When Germany is Christian, is India Hindu?

(Denying One’s Own Roots)

By Maria Wirth
Though I live in India since long, there are still some points that I find hard to understand – for example why many educated Indians become agitated when India is considered as a Hindu country. The majority of Indians are Hindus. India is special because of its ancient Hindu tradition. Westerners are drawn to India because of it. Why then is there this resistance by many Indians to acknowledge the Hindu roots of their country?
This attitude is strange for two reasons. First, those educated Indians seem to have a problem only with ‘Hindu’ India, but not with ‘Muslim’ or ‘Christian’ countries. In Germany for example, only 59 percent of the population are registered with the two big Christian Churches (Protestant and Catholic), however, the country is bracketed under ‘Christian countries’. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, stressed recently the Christian roots of Germany and urged the population ‘to go back to Christian values’. In 2012, she postponed her trip to the G-8 summit for a day to address the German Catholic Day. Two major political parties carry ‘Christian’ in their name, including Angela Merkel’s ruling party.
Germans are not agitated that Germany is called a Christian country, though I actually would understand if they were. After all, the history of the Church is appalling. The so called success story of Christianity depended greatly on tyranny.  “Convert or die”, were the options given not only to the indigenous population in America some five hundred years ago. In Germany, too, 1200 years ago, the emperor Karl the Great ordered the death sentence for refusal of baptism in his newly conquered realms. It provoked his advisor Alkuin to comment: ‘One can force them to baptism, but how to force them to believe?’
Those times, when one’s life was in danger if one dissented with the dogmas of the Church, are thankfully over. And nowadays many in the west do dissent and leave the Church in a steady stream – partly because they are disgusted with the less than holy behavior of Church officials and partly because they can’t believe in the dogmas, for example that ‘Jesus is the only way’ and that God sends all those who don’t accept this to hell.
And here comes the second reason why the resistance to associate India with Hinduism by Indians is difficult to understand. Hinduism is in a different category from the Abrahamic religions. Its history, compared to Christianity and Islam was undoubtedly the least violent as it spread in ancient times by convincing arguments and not by force. It is not a belief system that demands blind belief in dogmas and the suspension of one’s intelligence. On the contrary, Hinduism encourages using one’s intelligence to the hilt. It is an enquiry into truth, based on a refined (methods are given) character and intellect. It comprises a huge body of ancient literature, not only regarding Dharma and philosophy, but also regarding music, architecture, dance, science, astronomy, economics, politics, etc.
If Germany or any other western country had this kind of literary treasure, it would be so proud and highlight its greatness on every occasion. When I discovered for example the Upanishads, I was stunned. Here was expressed in clear terms what I intuitively had felt to be true, but could not have expressed clearly. Brahman is not partial; it is the invisible, indivisible essence in everything. Everyone gets again and again a chance to discover the ultimate truth and is free to choose his way back to it. Helpful hints are given but not imposed.
 In my early days in India, I thought that every Indian knew and valued his tradition. Slowly I realized that I was wrong. The British colonial masters had been successful in not only weaning away many of the elite from their ancient tradition but even making them despise it. It helped that the ‘educated’ class could no longer read the original Sanskrit texts and believed what the British told them. This lack of knowledge and the brainwashing by the British education may be the reason why many ‘modern’ Indians are against anything ‘Hindu’. They don’t realize the difference between western religions that have to be believed (or at least professed) blindly, and which discourage if not forbid their adherents to think on their own and the multi-layered Hindu Dharma which gives freedom and encourages using one’s intelligence.
Many of the educated class do not realize that on one hand, westerners, especially those who dream to impose their own religion on this vast country, will applaud them for denigrating Hindu Dharma, because this helps western universalism to spread in India. On the other hand, many westerners, including Church people, very well know the value and surreptitiously appropriate insights from the vast Indian knowledge system, drop the original source and present it either as their own or make it look as if these insights had been known in the west.
Rajiv Malhotra of Infinity Foundation has done painstaking research in this field and has documented many cases of “digestion” of Dharma civilization into western universalism. He chose the term digestion, as it implies that that which is being digested (a deer for example) is in the end no longer there, whereas the ‘digester’ (a tiger) becomes stronger. Similarly, Hindu civilization is gradually being depleted of its valuable, exclusive assets and what is left is called inferior.
If only missionaries denigrated Hindu Dharma, it would not be so bad, as they clearly have an agenda which discerning Indians would detect. But sadly, Indians with Hindu names assist them because they wrongly believe that Hinduism is inferior to western religions. They belittle everything Hindu instead of getting thorough knowledge. As a rule, they know little about their tradition except what the British told them, i.e. that the major features are caste system and idol worship. They don’t realize that India would gain, not lose, if it solidly backed its profound and all inclusive Hindu tradition. The Dalai Lama said some time ago that already as a youth in Lhasa, he had been deeply impressed by the richness of Indian thought. “India has great potential to help the world,” he added. When will the westernized Indian elite realize it?

