Religion Thread 2

vsudhir
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Postby vsudhir » 17 Mar 2007 17:34

A Church-Naxal alliance seems natural, almost. The former provides media and money power, the latter brings muscle power to the table. And both share a common enemy aka 'the man' aka the yindoo dominated power establishment. Contours of this alliance are already emerging in Jharkhand and parts of of Orissa and Chattisgarh. Naxals infest a 182 districts of the heartland as well as some 95% of Nepal. This is not some distant-remote problem/ someone else's problem/ not my problem etc anymore.

Unless there is a sense of alarm and urgency, unless there is some common ground of agreement about the existence of a serious threat, unless there is some common understanding about the nature of the gathering storm clouds, yindoo folk are likely to take this complacently and lying down (if history is anything to go by).

If the threat of cultural extinction ('existential anxiety') is not enough to unite the yindoo masses, (regardless of opponent scheming, may I add), then the fight would have been truly lost. You can't *save* a person or a culture that isn't interested in saving him/itself. This is what I meant when I said that (paraphrased) Hinduism would 'deserve to die' if an existential crisis is insufficient to rouse it to unabashed self-defense. Failure to adapt leads to the way of the dinosaur and failure to comprehend leads to the way of the DoDo.

The hopeful thing is that Yindoos in general have not yet been awakened or made aware of the degree and the scope and the seriousness of the survival threat their spiritual way of life is faced with. Despite a hostile english media, despite the machinations of Missionaries, Marxists and Macaulayites, the apathy and delusions of the DIEs etc, the message is slowly but surely getting traction because IMVHO it is not some imagined fantasy but an unmistakeble truth on the ground. One only has to look at say, Rediff and other message boards to get the message that all manner of literate folk from small towns to the metros from all walks of life (IMO) are able to discern the shape the of this looming peril. Psecs and PC-ites might get squeaminsh when yindoos go on the offensive rather than on the defensive - (the reconversions, the tribal welfare centers, the rise in a pan-Hindu political consciousness etc) but that's their problem, not ours.

To raise an alarm in the face of genuine danger is *not* empty alarmism. To examine the modus operandi of the 'other side' and our own weaknesses and vulnerabilities is *not* necessarily whining or cursing (though one could insist on seeing it that way). To call the Js and EJs on their tactics and expose their mendacity is *not* bigotry. Like they say in US legal circles, "Truth is sufficient defense against slander". For too long have the Missionaries, the Marxists and Macaulayites gotten away with slandering Indic culture and distorting Indic history. We must fight back even if it (initially) makes us look unreasonable and touchy (Too bad then, eh?). And words matter. E.g., Dubya's mistaken naming of the coming great war a 'war on terror' won't get anybody anywhere. Unless the enemy is identified and named, nothing even begins to move. So while action on the ground has no substitute, words have their own place in the struggle ahead. Let it not be assumed those talking about 'Yindooism's defense' are not interested in or capable of action.

My $0.02. Standard disclaimers hold.
Have a nice day all.

Raju

Postby Raju » 17 Mar 2007 17:50

Naxals have a stronger alliance with the Congress. It is the Congress's answer to the BD/SS type goon-sena. Congress believes that the 'right-wing' has overwhelming muscle power in the western states so Naxalism is its answer in the Eastern ones.

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Postby vsudhir » 17 Mar 2007 18:08

Raju wrote:Naxals have a stronger alliance with the Congress. It is the Congress's answer to the BD/SS type goon-sena. Congress believes that the 'right-wing' has overwhelming muscle power in the western states so Naxalism is its answer in the Eastern ones.


So Congress proxies are using landmines to blow up police vans now? And assasinating ministers of INC supported governments? Does the INC intend that too, I wonder? IMO, the INC-Maoist/Naxal link is a stretch, at best. Where is the funding, the organization, the arms and training coming for these Maoist/Naxal groups? Would the cliched 'foreign hand' have something to do here? Now if you're insinuating that the INC itself has been reduced to a (unwitting?) phoren tool, then that's a different story. An INC-missionary nexus is not that far-fetched, IMHO admittedly.

Besides, FWIW, the domestic right wing might have a cadre-based approach similar to the Maoists but is nowhere that much into armed anti-state violence the way the left-wing groups are.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 17 Mar 2007 20:32

All religions have features of cults-to promote group cohesion, to establish certain patterns of thought. However what defines a cult and deferentiates it from religion needs to be explored for I believe it will be fruitful.

There would be two fundamental features of cults viz. recruitment (of new members) and retention of old members through intimidatory techniques, which may be subtle.

