An editorial in the Dawn observed that though the current National Assembly has passed some important laws during its tenure, its performance has remained tardy in other areas where legislation is direly needed. As many as 176 private members’ bills are pending approval, with some dating back to 2008.
Considering that the life of the Assembly is limited, it is unlikely they will be passed into law, said the daily, adding that all laws are important, yet some of the pending bills concern long-standing issues that require immediate attention.
“These include a law relating to the legal status of Hindu marriages in Pakistan. Some minority activists say the Hindus Marriage Bill 2011 has been held up as it was introduced without consulting stakeholders. There are also indications that some members of the Hindu clergy have issues with certain clauses of the bill.
‘The proposed law has also bounced back and forth between different official bodies, perhaps a victim of the legal confusion that has prevailed following devolution. For example there is considerable debate over whether the centre can legislate on Hindu marriages, or if such matters now purely fall within the provincial domain,’ the editorial added.
It said homework should have been done and consensus achieved before tabling the law, which has already been delayed for too long. ‘Due to the lack of a marriage registration mechanism Hindu women in particular face multiple issues. These include problems with accessing state benefits as well as making it easier, as minority activists claim, for Hindu women to be abducted, forcibly converted and married,’ it added.
The daily regretted that ‘both the state and the minorities’ elected representatives have failed to legislate on this key issue. We hope the law is passed soon to give Hindu marriages legal sanction and all the benefits that go with it.’
After the holiday season standstill relations between India and Pakistan have sharply deteriorated. The mysterious cruel killing of the two Indian military men in the state of Jammu and Kashmir reminded the world of the “oldest conflict on the UN agenda”. While Delhi and Islamabad are blaming each other for violating the truce, the conflict escalation threatens to upset the fragile status quo along the ‘Control line”, which is one of the most explosive borderlines in the world.
The disfigured bodies of the two Indian military who guarded the post at the border with Pakistan in the Mendhar sector and died on Tuesday under unclear circumstances, became a grim reminder of the fact that the demons of war sometimes return in the relations between India and Pakistan. Mysterious and unstoppable they come back to claim new victims. Each side has its own truth, its own view of the conflict, compiles its own list of victims, the true number of which nobody really knows at this point. Besides the official wars, there is an undeclared war in progress. And each side sticks to its own myths in this war.
The standoff between India and Pakistan, which has the dispute over Kashmir at its basis, with all the rejection of compromise and violence today appears irrational if not meaningless and leads to a dead end. And all this is not simply due to the fact that there can be no winners and defeated in this standoff – everybody would lose. And the fact that both sides have nuclear weapons forces the world to freeze in tension again and again when the word “Kashmir” comes up, which points at one of the most beautiful and at the same time hardest to access places on Earth.
It appears that owning the mountainous Kashmir which is poor in natural resources and has a severe climate can give little benefit to India: its military and economic significance is not that great. In reality, the territory of Kashmir presents little value for Pakistan as well. But why then are both sides engaged in this tug-of-war game on the «Roof of the World» risking to fall into the abyss?
In reality the issue at stake is not only and not as much the territory as the state ideology of each country. It is the ideology that raises the stakes so high and prevents the sides from compromising their principles. In reality, it is the historic argument between the two concepts that lie in the basis of the two states that used to be one at some point in the past. The Pakistani concept of the «two nations» opposes the Indian concept of «one nation».
The founding fathers of modern India Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi were Hindu, but they wanted it to be so that in their country not only Hindus, which were the majority of the population, but also representatives of other ethnic groups, religions and cultures could have a worthy life. This principle lies at the core of the theory of «one nation» or «one happy family of nations», which according to the plan of Nerhu and Gandhi the Republic of India was to become.
In his turn, the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed that there were differences between the Hindu and the Muslims, which prevented them from living together. Jinnah sincerely believed that only in their own Islamic state could the Indian Muslims receive equal rights and realize themselves fully. This is how the theory of the «two nations» was born – of the Hindu and the Muslims.
If today one can for a minute imagine that the separatists’ dream could come true and Kashmir would split from India that would bury the idea of the «united family» of nations, which is at the basis of the ideology of democratic secular India. If the events were to develop along that menacing scenario, the entire existence of the Indian federation would be under threat. Nobody would allow that.