1,000-year-old Chola-era temple facing threat of demolition


The 1000 year-old Naganathasamy temple built by Rajendra Cholan. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj
KUMBAKONAM, May 16, 2013
1,000-year-old Chola-era temple facing threat of demolition G. Srinivasan

Road under the Thanjavur-Vikkiravandi four-way project to be expanded

A 1,000-year-old Siva temple at Manambadi village near Kumbakonam is facing the threat of demolition for expansion of a road under the Thanjavur-Vikkiravandi four-way project of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The State government’s Archaeology Department declared it a protected monument 30 years ago but neglected it, leaving the temple’s vimana in a dilapidated condition and enveloped by creepers. The stone structure below the vimana, with intricate sculptures, and the sanctum sanctorum with a Siva lingam are intact.

The temple has an entrance without a gopuram. The prahara has flower plants. A broken compound wall is also around the temple.

The NHAI has now decided to demolish this temple for widening the highway and has already marked the portion to be demolished. While the compound wall on the northern side, the Amman temple and the Chandikeswarar temple will be demolished, the road will come very close to the main structure, which may result in its falling apart once the road is put to use.

The people of the village, historians and archaeologists have opposed the move and appealed to the State government and NHAI to divert the road project to the extreme northern side of the temple, sparing the structure and protecting the monument.

According to Kudavayil Balasubramanian, epigraphist and historian, this temple was constructed by Rajendra Chola (1012-1044 AD). During Chola rule, the village was called ‘Elaichikudi’, and ‘Veeranarayanapuram’. The temple’s name was ‘Sri Kailasam’.

“This temple possesses more than ten inscriptions of the Chola period. Some of the sculptures on the walls of the main structure are those of Nataraja, which is an outstanding one. Another sculpture depicting Rajendra Chola worshipping the Lord with his wives is seen. Other sculptures depict Ganapathi, Dakshinamurthy, Ligotpava, Vishnu, Brahma, Gangadharamurthy, Durga and Arthanari. Among Chola sculptures, they are the unique ones,” Balasubramanian said.

In a memorandum to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and NHAI, Mr. Balasubramanian pleaded for steps to stop the demolition of the temple. “The irony is that the 1,000th year celebration of the coronation of Rajendra Chola, son of Raja Raja Chola, will take place in 2014. The demolition of a temple constructed by him will be shameful for the entire Tamil community,” Mr. Balasubramanian said in his letter.


The real cause of Islamic terrorism according to Swami Vivekananda


The Real Cause of Islamic Terrorism…

The real cause of Islamic terrorism according to Swami Vivekananda

Here is an excerpt from the Indian spiritual genius and savant Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) book ‘Raja Yoga’.