Recruitment is selective and targeted-usually but by no means always those who are economically vulnerable. Recruitment is a major raison d'etre of cults ie however meaningless an activity, it is fulfilling to its members and gives them a purpose which they may well believe to be altruistic.

Retention of members is a crucial feature. The cult is discredited more by defections than by any one single misfortune. Thus in cults, there is an effecient psychological, social, sexual, spiritual and financial incentive to remain a member. The more extreme cults certainly are not averse to physical harm including liquidation. A powerful example of the psychological interplay maybe the implied threat to nonconformists of serious consequences to body but also soul, here and forever. An equally powerful reinforcer of membership is the certainity that those who are not members will suffer a catastrophe.


I hope this is not too arcane to post here, but this has been an interest of mine.

If you accept the above premises, please interpret the following within the above parameters.


Hinduism
Sikhism
Buddhism
Jainism
Animism
Judaism
Christianity
Islam
Zorastrianism.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 17 Mar 2007 20:41

Hi Sudhir,
what do you mean by "cultural extinction"? Are we, the Santan Dharma followers (SDF), are not fully aware of external threats? OR we are diluting our core values so much that we are/ will be metamorphosed into new identity? Is it both? A catastrophic event in proportion of holocaust is required for SDF to learn to preserve their heritage? OR slow decay is more dangerous as it does not register on the conscious mind?
I raised these questions without knowing the answers. Hopefully we can discuss and come to some conclusions. My current thinking is that yes Indic civilization do face both external and internal threats. The situation is not as grave as depicted by some but it is not insignificant either. My hope is the new Indian generation which is more nationalistic and proud to be Indian than their predecessors. There are many reasons for this resurgence which have been discussed. They will evolve, experiment and hopefully will come back to their core values. Westernization of society will be a transition phase as it cannot impart identity to Indic followers. In the mean time the carriers of core values is young generations of semi urban India who are more conservative. Even I went through rebellion mode and tried everything western to realise that my childhood sanskaras are essential for fulfilled life. This realization started when I got engaged. Indic values become very powerful when you start thinking about significant other before you. Western thoughts gave me individuality while Indic values gave me acceptance, the core value for happy fulfilled life. Just my 2 cents.

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Postby Calvin » 17 Mar 2007 22:30

It appears that some temples, for all the putative "tolerance" of Hinduism, do not welcome people of non-dharmic faith. Guruvayoor and Yesudas' comes to mind.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/jan/04spec1.htm

Also, in Tirupathi, it appears that one cannot carry any non-"hindu" religious books. As per Rule 198 - APCHR:
'carrying and possessing of holy books of other religions like the Bible, Koran etc shall be prohibited


and, similar to Guruvayoor, at Tirupathi, non hindus are not allowed in:

VIPs of other religions will have to sign a declaration that they have faith in Hinduism to gain entry


http://www.telegraphindia.com//1060729/ ... 540831.asp

.. nor at Puri

http://www.indiadaily.org/entry/us-citi ... e-in-puri/

The temple once had come in the news for not allowing the then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to visit the Temple because she had married a non-Hindu. Later Ms Gandhi had a view of the shrine from the street only. In 2005, the Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was also not allowed to visit the temple.

Later, after more than 18 hours of discussion, the food cooked for around 7,000 devotees at the Jagannath Temple was thrown away. Some priests had insisted that the ‘bhog’ has been become discarded because it was ‘defiled’ by an American’s entry into the Hindu Holy place. The mahaprasad of Rs three lakh went waste after the decision not to distribute it among the devotees.


.. nor Kashi Vishwanath and Pashupatinath
("Darsan" by D. Eck)

It appears that non-hindus are allowed at Char Dham
Last edited by Calvin on 18 Mar 2007 00:32, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 17 Mar 2007 22:54

Is it only me that see a pattern of showing aberration in Indic religions as norm while big exclusionary practises of other faiths are not at all discussed. Are you allowed to visit Mecca? Are you allowed to visit orthodox Jewish Synagogues if you are a pork eating pagan? Have you been allowed in Later day Christian church (Salt city Mormons) if you are not follower of Mormonism? Each religion has its own dynamics and rules. When people will learn that Dharmic religion has nothing to do with Karma kanda of cast, creed and religion(as defined by western theologians)? Calvin I ask you how many temples have you visited and how many allowed or not allowed people of other faiths? I guess 25% temples follow idiotic rules as you mentioned then why not also praise remaining 75% who do not follow these stupid rules. If my examples are just few exceptions to Western religions why not just allow few exception in Indic religion? Do i think its good, no but I don't like generalization. my 2 cents.

