Saturday, July 31, 2010

Seven Blunders Of Monumental Proportions By India







7 Blunders Of Monumental Proportions By India

By Major General Mrinal Suman

[ History is most unforgiving. As historical mistakes cannot be undone, they have complex cascading effect on a nation's future. Here are seven historical blunders that have changed the course of independent India's history and cast a dark shadow over its future. These costly mistakes will continue to haunt India for generations. They have been recounted here in a chronological order with a view to highlight the inadequacies of India's decision-making apparatus and the leadership's incompetence to act with vision.]


Kashmir Mess



There can be no better example of shooting one's own foot than India's clumsy handling of the Kashmir issue. It is a saga of naivety, blinkered vision and inept leadership.



Hari Singh was the reigning monarch of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. He was vacillating when tribal marauders invaded Kashmir in October 1947, duly backed by the Pakistan army. Unable to counter them, Hari Singh appealed to India for assistance and agreed to accede to India. Indian forces blunted the invasion and re-conquered vast areas.



First, India erred by not insisting on unequivocal accession of the state to the Dominion of India and granted special status to it through Article 380 of the Constitution. Secondly, when on the verge of evicting all invaders and recapturing the complete state, India halted operations on 1 January 1949 and appealed to the Security Council. It is the only case in known history wherein a country, when on the threshold of complete victory, has voluntarily forsaken it in the misplaced hope of winning admiration of the world community. Thirdly and most shockingly, the Indian leadership made a highly unconstitutional offer of plebiscite in the UN.



Forty percent area of the state continues to be under Pakistan's control, providing it a strategic land route to China through the Karakoram ranges. As a fall out of the unresolved dispute, India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and skirmishes with no solution in sight. Worse, the local politicians are holding India to ransom by playing the Pak card. Kashmir issue is a self-created cancerous furuncle that defies all medications and continues to bleed the country.



No 2: Ignoring Chinese Threats and Neglecting the Military



Memories of the year 1962 will always trouble the Indian psyche. A nation of India's size had lulled itself into believing that its protestations and platitudes of peaceful co-existence would be reciprocated by the world. It was often stated that a peace-loving nation like India did not need military at all. The armed forces were neglected. The political leadership took pride in denigrating the military leadership and meddled in internal affairs of the services to promote sycophancy. Foreign policy was in shambles. The intelligence apparatus was rusty.



Even though signs of China's aggressive intentions were clearly discernible for years in advance, the Indian leadership decided to keep its eyes shut in the fond hope that the problem would resolve itself. When China struck, the country was caught totally unprepared. Troops were rushed to snowbound areas with summer clothing and outdated rifles. Despite numerous sagas of gallantry, the country suffered terrible embarrassment. India was on its knees. With the national morale and pride in tatters, India was forced to appeal to all nations for military aid. Inept and incompetent leadership had forced a proud nation to find solace in Lata Mangeshkar's Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo.

No 3: The Tashkent Agreement and Return of Haji Pir Pass



Following the cease-fire after the Indo-Pak War of 1965, a Russian-sponsored agreement was signed between India and Pakistan in Tashkent on 10 January 1966. Under the agreement, India agreed to return the strategic Haji Pir pass to Pakistan which it had captured in August 1965 against heavy odds and at a huge human cost. The pass connects Poonch and Uri sectors in Jammu and Kashmir and reduces the distance between the two sectors to 15 km whereas the alternate route entails a travel of over 200 km. India got nothing in return except an undertaking by Pakistan to abjure war, an undertaking which meant little as Pakistan never had any intention of honouring it.



Return of the vital Haji Pir pass was a mistake of monumental proportions for which India is suffering to date. In addition to denying a direct link between Poonch and Uri sectors, the pass is being effectively used by Pakistan to sponsor infiltration of terrorists into India. Inability to resist Russian pressure was a manifestation of the spineless Indian foreign policy and shortsighted leadership.

No 4: The Simla Agreement



With the fall of Dhaka on 16 December 1971, India had scored a decisive victory over Pakistan. Over 96,000 Pak soldiers were taken Prisoners of War (PoWs). Later, an agreement was signed between the two countries on 2 July 1972 at Shimla. Both countries agreed to exchange all PoWs, respect the line of control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir and refrain from the use of threat or force. Additionally, Bhutto gave a solemn verbal undertaking to accept LOC as the de facto border.



India released all Pak PoWs in good faith. Pakistan, on the other hand, released only 617 Indian PoWs while holding back 54 PoWs who are still languishing in Pakistani jails. The Indian Government has admitted this fact a number of times but has failed to secure their release. India failed to use the leverage of 96,000 Pak PoWs to discipline Pakistan. A rare opportunity was thus wasted. Forget establishing permanent peace in the sub-continent, India failed to ensure release of all Indian PoWs - a criminal omission by all accounts.



The naivety of the Indian delegation can be seen from the fact that it allowed Pakistan to bluff its way through at Shimla. The Indian leadership was fooled into believing Pakistan's sincerity. Unquestionably, Pakistan never intended to abide by its promises, both written and verbal. Fruits of a hard-fought victory in the battlefield were frittered away on the negotiating table by the bungling leadership.



No. 5: The Nuclear Muddle



Subsequent to the Chinese Nuclear Test at Lop Nor in 1964, India showed rare courage in carrying out its first nuclear test on 18 May 1974 at Pokharan. Outside the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, India was the only nation to prove its nuclear capability. The whole country was ecstatic and every Indian felt proud of its scientific prowess. But Indians had not contended with their Government's penchant for converting opportunity into adversity and squandering hard-earned gains.



Instead of asserting India's newly acquired status of a nuclear power and demanding recognition, India turned apologetic and tried to convince the world that it had no nuclear ambitions. Strangely, it termed the Pokharan test as a 'peaceful nuclear explosion' - a term unheard of till then. The Defence Minister went to the extent of claiming that the Indian nuclear experiment was 'only for mining, oil and gas prospecting, for finding underground sources of water, for diverting rivers, for scientific and technological knowledge.' It was a self-deprecating stance. Displaying acute inferiority complex, India did not want to be counted as a member of the exclusive nuclear club.



Criticism and sanctions were expected and must have been factored in before opting for the nuclear test. Whereas a few more assertive follow-on tests would have forced the world to accept India as a member of the nuclear club, India went into an overdrive to placate the world through a self-imposed moratorium on further testing. It lost out on all the advantages provided to it by its scientists. It suffered sanctions and yet failed to gain recognition as a nuclear power. The country missed golden opportunities due to the timidity and spinelessness of its leaders.



No 6: The Kandahar hijacking



The hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar by Pakistani terrorists in December 1999 will continue to rile India's self-respect for long. According to the Hindustan Times, India lost face and got reduced to begging for co-operation from the very regimes that were actively undermining its internal security. The hijacking revealed how ill-prepared India was to face up to the challenges of international terrorism.



The eight-day long ordeal ended only after India's National Security Adviser brazenly announced that an agreement had been reached for the release of all the hostages in exchange for three Kashmiri militants including Maulana Masood Azhar. Sadly, the Prime Minister claimed credit for forcing the hijackers to climb down on their demands. The worst was yet to follow. India's Foreign Minister decided to accompany the released militants to Kandahar, as if seeing off honoured guests.



The government's poor crisis-management skills and extreme complacency in security matters allowed the hijackers to take off from Amritsar airport after 39 minutes halt for refueling, thereby letting the problem get out of control. India's much-vaunted decision-making apparatus collapsed and was completely paralysed by the audacity of a bunch of motivated fanatics. It was a comprehensive failure of monumental proportions. India's slack and amateurish functioning made the country earn the tag of a soft nation which it will find very difficult to shed.

No 7: Illegal Immigration and Passage of IMDT Act



It is a standard practice all over the world that the burden of proving one's status as a bonafide citizen of a country falls on the accused. It is so for India as well under Foreigners Act, 1946. Political expediency forced the Government to make an exception for Assam. In one of the most short-sighted and anti-national moves, India passed the Illegal Migrants - Determination by Tribunals (IMDT) Act of 1984 for Assam. It shifted the onus of proving the illegal status of a suspected immigrant on to the accuser, which was a tall and virtually impossible order. Detection and deportation of illegal immigrants became impossible.



Whenever demands were raised for repealing the Act, the Congress, the Left Front and the United Minorities Front resisted strongly. Illegal immigrants had become the most loyal vote bank of the Congress. Worse, every protest against the Act was dubbed as 'anti-minority', thereby imparting communal colour to an issue of national security. The government's 'pardon' of all Bangladeshis who had come in before 1985 was another unconstitutional act that aggravated the problem.



The Act was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on July 13, 2005, more than 20 years after its enactment. The Apex Court was of the view that the influx of Bangladeshi nationals into Assam posed a threat to the integrity and security of northeastern region. Unfortunately, immense damage had already been done to the demography of Assam and the local people of Assam had been reduced to minority status in certain districts. Illegal immigrants have come to have a stranglehold over electioneering to the extent that no party can hope to come to power without their support. Nearly 30 Islamic groups are thriving in the area to further their Islamist and Pan-Bangladesh agenda. It is incomprehensible that a nation's leadership can stoop so low and endanger even national security for garnering votes.