And here a comparison to Russia is called for: if during the two Chechen wars that started after the collapse of the USSR the so-called advocates of «independent Ichkeria» realized their plan and created an independent state, it would have been a lethal strike at the Russian Federation.
It was no surprise that India from the very beginning supported the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya and never voiced any doubts about that. The situation Moscow found itself in from the very beginning appeared very familiar to the Indians – similar to that in Kashmir.
Kashmir found itself a hostage of the half a century long fight between the two state ideologies, the Indian and the Pakistani. And that remains the main cause for the demons of war to continue to torture that part of the world, the land and the mountains of which are soaked with blood. And the anticipated resetting of the relations between the two countries keeps giving way to the shootings and terrorist attacks, the war of symbols and gestures, as it happens today.
Hinduism is a whirlpool of knowledge, that which cannot be understood at first glance. To be a Hindu is not just about being gifted, but it’s an experience we need to live out in accordance with the Shastras.
Walking through a temple might be an overwhelming experience, where we would believe the superior powers are embedded within the deity. Sure enough, but how did this power get there? How did the idol get a life and how are we sharing this power? Or rather…what is this power that we define as “the ultimate truth”?
The power of the stone is not generate within the stone itself but is generated through the mystical diagram that defines the nature of the deity enclosed within the shrine. Various “bija mantras” attributed to the deity are embedded within this mystical diagram. For now this is just a copper/gold plate that carries the lines that define the true nature of the deity.
The real play starts at the dwajastambha, the main pillar in front of the temple. The fire of life is ignited along a darbha grass rope that connects the main dwajastambha to the shrine within the sanctum. The dwajastambha itself is a complex flag post, which contains designs all of which are attributed of the enclosed deity. Fire and ghee ignite the life of the mystical diagram placed within the sanctum followed by a series of hymns that are sung rhythmically along the cardinal directions within the shrine chamber. The mystical diagram comes alive when the fire with the burning ghee falls on its metal surface.
After this ritual the deity is placed over the metal plate and sealed to the floor using a mixture known as “ashtabandhanam”. The idol, made of a specific black stone is the carrier of this energy. This energy is maintained and enhanced by constant worship. Worship includes the bathing of the idol with water, milk, sandal wood, fruit mix, honey, oil, ghee and the like. Food is offered in the form of incense, flowers, fruit and rice to the deity.
The inner power of the idol is maintained by constant “pradakshinam” or circumambulation around the main shrine chamber and various prakaras. Only oil lamps should light the interior chamber and electricity is strictly prohibited. Flower garlands should be strung with banana fiber and not thread. Every thing that is offered to the deity is in its purest form. Hence the power of the deity is maintained.
What is the real nature of this “power”?
The nature of this power is strangely electrical, meaning it can produce anything from a mild shock near your elbow to making you shiver if you cannot cope with it.
The point is, we need to be ready to receive this power and for that the body and mind need to be prepared. Hence the various philosophies of detachment and zero desire so that we can concentrate on the Self instead of getting distracted by the world around us.
I know I made this sound really simple but this is belief as it stands today and no, Western science cannot prove this in a hurry.
The science of Mudras is based on the principle that “The root cause of disease is the imbalance and improper co-ordination between these elements and proper balance between these elements is the secret of good health.” The secret of health lies in hands, fingers and Mudras, which can be performed with the help of fingers.
Human body is composed of five basic elements and the five fingers of our hands represents these five basic elements. Ancient Sages discovered the knowledge of Mudras. By touching of hands to each other or folding fingers in a particular way, we can cure any disturbances in these five elements with the help of our fingers, we can keep the five elements in proper proportion, any disturbances in them can be balanced. So that our body become healthy.
The human body, like the Universe, is made up of fusion of five elements. Body’s health depends on the proper balance of these five elements in our body. Mudras help maintaining this balance. Mudras are like control buttons of chetana of our body and their proper study help us not only to control five elements but also to cure many diseases and remain healthy.