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Postby Calvin » 18 Mar 2007 00:35

I am not particularly interested in the "torn shirt open fly" discourse, and was merely curious about the disconnect between the philosophy as discussed on this forum, and the practice advocated by some of the foremost practitioners of the faith.

Is it possible that the reality of the religion to the majority of its practitioners is substantially different from the understanding of those of the practitioners on this forum?

Is there such a significant difference in the practice between the plebians in Islam and the elite?

How about in Christianity? Where to the evangelists fall (i.e., are they those with high level comprehension of the tenets of the religion, or are they the plebian practitioners?)

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Postby ksmahesh » 18 Mar 2007 00:55

Vishy_mulay wrote:Is it only me that see a pattern of showing aberration in Indic religions as norm while big exclusionary practises of other faiths are not at all discussed. Are you allowed to visit Mecca? Are you allowed to visit orthodox Jewish Synagogues if you are a pork eating pagan? Have you been allowed in Later day Christian church (Salt city Mormons) if you are not follower of Mormonism? Each religion has its own dynamics and rules. When people will learn that Dharmic religion has nothing to do with Karma kanda of cast, creed and religion(as defined by western theologians)? Calvin I ask you how many temples have you visited and how many allowed or not allowed people of other faiths? I guess 25% temples follow idiotic rules as you mentioned then why not also praise remaining 75% who do not follow these stupid rules. If my examples are just few exceptions to Western religions why not just allow few exception in Indic religion? Do i think its good, no but I don't like generalization. my 2 cents.


No you are not the only. Many of us know this happens and I guess from now on people who agree with us will have to be more vocal. Forget Mecca in Lucknow there is a mosque where non muslims are not allowed :twisted:

Some people assume that in order to be labelled "liberal" they must ridicule Hinduism for every micro fault while on the other hand Islam and Christianity must have all leverages and people from other religions must accept them with out questioning.

I have few questions:
1. Why do muslims have their religiious leaders prophessing politics?
2. Why christians religious leaders provided bible and religious books in schools of central government (It happened in my Kendriya vidyalaya Jodhpur)?
3. Why muslims religious leaders claim HAJ subsidy when hindus DONOT get any aid for Vaishno Devi or Amarnath?
4. How can muslims leaders claim reservations when they have been ruling for nearly 800 years (the logic for SC/ST is historical repression)?
5. How can muslim leaders want "muslim laws" for social issues and secular laws for criminal offences? Does it not show that they wish the freedom to have polygamy but do not wish to lose their hands for theft? Is is not bigotry.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 01:03

Calvin thanks for additions as it makes your post looks more balanced by virtue of small single last line. If the add ions were after thought, my post has served its purpose. Now coming to Indic Dharma, plural philosophies are basis of it. How can I comment on my fellow beings action since it is him/her who decides what is right and wrong in the context of Sanatan Dharma. The concept of singular interpretation has to do with religions with one Book, one Prophet and one God which doesn't apply to any Indic religions (buddhists dont have concept of God if you read it carefully).
The practice of Sanatan Dharma as you are interpreting has such a plethora of rituals that it is impossible to group it under one religion as described by western theologians. Are there good muslims who do not follow Jehadis? Are there EJs who has done phenomenal social work? yes of course. I would even say that they have full right to praise and spread there religion by its own virtue. My problem is about putting down Indic Dharma to glorify any other religion. That's just cheap or lack of deep understanding about Sanatan Dharma. At the end of day no religion is perfect nor has solutions for all problems. The understanding of vedic philosophy (not Santan Dharma) as interpreted by Madhava (Sarva Darshan Sangrha) is the real mantra for life.
While life is yours, live joyously;
None can escape Death's searching eye:
When once this frame of ours they burn,
How shall it ever again return?
The pleasure which arises to men from contact with sensible objects,
Is to be relinquished as accompanied by pain - such is the reasoning of fools;
There is no heaven, no final liberation, nor any soul in another world,
Nor do the actions of the four castes, orders, etc., produce any real effect.
There are four elements, earth, water, fire and air;
And from these four elements alone is consciousness produced -
The fire is hot, the water cold, refreshing and cool the breeze of morn;
By whom came this variety? From their own nature was it born.
The Agnihotra, the three Vedas, the ascetic's three staves, and smearing oneself with ashes -
Brihaspati says, these are but means of livelihood for those who have no manliness nor sense.
If a beast slain in the Jyotishtoma rite will itself go to heaven,
Why then does not the sacrificer, forthwith offer his own father?