“We find, in studying history, one fact held in common by all the great teachers of religion the world ever had. They all claim to have got their truths from beyond, only many of them did not know where they got them from. For instance, one would say that an angel came down in the form of a human being, with wings, and said to him, “Hear, O man, this is the message”. Another says that a Deva, a bright being, appeared to him. A third says he dreamed that his ancestor came and told him certain things. He did not know anything beyond that .But this is common that all claim that this knowledge has come to them from beyond, not through their reasoning power. What does the science of Yoga teach? It teaches that they were right in claiming that all this knowledge came to them from beyond reasoning, but that it came from within them.
The Yogi teaches that the mind itself has a higher state of existence, beyond reason, a super conscious state, and when the mind gets to that higher state, and then this knowledge, beyond reasoning, comes to man. Metaphysical and transcendental knowledge comes to that man .This state of going beyond reason, transcending ordinary human nature, may sometimes come by chance to a man who does not understand its science; he , as it were, stumbles upon it. When he stumbles upon it, he generally interprets it as coming from outside. So this explains why an inspiration, or transcendental knowledge, may be the same in different countries, but in one country it will seem to come through an angel, and in another through a Deva, and in a third through God. What does it mean? It means that the mind brought the knowledge by its own nature, and that the finding of the knowledge was interpreted according to the belief and education of the person through whom it came. The real fact is that these various men, as it were, stumbled upon this super conscious state.
The Yogi says there is a great danger in stumbling upon this state. In a good many cases there is the danger of the brain being deranged, and , as a rule, you will find that all those men, however great they were, who had stumbled upon this super conscious state, without understanding it, groped in the dark, and generally had, along with their knowledge, some quaint superstition. They opened themselves to hallucinations. Mohammed claimed that the Angel Gabriel came to him in a cave one day and took him on the heavenly horse, Harak, and he visited the heavens. But with all that, Mohammed spoke some wonderful truths. If you read the Koran, you find the most wonderful truths mixed with superstitions. How will you explain it? That man was inspired, no doubt, but that inspiration was, as it were, stumbled upon. He was not a trained Yogi, and did not know the reason of what he was doing. Think of the good Mohammed did to the world, and think of the great evil that has been done through his fanaticism! Think of the millions massacred through his teachings, mothers bereft of their children, children made orphans, whole countries destroyed, and millions upon millions of people killed!
So we see this danger by studying the lives of great teachers like Mohammed and others. Yet we find, at the same time, that they were all inspired. Whenever a prophet got into the super conscious state by heightening his emotional nature, he brought away from it not only some truths, but some fanaticism also, some superstition which injured the world as much as the greatness of the teaching helped. To get any reason out of the mass of incongruity we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly, by regular practice, and we must cast off all superstition .We must take up the study of the super conscious state just as any other science. On reason we must have to lay our foundation, we must follow reason as far as it leads, and when reason fails, reason itself will show us the way to the highest plane. When you hear a man say, “I am inspired”, and then talk irrationally, reject it. Why? Because these three states-instinct, reason, and super consciousness, or the unconscious, conscious, and super conscious states-belong to one and the same mind. There are not three minds in one man, but one state of it develops into the others. Instinct develops into reason, and reason into the transcendental consciousness; therefore, not one of the states contradicts the others. Real inspiration never contradicts reason, but fulfils it. Just as you find the great prophets saying, “I come not to destroy but to fulfill”, so inspiration always comes to fulfill reason, and is in harmony with it.”

Super consciousness

Here is an excerpt from Swami Vivekananda ‘Raja Yoga’ dealing with the subject of super consciousness or enlightenment.
“When I eat food, I do it consciously; when I assimilate it, I do it unconsciously. When the food is manufactured into blood, it is done unconsciously. When out of the blood all the different parts of my body are strengthened, it is done unconsciously. And yet it is I who am doing all this; there cannot be twenty people in this one body. How do I know that I do it, and nobody else? It may be urged that my business is only in eating and assimilating the food, and that strengthening the body by the food is done for me by somebody else. That cannot be, because it can be demonstrated that almost every action of which we are now unconscious can be brought up to the plane of consciousness. The heart is beating apparently without our control. None of us here can control the heart; it goes on its own way. But by practice men can bring even the heart under control, until it will beat at will, slowly, or quickly, or almost stop. Nearly every part of the body can be brought under control. What does this show? That the functions which are beneath consciousness are also performed by us, only we are doing it unconsciously.
We have, then, two planes in which the human mind works. First is the conscious plane, in which all work is always accompanied with the feeling of egoism. Next comes the unconscious plane, where all work is unaccompanied by the feeling of egoism. That part of mind-work which is unaccompanied with the feeling of egoism is unconscious work, and that part which is accompanied with the feeling of egoism is conscious work. In the lower animals this unconscious work is called instinct. In higher animals, and in the highest of all animals, man, what is called conscious work prevails.
But it does not end here. There is a still higher plane upon which the mind can work. It can go beyond consciousness. Just as, unconscious work is beneath consciousness, so there is another work which is above consciousness and which also is not accompanied with the feeling of egoism. The feeling of egoism is only on the middle plane. When the mind is above or below that plane, there is no feeling of “I”, and yet the mind works. When the mind goes beyond this line of self-consciousness, it is called Samadhi, or super consciousness. How, for instance, do we know that a man in Samadhi has not gone below consciousness, has not degenerated instead of going higher? In both cases the works are unaccompanied with egoism. The answer is, by the effects, by the results of the work, we know that which is below, and that which is above. When a man goes into deep sleep, he enters a plane beneath consciousness. He works the body all the time, he breathes, he moves the body, perhaps, in his sleep, without any unaccompanying feeling of ego; he is unconscious, and when he returns from his sleep, he is the same man who went into it. The sum total of the knowledge which he had before he went into the sleep remains the same; it does not increase at all. No enlightenment comes. But when a man goes into Samadhi, if he goes into it a fool, he comes out a sage.
What makes the difference? From one state a man comes out the very same man that he went in , and from another state the man comes out enlightened, a sage, a prophet, a saint, his whole character changed, his life changed, illumined. These are the two effects. Now the effects being different, the causes must be different. As this illumination with which a man comes back from Samadhi is much higher than can be got by reasoning in a conscious state, it must, therefore, be super consciousness, and Samadhi is called the super conscious state.”

Super consciousness

These prophets were not unique; they were men as you or I. They were great Yogis. They had gained this super consciousness, and you and I can get the same. They were not peculiar people. The very fact that one man ever reached that state proves that it is possible for every man to do so. Not only is it possible, but every man must, eventually, get to that state, and that is religion.

Case booked against PMK leader for recent caste clash, TN CM says


CHENNAI: Warning that her government will not tolerate any form of violence, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said a case has been booked against PMK founder leader Ramadoss in connection with violation of rules during a function organised by his party at Mamallapuram on April 25.

Though the organisers of the function had assured that they would abide by the rules, they (PMK) have violated most of it, the CM said in the state assembly today. In a caste conflagration, cadres of the PMK, the core of which is constituted by the most backward vanniyar caste, dominant in northern Tamil Nadu, went on the rampage in some dalit villages near Marakkanam, close to Puducherry. Government buses, shops and houses were set on fire. Two PMK men were killed, apparently in road accidents that followed.

The PMK had organised a youth festival at Mamalapuram. The clashes broke out when PMK cadres, headed for the tourist town, passed the dalit villages. Jayalalithaa said a section of cadres proceeding for the function from Puducherry were involved in violence, torching huts and damaging even government properties. She said 10 cases had been filed in connection with the violence. She also warned that the stringent Goondas Act would be invoked against those who provoke violence.

The CM pointed out that the organisers had given written assurances to police that they would stick by the rules for organising the event, which also included winding up the programme at 11.35 pm, well beyond the accepted deadline of 10 pm. She quoted Ramadoss as saying that he would speak only at 11.30 am and said he was not bothered and challenged the police to file a case against him. “As per his wish, a case has been filed and I hope he accepts his mistake and also the punishment (to be awarded) by the court,” she said.

Jayalalithaa said the PMK cadres have tried to even damage the historic Mamallapuram temple during the function. Reading out a letter received from ASI, the chief minister said lakhs of people have swarmed inside the monument, damaging the fencing, lawn, garden and climbed the historical shore temple and hoisted flags. “They harassed the public and gained forceful entry into the monuments,” she said.

