Culture, History, Religion

NO COMPROMISE. SIRF MANDIR BANEGA WAHAN

I was a student when the Babri Masjid was brought down. It was also the time when I was shaking off the effects of 12 years of brainwashing at a Christian mission school and was slowly understanding what had been done to the Hindus as a people, as a civilization, and as a culture.

As I revisited History and read about the depredations and humiliation that had been wrought upon my ancestors I was shocked to say the least. I had never been taught all of this at School or College and therefore it came as a shock and a revelation.

More importantly it made me go back to my roots and re-examine my own connection with the tenets of my own Dharma. Dec 6, 1992 is therefore one of the most important days in my life.

It showed that a more assertive and a stronger Hindu who fights for his/her rights is the need of the hour, someone who would be uncompromising, firm, and clear in his/her vision that he/she is the legatee of the greatest culture the world has ever known. This land, this Karmabhoomi -Bharata is the only place now where this culture still flourishes (however distorted or diluted). It is our collective duty to preserve, recharge, and hand over to the next generation.

In this context, I read an article yesterday which talked about how Tulsidas had made no mention of the demolition of a Temple. It was written by a “nominal” Hindu, the kind who are deracinated and ashamed of their own roots.

Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya, considered the foremost authority on Tulsidas has however cited verses from two works composed by Tulsidas which, in his opinion, are relevant to the dispute. The first citation consisted of eight verses from a work called Dohā Śataka, which describe the destruction of a temple and construction of a mosque at the disputed site in 1528 CE by the Mughal ruler Babar who had ordered General Mir Baqui to destroy the “temple of the infidels” – the temple dedicated to Maryada Purushottam Rama

Below is a snapshot from that “Doha Sataka” where Tulsidas talks poignantly of how these barbarians came and destroyed this Ram temple. See highlighted portions in the photo below. It is takea from this PDF available at this link (http://elegalix.allahabadhighcourt.in/…/ay…/honsaj-vol-4.pdf) which was part of the evidence submitted to the court. Please do download and read the entire PDF.

Ramjanmabhoomi-Tulsi-shatak

#MANDIRWAHINBANAYENGE #WAHANSIRFMANDIRBANEGA#JAISHRIRAM

Advertisements
Culture, History, Religon, Spirituality

SATYAKAMA JABALA – THE SEEKER OF TRUTH & THE KEY ROLE WOMEN PLAY IN INSTILLING VALUES & RESPECT FOR THE DHARMA

In the Chandogya Upanishad one reads the story of Satyakama, the son of Jabala. Satyakama was brought up by Jabala a single-mother (yes during the vedic times, so there is nothing new about single-mothers now). No one knew who his father was. Interestingly, neither did Jabala herself.

Jabala was a very good mother and she instilled all the right values in Satyakama. She particularly taught him the importance of speaking the truth at all times and Satyakama took this to heart and imbibed it fully.

As Satyakama grew up into a young lad, he saw that all the other boys in the neighbourhood and even his friends were enrolling themselves into the Gurukula and Satyakama was also very keen to get himself admitted into a Gurukula.

As per the practice then, a boy desirous of getting into a Gurukula had to state his Kula, Gotra, father’s name, essentially his lineage. He walked up to his mother and told her about his desire to join the Gurukula and asked her to tell him his father’s name and his lineage.

His mother replied “Son, I have worked at many places, served many people, and lived at many places. You were born when I was young and I honestly don’t know who your father is. She went on “You can go to the Gurukula and when the Guru asks you, tell him this – I am Satyakama, the son of Jabala and I am interested in acquiring knowledge”

Satyakama walked to the Gurukula and stood before Rishi Haridrum Gowthama and when questioned by the Rishi, stated the exact words that his mother had taught him. The Rishi Gowthama looked at the young boy for a moment and then smiled. He said “You are truly a boy from a very high Gothra/Kula. Only someone born to great parents can speak thus. From today you shall be my son, let us first perform your upanayana and then we shall start your Vidyabyasa.”