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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 01:36

Just want to clarify that its my mantra of life. Cant impose it nor want anyone to believe its correct. The reason I became Atheist then Agnostic and now believer in Vedic Dharma is the presence of Frontal lobe. Dont want anyone to be a medium between me and God. I think I am fully capable to have one to one correspondence with HIM/HER. My 2 Cents.
FYI
http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/op/2 ... 050200.htm
Last edited by Vishy_mulay on 18 Mar 2007 07:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby shiv » 18 Mar 2007 06:52

Vishy_mulay wrote:Is it only me that see a pattern of showing aberration in Indic religions as norm while big exclusionary practises of other faiths are not at all discussed. Are you allowed to visit Mecca? Are you allowed to visit orthodox Jewish Synagogues if you are a pork eating pagan? Have you been allowed in Later day Christian church (Salt city Mormons) if you are not follower of Mormonism? Each religion has its own dynamics and rules. .


No - in fact I believe Calvin has a point - only he got to say something on those lines a little before I made the point I was considering making.

It matters little whether Saudis allow outsiders or not - or whether non adherents are allowed some place or not.

The way to make anything - be it a club, or a Hotel or a place of worship "welcoming" is to (IMVHO)

a) Make it open to all
b) make it user friendly (seating/toilets/shade)
c) Provide "gyan" - i.e library/lecture hall/theater
d) Make it a community center

Whether temples have been all this and more in the past is moot, but we need to develop the collective mindset that if you don't welcome someone he may not see what there is to be seen.

No matter how unwelcome I may be as a non Muslim in Mecca - islam (and Christianity) have a standard (if conditional) route to allow you in.

Surely an unconditional welcome is something that needs consideration.

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Postby Arun_S » 18 Mar 2007 07:23

Arun_S wrote:
Murugan wrote:
Gurudev, Rg-Veda is loaded with deities (Devas). Just because vedics didn't have temples and statues, and had only fire-rituals, doesn't mean that they didn't have Gods/Goddesses.

Indra, Varuna, Aryama, Agni, Usha, Prajapati, Yama, Ashwini, Rudra, Vishnu, Medha, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Devi and many others are there in the Rgveda. So, proliferation of the deities happened right at the first step IMHO.


if we have done with knowing what is religion by deifintion, here are definition of deva or devata outta many deinition of deva:

the illuminated one

the divine one

one gives (dadati iti dev, this may not be correct!)

but this is:

In the Nirukta, Yaskacharya has defined the word 'deva' as follows: 'A deva is one who gives gifts ...

etc

The vedas found these 33 devas rudras, adityas, prajapati, indra, sun, moon, etc who give (something) or which are divine which humans got as gift without asking for.

Nakshatra give direction, sun gives life, moon etc according to their imagination.

Vedas, initially, being grateful to nature, sang suktas praising these natural forces and labelling them. Wealth=Lakshmi, Vidya=Saraswati, Technology=Prajapati (Vishwakarma) outta being grateful to them.
Few Suktas are : Sri Suktam, Purush sukta, Surya Sukta, Usha Sukta, .Saraswati Suktam, Medha Suktam, Agni Suktam etc worshipping and praising nature - pagans!

Perhaps there were no statues (but imaginations) as they used to worship Agni Devta, the fire! Yagnas were the daily rituals. Till today, many agnihotris keep the fire burning at their homes!

As an avid Numimatist, I can certainly tell you that the Imaginary Gods got images on Coins in the time of Kushanas (the invaders!) in India.

They first depicted devi ardoksho (Lakshmi(?)), Shiva on Nandi and few more 'gods' and even image of Lord Buddha on their gold coins.

Kushanas installed out huge and beautiful statues of gods at Purushpur (Peshawar) their western capital and at Mathura (Western Capital?)

Simultaneously, Guptas impressed their coins with images ofLaxmi, Kartikeya,Durga etc.

Krishna Devaraya had iamges Lord Venkateshwareengraved on their coins.

Rajput kings continue engraving images of "Laxmi" on their coins

*** ... . . . . [/url]


In the last BR-Bay Area meeting I showed many types of East India Company coins minted in 1818 that has Ram Durbar (Shri Ram, Sita, Laxman), Hanuman, Om, other "Such Bolo, Poora Toulo)), and back then India had greater percentage of Muslims and they had no problem with images of Hindu Gods and icons on the legal tender.