Jalaram temple near Chotila

Chotila hill of Chammuda mataji

Friday, July 30, 2010

In the Historical Ramjanmabhoomi – Babri Masjid suit, the Allahabad high court full bench completed hearing and reserved the Judgement. Judgement expected by September end      
In the Historical Ramjanmabhoomi – Babri Masjid suit, the Allahabad high court full bench completed hearing and reserved the Judgement. Judgement expected by September end.
Lucknow – July 26, 2010: In the most awaited Ramjanmabhoomi Babri Masjid title suits, Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court – completed hearing and reserved the judgement. The three judge full Bench is of Justice S.U. Khan, Justice D. V. Sharma and Justice Sudhir Agarwal. As Justice D. V. Sharma is due to retire by the end of September, it is therefore likely, that the judgement may be pronounced before the end of September.
 Going out of the way the High court today i.e. on Monday, July 26th, 2010 continued its hearing till 7 pm in the evening. The court directed the concerned parties in advance, that it is going to complete the hearing today itself at any cost and asked to complete their arguments. The court also directed parties to submit their written arguments before 30th of July 2010.
 It can be noted that, by the Supreme Court's direction the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court is hearing the original case of Ramjanma Bhoomi – Babri Masjid since 1996. Four suites are pending in the court.Three suites from Hindus and one from Muslims. First suit was filed by a Hindu worshipper in January 1950 praying relief for uninterrupted Darshan and Puja. The second suite was filed by the Nirmohi Akhara of Ramanand sect in 1959 praying removal of the receiver and demanding the complete charge of management of Darshan and Puja for it self. The third suit was filed in December 1961 by Sunni Muslim waqf board with a prayer that the disputed structure be declared as a public Mosque and possession be given to the Wakf board by removing the Idols and other Puja articles. The last and the fourth suit was filed in July 1989 by a retired High Court Judge on behalf of the Ramlala Virajman itself making the Ramlala as plaintiff. All the suits were clubbed for joint hearing. Later on the suits were transferred to Luck now bench of Allahabad High Court for a speedy trail.
 After demolition of the so called Babri structure by the angry Karsevaks on 6th December 1992, the Central Government acquired 67 Acres of land surrounding the disputed site. The acquisition was challenged by some Muslims in the Supreme Court. At the same time the then President of India referred a Question to the apex court under Art. 143 of the constitution .The question was "whether there was any Hindu structure prior to 1528 A.D., at the site where the disputed structure was stood?" The Supreme Court heard the petitions for about 20 months and delivered its judgement in October 1994. The judgement was – 1. The acquisition is valid, 2. The Presidential reference respectfully returned unanswered. 3. All the pending suits related to the dispute be revived.
In the light of the above order the three Judges full bench of the Allahabad High court started its hearing . Issues were reframed. Oral evidence started in1996 and continued till 2003.
The High Court bench opined that the question asked by the Hon. President is the core issue of the dispute and to get the answer for this, the court ordered Radar Survey of the site. Further to verify the survey report court ordered for a scientific excavation, which was done by Archaeological Survey of India. Now the report is with the court's records.
Final arguments by the counsels started in 2006 and concluded today at 7.00 pm on 26th of July 2010.

Rajendra  Kumar Chadha
National Joint Convener
Prajna Pravah
011-22374518  M +919818603977

: A Hindu America?

A Hindu America?
July 24, 2010
Francis X. Clooney, S.J.
Source : Catholic Weekly

Cambridge, MA. I recently came across a column in the On Faith
section of the Washington Post by Loriliai Biernacki. A friend of mine,
she is a professor of Indian religions at the University of Colorado,
Boulder, and a specialist in the study of Hinduism. Her piece is
entitled, "A rich and strange metamorphosis: Glocal Hinduism." She
suggests that Hinduism today is becoming much more widely established in
different parts of the world, and it is flourishing in many parts of the
United States, both among Americans of Indian ancestry, but also among
many converts to Hinduism.

In her piece, Bernacki recollects Lisa Miller's essay in Newsweek
a few months ago, on how Americans are becoming Hindus ideologically:
"[Lisa Miller] tells us that an astounding number of Americans now
believe in reincarnation. This conceptual, indeed cosmological,
importation from Hinduism is seeping indelibly into the American psyche.
Even a percentage of self-identified Christians have little difficulty
incorporating this Hindu notion. Similarly, the word and concept of
'karma' is so commonly parlayed in everyday conversation that its Hindu
origins no longer even register, as the concept finds its way across
wide ranges of socio-economic circles and in all sorts of milieus."
Biernacki speculates that Hinduism - Hinduisms - is uniquely able to be
"glocal" - present across the globe, but yet still local in a multitude
of particular identities. Alas: before our present era of
over-centralization, the Catholic Church too excelled at being glocal!

This Hinduism meets our needs, Biernacki goes on to say, offering
"a kind of proliferation of particularities, particular Gods, particular
practices among communities that might have not ever had any access to
these new, imported Hindu perceptions -- and at least for the West,
beckoning a rich and strange metamorphosis." She concludes by suggesting
that Hinduism may help us by showing us where we are going: "Our own
increasingly plural world might take some solace, find a steady ease in
the Hindu comfort with the multiple -- multiple Gods, multiple
practices, and simultaneous multiple ontological structures of
monotheisms, monisms, polytheisms, and panentheisms. In this sense, the
future of Hinduism suggests a kind of opening to a global world in a way
that sidesteps the vision of a one-world government or one-world
ideology. It proposes instead a world model without hegemonic center,
linked by a thread of cosmology, multiplicity instanced as network, a
seamless interconnectivity that echoes a conceptual cosmology from
Hinduism's past into our own global and glocal future."

It is an interesting essay that deepens Lisa Miller's Newsweek
piece, and I recommend reading all of it. I am tempted to confirm her
insights out of my own experiences - including my recent brief encounter
with Amritanandamayi Amma. But my thought now goes in a different
direction: If there is truth in Biernacki's insights, and there is, then
what does this say about Christian identity in the United States now?
Catholic identity?

It is probably right that we are most concerned most of the time
about issues in the Church, ranging from social ministries to ongoing
debates about the ordination of women, and are rightly horrified by the
individual and systemic aspects of the clergy sex abuse crisis - but we
can overdo it, suffering too much introspection with our good and our
bad, when the culture around us is going through deep changes. (One
could add many others to Biernacki's particular focus, since Buddhism is
influential, Pentecostal Christian Churches are multiplying, and of
course Islam will become more and not less an important presence in this
country; but Hinduism is enough for this blog.) Just think of the
example she and Miller dwell on, the growing comfort of a wide range of
Americans - surely including Church-going Catholics - who accept
reincarnation as a good spiritual possibility. This is no small change
in the way people think - and it challenges us to speak more powerfully,
more simply, about Jesus as one who dies and rises, even today.

The danger then is that we Catholics - to stick with us for a
moment - will endlessly build and rebuild our Church in order to improve
it and correct its failings, while yet forgetting that many, many people
are no longer interested, are not waiting for us to discover spiritual
depths, and care so little about us that even being "anti-Catholic" is
no longer all that important. If our neighbors are practicing yoga (even
Christian yoga), meditating, visiting gurus, and enjoying the prospect
of multiple deities and multiple births - then we have to bear down, and
think more deeply about who we are and how we speak, act, live.

Yes, we need ever to return to the message of Jesus, as given in
the Bible and as celebrated in the liturgical life of the Church; yes,
we need really to believe that "loving our neighbor" is indeed what
Jesus would do, does do. But no, it is not enough to broadcast our faith
without listening, or to insist with open mouths and closed ears that
Jesus is the way and that Christian faith is superior to religions such
as Hinduism, when we - the Church - seems not understand Hinduism except
in a most superficial way, and have no clue why Americans might embrace
reincarnation. (Education is lacking: as far as I can see, neither CCD
programs nor major seminaries spend much time exploring the religions of
India, and few deacons, priests, and bishops have done a single yogic
stretch or quiet breathing exercise.) If we commend ourselves for
proclaiming the Gospel while not getting Professor Biernacki's point, we
may rather ironically find that for many, the Jesus of the Church will
remain a distant and institutional figure, while Jesus seen through
Hindu eyes may be the more powerful spiritual figure.

So - to turn on its head the old notion that yoga is
navel-gazing - we would do well to be more yogic, more Hindu - less into
Catholic-navel-gazing, and more attentive to the very interesting
spiritual cultures flourishing around us, and unafraid at a diversity
that we cannot control yet that does nothing to harm the uniqueness of
Jesus. Attentiveness will help us to see better what it means to be a
follower of Jesus in the world we actually have, in the one life given
to us.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Confidence !

The business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out.

Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said.

After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you."

He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time."

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

"I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.

With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

"I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you.  He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller."

And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, c onvinced he had half a million dollars behind him.

Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ambedkar's first biography in Sanskrit

PUNE, July 10, 2010
Ambedkar's     first biography in Sanskrit
Battling a visual handicap, an 84-year-old Vedic scholar here has composed "Bhimayanam" , the first ever biography of the architect of Indian constitution
and icon of the underprivileged Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in Sanskrit verse.
The exceptional feat of Prabhakar Joshi, who lost his sight completely while still working on the biography undertaken in 2004, stands as a testimony to
his unflinching determination and will power that saw recent publication of the book containing 1,577 Sanskrit 'slokas' covering the life span of Dr. Ambedkar
unfolded in 160 pages with 21 'Sargas' (chapters).
A victim of glaucoma, Mr. Joshi who has an illustrious background as a teacher of Sanskrit in schools and colleges, was immensely influenced by Dr. Ambedkar's
mission to uplift the downtrodden.
When he started studying Dr. Ambedkar's life, he came across certain facts that inspired him to take up the unique project of his Sanskrit biography titled
" Bhimayanam".
"Not many people know that it was an ardent desire of Ramji, father of Dr. Ambedkar, that his son should learn Sanskrit.
When Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar opted for the subject after being enrolled in the Elphinstone High School in Mumbai, he was in for rude shock as the teachers
there refused to allow him to study Sanskrit because he was a Dalit.
Imparting knowledge of Sanskrit to 'lower caste' students those days was something to be frowned upon", Mr. Joshi said.
After pondering over this episode, Mr. Joshi thought of an "atonement of sorts" by way of versifying in Sanskrit, the life of Ambedkar whom he reverently
calls 'Mahamanav'.
A progressive glaucoma started affecting the vision of the octogenarian even as he persisted with his writing, at times overlapping words as a result of
poor eyesight.
"I was losing my vision fast but my resolve to complete the work was getting firmer notwithstanding the visual handicap.
My wife read the lines I had written and made them legible for further processing. Many times, I got up in the middle of night to write the words that came
to my mind without knowing that ink had dried," Mr. Joshi who has retained all his faculties at the ripe age recalled.
Explaining his method that led to completion of his work, he said "I first summarised important milestones in Ambedkar's life and then got it taped. Then
I kept listening to the audio again and again, pondering over my next verse".
According to Mr. Joshi, who taught Sanskrit at Fergusson College here and was a guide at Pune University for many students doing their doctorates in Sanskrit,
Dr. Ambedkar was a great supporter of the language which he regarded as mother of most of the regional tongues in the country.
Despite his strong opposition to the Brahminical dominance in the society and social discrimination that led him and his followers to embrace Buddhism,
Dr. Ambedkar himself had mastered Sanskrit, which was identified with the upper cast, he said.
"Bhimayanam" was published under "Sharada Gaurav Granthamala" series by Pandit Vasant Gadgil after six years of dedicated work by Mr. Joshi, a recipient
of Maharashtra government's 'Mahakavi Kalidas' award.
Maharashtra Governor Shankarnarayanan is expected to formally release the biography.
As Mr. Joshi spoke, his unseeing eyes stared in a fixed gaze. But the words came gushing lighting up his face as he dealt on the towering personality so
dear to his heart - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar who bestowed dignity on those who suffered from injustice.