With the help of Mudras, we can create particular kind of energy waves in the body, when needed. By creating these waves, the five elements get their proper balance which help man in his physical, mental and spiritual progress. By touching or by pressing our fingers on each other in a particular fashion we can perform different Mudras. There are so many mudras performed for different purposes, as in dance or prayer. Here we are studying those mudras which help us in curing disorder, both of mind and body.
Mudras, Hand Postures
There is a tremendous flow of energy in the hands and each finger represents one of the elements. The roots of all diseases lie in an imbalance of one of the five elements and can be corrected with medicines, willpower and Mudras.
Mudras is a term with many meanings. It is used to signify a gesture, a mystic position of the hands, a seal, or even a symbol. However, there are eye positions, body postures, and breathing techniques that are also called mudras. These symbolic finger, eye, and body postures can vividly depict certain states or processes of consciousness.So mudras engage certain areas of the brain and/or soul and exercise a corresponding influence on them.
How Are Mudras Practiced?
“The hands are the bearers of important symbols, which are still universally understood. With his or her hands, the Indian dancer expresses the life of the universe. The rich symbolism of the dancer’s language of gestures has a greater significance for the mind than words could express . Indian art has the spiritual meaning of the mudras and its perfect expression . The gestures of the deities depicted in Hindu and Buddhist art symbolize and evoke specific mythological occurrences.”
Forming your hands and the fingers as they are shown in the various illustrations. The pressure of the fingers should be very light and fine, and your hands should be relaxed. Sometimes the fingers have a mind of their own, too inflexible, and the hands slip away or tire quickly. The flexibility of the hands has a direct relationship to the flexibility of the entire body. Tension at a certain place in the body, will be expressed at a corresponding area in the hands. Even a person’s age can be determined on the basis of the spread fingers.
In the beginning, there may be some problems in doing some of the mudras with both hands, because, you may first have to arrange and hold the fingers of one hand with the other. Just do the mudra with the one hand for the time being. If the fingers that should actually be stretched curl on their own again, rest them. With time, the tensions will dissolve in the fingers or hand, as well as in the corresponding area of the body. Do the mudra as well as possible and the effect will appear in any case. You will gain more strength in your hands, become more flexible, and will be able to use both hands feeling more refreshed ,flexible and younger.
Treat your fingers in a careful and loving way.
You may not do the mudra as healing gesture,
but do it as a holy gesture.
If possible do the mudras in a seated meditation position-
Take into consideration the following basic principles of meditation technique:
Sit with an upright pelvis and a straight spinal column on a stable cushion. Both knees should be flat on the ground or at the same height if necessary, support the lower knee with a cushion until it is at the same height as the other knee. Let the hands relax on the thighs.Let the shoulders fall back and down in a relaxed way, your chest should be open and free.Pull the chin back a bit, and let the neck be long and relaxed. Breathe in an even, slow, flowing, and gentle way.Never end the meditation suddenly. Vigorously stretch your arms and legs.
You can practice the mudras at any time and in any place. Mudras can even be done while in traffic, watching television, or when waiting.. It is wiser to do mudras in a meditative, harmonious mood. Without being stressed and fuming with annoyance, or that you sit in front of the television with your mind on various problems you are facing.
Place your thumb and index finger together and think about something wonderful, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it lets you float on pink clouds. Now feel the energy that flows from the index finger to the thumb. Doing it again, imagine something terribly sad. Feel the energy of the fingers is it different? There is difference in the quality of energy that flows, in the first instance it is vibrant and electrifying whereas the other is dull and faint.
This is why it is very important to know what breathing does.
Pay attention to a symmetrical posture and hold your arms about one inch away from your body. Even this position alone brings a sense of inner equilibrium and harmony as it regulates the activity of the nervous system and hormonal glands. In addition to carbon dioxide, we also discharge expended energy on the subtle level when we exhale deeply.This is why you should always exhale vigorously several times at the beginning of a mudra. Make room for what you want to achieve.
Always lengthen the little pause after inhaling and after exhaling by several seconds. The most important aspect of the breathing process. The inner powers are developed during the pauses-on every level.When you practice a mudra to calm yourself, then slow your breathing.When you practice a mudra to refresh yourself, then inters your breathing. The optimal quality of breathing is achieved when the breath is slow, deep, rhythmic, and flowing.
|In the beginning of a mudra meditation, exhale vigorously
several times and then let the breath become deeper and slower.