I will post photos of those coins later in the day.

Here are some old Indian coin images from 1818 and later. For size comaprision included is US quarter, Euro 10 cent and Sing 10 cent. Click for higher resolution:
Image ... Image ... Image
Last edited by Arun_S on 18 Mar 2007 10:31, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 07:23

Shiv, I am vehemently against exclusionary practices of SD because it is culmination of KarmaKanda and aberrations which accumulated in last millenium. In addition is in antithesis to the Vedic philosophies, which inspired SD for millenia. It needs rectification. Hell I say anyone who thinks independently and does not need tutelage of "RELIGIOUS" entities to be in touch with creator is my fellow Indic Dharma Follower. (Hope that address the pink elephant question about geographic orientation of religion).
The points you are raising is what I call "INNER DECAY" of Indic religions. Efforts should be put there to make improvements. Without shuchita there is no param ananda and anyone who follows shuchita (before anyone jumps on me, it means cleanliness of mind, body and thoughts) should be welcome in all temples. Corollary, those SDF who do not have shuchita, should not be allowed in place of divinity.
I really get angry when I visit temples in India, if you cant keep temple clean how can you experience Divinity? Sure there is a lot to desire and your suggestions needs to be implemented. I haven't been to BAPS temples. Do they welcome all? How clean are the temples? At least pictures look awesome.
The welcome which Islam and Christianity gives is associated with political reasoning rather than spiritual. If welcome was assimilating and fulfilling, why concepts like backward class Muslims and Christians arise in India? Do you think SD should follow their path and open a Bazaar for spirituality and harvesting souls?
Last edited by Vishy_mulay on 18 Mar 2007 11:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Calvin » 18 Mar 2007 08:00

It seems to me that we are discussing an "ideal" of SD that is at variance with the experience received by the majority of its practitioners. This is okay, as long as we restrict our discussion to the "ideal" of these other religions. Unfortunately, in the real world, we have to deal with the real implications of the religious teachings "on the ground" - which is what we were peeling back in the various other threads on these other religions. Shouldn't the reality of the experience of dharmic-religions be what is under discussion?

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Mar 2007 08:23

2. Why christians religious leaders provided bible and religious books in schools of central government (It happened in my Kendriya vidyalaya Jodhpur)?


Did he take a group photo ??

Actually evanjehadis visit schools and tell the incharge (principle/manager/whoever) that they would like to pray for the children. Now who could refuse something as noble as that. But when they enter the classroom, they start going in another direction...distributing evangelical material and proselytizing.

Topped up with group photo.

If they are caught in the act, and someone tries to throw them out of the school then the issue becomes one of religious intolerance, criminal charges are filed etc. This exact same thing happened in a Christian school in dilli around 3 months ago. The principal of that school who was also a Christian saw through the plan and refused permission to the 'pastor'. The pastor then said that he wanted to take a look at the school library, which he was granted permission. There he started distributing religious material to the librarian and few students present there. He/they then said he would like to pray for the children, he was told that he could pray by himself. Realizing the game was up, he did just that and left quietly.

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Postby Sadler » 18 Mar 2007 08:50

Calvin wrote:Shouldn't the reality of the experience of dharmic-religions be what is under discussion?


Amazing. And it is precisely this reality that you have chosen thus far to ignore when it comes to defending the acts/agenda of the EJ and their corrosive impact on indian polity and civil society.

You go on to then use a specious argument to disprove the putative tolerance of hindu religion. It seems that you are so blinded by your own prejudices that you cannot see the logical fallacy of your arguments.

Calvin wrote:It appears that some temples, for all the putative "tolerance" of Hinduism, do not welcome people of non-dharmic faith. Guruvayoor and Yesudas' comes to mind.


A place of worship has every right to deny entry to a non-adherent of that faith. I am told that Farsis in India do not allow entry to non-Farsis in their Fire Temples. GEEEEE, i guess the Farsis must be the most intolerant of all minorities in India, right??

Much like observant jews who refuse to eat at my place, they can also, should they wish, deny me entry in their own homes based on the fact that i do not adhere to a strict kosher regimen. That is their choice. I have no inherent right to enter their homes than any inherent right to enter a hindu temple.

Yet, a person like yourself is totally blinded, for whatever reasons, of the corrosive effect of EJs on indian society (and its native religions) and you refuse to condemn EJs at all. So, who's putative tolerance stands exposed here.

Further, lets look at the reaction of at least members of this forum.

(1) Not one has defended the practice of disallowing non-adherents to visit temples. