the thousands of schools that have downed shutters today, are made to begin their day with an invocation to the Holy Father and Holy-whateverelse. (source: Secular Boomerang! - By T R Jawahar - newstodaynet.com). Watch History of Ayodhya - videogoogle.com. Archbishop Rev Aruldas James threatens to close down all the Christian-run schools in protest against the Tamil Nadu Government's Ordinance against conversion brought about by fraud, allurement and force. So far, the Christian missionaries were saying that running of schools and hospitals was act of love, charity, and service to humanity. If their motive has not all along been securing conversions, through schools, why should they now threaten to close down the schools, because conversion is banned? It would be good if the churches and missionaries in other States also make their stand clear on this matter. Mahatma Gandhi in his various discussions with missionaries had made it very clear that the Christian schools and hospitals were instruments for conversion and not solely for acts of Christian love and charity and service to humanity. Swami Dayananda Saraswati Speaks Out on the Religious Conversion Ordinance Swami Dayananda Saraswati: "I welcome the promulgation of the ordinance by the Government of Tamil Nadu to ban religious conversions 'by use of force or by allurements or by any fraudulent means.' This is a long-awaited step. A step that ensures for the citizens of Tamil Nadu the most basic of human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) in December 1948, holds in Article 18 that 'Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief.'
While the article endorses each person's right to change his or her religion, it does not in any way allow for another person to change a given person's religion. On the contrary, a systematic coercive effort to impose one's religion on another 'by use of force or by allurements or by any fraudulent means' is a clear violation of this basic human right. The denigration of one's religion and the humiliation that accompanies the conversion experience are violations of the dignity ensured to every human being. With the conversion experience come shame, isolation, deep personal conflict and ultimately, the seeds for discord. History testifies to the devastating loss of rich and diverse cultures, gone forever in the aftermath of religious conversion. I appeal to the political leadership of all other States in India to promulgate similar laws and make sure that all possibilities of religious conflict are avoided, and the tradition of religious harmony in India is maintained."
(source: The New Indian ExpressOctober 21, 2002). Top of Page
Nataraja - Lord Shiva as a Scantly Clad Woman Hawks Shower Fixtures
American Hindus Against Defamation issued a press release today which reads in part, "Kohler Company, one of the most prominent plumbing supply companies, is using Lord Nataraja (a form of Lord Siva) in the form of a scantly clad woman and taking a shower to hawk its new shower products. The image in the Kohler advertisement appeared in The New York Times on Sunday, October 13, 2002. This image is unmistakably that of Lord Siva as Nataraja. The dancing pose, multiple hands, the hand gestures, the metaphor of water from shower too, resembles the flow of river Ganga (Ganges) usually depicted as flowing through Lord Siva. The tag line for the advertisement, 'There is a Goddess,' clearly indicates that the advertisement is no coincidence; it is an unequivocal indication that the image of Lord Siva was distorted and adopted for the advertisement purpose. AHAD is unhappy by the use of the image of Lord Shiva in such a disrespectful manner. AHAD requests the Hindu community to visit their web site and sign the protest book at 'source' above." AHAD is disgusted by the abuse of the image of Lord Shiva in such a derogatory manner. Just as the scantly clad image of Christ in shower selling shower fixtures would be offensive and evoke strong resentment in the Christian community, this advertisement image has enraged the Hindu community. Hindu deities are worshipped, they are not exotic images to be distorted, mutilated and abused.
British Parliament celebrates Diwali In what they hope will be the most auspicious new political season of them all, hundreds of British Hindus took agarbattis, diyas,sweets and the spirit of Diwali for the first time ever into the UK’s Victorian houses of Parliament, only to be rebuked by a leading government minister for political apathy.
With his mouth full of mithai, Home Secretary David Blunkett chided Britain’s Hindus for "not voting very much, for any party", a criticism commentators said could imply an insularity and self-centredness at the heart of one of the richest immigrant communities in Britain today.
Leading community leaders privately admitted Blunkett was right, but emphasized that change was in the air and Diwali’s arrival in parliament was symbolic. Britain’s largest Hindu students organisation said Blunkett’s remarks came as they planned to launch a massive campaign to get Hindus elected as local politicians. On being asked for statistics by this paper, Blunkett’s office said he had meant voting apathy in general.
Analysts said the rebuke, by the most senior of the 100 British serving MPs and politicians present at Westminster’s first ‘festival of lights’ late on Thursday, summed up the predicament of Britain’s roughly 500,000-strong Hindu community – prosperity without political clout. It was arguably one of the reasons Diwali had finally arrived at Westminster more than 30 years after sizeable numbers of Indians got here from east Africa.