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Jolt to Aryan-Dravidian divide theory- PROF ASKO PARPOLA proves


Prof Parpola of Helsinki University drives home his stand at the World Classical Tamil meet

Jolt to Aryan-Dravidian divide theory

M R Venkatesh, Coimbatore, June 25, DH News Service:
The intelligentsia and even the politicians were in for shock at the World Classical Tamil Conference here on Friday, when a Finland-based Indologist turned the spotlight on a Dravidian-Aryan continuum while demolishing the Aryan-Dravidian divide as a myth.

 In a landmark presentation that was a complete turnaround from singing paeans to the 86-year-old Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi and Tamil culture's glory, renowned Indologist, Prof Asko Parpola, presenting the conclusions of his three decades-long research on 'A Dravidian Solution to the Indus Script Problem', told a stunned gathering that "an opening to the secrets of the Indus Script (which is yet to be deciphered) has been achieved".
prof.ASKO_PARPOLA_101668f.jpgProf ASKO PARPOLA
Older forms of Tamil, Kannada and other 'Dravidian languages' in his firm opinion hold the key to take forward this finding that the underlying language of the Indus Valley Civilisation "was proto-Dravidian".
The best way to "read" the signs in 'thousands of short texts' of the Indus script was through old Tamil, Prof Parpola, of the Helsinki University in Finland, drove home in his breathtaking 90-minute talk.

Proof of hypothesis

As proof of his hypothesis, Prof Parpola correlated several 'pictograms' found in Indus Valley inscribed with 'Harappan' stoneware bangles with words like 'Muruku' (meaning arm-ring/bangle) from old Tamil literature.

"This (old Tamil) is the only ancient Dravidian source not much contaminated by Indo-Aryan languages and traditions," Prof. Parpola, the first recipient of the 'Kalaignar Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award', argued.
Pointing out that 'radiocarbon dating' has fixed the period of the 'mature Harappan phase', when the Indus Script was used to 2600-1900 BCE, he said the 'Indus Civilisation' collapsed many centuries before hymns were composed in 'Vedic Sanskrit' around 1000 BCE.
However, the rich religious/cultural heritage in South Asia till now has been preserved both by the speakers of Dravidian languages (predominantly in South India) and the people of North India, Prof. Parpola emphasised, to demolish the myth of a clear Aryan-Dravidian divide.

Dr Parpola's work left the top DMK leadership seated in front, nonplussed, kindling them to rethink the Aryan-Dravidian divide issue.
Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, though, had to leave half-way, when the news came in that the Congress Legislature party leader in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, D Sudarshanam, who had come for the WCTC, had been rushed to a private hospital here after he suffered a heart attack.


Thanking you,

Rajesh Padmar
Vishwa Samvad Kendra- Karnataka
#75, Rangarao Road Shankarapuram,
Bengaluru. 560004
+91 9880621824

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bharatiya Dances

Find here with diff Bharatiya Classical dances

Saturday, July 17, 2010

PURI YATRA - JULY 13, 2010

PURI YATRA - JULY 13, 2010
Taking out the Lord in chariot, singing his divine name, is an effective form of sadhana and worship bringing in harmony and fraternity in society.   Pulling the chariots around the temple garbha mandira though found in many of the temples, taking out side the temple for a distance of 4 is unique in Puri JagannathYatra.  It is said seeing the Lord seated in chariot makes one free from entangling again in the cycle of birth and death. 
Millions of people throng to this small coastal town to touch the 50 metre long rope and to have the glimpse of the Lord seated in the Rath.
The  13.5 m height chariot of Lord Jagannath with 16 wheels comes lost.
The 13.2 m height chariot of Lord Balabhadra  with 14 wheels comes in the middle.
The 12.9 m height chariot of Mother Subhadra with 12 wheels comes in front or sometimes in between the chariots of her two brothers.

Every year these three wooden chariots are made out of sal wood and at the end of Rath Yatra these chariots are dismantled and the pieces of wood are given to devotees as prasad.  Only a particular family of carpenter is given the task of making these 3 chariots.  The work starts on Akshaya Tritiya Day which normally falls 3 months ahead of Rath Yatra Day.
Mother Sarada Devi along with her companions had darshan of Lord Jagannath in 1888. Even now, in the Mahalaxmi shrine of the temple, a small plaque about mother's visit is kept and devotees of Sri Ramakrishna during their visit to this temple spend few moments in this Mahalaxmi shrine for japam and dhyanam.
Though one's scientific temper may doubt the annual recurring of events like the three deities taking bath with 108 pitchers of water and as a result becoming ill for 15 days and then coming out on Rath Yatra occasion, the devotional fervour that is generated during this event can never be under estimated. 

Does this Rath yatra signify the philosophy that our body itself is the chariot?  Each and every one is pulling out his own chariot in the world.  Since the Lord is seated on the chariot, we are supposed to be careful in pulling out the chariot lest it will disturb His travel.  When the journey is over and the chariot is dismantled, we take up new chariot and continue the travel again.  When we are tired in pulling the chariot, we turn back to the Lord, pleading for complete rest.  This turning back towards the Lord seeing his permission to us free is what is expected out of us.  Unless  and until it happens we will be busy in our travels enjoying some times and suffering  some times forgetting the travel is not meant for us but to the One who is seated inside.   
Swami Nishthatmananda
Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama
Muzaffarpur, Bihar



Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi's Words


click to zoom

"Whatever you yearn for, that you will get."

"Everyone can break down something, but how many can build it up?"

"Forbearance is a great virtue; there is no other like it."

"The purpose of one's life is fulfilled only when one is able to give joy to another."

"As wind removes the cloud, so the name of God destroys the cloud of worldliness. "

-Sri Sarada Devi.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Global Warming Due to Social, Moral and Physical Pollution- Vedic Solution


 Subject: Global Warming due to Social, Moral and Physical Pollution.
Vedic Solutions
When the omniscient divine subtle particle Soul (Atma) was rovided to  human beings, man was then born in the image of Supreme Soul (Parmatma). (Atharva Veda).
Vedic Rsis and Munnies of yore then communicated with their tma being> Vachispatiah (it speaks when you follow Cosmic Laws of Natur- Rta). Firs they found the Purpose of Human Birth from the a-prior knowledge contained in the human soul.
Thus Rig Veda says that the Purpose of Human Birth is to assist
 Viswakarma (Supreme Architect) in the maintenance of His rand
 wondrous Design (Rig Veda) by following Cosmic Laws of physical,
 social and moral order (Vedic Rta). All these laws are known to human
 Soul (Atma). The Divine subtle particle Atma being Vachispatiah one  can communicate with it (Atharva Veda)
The scientific belief in One ineffable, formless and nameless God who has been given some name by learned persons, want us to help in creating PEACE everywhere- peace in the sky, peace in the atmosphere, peace on the earth, peace in plants, animals, human beings and water
 (Yajur Veda 36-17). Let the peace itself be peaceful. This is the most famous peace prayer to God as Shanti Path in the Vedas and reminder to us to protect the divine planet Mother Earth from social, moral and physical pollution.
During the long journey of about 5000 years from the time of man's desire to know the permanent truths and search of ineffable God, the concept of peace as described in Yajur Veda has been considerably diluted. This has mainly happened owing to nescience (ajnan) and giving superiority to material and intellectual knowledge based on inert matter. Vedas tell us matter has unsuspected vitality owing to
 Spirit (energy principle) in shuniya (void).
  Akash (ether) is no longer peaceful; all kinds of sound waves are
 being passed through the ether, good, lustful, spiritual and
 non-spiritual, virtuous and evil, making the sky highly polluted. The atmosphere is no longer peaceful as the modern man has succeeded with his material knowledge in spreading poisonous toxic gases and matter through green house effect, depletion of ozone layer and other effects.
Man himself has now become the pioneer in creating all kinds
 of dreadful diseases in the animate life on this beautiful globe. The earth itself is not peaceful and every day getting more polluted in the name of material progress bereft of spiritual progress. The philosophies of material progress and vulgar consumerism have now become synonymous. The Mother Earth, which serves selflessly the animate and inanimate life/things, is now a huge quarry for exploitation. All waters whether belonging to highly sacred rivers like Ganga or other rivers including the waters of oceans presided over by Varun deva are no longer peaceful. They are now so much polluted that all kinds of life in water, fishes, dolphins, sea plants, and shells is now being endangered.
All animate life on this planet is crying for the Vedic Peace "shanti" to come back. However, the material knowledge of inert matter is getting more and more specialized and primordial matter in the form of tamasic guna of impurity is becoming predominant.
 This is making people with stake, who are in pursuit of tons of money for them selves and not for society to be hell bent not to allow Vedic peace to come back in the sky, water, society and all other places on this earth.
They have a strange material but intellectual argument that bringing the most ancient Vedic philosophy in this modern material world is a retrograde step. They over look the hard realities that from Vedic formless universal God we have moved to millions of gods/goddesses.
 The movement seems to be now from scientific temper to unscientific outlook, from the philosophy of enlightened liberalism to absolute and naked selfishness, from the scientific Vedic rituals to aimlessunscientific rituals and ceremonies. Back to Vedas can save the divine planet from the impending danger.
To help the human beings to perform their duties, Prakrti in her
divine role creates the Earth (Prithvi) as karma bhoomi for all of us.
This karma bhoomi is the milch cow, which moves very fast on its
 subtle axis (never gets rusted) but does not kick. We only exist so long as we perform our allotted duties otherwise, not to be occupied is the same thing as not to exist.
 Through Prakrti He provides His stern and permanent laws (Rta), gives lessons of non-violence of the strong, transparency, truthfulness and vividness. Our Supreme Mother has conveyed the message though Vedas
 "create social organization in the world based on Rta (eternal laws) and Satya (truth and transparency) so that we look at each other with friendly eyes (Y.V 36-18) and do not fight and deface the fair divine
 Nature- your supreme Mother (R.V 5-4-10 and R.V 11-31-1).
 O: Rudra Deva (being of light) "May we transplant ourselves with this knowledge in our children and become immortal through them."
 Vedas have many other Mantras/Riks/Hymns to protect Benign Mother Earth from Global Warming/Pollution. The seekers of Vedic Knowledge can find these mantras in Chapters relating to Vedic Society, Rta and Science and Scientific Temper in the Book Glimpses of Vedic

The dark side of terrorists revealed in MSN Internal Security Get it now.