UP minister shocks all with coarse remarks about female DM


Feb 7, 2013, 03.59AM IST TNN[ Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui ]

“Sundar hain … bahut hi madhur vaani hai …Inki kad kaathi bhi bahut achchi hai,” said minister Raja Ram Pandey while referring to Sultanpur DM K Dhanalaxmi.
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) MLAs on Wednesday demanded immediate sacking of minister for khadi and gram udyog Raja Ram Pandey from the Uttar Pradesh cabinet for his inappropriate utterances praising a woman IAS officer at a function in Sultanpur district on Tuesday. The 56 years old minister got so carried away describing her that he digressed even from speaking about the event to which he was invited as chief guest.

Much to the embarrassment of Sultanpur district magistrate K Dhanalaxmi, Pandey spoke to a crowd at the Chandra Shekhar Azad Hall of Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology there and made such unwarranted references to her as “sundar hain … bahut hi madhur vaani hai … karyashamta bhi adhik hai” and the most outrageous of all “Inki kad kaathi bhi bahut achchi hai.”

He has hit the headlines earlier too after his deputy minister accused him of taking bribe for transfer and posting of officials in khadi and village industry department. A known party-hopper with three criminal cases pending against him, Pandey contested the last assembly elections from Bishwanathganj assembly constituency on a Samajwadi Party ticket defeating Bahujan Samaj Party’s Sindhuja Mishra Senani by a margin of 9,000 votes.

“It is because of individuals like Raja Ram Pandey that put politicians in a bad light. Making such remarks about a woman before a crowd of thousands, and using such language as he did, projects politicians badly. How can people respect anyone with such manners,” said sitting SP MLA from Lucknow Ravidas Mehrotra.

“We have won the elections after struggling on the streets for five long years during which we have worked for the cause of the people. But people (read the minister) with such a mentality can never understand what it takes to fight for the cause of others,” said Mehrotra, who till recently held the world record for being jailed the maximum number of times during political agitations. “Pandey’s behavior will send a wrong message among the people with regard to the party and the government,” he added.

UP Congress Committee spokesperson Maroof Khan described the minister’s act as shameful. “It only goes on to establish the level to which SP ministers and party workers can stoop. The minister’s conduct that too in public will leave any self-respecting individual embarrassed,” said Maroof.

Pandey, minister for khadi and gram udyog, was the chief guest of a government function organised at the Chandra Shekhar Azad Hall of Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology in Sultanpur to distribute the cheques ofunemployment allowance, when he digressed from the purpose and addressed the gathering, saying “Is maamle mein hum bahut bhagyashaali rahe hain …. pichhlibaar jab main yahan (Sultanpur) ka prabhari mantri tha … tab bhi yahan ki DM mahila thee, aur saubhagya se is bar bhi mahila hi hain” (I have been pretty lucky in terms of being appointed as the minister in-charge (of Sultanpur). During the previous regime, when I was the minister in-charge, I was lucky to have a woman DM and this time too, a lady is posted as a DM here).

So far so good, the minister went on to say, “Pichli baar yahan ki DM Kamini Chauhan Ratan thee … who bhi bahut sundar mahila thee … main sochta tha ki unse sundar mahila DM ho hi nahi sakti. Lekin is baar jab main prabhari mantri hoon … to DM (K Dhanlaxmi) unse bhi adhik sundar hain … bahut hi madhur vaani hai … karyashamta bhi adhik hai … (Last time Kamini Chauhan Ratan was the DM here … she was a very beautiful woman …. I used to think that there cannot be a more beautiful lady DM, but the present DM is even more beautiful, she has a sweet voice and is competent as well).

By this time, DM Sultanpur K Dhanlaxmi, who was sharing the stage with the minister, was visibly embarrassed. But the worst was yet to come as the minister went on to say, “kad kaathi bhi bahut achchi hai” (Her body structure is also good). Dhanlaxmi turned her face away, as the minister played to the gallery.

Is Vishwaroopam caught in political chessboard?