Blunkett’s criticism, which were the only fireworks around in the safety-conscious British parliament, came as prominent Indo-phile British MPs and those with Indian-dominated constituencies, lit diyas and chanted "Om shanti, shanti".
MP Piara Singh Khabra from Punjab said Diwali had come to a building that symbolized colonial rule. This then was the triumph of light over darkness, but UK Hindus' politics remained the grey area.
Non- Brahmins can function as temple priests, rules SC
In a blow to those who advocated Brahmins only for priesthood, the supreme court has ruled that non-Brahmins can also perform religious ceremonies and work as temple priests as long as they are well versed with the relevant rituals and rites.
Throwing open all Hindu religious institutions including temples - to all classes and sections of Hindus, the court said, “Any custom or usage irrespective of even any proof of their existence in pre-constitutional days cannot be countenanced as a source of law to claim any rights when it is found to violate human rights, dignity, social equality and the specific mandate of the constitution and law by parliament”.
The court added: “No usage which is found to be pernicious and considered to be in derogation of the law of the land or opposed to public policy or social decency can be accepted or upheld by courts in the country”.
Resolving a dispute over the appointment of a non-Malayali Brahmin as the priest of an ancient temple managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board, a Bench comprising Justice S. Rajendra Babu and Justice Doraiswamy Raju also sought to delve into various issues of vital constitutional, social and public importance having certain religious overtones.
Upholding a Kerala high court judgment which held that it was not essential that only a Brahmin, who was not qualified nor versed with the rituals, could become the priest of the temple, the Bench recalled a 1966 judgment which had said: “Hinduism is far more than a mere form of theism resting on Brahminism”.
The court also referred to Article 17 of the Constitution which abolishes untouchability and recalled revelations made in the Gita and Mahatama Gandhi’s dream that all distinctions based on castes and creed must be abolished and “man must be known and recognised by his actions, irrespective of the caste to which he may on account of his birth belong”.
Emphasizing the importance of daily rituals, poojas and recitations to maintain the sanctity of the idol, the Bench said “no doubt only a qualified person well versed and properly trained for the purposes alone can perform poojas in the temple since he has not only to enter into the sanctum sanctorum but also touch the idol installed there”.
The court further said that if traditionally or conventionally, in any temple, all along a Brahmin alone was conducting poojas or performing the job priest, it may not be because a person other than the Brahmin was prohibited from doing so.
Did You know? Therust freeiron pillaratKodachadriinKarnataka The historical iron pillars at Mehrauli, Delhi, and at Dhar, in Madhya Pradesh, have attracted the attention of scientists for over a century and have been the subject matter of many publications. However, a third iron pillar located in Adi-Mookambika temple at Kodachadri village in a remote forest area of the Western Ghats in Karnataka has not received much scientific attention so far, partly because the concerned village is difficult to reach and partly because the pillar itself is not as massive and imposing as the Delhi and Dhar monuments. Popularly referred to as the Dwaja-Sthamba (flag-staff) of the Mookambika Ambika temple, the Kodachadri iron mast or pillar has long been associated in the minds of most scientists, particularly metallurgists, with the pilgrim centre of Kollur, a town located in the plains, about 120 km north of the well-known port city of Mangalore in South Canara District of Karnataka. This temple with claims to be the original Mookamikatemple is associated with the killing of the dumb (mooka) demon Mookasura by the lion-riding Mother Goddess in the adjoining forests, where the demon was disturbing the penance of sages and holy men devoted to the Goddess. Today Kodachadri can be reached from Kollur by jeep on a 40 km long winding and slippery mud road with many hair-pin bends, often submerged in water during the rainy season lasting from April to November. If local lore is to be believed, this flag-staff is actually the top portion of the Tri- (trident) with which the Mother Goddess nailed down the wicked demon into the bowels of the earth! The dry desert-like climate in places like Delhi and Rajasthan helps preservation. Since the corrosion rate is low when the humidity is not high. However, rust proof iron has also been found in very humid areas. The Kodachadri hills in Karnataka are about 1450 metres above sea level. They receive an annual rainfall of about 500 cm to 750 cm. and it rains for six to eight months in the year. The hills are covered with dense forest. There is a temple for the Goddess Mookambika located in Kollur in this region. There is a slender iron pillar on a hill near the temple which has not rusted. The pillar is 9.76 metres high and 10 cm to 13 cm. square. The iron beams used in the temples at Puri and Konark both being coastal areas are another classic example. The temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri has huge iron beams as part of the structure. The Konark temple also has large iron beams-their length is about 23 ft. and the thickness ranges from 9 to 11 inches. The largest of them is a beam measuring 35 ft. 9 inches in length and 7 inch square in cross section. These beams have also resisted corrosion. (source: http://www.iisc.ernet.in/~currsci/jun10/articles13.htm). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor Top of Page