FW: {satyapravah} Ram Mandir issue and make a favourable atmosphere for Hindutva in the country


Shri Chaddha & friends:
   I am 72, a lawyer-Member Supreme Court Bar Association of India- not very active. If you may in 1991-92  I had called a 'People's Parties  meet' in Press Club . My organisation Janhit Reasearch center then comprised among others, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer,Justice Tewatia,Justice Mahavir Singh,AVM Goel and manby others. People who attended  were sensitive ,very active like CS Jha, Maheep Singh,Inder Kumar and fifty more . parties reps were required to answer only people. ONLY SHOW OF THIS KIND ATTRACTED FULL FRONT PAGES PLUS IN ENGLISH & OTHER PAPERS INDIA WIDE.  Then with Late Madhu Mehta,Lt Gen Sinha, former Secty, A P Venkteshwaran,we had three days meet in 1993 in IIC- 'PEOPLE's PARLIAMENT'  350 delegates from all over India (each with undoubtful integrity) attenden with first Speaker Mr Malvankar's son as our speaker. Three days in pin drop silence.
Later disenchanted with NGO's, I go alone . AS YOU HAVE SEEN IF I SPEAK AGAINST SONIA, copy must go to her. I believe, sincerely, I  have contributed a lot.
NOW, I wish to, once again, go in for more active working. Non agitational.
I would appreciate to know a little  about you and other friends to form a group. Our approach would be simple,manifold and wd certainly bring results.
Bhagwat Goel,
U 26/1, DLF III,
White Town Houses,
Gurgaon 122002
TEL: 0124.4256713
MOB: 9818391144

From: Rajendra Chaddha <>
Sent: Sat, 10 July, 2010 7:50:37 AM
Subject: {satyapravah} Ram Mandir issue and make a favourable atmosphere for Hindutva in the country

जोधपुर. राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ के सर संघचालक मोहन भागवत ने मालेगांव में हिंदू आतंकवाद के दुष्प्रचार की कड़ी आलोचना करते हुए कहा कि हिंदू कभी आतंकी नहीं हो सकता। उन्होंने इस बात पर जोर दिया कि अब निचले स्तर पर प्रामाणिक कार्यकर्ताओं की फौज तैयार करने की जरूरत है।

इसके लिए संघ के अनुषांगिक संगठनों एवं संघ की शाखाओं में ज्यादा से ज्यादा युवाओं को जोड़ा जाए। शुक्रवार को जोधपुर के पास तिंवरी में राष्ट्रीय परिषद की बैठक के समापन के पूर्व सरसंघ चालक मोहन भागवत ने प्रांत प्रचारकों व वरिष्ठ पदाधिकारियों को अपने उद्बोधन में देश की युवा पीढ़ी से राष्ट्र निर्माण में सक्रिय भागीदारी निभाने का आव्हान किया।

भागवत का कहना था कि संघ वर्तमान में राजनीति से दूर रहकर ही अपनी पुरानी छवि को कायम कर सकता है। इसके लिए जरूरत इस बात की है कि साफ-सुथरी छवि के युवाओं को देश के समर्पण का पाठ पढ़ाया जाए, उन्हें संघ से जोड़ा जाए।

भागवत दो दिन जोधपुर रहेंगे :

सर संघचालक भागवत का दो दिन और जोधपुर में ही प्रवास का कार्यक्रम है। वे इस अवधि में संघ व अन्य संगठनों के कार्यकर्ताओं से बातचीत, और उद्योगपतियों, सामाजिक संगठनों के पदाधिकारियों से मिलकर राष्ट्र के निर्माण में उनकी भूमिका पर चर्चा करेंगे।

अलगाववाद पर भी नीति तय हो

बैठक के अंतिम दिन संघ की प्रांत व क्षेत्रीय रचना के अनुसार सत्र हुए। इसमें ग्राम को इकाई मानकर काम करने का संकल्प दिलाकर कार्यकर्ताओं को सेवा कार्य में जुटने को कहा। वरिष्ठ पदाधिकारियों ने संगठनात्मक चर्चा के दौरान अलग-अलग प्रांत में चल रहे अलगाववाद की समीक्षा की और इसे लेकर अपनी नीति भी तय करने पर जोर दिया। चीन के मसले पर संघ के पदाधिकारियों का मानना था कि यह बिंदु काफी महत्वपूर्ण है।

ऐसे में इस पर व्यापक चर्चा के बाद ही देशव्यापी जनजागरण चलाने की बात तय हुई। अयोध्या में मंदिर निर्माण के लिए अलगे चार महीने तक संघ अपनी संपूर्ण ताकत लगाएगा। विहिप व संतों के चलाए हर आंदोलन में अपनी सक्रिय भूमिका निभाएगा। जय श्रीराम के उद्घोष के बीच राष्ट्रीय परिषद की बैठक के समापन की घोषणा हो गई। बैठक के समापन के बाद संघ के अनुषांगिक संगठनों के कार्यकर्ता शुक्रवार शाम मंडोर एक्सप्रेस, बीकानेर-सिकंदराबाद एक्सप्रेस, हावड़ा व जैसलमेर-दिल्ली इंटरसिटी से गंतव्य के लिए रवाना हुए।
Rajendra  Kumar Chadha

National Joint Convener
Prajna Pravah
011-22374518  M +919818603977

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Alert Hindus’ solidarity pays rich dividend: Work on flyover harming Hindu sentiments stalled


The next step of the Erode success story

Alert Hindus' solidarity pays rich dividend: Work on flyover harming Hindu sentiments stalled

 A unique Bandh that was total and without any untoward incidents was held on May 28, 2010 at Erode, the hometown of atheist leader E V Ramaswamy Naicker.  The Bandh call was given by a struggle group 'Movement for Retrieving Periya Mariyamman Temple Land' comprising devotees of a Kali temple centrally located in the bustling commercial town.  The demands of the Movement include retrieval of more than 15 acres of temple land that Church of South India (CSI) possesses illegally.  The land was snatched from Hindus and handed over by Britishers to London Mission.  Adding to this, the Highways Department started work on a flyover running above the centuries old temple.  The 'Movement for Retrieving Periya Mariyamman Temple' submitted a memorandum to the Mayor of Erode Municipal Corporation requesting to drop the proceedings initiated.  Signatures of the Ward Councillors of the town were submitted along the Memorandum. 30 Ward Councillors of various parties – accounting for three-fourth of the Council strength - have signed the memorandum.  Based on this Memorandum, the Highways Department has stopped the work on a flyover running above the temple.  The expert opinion is that instead of the Rs 19 crore flyover projects there, the government would do well to ask the CSI to vacate the temple land that would pave the way for an unfinished 80 feet road to be completed at the cost of a few lakhs to ease traffic snarl. It was on this sensible demand backed by the mighty unity of the devotees that the Councillors were prompted to sign the memo.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rights for Terrorists Only?