First: Focus on your hands and fingers,
notice the gentle pressure where they touch each other;
This centers, creates inner equilibrium, and builds up strength in general.
Second: While inhaling, you can press the fingertips together a bit more
and let go of the pressure when exhaling;
This variation strengthens the will and refreshes.
Third: The other way around and apply a bit more pressure
while exhaling and let go of the pressure when inhaling.
This variation calms and relaxes.
Feel the difference. You may not immediately feel the effect, but it is still there
Affirming sometimes more, sometimes less. Time and time again, their astounding
effects have astonishing. It is so simple, and some people even find it a bit naive.
But things that are particularly simple and naive usually have the greatest effective power.
The same principle applies to affirmations as it does to visualizations.Say them full of faith, fervor, and serenity. You can say them one to three times, during or after the meditation.You can also pause for a moment during the day and speak your affirmation in a quiet or a loud voice. Make use of this wonderful possibility and talk yourself into what you really want-what is good for you. If you want to get rid of something stubborn, a negation can also be help- ful. Speak it at the beginning, while you are vigorously exhaling. For example, “This hatred or resentment, feeling of guilt, pain, fear, desire to smoke, etc. will immediately disappear and dissolve itself.”
Mudras and Music
We all know the healing effect of music. But music is also good for healthy people who are occasionally plagued by weakness or physical imbalances. Since the music used for therapy plays anywhere from three to twelve minutes, and this amount of time corresponds to how, long one holds a mudra, it is obvious that mudras and music can have a wonderful influence on each other. Tension-either physical or mental-emotional can be relieved by listening to the right kind of music. The right kind of music has a calming and relaxing effect, possibly even taking a person into a state of deep relaxation. Stress and tension can also lead to an acute or a chronic state of exhaustion that can be positively influenced by music. If you pay attention to the following points, you can get a lot from using music with your mudras:
Consider your own taste in music;
Determine how long the playing time should be;
Listen to the same piece at the same time for at least three days in row;
Listen consciously, and immediately let go of any thoughts that may arise.
Mudras and Colour
Colors influence our minds and our lives on every level. In color therapy, various shades of color are specifically applied to regenerate the organs and glands, as well as to activate the processes of elimination, respiration, and circulation. Colors also influence our moods and every type of mental activity.
Red stimulates the circulation, makes us alert,
warms and relaxes, but can also bring out aggression;
Orange improves the mood, promotes lightness,
stimulates sexuality, but can also stimulate superficiality;
Yellow stimulates digestion, makes us mentally alert, and
lets life appear in a bright light, but it can also be obtrusive;
Green is generally calming; it regenerates on every level,
and gives us the desire to start something new;
Blue is also calming, but this calmness goes deeper and provides
a sense of security; it conveys protection, and symbolizes the
silent yearning for the incomprehensible;
Violet is the color of transformation, change, and spirituality;
Brown is the color of stability and connection to the earth,
but too much can lead to stagnation;
White bears the entire spectrum of the other colors
within itself, containing birth as well as death;
Black is the color of protection, of gathering strength, of retreat,
and of the emptiness that already bears abundance within itself.
There are no “bad” colors. Every color can also be seen in our aura or energy body. When a color gains dominance or is not in its right place, it will initially have an effect on the general feeling of well-being. With time, a health disorder may develop as a result. However, the course of an illness can also be reversed with the help of colors.
You can have some beautiful experiences using color meditations. If you prefer a certain color, it may well be that you need the corresponding qualities. However, if you give too much preference to one color, this can develop into an addiction and the color may harm you. While holding a mudra, you can either visualize a color or concentrate on the color of an object. With visualization the color will then come to life.
Using MUDRAS to Heal Physical Complaints
Your destiny lies in your hands, and this should be taken quite literally. Not only because the hand lines show the past and future of a person, but above all because each finger has its very own functions and power. If you know how to use this power, you can maintain your physical health and mental peace.
How can my illness be improved if I do nothing more than just press together a few of my fingers? Begin to trust and carry out the exercises, the effect changes into astonishment. These are extremely valuable gifts that were given to us from the most enlightened masters of ancient times.