This story illustrates the key role women play in protecting and nurturing the Dharma and also how important it is for them to instill the values of our Dharma into children.

In the concluding section of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, called the “Vamsha-Brahmana” there is a listing of the “Gurus” who have protected and taught the Upanishad over the years along with their lineage. In this list, for many Rishis only their Mother’s name is mentioned. There is no mention of a father’s name. The list of mother’s names is fairly long, showing how much importance was accorded to women in the Dharma.

Adi Sankara in his commentary on this Upanishad notes in his typical clear and pithy style “The mother it is who determines the character of a person. All these Gurus mentioned in the Upanishad are truly of impeccable character – It is perhaps because of this that only the names of their mother’s is mentioned here…”

satyakama

This story also brings out two key points:

  1. It shows what qualities are important for a student – he/she should be truthful and he must have within him this thirst for acquiring knowledge.
  2. The Guru must be willing to teach any student who is desirous of learning and acquiring knowledge – that should be the most important criterion and all other factors such as caste, lineage etc. are not really that important.
Culture, History, Spirituality

SRI AUROBINDO’S UTTARPARA SPEECH AND HINDU NATIONALISM

Soon after Sri Aurobindo was released from his one-year incarceration he gave what was at that time and still remains an epochal speech – famous as the Utarrpara speech. In that speech, Sri Aurobindo laid out his plan both the spiritual and the political.

The impact of the words he uttered on that day had an extraordinary effect on all those who heard him. People threw flowers and jasmine garlands and a huge heap of these flowers fell all around the table and the dais. Sri Aurobindo as was his habit walked away leaving the pile of garlands as is. People jumped on stage to pick up garlands that had touched the body of Sri Aurobindo as a token of the divinity and pregnant import of that moment...

What he said that day is particularly relevant in today’s troubled times when the Gov’t we reposed faith in has done precious little to further the cause of the Hindus and you have Christian pastors asking people to vote against the “FORCES OF NATIONALISM.” and deracinated “Din I ILahi’s” (borrowed from Sri Rohit Arya) poking fun at women who sacrificed their lives to protect their and their family’s honour…

//Excerpts//

We are the descendants of those who performed Tapasya and underwent unheard-of austerities for the sake of spiritual gain… We are the children of those MOTHERS WHO ASCENDED WITH A SMILE THE FUNERAL PYRE that they may follow their husbands to another world.

When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that it is for the SANATANA DHARMA that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world. When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists. TO MAGNIFY THE RELIGION MEANS TO MAGNIFY THE COUNTRY.

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…

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 to realise 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.

Aurobindo-Acquital
Soon after his acquital

#HINDURASHTRA


Image Source: http://savitri.in/library/resources/sanatana-dharma/may-30-2009

 

History

BHAWANI MANDIR – SRI AUROBINDO; BARINDRA KUMAR GHOSH; 1905-1906; BARODA

July 20, 1905 the colonial government announced the partition of Bengal. The announcement was made by the then Viceroy of India Lord Curzon and proposed to separate the muslim-majority East from the Hindu-majority West, with Dhaka and Kolkata as the respective capitals.

This led to tremendous agitation all across India and particularly in Bengal. Sri Aurobindo at that time was in Baroda but active in the revolutionary movement that wanted to overthrow the British government. From Baroda, he wrote to the revolutionary workers in Bengal “This is a fine opportunity. Carry on the anti-partition agitation powerfully. We will get many workers for the movement.” He also wrote and sent a pamphlet titled “No compromise” Not a single printing press in Bengal would print it, so it was typeset secretively in a friend’s house and a few 1000 distributed by hand.

This was also the time when Sri Aurobindo wrote the famous revolutionary booklet “Bhawani Mandir.” Although Sri Aurobindo wrote it, the idea for the booklet and indeed for the creation of a Bhawani Mandir which would be located in a forest on a mountain-top, where workers would dedicate themselves to the cause of India’s freedom in the spirit of complete renunciation and sharanagati to the great mother “Shakti” to that “Chandika / Bhawani” was Barindra Kumar Ghosh’ (Sri Aurobindo’s youngest brother) idea. 