 By Ranganaathan
Chennai witnessed protests by TMMK-Muslim during the 2nd Week of September 2012 .  The protests were directed at the US Embassy and against the Movie produced in USA.  The protests continued for few days, on 19th September 2012 it turned violence, the protests were organized by TMMK & 20 other Muslim outfits including Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi  whose leader is an MP & close to UPA Chairperson through DMK Supremo.
TN political situation is witnessing a change, recently PMK –An OBC party, started a movement to consolidate the OBC’s in the state.
The ‘Political Chanakya’  of DMK  has chance of losing his traditional voters to ADMK, other parties due family feuds & corruption issue. VCK as a party is also fast losing its credibility due to violent protests, attacks  & highly critical comments on other communities.
Enter Vishwaroopam,  movie based on Af-Pak, obviously portraying Jihad.  Kamalhassan has scripted, Directed & Acted in the movie.  All seemed to be well till he planned to preview the movie through DTH in India,  few hours before it hit the cinema.  The Cinema owners in TN, who have always been organized very well opposed the DTH preview.  There was also news that DTH providers could not effectively market the movie.  At last Kamal Hassan decided to release the movie on 23rd Jan 2013, in TN all through theatres & DTH simulataneously.   At this juncture another Muslim outfit called Tamilnadu Thouheed Jamat (TNJT) & other groups protested against portraying of Muslims as terrorists in the Movie,  submitted petition to ban the movie.  The TN Govt.  banned the movie for 15 days, after which most of us have been following the news about Vishwaroopam, huge amount of support from all sides for KamalHassan.  As usual the TN Govt. led by Jayalalitha has been at the receiving end from the film industry, opposition parties & general public.  The usual rhetoric of JJ being arrogant, rumors of her banning the movie due to Kamal’s statement on PC, that Kamal had promised TV rights to Jaya TV, later sealed the deal with Vijay TV & more.
Media, Celebrities & prominent citizens have come down heavily on JJ, with all sort of remarks which we always hear when she is the CM.
Now there are two possibilities, First –Lift the ban.
All the media, Film industry and Rights folks will be happy.  Movie will be screened,  Muslim outfits will protest & mostly turn violent.  Police may have to use force to control the riots/mobs, which in turn to more virulent campaign & may become a Law & Order issue. Don’t be surprised if the same protests are synchronized across India.  JJ losses vote bank, LS
Second possibility, continue with the ban, keep the protestors at bay, but the whole film industry, media & Rights folk will keep hollering of their ‘Artisitic’ Rights being suppressed.
Both the possibilities will not be favorable for Jayalalitha.  Either way she gets the end of the stick.
Who can script such an episode?   If anyone in India can, it can be one & Only ‘Political Chanakya’ .
VCK is part of DMK alliance with Cong in UPA.  VCK instigates the Muslim Organizations,  this is a double edged sword for JJ. Have to handle with care.
Ban the movie –All of our activists, Film industry, common man blame JJ of being arrogant, stifling democracy.
Screen the movie- JJ can be dismissed for Law & order, action against minority groups & loss of Vote bank during LS 2014.
Kamal Hassan is enacting the script very well, after he is ‘Ulaga Nayagan’.

Western influence spurs rapes — Swami Nischalananda Saraswati

Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati says western influence spurs rapes
PTI Posted online: Wed Jan 16 2013, 15:24 hrs

Kolkata : Western influence was one of the main reasons behind the rise in incidents of rape in the country, Sankaracharya of Puri Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati said here today.

The western influence – films, club culture and drugs has destroyed the age old values and principles of the country. “There is need to change this. Before Independence we were able to maintain our culture and values but in the last 65 years we have lost a great part of it.”

“Such horrific incidents (Delhi gangrape) don’t happen all of a sudden. They happen when the thin line of culture and values are crossed in the name of civilisation and development.”

The people, the holy man said, should ponder over this and ensure that such incidents don’t happen.

“Earlier sisters and brothers roamed freely but nothing used to happen. There has been decline in human values, emotions… Our culture and civilization teaches us to respect women, who are our sisters and mothers,” he said

Asked for his comment on the brutal killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani army, the Sankaracharya said the incident was barbaric and against human values.

Accusing the government of not being strong enough to deal with such incidents, he said “We need to think why is the image of the government and the country so weak that a neighbouring country doesn’t think twice before perpetuating such an act.”