An unhealthy lifestyle usually consists of bad diet, lack of exercise, no fresh air, rest and relaxation, too much stress, worry, negative thoughts and feelings. Practicing the mudras, with a healthy diet, routine rest periods, adequate exercise will lead to an optimal lifestyle. And this is the basis for health. When mudras are used to support the healing of chronic health disorders, they should be as a course of treatment over a long period of several weeks or months to be effective.
Some mudras can also be used as help in an emergency. These should be practised when necessary and only as long as they are required. Sudden complaints are not a coincidence, but are of an imbalanced state that has already flared up within us. Mudra should not be used like a fast-acting medication to subdue symptoms. Get to the bottom of the matter. Meditate-ask inside yourself what this physical attack means for you. Ask persistently and honestly, for then you will also receive an honest answer. Perhaps it won’t be comfortable, but it will have a healing effect in the long run.
Mudras and Healing Emotional Problems
Run your thumb along your fingertips in a gentle and conscious way. This feels wonderful! It’s refreshing for your brain. The brain should be trained like a muscle every day. It has been proved that even after a few days of rest in bed the activity of the brain is reduced. The brain can regenerate very quickly through the appropriate training. Practicing mudras can be called pure brain training. There is a positive influence on the brain waves, particularly when the fingertips touch each other.
Affirmations promote a clear manner of expression, which is a mental power. When a mudra is done with full concentration, and a state of serenity is maintained, cerebral activity is calmed and regenerated. In addition, many mudras synchronize the right and left hemisphere of the brain. This promotes memory, the general ability to recollect, and, miraculously, creativity as well.
Always see the good in your fellow human beings, put the negative
aspects of the past behind you, live completely in the present, and
make the best you possibly can of it. Expect the best from the future
and remain in constant contact with cosmic consciousness-then
nothing will stand in the way of a meaningful and happy life.
Mudras have a wonderful effect on the emotional area of our lives, which includes the soul, our feelings, and our moods.To change oppressive moods, you can do so by changing breathing rhythm accordingly. How one breathe’s can stimulate, calm, inflame, or cool one down. Mood fluctuations, can be largely eliminated within a few days by using mudras.
Moods and physical complaints are similar. In order to cure them, we must look for and remedy the cause, which almost always lies within. We should never blame our surrounding world for our moods. Parents, children, partners, colleagues at work-they are only reflections of our inner life. Even if we initially can’t change our environment, we can work on our inner attitude toward the surrounding world, changing it in small steps.
Chronic bad moods of any type such as aggression, depression, dissatisfaction and fear can be caused by weakened organs, digestive problems, blood pressure, pain, or other phvsical reasons. As you practice the mudras used for physical healing, these moods may be remedied. Meditation, and affirmation have a positive effect on the mental emotional area.
The Energy Systems
These energy fields are subject to various vibrations. The physical senses are oriented toward one very specific vibration, and this is why we can only perceive this vibration in particular. Ancient yogis could perceive other vibrations, such as those of the chakras energy transformers and the nadis, subtle streams of energy. The Chinese researched the system of meridians. Palmistry, the hands and individual fingers are also associated with the planetary powers in astrology.
There is a direct relationship between the hands and the neck since the nerve paths run through the vertebral form in the arms, hands, and fingers. The flexibility of the hands always effects the flexibility of the neck. Therefore, hand exercises relieve tensions in the neck. Moreover, spreading the ten fingers creates a reflex that causes the chest vertebrae to spread out.
The hands and fingers also have an additional direct relationship to the heart and lungs. many people can no longer properly stretch their fingers with increasing age. This shows tension in the heart area, which often indicates the prelude to heart disease or a tendency toward osteoporosis. This slightly crooked hand position also impedes inhalation. The result is that the optimum amount of air is not drawn into the lungs, especially into the lung borders, which promotes contamination in those areas.
The hand reflex zones correspond to the foot reflex zones, the massage treatment of which is generally known today. Since some of the organs are only found on one side of the body such as the heart and liver, this is reflected in the hands. Since hands come in different sizes, you may not find the exact pressure point immediately. When you have found the desired point, massage it with your thumb, using light pressure and slow, circular movements. One to 3 minutes are enough.