Barindra Kumar Ghosh (Barin); 1880-1959 was very active in the revolutionary movement in Bengal and worked closely with Bagha Jatin (Jatindranath Mukherjee). Barin and Bagha Jatin recruited many young revolutionaries from across Bengal and formed the Maniktala group in Maniktala, Kolkata, a secret godown for manufacturing bombs which also served as a store for arms and ammunition.

In 1908 Khudiram and Prafulla two young revolutionaries attached to the Maniktala group failed in their attempt to kill Kingsford, the Chief Magistrate of the Calcutta Presidency (who was infamous for inflicting harsh and severe punishment on even young boys who were part of the revolution).

Khudiram Bose who was arrested and subsequently tried and sentenced to death was only 18 years old when he was hanged to death. The British Newspaper “The Empire” noted that “Khudiram Bose was executed this morning…It is alleged that he mounted the scaffold with his body erect. He was cheerful and smiling.”

Prafulla the other young revolutionary took his own life when he ran out of bullets in a standoff with the British police (I will write about these two in a separate post).

The investigations that followed this assasination attempt led to the arrest of Barin Ghosh on 2 May 1908, along with many of his comrades. The trial (known as the Alipore Bomb Case) initially sentenced Barin Ghosh to death. However, the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment, and Barin was deported to the Cellular Jail in Andaman in 1909. He was released only in 1920 after 11 long years in one of the worst detention camps in history. His detention was not like that of the false heroes – Gandhi and Nehru spending their time in relative comfort even when under arrest – writing letters, books, and chatting with friends and prison staff.

Barin Ghosh later became a journalist and was even associated with “The Statesman” before he also followed his brother into spirituality. He died in 1959.

How many remember Barin Ghosh, or for that matter Khudiram or Prafulla? That is what was done to our history by the leftists and communists who usurped control over educational institutions in a Quid pro quo with the Congress and specifically Indira Gandhi – intellectual power to the Left and Political power to the Congress

Below is a passage from the booklet “Bhawani Mandir” which not only reflects the sorry and rotten state of the Hindus today but should (hopefully) also serve as a source of inspiration to take the fight forward. For, although the battle to reclaim our culture maybe lost for now, the war is still to be won and we shall prevail. That is how we Hindus are – it is the few, the committed who have kept the flame burning and so shall it be even now.

OUR KNOWLEDGE IS A DEAD THING FOR WANT OF SHAKTI
—————————————————————————————————
//QUOTE//
Is it knowledge that is wanting? We Indians, born and bred in a country where Jnana has been stored and accumulated since the race began, bear about in us the inherited gains of many thousands of years. Great giants of knowledge rise among us even today to add to the store. Our capacity has not shrunk, the edge of our intellect has not been dulled or blunted, its receptivity and flexibility are as varied as of old. But it is a dead knowledge, a burden under which we are bowed, a poison which is corroding us, rather than as it should be a staff to support our feet and a weapon in our hands; for this is the nature of all great things that when they are not used or are ill used, they turn upon the bearer and destroy him.

Our knowledge then, weighed down with a heavy load of Tamas, lies under the curse of impotence and inertia. We choose to fancy indeed, nowadays, that if we acquire Science, all will be well. Let us first ask ourselves what we have done with the knowledge we already possess, or what have those who have already acquired Science been able to do for India. Imitative and incapable of initiative, we have striven to copy the methods of England, and we had not the strength; we would now copy the methods of the Japanese, a still more energetic people; are we likely to succeed any better? The mighty force of knowledge which European Science bestows is a weapon for the hands of a giant, it is the mace of Bheemsen; what can a weakling do with it but crush himself in the attempt to wield it?
//UNQUOTE//

Culture, History, Spirituality

ARULMIGU KALYANA VENKATARAMANA SWAMY TEMPLE

The moolavar (main deity) here is Kalyana Venkatraman. The “Venkatraman” in my name comes from here. Located in Thanthondri Malai (Karur district), this is not far from Tirumanilayur; Periyar; Karur. The “T” in my name stands for Tirumanilayur the place of my forefathers.