Rights for Terrorists Only? 
Joginder Singh
When I opened a newspaper  recently,  I  saw the picture of a security personnel lying on the ground and half-a-dozen young hooligans beating him with sticks in Srinagar. Nobody was trying to stop such elements from desisting from thrashing the helpless policeman.
I was reminded of my tenure as Inspector General of Police in Srinagar during the worst period of 1988 when terrorist elements had kidnapped the daughter of the then Union Home Minister. The government in a gesture of abject surrender released the Pakistan-trained terrorists to secure her release.
Miserable repeated capitulation in the name of appeasement and so-called peace negotiations has emboldened terrorists, masquerading as separatists, and led to a skewed polity where there is nothing more left to yield.
The Central government has been hoping against hope and common sense that yield, yield and yield will lead to some positive results. Look at the sample of pacification, where even the parents of killed terrorists in open encounters are given a grant of Rs 10 lakh as a kind of rehabilitation money. More is being done for terrorists from the Kashmir Valley than for 3 lakh Hindus and Sikhs who were forced to leave as a part of well-thought-out ethnic cleansing.
A situation has been reached where any use of force in self-defence by the security forces is not only frowned at, but openly criticised by the State government that Central forces have gone out of control. The hot bed of terrorism are certain areas where even if a terrorist is killed, their supporters rise up in retaliation.
Every Citizen of India has a right to private defence, to defend himself or his body, except it appears the security forces!
Whether it is the media or the government, they find the security forces as villains of the piece who are responsible for all ills in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the publicity to terrorists which encourages them to make anti-India statements, with which they can get away. Margret Thatcher, the iron lady of the UK, once had rightly said that the publicity is the oxygen of terrorism. It is the publicity which gives terrorists a larger-than-life image.
The result of all this is reflected in the form of political parties vying with each other to outdo in supporting them. It is very true that the first, second and third priority of all politicians is to win, win and win, whatever be the means, and garner the support of even the devil.
The common citizen, who wants to lead a peaceful life, is unnecessarily dragged into the vicious circle of love and hate relationships. He cannot defy terrorists, as even the local government is playing double in appeasing them. So he feels that it is no use looking up to the government for protection, as its own leaders are living under the shadow of guns.
Nowhere in the world terrorism has been smashed with sweet talks and by dismal surrender. No security force has any grudge against any Kashmiri. They are following the orders of the government of the day.
If you throw stones, or attack security forces, you must expect retaliation  with double the might. Terrorist leaders, whom some call separatists, have been given government security, which is the worst form of submission.  Any excuse is good enough for terrorists to kick up a shindy, like giving place for temporary structures to the Hindu pilgrims going to the Amarnath shrine or the visit of the Prime Minister to the valley or killing of terrorists and intruders by security forces.
The worst sufferer in this matter is the ordinary Kashmiri, as nobody would like to invest in any place where bandhs and riots take place at the drop of a hat. Tourists also think twice before visiting any such place. It suits the terrorists to keep Kashmir in a disturbed state, as otherwise full-time pro-Pakistani politicians would lose their importance.
The way small-time politicians are going about, is wrecking the economy of the State. No amount of financial assistance is going to improve the situation. Despite the Prime Minister's repeated visits and peace talks offers to sort out the problem, if any, there have been no takers of it.
The terrorists have got away with the genocide of Hindus and Sikhs from the Muslim-majority valley, with the Government of India being a mute spectator. If anybody from Kashmir is not happy to be in India, including the terrorists hiding as separatists and communalists, it is time for them to quietly migrate to Pakistan or any other country in the world.
It is for the Government of India to accept the reality. In the name of democracy, such elements should not be allowed to get away with murder. Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power, which in the present case does not appear to have been exercised.
(The writer was Director, CBI) (ADNI)

Rajendra  Kumar Chadha
National Joint Convener
Prajna Pravah
011-22374518  M +919818603977

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Who is a Hindu?


Who is a Hindu?                                            

Compiled by Sanjeev Nayyar                                                   December 2004


Major world religions like Islam and Christianity are associated with Allah and Christ and seem to have a clear set of rules by which its followers live their lives. On the other hand Hindus do not - claim any one prophet, worship one God, subscribe to any one dogma, believe in more than one philosophical concept and a variety of customs and traditions. Who is a Hindu? Is it a religion? Can it be defined? What are the parameters by which one could be said to be a Hindu? As I move along the path of gyan – knowledge the definition gets only wider. In fact this is the fifth attempt at defining a Hindu!


Next can there be an all-inclusive definition? No because that would be going against one of the basic tenets of Hinduism i.e. open – mindedness. Hinduism has not one school of thought. There are six systems of philosophy along with hundreds of religious teachers each with his own interpretation of scriptures. There is nothing like this is the only way to self-realization. Over thousands of years Hinduism has continuously assimilated ideas and thoughts of people who accepted its Central Idea and came within its fold.


Notwithstanding the sanctity of the Holy Scriptures, Hinduism is for most of us a way of life. The article has four chapters, one to three attempts to define a Hindu & its key beliefs while four tells you how Bharat got the name India. Bharat is the Hindi name for India, meaning, The Land of Knowledge.

1. Hindu – Dharma    

  1. How did the word Hindu come into existence?
  2. How did Hindu become Hinduism?
  3. What is Religion? (Sri Aurobindo)
  4. Darsana or Direct Vision.
  5. The Indian equivalent of religion is Dharma. Define! (Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Rama, Sri Aurobindo, Munisri Nyayavijayaji and Swami Tattwamayananda). 


2. Key Beliefs

  1. Nine Beliefs
  2. Universal dimension
  3. Love for Motherland, Vedic view.
  4. Vedic Concept of God.
  5. Idol worship.
  6. 33 crore Gods! How?
  7. Ahimsa. (Vedic, Holy Geeta, Yogic, Jaina views and Sri Aurobindo).
  8. Tolerance.
  9. Worship of Animals.
  10. Worship of Water.
  11. Worship of Women.
  12. Worship of Trees.

18. What is it that distinguishes Hinduism from Islam and Christianity? 


3. Great Men said!

  1. Swami Vivekananda

20. Veer Savarkar.

  1. Sri Aurobindo.


4. Origin of Name India & a few thoughts.


Hindu – Dharma                                                         Chapter One


1.      How did the word Hindu come into existence?

According to our ex-President and scholar Dr S Radhakrishnan, the term Hindu had originally a territorial and not credal significance. It implies residence in a well-defined geographical area. As a modern term, Hindu has evolved from the Indo-Iranian root Sindhu. This Proto-Indo-Iranian word sindhus literally refers to the "Indus River" and the culture pertaining to its long expansive valley. This is where Hindu culture first developed.

(1)      Historically, however, at a very early date, Persian explorers entered the Indian subcontinent from the far Northwest. After they returned, they published chronicles. But due to the phonetics of their native Persian language, the 'S' of Sind became an aspirated 'H.' This is how the people of the Indus Valley came to be known generically as "Hindus" by the Persians. This flawed intonation inevitably stuck.

(2)      And was later re-imported when the invading Moguls conquered India. Since they always referred to the locals as "Hindus," the term was adopted by the Indians themselves as a way of distinguishing native culture from that of the foreign Muslims.

(3)      But it should be noted that still today there is a region, a people and a language called Sind.


Net net there was no word Hindu till the Muslims came to India. It was called Sanathan Dharam. Hindu is a modified version of Sindhu, was a term to indicate the region round the Sindhu river (modern day Indus) and then the whole of India. The Iranians substituted H for S making it Hindu. When the Muslims came in, there became two sets of people, one the Muslims and two the Hindus.


The 10th Sikh Guru in Dasam Granth in Ugradanti Chhake Chhand Vani under the description of 'Chandi Ki Var' stated, "Let Khalsa be victorious all over the world to awaken Hindu Dharma, so all falsehood or ignorance may be removed". In another verse he has used the word 'Hinduka'. Probably it was the word used in medieval times and the word may have been a prototype of the modern word Hindoo (Hindu) as the British would say.


2. How did Hindu become Hinduism?

The word Hinduism is incorrect nomenclature that was most probably coined by the British. Thereafter, it has stuck due to the ignorance of its followers. The term 'ism' refers to an ideology e.g. Marxism, socialism, communism, imperialism and capitalism but the Hindus have no such 'ism'. Hindus follow the continuum process of evolution; for the Hindus do not have any unidirectional ideology, therefore, in Hindu Dharma there is no place for any 'ism'. Hindus are democratic in approach, for each individual is free to adopt any philosophy or way to self-realization.


3. A more fundamental question, what is Religion?

Quote Sri Aurobindo "There is no word so plastic and uncertain in its meaning as the word is religion. The word is European…. The average Christian believes that the Bible is God's book, but ordinarily he does not consider anything in God's book binding on him in practice except to believe in God and go to Church once a week, the rest is meant only for the exceptionally pious. To believe in God is to believe that he wrote a book; only one in all those ages, and to go to Church is the minimum of religion in Europe".


Extracts from an article by Nandakumar Chandran. "A religion in the modern sense is generally understood in the Semitic mould as a faith distinguished by its belief in a historical prophet and a holy book. Thus the combination of Jesus and the Bible or Mohammed and the Quran establish the distinct identity of Christianity and Islam. According to these religions salvation or access to God is possible only if you accept the authority of their prophet and holy book. So each of these religions hold that theirs is the only true path and the claims of all other religions are false and invalid. At a secondary level apart from theological distinctions the adherents of these religions also distinguish themselves by their distinct cultural traits - like naming themselves after the holy men of their religions, dressing in a distinct way or observing cultural practices particular to their own religion. So it is in these factors - primarily the exclusive belief in prophet and holy book and secondarily in theological beliefs and distinct cultural practices - that the individual identity of a religion and its adherents rests. But if we look at India the concept of a prophet is totally lacking - no saint has ever claimed, "His is the only way".


4. Darsana - The Sanskrit word for philosophy is darsana, which means direct vision. The words symbolize the difference between modern Western philosophy, which mainly relies on intellectual pursuit and Indian philosophy that relies on direct vision of truths and pure Buddhi (reasoning). Darsana is divided into two categories namely Astika (believer in the Vedas) and Nastika (non-believer in the Vedas). Astika are Nyaya, Vaisheshik, Sakhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta. Nastika are Carvaka, Jainism and Buddhism. Others are a mixture of the ideas of these systems. Although each school of philosophy is unique some of the Nastika schools are treated as religions today namely Buddhism and Jainism.


However, certain common characteristics unite Astika and Nastika schools namely Direct experience, Acceptance of authority, Harmony amongst schools, Parallel growth and co existence of so many schools, open mindedness, support of logic and reasoning, belief of eternity, law of karma, moral and ethical teachings, acknowledgement of suffering, thoroughness, practicality and being inward looking. Have excluded Sikhism because in the words of Khushwant Singh Sikhism is a product of distilled Vedanta and Bhakti movement. To my mind culture, way of life and characteristics of philosophy are three key parameters that distinguish one religion from another. As a concept religion is alien to India.


5. The Indian equivalent of Religion is Dharma. Define!  

Quote Mahabharata Shantiparva – 6-7-8 " Truthfulness, to be free from anger, sharing wealth with others, (samvibhaga) forgiveness, procreation of children from one's own wife only, purity, absence of enmity, straight forwardness & maintaining persons dependent on oneself are the nine rules of the Dharma of persons belonging to all the varnas".


Manusmriti, Manu X-63 "Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not acquiring illegitimate wealth), Shoucham (purity), and Indriyanigraha (control of senses) are, in brief, the common Dharma for all the varnas".


Swami Rama wrote i.e. explanation to verse 31 and 32 of chapter 2 of the Gita "Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna that one's duty is of paramount importance, for it is the means to fulfill the purpose of life. That which supports the fulfillment of one's duty is called Dharma. Dharma is not comparable to religion; it encompasses all the dimensions of life both within and without. It refers to duties done harmoniously, skillfully, selflessly and lovingly. It supports one in fulfilling the purpose of life and helps one to relate to others and to society in a harmonious way".


Swami Dayanand Saraswati wrote "That which inculcates justice and equity, which teaches truthfulness in thought, speech and deed – in a word, that which is in conformity with the Will of God, as embodied in the Vedas, even that I call Dharma. But that which is intermixed with what is partial, which sanctions injustice, which teaches untruthfulness of thought, speech or deed – in brief that which is in antagonism to the Will of God, as embodied in the Vedas, that I term Adharma".


Sri Aurobindo wrote "Religion is India is a still more plastic term and may mean anything from the heights of Yoga to strangling your fellow man and relieving him of the worldly goods he may happen to be carrying with him. It would be too long to enumerate everything that can be included in Indian religion. Briefly however, it is Dharma or living religiously, whole life being governed by religion. It means in ordinary practice living according to authority. The authority generally accepted in the Shastra. When one studies the Shastra we realize that Indian life and it have little in common, the Indian governs his life by the custom and opinion of the nearest Brahman. In practice this resolves itself into following certain customs and observances of which he neither understands the spiritual meaning nor the practicality. For e.g. to venerate the scriptures without knowing them, to keep Hindu holidays, to worship all Brahmans without knowing whether they are venerable or not. This in India is the minimum of religion glorified as Sanatan Dharam. If a man has emotional or ecstatic piety, he is a Bhakta, if he can talk fluently about the Veda, Upanishads etc he is a Jnani. If he puts on a yellow robe and does nothing he is a tyagi or sannyasin.

The average Hindu is right in his conception of religion as dharma, to live according to holy rule, but the holy rule is not a mass of fugitive customs, but to live for God in oneself and others and not for oneself only, to make the whole life a sadhana the object of which is to realize the Divine in the world by work, love and knowledge".


Munisri Nyayavijayaji wrote in the book Jaina Darsana translated into English as Jaina Philosophy & Dharma by Shri Nagin Shah "This verse states that which saves living beings from falling into lower condition is Dharma. Again, it says that which lifts their life from the lower state to the higher one is Dharma. Dharma is the natural quality of the soul, which is experienced by all. On account of the removal of the traces of the past evil acts, the passions of attachment and aversion become mild, and consequently mental purity is attained, this purity is the real dharma. This is the luster of life. Compassion, friendliness, doing good to others, truthfulness, self-control, renunciation – all these good qualities constitute the auspicious light of the internal pure life. Life permeated with such light is called Dharmic life". Interestingly Shri Shah who translated the Gujarati version into English has used the word Religion in place of Dharma although the Sanskrit verses use the word Dharma.


Swami Tattwamayananda of the Ramakrishna Order wrote "Dharma has two broad divisions, namely pravrtti and nivrtti dharma. Pravrtti dharma is dealt with in the sacrificial portion (karma kanda) of the Vedas and is a pursuit of life, which enables the individual to live a happy life in this world while performing actions, and caring for duties and responsibilities in his domestic, social and national life. Nivrtti dharma, dealt with in the Upanisadic portion of the Vedic literature, is a pursuit to make us understand the unity of the Spirit, which transcends the conventions of laws of social and domestic life. Pravrtti dharma is divided into two, special (visesa) dharma and ordinary (samanya) dharma. Special dharma denotes the performance of duties by people relevant to their particular position in life, whereas general dharma includes the virtues of character and good conduct such as non-injury, truthfulness, non-stealing, charity, cleanliness, compassion, simplicity, absence of greed etc".


Sri Aurobindo on Dharma vs Democracy wrote "It has been said that democracy is based on the rights of man; it has been replied that it should rather take its stand on the duties of man; but both rights and duties are European ideas. Dharma is the Indian conception in which rights and duties lose the artificial antagonism created by a view of the world, which makes selfishness the root of action, and regain their deep and eternal unity. Dharma is the basis of democracy which Asia must recognize, for in this lies the distinction between the soul of Asia and the soul of Europe".


You see Dharma encompassed every aspect of our lives. Every action was either Dharmic or adharmic. An act of killing like that of Arjun's was considered Dharmic because it was meant to destroy evil from this world. Dharma is unique to Bharat.


Other Parameters                                                                                          Chapter 2

6. Nine Beliefs for all Hindus (quote the Himalayan Academy) – Here are nine beliefs or shraddha which summaries the Hindu view.

1.      Hindus believe in divinity of the Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture and venerate the agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and form the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion that has neither a beginning nor an end.

2.      Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

3.      Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.

4.      Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause & effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.

5.      Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth is attained. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.

6.      Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.

7.      Hindus believe that a spiritually awakened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation.

8.      Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, non-injury.

9.      Hindus believe that no particular religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.


7. Universal dimension – Swami Tattwamayananda of the Ramakrishna Order wrote " The Vedantic concepts of the spiritual oneness of existence, the whole world being one spiritual family (vasudhava kuttumbakam), individuals being essentially the very embodiments of purity and morality, and the concepts of dharma and karma, all provide a solid foundation for a great ethical philosophy, which is universal in dimension. This is all the more relevant today when a global approach is becoming more and more popular and acceptable in all spheres of life".


When we talk of spiritual oneness, one spiritual family it is only dharmic faiths or Indian religions using modern connotations that talk about it. It is only a Hindu who can teach millions of Americans Yoga without insisting that the student becomes a Hindu.


8. Love for Motherland, Vedic view - There is a full chapter in the Rig Veda on the subject of love for motherland (1-80). Atharva 12.1.62 "O Mother Land! If need be, we thy sons are ready to sacrifice our lives to protect your honor. May we remain united and defeat all our adversaries". There is a full-fledged Sukta in Vedas on the issue. Arth 12 Sukta.


So love for motherland, Bharat, is always associated with followers of Indian religions. During the partition of Bengal in 1905, the song Vande Mataram by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee became very important. It was a hymn for the love of motherland sublimated into a devotion to the Divine Mother Bharat. In that vision was manifest the trinity of Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and beauty) and Durga (the goddess of strength and energy).


9. Vedic Concept of God (briefly)

His Names - His best name is Om, comprised of three letters, a, u, m. A signifies Virat, the ruler of the Universe being omnipresent. U implied Hiranya-garbha, the upholder of all planers and M expresses his qualities as Ishwara, the universal intellect. He is also invoked by various names to indicate his qualities.


Rig V 1.164.46 – He is one but the wise call Him by different names. He is addressed as Indra, Varuna and Agni. He is shining Garutman. He is named Agni, Yama and Matarishva. Yajur V 32-1 – He is Agni. He is Aditya. He is Vayu. He is Chandrama (moon). He is Shankar, He is Brahma, He is Apah, He is Prajapati.


He is one and Only One of His Kind - Rig V 8.1.1. – One God alone is to be worshipped. O, ye friends! Do not glorify any other being than God so that sorrows and sufferings may not trouble you. Eulogize God of supreme power alone, as He is the shower of all blessings. Repeatedly pronounce the sacred hyms together in congregations.


God's attributes in the words of Swami Dayanand Saraswati are "God is Truth and Happiness itself, Formless, Almighty, Just, Merciful, Unbegotten, Infinite, Immutable, Without Beginning, Incomparable, All supporting, the Lord of All, All Pervading, Omnipresent, Imperishable, Immortable, Fearless, Eternal, Holy and Efficient Cause of the Universe".


10. Idol worship – Regarding Idol worship, while Vedas certainly do not have worship of Gods in human form, yet idol worship is not merely about worshipping gods in human form. The essence of idol worship is worshipping gods in some perceptible forms, which was very much there in Vedas. The symbols, which were instrumental to worship the almighty, were the 'powers of nature' - like sun, fire, wind etc. Moreover, Kenopanishad also provides for the first time manifestation of Almighty in human form - as a Yaksha. So the seeds are very much there in Vedas themselves, however, it was the Puranas written by Veda Vyasa which initiated the present day systems of Idol worship. Idol worship was first started in India by the Buddhists and probably the Jains.


Idol worship is only a means to an end and not the end by itself. When we look at an idol of say Sri Krishna it helps us improve our power of concentration by focusing on the idol - overcome distractions of the mind. Further by worshipping the idol we are trying to imbibe within ourselves the qualities represented by the idol, in this case Sri Krishna. As we move along the spiritual path the power of concentration helps us focus on the God within, the Atma or soul. However, there are some sects like the Arya Samajis or the Veersaivites (followers of Basavanna) who do not believe in idol worship. It does not make them any less Hindu.


Munisri Nyayavijayaji wrote in the book Jaina Darsana translated into English as Jaina Philosophy & Dharma by Shri Nagin Shah "An image is a symbol of the Supreme Soul, the highest ideal of non-attachment. It reflects perfect non-attachment. Dronacharya refused Ekalavya to teach archery. So Ekalavya made an idol of Dronacharya as he could and superimposed on it Dronacharya as his teacher. With great devotion to Dronacharya he started learning archery. As a result, he learnt archery and surpassed even Arjuna, the most favorite pupil of Dronacharya. How suggestive the illustration is!"


11. 33 crore Gods!

The Rishis were highly intelligent & observant people. Following the scientific premise that 'every effect has a cause', they inferred that even for this beautiful creation there has to be a creator, who naturally has to have not only the knowledge but also the power to create. Thus we have to have a causeless cause - who has to be omniscient, omnipotent & omnipresent. He being the creator has to as though stand apart from the creation, and is thus free from the all the limitations of time, space & objectivity, which characterize the creation. This transcendental, infinite embodiment of knowledge & power is what the scriptures call GOD. Infinite by its very definition has to be one, so we have the Vedas talking about one God.


Just as various ornaments are created out of one material,; so also one basic TRUTH manifests in various forms. That one reality is called as Brahman in Upanishads (from the word 'Brahat' meaning the largest thing conceivable by man), while it's various glorious manifestations are worshipped as various Devatas - the so-called 33 crore Gods. Here also the 33 crore stands for infinite. It is noteworthy here to indicate that in Hinduism we use two words as Ishwara & Devatas. The former is 'the thing', and the latter its manifestations. The problem comes because in English when we use the word 'God' for both Ishwara & Devatas. Devatas are also that one reality but manifested in a particular conditioning, while the word God represents the unconditioned truth.


12. AHIMSA – Thanks to Gandhi Ahimsa is a much-misunderstood term. To some it means that as a nation India must not fight wars and pursue the path of non-violence to achieve its objectives.

a) Vedic View             "When a nation is well protected through arms only then can all forms of knowledge and science flourish". For the defence of a country there are abundant references in the Vedas, to maintain a regular-armed force.


War when to be fought - According to the Vedas, war with the enemy is to be started when the enemy attacks or intends to attack. It is not to be fought simply to acquire territory of any other country.


Rig 5.54.14 - Atharva 11.10.1 – 'O brave warriors, rise with your banners and prepare yourself for (battle) to protect the territorial boundaries of the country. O snake like swift warriors, O demons like men and other people, chase the enemy who attempts to attack. Rig 5.54.7 – O warriors, you cannot be conquered by anyone, but you do not trouble any one or plunder any area. You are assigned to protect the kingdom.'

From a reading of the above it is clear that the role of the army was to defend when attacked and not run away from war. So violence as an act of protection was not abhorred.


b) Holy Geeta view                Pujya Swami Chinamayanandji beautifully spells it out in his commentary on the Geeta.

1.   Chapter 2, slokha 31 "Further, looking at thine own duty thou oughtest not to waiver,

      for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.


Arjuna's personal call-of-character (Swadharma) is that of a leader of his generation (Kshatriya) and as such, when his generation is called upon to answer a challenge of an organized un-Aryan force (Adharma), it his duty not to waver but to fight and defend his sacred national culture.


To the leaders of people, there can be nothing nobler than to get a glorious chance to fight for a righteous cause. That a king must fight on such a occasion is vividly brought out in the Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva –72-18 says "The sin that is committed by killing one who does not deserve to be killed is as great as the sin of NOT killing one who deserves to be killed". It's like saying that the man who pays a bribe as much in the wrong as the man who accepts one.


2.      Chapter 2, slokha 32, "Happy indeed are the Kshatriyas, O Partha, who are called to fight in such a battle, that comes of itself as an open door to heaven.


As used here, Kshatriya is not the name of a caste. It merely indicates a certain quality of the mental vasanas in the individual. Those who have ever-bubbling enthusiasm to defend the weak and poor, besides their own national culture from all threats of aggression are called Kshatriyas. Such leaders of men are not allowed to be tyrants or aggressors according to the code of morality of the Hindus. But, at the same time, a cold, feminine and cowardly non-resistance is not the spirit of the Hindu tradition. In all cases where the Hindu nation is forced to wage a war on the principles of righteousness the leaders of India are ordered to fight in the defense of their culture. Such battle-fields are the wide-open gates to Heaven for the defending heroes who fight diligently on the side of Dharma".


3.      Chapter 2, slokha 33, "But, if you will not fight this righteous war, then, having abandoned your own duty and fame, you shall incur sin".


4.      Chapter 2, slokha 34, "People too will recount your everlasting dishonor, and to one who has been honored, dishonor is more than death". We are yet to recover from the debacle of the Indo-China War of 1962.


5.      Chapter 3, slokha 21, "Whatever a great man does, that other men also do, whatever he sets up as standard, that the world follows.


The moral rejuvenation of a society in any period can take place only because of the example set up by leaders of the nation. The very creed of Krishna is active resistance to evil. His non-violence is not the instinctive incapacity of the day-dreaming coward who cannot stand up against injustice and fight for the accepted principles of national culture".


Buddhists and Jain sects have become strong propagators of Ahimsa today but history is replete with instances of Buddhist / Jain kings who took to violence to gain political superiority. An act of violence can be a Dharmic or adharmic act that is indeed what matters.


c) Yogic View  - David Frawley wrote "There are two main types of ahimsa in the Yoga tradition. The first is ahimsa as a spiritual principle that is followed by the monks, sadhus, yogis which involves non-violence on all levels. The second is ahimsa as a political principle, the ahimsa of the warrior or the Kshatriya that is followed by those who govern and protect society, which allows the use of violence to counter evil forces in the world, including to protect spiritual people, who often cannot defend themselves and become easy targets for the worldly people. Krishna taught this Kshatriya ahimsa to Arjuna for the benefit of future generations. Sages before Krishna also taught this, like Vishvamitra who taught Ram and Lakshman to destroy the evil forces that were persecuting spiritual people, so it is a very old tradition of India".


d) Sri Aurobindo wrote in India's Rebirth. "A few months earlier, Gandhi sent his son Devdas to Pondicherry to see Aurobindo. He asked my views about non-violence. I told him, "Suppose there is an invasion of India by the Afghans, how are you going to meet it with non-violence?" That is all I remember. I do not think he put me any other question".


e) Jaina View (in brief) - Munisri Nyayavijayaji wrote in the book Jaina Darsana translated into English as Jaina Philosophy & Dharma by Shri Nagin Shah "Non-violence is a spiritual power. Noble bravery demands self-sacrifice. To sacrifice one's self-interest and even one's life – if the need be – while resisting violence and supporting and fostering non-violence is the bravery of high order. To oppose violence only verbally and to run away out of fear when one is required to face physical sufferings is really not the practice of non-violence. Inspite of his having courage & strength to fight, the person who controls his passion & excitement on such occasions and does not yield to violence is the true practicer of non-violence. Coward & weak men's claim to the practice of non-violence is wrong.


It is the Kshatriyas who have taught non-violence, and those who follow their teachings are the brave men of heroic character. Prosperity and all round development choose and accompany the heroic character. Where there is weakness and feeling of fear, the practice of non-violence is impossible.


If one who knows swimming does not rescue a drowning man and simply watches him drown, it is an act of violence. Not to give food to the hungry inspite of one's ability to give food is also an act of violence. To remain indifferent to other's happiness, comforts and benefits for the sake of one's own is also an act of violence".

13. Tolerance

From the very beginning the followers of Hinduism realized that truth was many-sided and different views contained different aspects of truth, which no one could fully express. Further Direct Experience is an important characteristic of Indian philosophy meaning that each individual must have spiritual experiences himself. Since each one of us comes into this world with different experiences in our previous births our way of thinking differs. As we spiritually evolve we choose our own way of attaining self-realization. This knowledge inevitably bred a spirit of tolerance and willingness to understand and appreciate the other's points of view. This is how the several views set forth in India are considered to be the branches of the self-same tree.


14. Worship of Animals

Quote from an article Animals in Indian art by Nanditha Krishna. "Ancient India protected animals in the same way it protected all of nature, by creating an aura of sanctity of around them and celebrating their dignity. Such animals were the vehicles of the Gods. Others, such as the elephant-headed Ganesha and Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, became Gods themselves. This is probably no other culture in the world that has been so consistently associated with plant & animal life as the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions of India.


Indian art, which was used to allegorize values and moral beliefs, honored the dignity of animals. Hermits and saints were always depicted to be living in harmony with nature. Probably, as people moved from hunting to food production, the need to kill for food receded, and they could sit back and appreciate the qualities of the animals that were once their antagonists. The Vedas invested gods and animals with divine parentage. In the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu we have divine manifestations that are equally animal and human.


The lion capital of Ashoka, with the majestic Asian lions in Persepolitan stule, proclaimed the might of the king, and is now the emblem of the Govt of India. In contrast, as the base of the same capital, are frolicking animals to represent the Buddha: the elephant symbolized his birth, the lion his clan, the horse his renunciation and the bull his zodiac sign. The lion represented might, a symbolism that continued through Indian art history, as late as the Pallava and Vijayanagara periods. This probably saved the Asian lion from extinction.


Ungulates are prolific in art. The bull represented mobility and stature. It was also the capital of an Asokan pillar from Rampurva (Bihar). The bull accompanies Shiva, standing at the entrance to all Saivite shrines, while depictions of Uma Maheshvara (Shiva & Parvati) are prolific paintings in the Maratha paintings of Tanjore. The cow was of course, gow mata and Kamadhenu, a representative of Goddess Lakshmi. Unfortunately, the buffalo alone, representing the demon Mahisha destroyed by Durga, came to represent ignorance, slothfulness and evil and became a much maligned and sacrificed animal.


Birds were used to express human emotions. The swan represented morality and clean living, being the vehicle of Brahma and Sarasvati, while the crow was a messenger. The eagle hawk (Garuda) and similar large bird's symbolized speed, strength and sun. It was the enemy of the snake, feared yet respected and worshipped in the Naga stones of rural India". Feeding of birds is widely done. There is a roundabout circle in Mumbai called Kabutharkhana where thousands of pigeons are fed throughout the day.


15. Worship of Water.

There is probably no other culture in the world that attaches as much importance to water as we do. Before we start Puja water is sprinkled on select parts of our body to purify it. When a Hindu goes for any Yatra, be it to Mansrovar or Gangotri he invariably carries holy water for others. When fellow passengers at Kathmandu Airport saw me carrying a 20-litre can of Mansrovar water they asked to share the water. When I went to Hemkund Sahib in 2001 I saw Punjabi Sardars carry water from the holy lake there.


According to the Hindu Marriage Ceremony published by Jnana Prabhodini, Pune before the completion of the ceremony, there is a Blessing of the couple by sprinkling holy water. The priest says 'Dear friends, let us sprinkle the holy water from Yajna on the newly wedded couple and bless them'. So also after the wedding ceremony is over there is 'Singing of marriage hymns and removing the Antarpat on the auspicious moment'. The third stanza invites all the holy rivers to bless the couple. The sixth stanza says that so far as the Ganges is flowing through its course, so far as the sun is shining in the sky, so far as the Meru mountain is adorned with blue marble rocks, you enjoy life with sons and grandsons'.


Quote from an article by columnist Rajeev Srinivasan. "Ancient India did recognize the importance of their rivers as literally the lifeblood of the nation. Hence the great honor and respect given to them in Hindu scriptures. For e.g. read this slokha


'Gange cha! Yamuna chiava! Godavri! Saraswati!

Narmade! Sindhu! Kaveri! Jale asmin sannidhim kuru!


In this water, I invoke the presence of holy waters from The rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Cauvery!"


It is the Hindus who worship various elements of nature; water and sun are just a few.


16. Worship of Women.

It is only in Hindu dharma that women are worshipped i.e. the trinity of Sarasvati (the goddess of knowledge), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and beauty) and Durga (the goddess of strength and energy). During Navaratri three days are dedicated to each of these goddess.


Shri Pankaj Dixit wrote in the Times of India an article titled Invoking blessings of Goddess Lakshmi on Deepavali, "Women are considered to be the human form of Goddess Sri or Lakshmi. The wife's role in domestic prosperity is of prime importance in Hindu religion and she is termed Grihalakshmi. As the spouse of Lord Vishnu, Lakshmi becomes a model wife – loyal, loving, caring and ever ready to fulfill her duties. Deepavali is, therefore, celebrated as a festival of Gayatri, Sri and their beautiful human incarnate, the wife".


Quote Shri H V Seshadri from a recent article on Hindu Values, "One is often astonished at the continuing stability of the Hindu home inspite of the most trying circumstances over the last one thousand years. But one cannot understand the secret of this immortality unless one realizes the vital role of woman in the entire Hindu social structure. Home is the vital arena in which woman is expected to play the crucial role of not only caring for the health of the child but also molding its character".


Some of you might ask why is it that women in some parts of the country are not treated as well today. To find answers please read A Tribute to the Indian Women that traces her history from the Vedic times to 1947 OR read 'Dowry Murder, the Imperial Origins of this Crime' by Veena Talwar.


17. Worship of Trees

Dr Satish Kapoor wrote in an article 'Sacred Trees of the Hindus' "Trees being nature's major processors of solar energy which is vital for our existence, and yielding flowers, fruit, wood or medicine, have been worshipped by the Hindus as a matter of gratitude. Manu believed that they were conscious like humans and felt pleasure and pain. Indian sages and seers eulogized asvattha or peepal (Ficus religiosa), gular (Ficus glomerata), neem (Azadirachta indica), bel (Aegle marmelos, bargad or banyan (Ficus bengalensis), Asoka (Sereca indica), amala (Phyllanthus emblica), arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) and many other trees which acquired social and religious sanctity with the passage of time.


Bel, rudraksa (seeds of Elaeccarpus) and ber (Zizyphus jujuba) are considered dear to Lord Siva, sala (Shorea robusta) and pipal to Lord Visnu; kadamba (Anthocephalus cadamba) to Lord Krsna; mango (Mangifera indica) to Lord Hanuman, asoka to Kamadeva; silk cotton (Bombax malabaricum) to the goddess Laksmi; and coconut or sriphala (Cocos nucifera) to Varuna or the lord of waters, and to many other gods and goddesses. Tulsi tree is worshipped with great fervor.


So you Hindus or must I say residents of India worshipped various forms of nature namely water, trees, sun etc. We realized the importance of living in peace with nature early on.


18. What is it that distinguishes Hinduism from Islam and Christianity?

I would like to reproduce a letter written by Swami Vivekananda that answers the question briefly. It appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune of 20 September of 1893, "We who come from the East have sat here on the platform day after day and have been told in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look at history and see that the prosperity of Christian Europe began with Spain. Spain's prosperity began with the invasion of Mexico. Christianity wins its prosperity by cutting the throats of its fellowmen. At such a price Hindus will not have prosperity. I have sat here today and I have heard the height of intolerance. I have heard the creeds of the Muslims applauded, when today the Muslim sword is carrying the destruction into India. Blood and sword are not for the Hindu, whose religion is based on the laws of love".


Words of Great Men                                                                         Chapter 3


19. Quote Swami Vivekananda

Have quoted excerpts "From the spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multi various mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion.


Address at the World's Parliament of Religions at Chicago on 11/9/1893 – I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation, which has sheltered the persecuted, and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth.


Every one of the great religions in the world, excepting our own, is built on historical characters, but ours rests upon principles. There is no man or women who can claim to have created the Vedas. They are the embodiment of eternal principles, sages discovered them.


The Hindu can worship any sage and any saint from any country, go to churches and mosques, and that is good. Why not? Ours, as I have said, is the universal religion. It is inclusive enough; it is broad to include all the ideals.


Ours is the religion of which Buddhism, with all its greatness, is a rebel child, and of which Christianity is a very patchy imitation.


This religion of ours admits of a marvelous variation, an infinite amount of liberty to think and live our own lives.


The religion of the Vedas is the religion of the Hindus, and the foundation of all Oriental religions: that is, all other Oriental religions are offshoots of the Vedas, all Eastern systems of religions have the Vedas as authority".


20. Now let's look at a patriot's definition. I quote Veer Savarkar "A Hindu is a person who regards his land as Bharat-Varsha from the Indus to the Seas as his fatherland as well as his Holyland that is the cradle land of his religion".


For a Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh using modern day connotations he is firmly aligned to only one country Bharat. He could become a citizen of the U.S. but Bharat is where he belongs, his roots are. Now take the Muslims - they protest against the bombings in Afghanistan, are quick to declare Fatwas against Hindus, Christians but when innocent Hindus are massacred in Jammu & Kashmir or elsewhere by Muslim jehadis groups there is silence.


21. Sri Aurobindo wrote – "But what is the Hindu religion? What is this religion, which we call Sanatan, eternal? It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country; it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion, which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion, which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God. It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion, which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but also to realize it with every part of our being. It is the one religion, which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the one religion, which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death…"


Origin of the name India!                                          Chapter 4


The Modern term "India" is simply ancient Greek, though pronounced a little differently than in English, of course. It is an early Hellenism whereby the Persian 'H' was changed to 'I.' this further lends knowledge of the ancient Greek indikos and Latin indicus, equivalent adjectives meaning "Indian, pertaining to India, having to do with India," etc. Similarly, the botanical term for Indian hemp is Cannibis indica.


Sindhu thus evolved into Old Persian 'hinduš' and was consequently borrowed from Persian into Greek as Indos. Greek thereafter formed the name of the country from this stem 'ind-' with the suffix '-ia,' a typical method of forming the names of countries in Greek. Our name for the river, 'Indus,' is the Latin form of the Greek name and isn't original. Hindu, then, simply means "Indian," "Made In India""A Product of Hindustan." In Urdu the word Hindusthan is used to indicate the Urdu speaking areas of the Indian sub-continent.


Books referred to are Seven Systems of Indian Philosophy by Pandit Rajmani Tugnait, The Tragedy of Partition by H V Seshadari, India's Rebiirth by Sri Aurobindo, Chips from a Vedic Workshop by Inder Dev Khosla, History, Culture of the Indian People by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Hindu Centum by Pandit Deen B C Sharma and AIR 1995 Supreme Court 2089 in Bramchari Sidheswar Shai vs. State of West Bengal with inputs from Troy Harris and my Email Guru.

Friends can we replace Western words like Religion, God, and Secularism with corresponding Indian ones like Dharma, Ishwar. For example Yagna is understood by the common man to mean sacrifice but actually is something different. According to Sri Aurobindo, "the central idea of yajna is the giving by man, of what he possesses in his being, to the higher or divine nature and its fruit is the further enrichment of his manhood by the lavish bounty of God. The wealth thus acquired constitutes as state of spiritual riches, prosperity, felicity which is itself a power for the journey and force or battle".


Today we have allowed Muslims & Greeks / Christians to define our identity. The former gave us the name Hindu & made Bharat Hindusthan while the latter made it India. Even our national language Hindi is not national in the true sense. Dr Ernest Trump wrote in the book The Adi Granth written in 1877 "By Hindui we mean the modern idiom since the beginning of our century and as spoken as present. There is of course no essential difference between Hindui & Hindi as regards the significance of the two adjectives, hindui being derived from Hindu, a Hindu and Hindi from the Arab noun hind". India's national language Hindi is of recent origin and is actually Khariboli form of Hindi. As such it did not come into use before 1800 a.d. & its effective literary development started only after 1850. Prior to 1850 when we said Hindi literature it meant Brajbhasa the most important form of Western Hindi. What I am saying is that some of our national symbols are a product of foreign influence.


So our national language was spoken in a very small area. Now suppose the mother of all Indian languages, Sanskrit, was made the national language we would have never had anti Hindi agitations in Tamil Nadu. Sanskrit influences every South Indian language particularly Kannada, Malayalam and Telegu. There would never have been any North South divide of the type that our country has witnessed if only Sanskrit (a simpler version) was made our national language after independence.


Friends let me draw an analogy. The atma or soul of India – Bharat is Sanatan Dharam. The conquest of Bharat by Islam and Christianity had left impressions or samskaras on its soul. These impressions are like dust covering a piece of glass, have led to maya, delusion, confusion and led to the degeneration of India. So if India has to discover its soul it needs to rediscover Sanatan Dharam and remove the impressions caused by past conquests. What India has been witnessing over the last twelve plus years is an attempt by the Hindu mind to break away from the past and redefine itself based on Dharma.  


What existed in Bharat then & now, what unites us is a Central Idea called Sanatana Dharma, "the Eternal or Universal Dharma. Dharma means universal law, the fundamental principles behind this marvelous universe like the Law of Karma. Sanatana means perennial, referring to eternal truths that manifests in ever-new names and forms. Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world because it is based on the eternal origins of creation. But it is also the newest religion in the world because it adjusts to new names and forms to every generation and looks to living teachers not old books, as its final authority". Quoted from Hinduism and the Clash of Civilizations by David Frawley.


No wonder said Sri Aurobindo on 30/5/1909 "When it is said that India shall be great, it is Sanatan Dharma that shall be great".


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