The best-known Chinese healing method. Instead of using needles, the meridians are stimulated with the fingers. The nonexpert can simply press them lightly with the thumb for several minutes to achieve a positive effect. If you have high blood pressure, massage the middle finger from the root to the tip. To counteract low blood pressure, massage the middle finger from the tip to the root. Do the same with the index finger if you have diarrhea or constipation.
Astrology and palmistry have always belonged together. The mudras can actually strengthen the hands and the individual fingers, even changing character traits in the process. The little finger is creativity, a sense of beauty, the ring finger, a sense of family, the ability to love, and a feeling of security, initiative. The love of order is found in the middle finger. Intellectuality, individuality, and striving for power are in the index finger. Will, instincts, and vitality are in the thumb. “A great deal is in your hands” with the mudras. Take hold of your life with your own two hands and decide what is important to you.
India‘s taxman has finally caught up with the nation’s working elephants, with the owners of those working at temples, festivals or parties having to pay 12 per cent of their earnings in service tax.
In India's autumn wedding season the number of ceremonial elephants can being city roads to a standstill Photo: ALAMY
Elephants are deployed throughout India as ceremonial beasts at weddings, auspicious reminders of the elephant God Lord Ganesha at temples and Hindu festivals like the Kumbh Mela, and as exotic children’s rides at birthday parties.
In India’s autumn wedding season the number of ceremonial elephants can being city roads to a standstill. For many they are an affordable treat – toy shops offer them for under £25 per hire as an upgrade on a party camel.
They are however big business. In Kerala alone, revenues from its 700 working elephants are estimated at just under £30 million per year.
Throughout India’s 28 states, the figure is believed to be several hundred million pounds per year. During peak demand, the going rate can rise to around £300 per day.
Now the Indian revenue authorities want their share and have ordered all enterprises hiring out elephants to levy a 12.36 per cent service tax.
By Dean Nelson
Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic activities and he banned it because it was advertised as 'spiritual yoga' Photo: ALAMY
She was told by the booking secretary of the church that it was because yoga is a Hindu religious activity.
Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic activities and he banned it because it was advertised as ”spiritual yoga”.
The ban is not Catholic Church policy and decisions are left to the discretion of individual priests. Some Catholic retreats use yoga for relaxation.
Ms Withell, 37, from nearby Eastleigh, said the church accepted the booking two months ago and she paid £180.
She was called later and told that yoga was from another religion so she could not have the hall. A separate pilates class she had booked was also cancelled.
”I had never heard about any religious issue with yoga before but I have looked into it since and found that some other religions feel that when people meditate it could let the devil inside them,” she said.
”But there was never any meditation in my class – it was just exercises. Yoga is not religious: spiritual, but not religious.
”I do not object to anyone having a religious viewpoint, but it seemed terribly petty to cancel the classes.
”As a nation we have an obesity epidemic. I was trying to bring some exercise to the community and coming across blocks like this is frustrating.
”I offered to go down and show them the moves and, literally, the shutters came down.”
Fr Chandler said the church was ”misled” by Ms Withell’s booking because he claimed that, at first, the hall was booked for pilates and then he found out it was also for spiritual yoga.
”Yoga is a Hindu spiritual exercise. Being a Catholic church we have to promote the gospel and that’s what we use our premises for.
”We did say that yoga could not take place. It’s the fact that it’s a different religious practice going on in a Catholic church,” he explained.
”On one hand we say to our parishioners ‘be strong in your faith’, and on the other hand there’s this other religious belief that’s not part of our faith. It’s not compatible. We are not saying that yoga is bad or wrong.”
Fr Chandler added he had not researched what Ms Withell’s class would have included and he had not spoken to her about the issue because he felt ”the relationship had got off to a bad start”.
”There are other halls she could use in Southampton,” he added.
A spokesman for Portsmouth Catholic Diocese said: ”It’s not possible for Catholic premises to be used for non-Christian activities and there is a dilemma with yoga as it can be seen as Hindu meditation or as relaxation.
”There is no national policy on this and the decision is for each priest.”