My grandfather moved from here to teach English literature at the St. Joseph’sArts and Science College, Bengaluru, many years ago when the British still ruled and the state of Karnataka was not yet formed. I was born in Bengaluru and so was my father. Therefore for all practical purposes Bengaluru is my native place.

Our Kuladeivam however is this Kalyana Venkatraman a “Swayambu-Murthy”. This Perumal stands majestically inside a little Kudavarai (cave) on top of this west-facing hillock called Thanthondri (Thandoni) Malai. The cave was artificially deepened and a stage erected over and around the Swayambu Perumal. Here Arulmigu Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy poses with his consort Lakshmi on his chest. This is one of the few temples where there is no separate sannidhi for the “Thayar” (Mother Goddess).

According to the Sthala Puranam, Adiseshan prevented Vayu from entering Vaikunta at a time when Thirumal (Vishnu) was in conversation with Thirumagal (Lakshmi). They got into a fight and the Lord in order to put an end to the fight organized a contest – a test of strength, he asked Adiseshan to wrap his body around the Tiruvenkata Malai (Tirumala) and asked Vayu to use his strength to dislodge the mountain from the coils of Adiseshan. Vayu lost the contest. He however waited for Adiseshan to relax his coils, turned himself into a great cyclone and blew so hard that a piece of the mountain dislodged and landed at Thanthondri. This is why Thanthondri malai is also called “Then Tirupati” The Tirupati (Balaji) of Tirumala decided to make Thanthondri also his residence and declared that this hillock would possess the same holiness and divine shakti that Tirumala possesses.

During the month of Puratasi (Kanya Maasa) it is our family tradition to worship this Kalyana Venkatramana Swamy on one of the Saturdays of the month. For the puja a “Maa Vilakku” (a lamp made of rice powder and in which ghee is used instead of oil – this Maa Vilakku is then taken as Prasad). Today (September 30, 2017) was the day of that Puja. A few photos of the puja and also of Tanthondri malai.

 

Photos of Arulmigu Kalyana Venkatraman, courtesy: http://www.thanthoniperumal.tnhrce.in/index.html

History, Religon

THE KANCHI PARAMACHARYA ON WHY HINDUISM IS ACTUALLY A NAMELESS RELIGION

What is the name of the religion that is practiced in the land of Bharatha? Some call it Hinduism, some Sanatana Dharma – but isn’t Sanatana Dharma an overarching term that refers to all the religions that are Indic in origin? And, is Hinduism really the name of this ancient religion. The Paramacharya of Kanchi Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi calls it the nameless religion. Why? Because it is the most ancient religion – the mother ship, the fountainhead of all other religions. The Paramacharya asks – “If there was only one religion that existed all over the world, why would anyone need to give it a name?” Below, is a summary of the Paramacharya’s views on this question.

Our religion which predates all these (other religions) had spread all over the world. Since there was no other religion to speak about then, it was not necessary to give it a name. When I recognised this fact I felt at once that there was no need to be ashamed of the fact that our religion had no name in the past. On the contrary, I felt proud about it.

All religions barring our own were established by single individuals. “Buddhism” means the religion founded by Gautama Buddha. Jainism was founded by the Jina called Mahavira. So does Christianity owe its origin to Jesus Christ.

In none of our ancient sastras does the term “Hindu religion” occur. The name “Hindu” was given to us by foreigners. People from the West came to our land across the Sindhu river which they called “Indus” or “Hind” and the land adjacent to it by the name “India”. The religion of this land came to be called “Hindu”. The name of a neighbouring country is sometimes applied to the land adjacent to it. Let me tell you an interesting story in this connection. In the North people readily give alms to anybody calling himself a bairagi. These bairagis have a grievance against Southerners because they do not follow the same practice. “Illai po po kahe Telungi” is one of their ditties. “Telugus do not say “po, po” but “vellu” for “go, go”.”Po” is a Tamil word.

Then how would you explain the line quoted above? During their journey to the South, the bairagis had first to pass through the Telugu country (Andhra); so they thought that the land further south also belonged to the Telugus. There is the same logic behind the Telugus themselves referring to Tamil Nadu as “Arava Nadu” from the fact that a small area south of Andhra Pradesh is called “Arva”. Similarly, foreigners who came to the land of the Sindhu called all Bharata beyond also by the same name.

However it be, “Hinduism” was not the name of our religion in the distant past. Nor was it known as “Vaidika Mata” (Vedic religion or as “sanatana dharma” (the ancient or timeless religion). Our basic texts do not refer to our faith by any name.

That is why I say: “SINCE THERE WAS NO OTHER RELIGION TO SPEAK ABOUT THEN IT WAS NOT NECESSARY TO GIVE IT A NAME”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Culture, History, Opinion

ON THIS GANDHIAN PRINCIPLE OF AHIMSA

Image result for Bengal killings partition

A good friend (who I have great respect for) wrote on the blood-lust that was on display the last few days on the lanes of SM, the need for introspection, and to practice the Gandhian philosophy of Ahimsa. He is right to the extent that some of it was over-the-top and bordered on the maniacal and there is indeed need for introspection on both sides. Here, I am however focusing on this oft quoted “अहिंसा परमो धर्मः” and Gandhi’s endorsement of it.

Contextually, it has to be looked at as:

अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथीव च
“IF NON-VIOLENCE IS THE PRIMARY DHARMA; SO TOO IS VIOLENCE IN THE CONTEXT OF PROTECTING DHARMA”

How I understand this is as follows: I will on my own volition cause no living being harm but it does not in anyway prevent me from using Himsa to protect myself, my family, and my dharma when faced with annihilation – This is in fact THE DHARMA.

And, Ahimsa is not just the act, it is also Vaak, Manas, Tvak, Chakshu, Jihva (Speech, Mind, Skin, Eye/Sight, Tongue) and so on…By this criteria, practitioners of Ahimsa should not be indulging in abuse of the verbal kind as well and if they do that then they cannot take refuge under the umbrella of Ahimsa.

And, what is the practicality of ahimsa? The true test of Ahimsa is if you can apply it when you or your near and dear ones are personally in danger. When a crazed Jihadi is smashing heads and bones with a Van as his WMD will you practice ahimsa?

When Suhrawardy unleashed his hordes on the Hindus of Bengal killing, raping, maiming and butchering men, women, and children the Hindus of Bihar and Punjab indulged in retaliatory killing of Muslims – What did Gandhi do? He went on a fast asking that Hindus stop Himsa and told the Hindus to die cheerfully at the hands of their “Muslim brothers” HIS AHIMSA WAS A CLOAK FOR HIS COWARDICE.

When the asura hordes disturbed the yajnas and threw flesh and blood into the sacrificial fire did not the Rishis ask Rama to kill the Asuras? When Shisupala indulged in unprovoked verbal Himsa did not Krishna sever his head after he crossed the line for the 100th time?

Where would we have been if Dharmic rulers like Shivaji had not stood up for the protection of our Dharma?

Himsa that leads to the destruction of a Dharma and the practitioners of that Dharma cannot be confronted with Ahimsa. And if in the face of Himsa, the practitioners of that Dharma sit and watch in the name of Ahimsa then there is nothing more adharmic than that.

Didn’t the Lord himself say:

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । 
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥४-७॥

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् । 
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥४-८॥


Photo Credit: Available at: http://www.oldindianphotos.in/2011/01/calcutta-communal-riot-or-great.html. Last accessed: Sept 8, 2017.