There are numerous places in India where specific people are not allowed to enter. Strange, isn’t it? But as a matter of fact there are actually some holy places in India like temples where foreigners and non-Hindus are banned from visiting. It has not been long when Indian Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was not allowed to enter Guruvayoor Temple in Kerala just because she is a white skin and does not look Indian!
Here are few other places where the entrance remains closed to Sonia Gandhi (foreigners in General) and non-hindus.
Controversies are not new to Guruvayoor temple in Kerala and it became big news when prominent political leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Giani Zail Singh could not enter the temple because of its strict rules. Non-Hindu’s and foreigners are banned from entering this temple in spite of the wide protests from every sector of the society. Some years before, the priests of the temple conducted a purification ceremony after the visit of Union Cabinet Minister, Vayalar Ravi and his family, as they were not sure about the religion of Ravi’s son as his mother was a Christian! But, later on the temple board was forced to apologize for this injustice. The list of people who longs to get a glimpse of the deity Krishna at Guruvayoor goes on and famous playback singer Yesudas is one among them.
Jagannath temple of Puri has the maximum number of controversies in its name which begins with the banning of Indira Gandhi‘s entry to the temple in the year 1984.Her marriage with Feroz Gandhi, a Parsi closed the temple gates before her and she had to see the temple from the nearby Raghunandan Library building. Sirindhorn, the Crown Princess of Thailand had to be the victim of a similar kind of injustice as she happened to be a foreigner and moreover a Buddhist. The most pathetic incident occurred in the year 2008 when food worth Rs.1 million was destroyed following a foreigner’s visit; in a country where millions find it hard to get a single day’s meal! The famous poet and saint Kabir, Lord Curzon and Guru Nanak are the other eminent people who were banned from entering the temple.
Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar, described as ‘The truest fusion of dream & realty’ had to stop all the rituals for four hours recently as a 35-year-old Russian tourist entered the temple premises, which is off limits to non-Hindus. The priests even destroyed the ‘prasad’ worth more than Rs. 50,000 after performing ‘purification ceremony’, following the foreigner’s visit. ”We cleansed the temple as per tradition and dumped the prasad in a well as it was defiled following the unprecedented incident,” said Abanikant Pattnaik, the executive officer of the temple. Moreover, they also collected money from the tourist as compounding fee for breaking the rules and regulations of the shrine. Similar situations happened in the years 2008 and 2009 as well resulting in chaos and purification rituals.
Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Padmanabhaswamy Temple (Thiruvananthapuram) credited with the title ‘The richest Temple in India’ and in the world has become hotspot for pilgrimage tourists, with the unearthing of the treasure trove. The number of foreigners visiting the temple has increased considerably, but unfortunately as non-Hindus are not allowed they have to peep from outside to get few glimpses and be satisfied by clicking some photographs. ”After the news spread about the temple wealth, we are witnessing a huge flow of both foreign and domestic tourists coming to visit the temple. Many foreign tourists have come to us asking for permission to enter the temple. But we cannot grant them the permission as per the tradition, only Hindus are allowed to offer ‘darshan’ inside the temple,” said V K Harikumar executive officer of the temple.
Some of the famous temples in Goa which permitted foreigners to enter the shrines had to restrict them from entering due to incidents of ‘scantily dressed’ tourists visiting the temple. Mahalasa temple at Panaji put up the board ”Entry Restricted for Foreign Tourists” and temples such as Ramnathi and Mangueshi imposed dress codes for both domestic as well as foreign visitors. Moreover, some of the foreigners out of ignorance wore garlands which were supposed to be offered to the deity, which made the local people angry and annoyed.
- Sonia Gandhi: World’s Fourth Richest Politician (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)
- Gandhiji Baptized, Hindus Shocked (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)
- WIll work on plan to correct mistakes we have made: Sonia Gandhi (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)
- War Over the World’s Largest Hindu Shrine (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)
Gandhi was baptised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), headquartered in Salt Lake City in Utah on March 27, 1996; the confirmation of which was completed on November 17, 2007 at Sao Paulo Brazil Temple, according to researcher Helen Radkey.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is more popularly known as Mormon Church, one of the fastest growing churches in the US.
Radkey, who has now been excommunicated by the Mormons , made the revelation in an e-mail to Nevada-based Hindu activist, Rajan Zed.
In the email, Radkey, who is from Salt Lake City, said she viewed the record on baptism of Gandhi on February 16 but it had since disappeared and was no longer available in the database of the church.
It was unusual for a record to vanish, said Radkey, who of late has been in news because of bringing out in the public similar unknown facts and secrets of the Mormon Church.
“I have not come across other Indian leaders baptised by Mormons. My copies of the Gandhi record are dated February 16, 2012. The record disappeared shortly after that date. I assume Mormons did not want others to know about Gandhi’s baptism,” she said.
Arun Gandhi, a grandson of Gandhi who lives in Up State New York, told The Huffington Post that he was “surprised” to hear about the posthumous baptism. “It bothers me in the sense that people are doing something when a person is dead and gone and there is nobody to answer for that person. That’s not the right thing to do,” he was quoted as saying.
Arun, who teaches nonviolence in the US, noted that his grandfather was against proselytizing of any kind, whether it involved Hindus or others.
“He thought people must decide for themselves which religion they want to follow and they should follow that religion. It’s not up to others to force them. He was respectful of all the religions.” Suhag Shukla of Washington-based Hindu America Foundation said, “The proxy baptism of Gandhi is deeply offensive, not only to Gandhi’s legacy as a devout Hindu, but to Hindus world over.”
Bhagvad Gita, one of the most sacred Hindu religious texts, is facing a legal ban and the prospect of being branded as “an extremist” literature across Russia, with a court in Siberia’s Tomsk city all set to deliver its final verdict in a case filed by state prosecutors.
The final pronouncement in the case will come just two days after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was here for a bilateral summit meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev from Dec 15 to 17.
The case, which has been going on in Tomsk court since June this year, seeks to get a Russian translation of ‘Bhagvad Gita As It Is’ written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), on the Hindu religious text banned in Russia and declaring it as a literature spreading “social discord”, apart from rendering its distribution on Russian soil illegal.
In view of the case, Indians settled in Moscow, numbering about 15,000, and followers of the ISKCON religious movement here have appealed to Manmohan Singh and his government to intervene diplomatically to resolve the issue in favour of the Hindu religious text, an important part of Indian epic ‘Mahabharat’ written by Sage Ved Vyasa.
The ISKCON followers of Russia have also written a letter to the Indian Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi seeking immediate intervention, lest the religious freedom of Hindus living here be compromised.
“The case is coming up for a final verdict on Monday in Tomsk court. We want all efforts from Indian government to protect the religious right of Hindus in Russia,” Sadhu Priya Das of ISKCON and a devotee of a 40-year-old Krishna temple in central Moscow, told IANS.
The court, which took up the case filed by the state prosecutors, had referred the book to the Tomsk State University for “an expert” examination Oct 25 this year. But Hindu groups in Russia, particular followers of the ISKCON, say the university was not qualified, as it lacked Indologists.
The Hindus had pleaded with the court that the case was inspired by religious bias and intolerance`from a majority religious group in Russia, and have sought that their rights to practice their religious beliefs be upheld. The prosecutor’s case also seeks to ban the preaching of Prabhupada and ISKCON’s religious beliefs, claiming these were “extremist” in nature and preached “hatred” of other religious beliefs.
“They have not just tried to get the Bhagvad Gita banned, but also brand our religious beliefs and preachings as extremist,” Das said.
In fact, the ISKCON devotees have taken up the matter with the Indian embassy in Moscow too, apart from writing to the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi, for an early diplomatic intervention, before things get worse and the court passes an adverse verdict banning the ‘Bhagvad Gita’ and Krishna consciousness teachings.
In the Nov 1 letter, addressed to Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji, ISKCON’s New Delhi branch Governing Body Commissioner Gopal Krishna Goswami, said the prosecutor’s affidavit claims Lord Krishna “is evil and not conforming to Christian religious view”.
Goswami also urged Singh to accord priority to the matter during his Moscow stay and to take it up with the Russian authorities.
- India ire at Russia book-ban case (bbc.co.uk)
- Bhagavad Gita faces extremist branding in Russia (ibnlive.in.com)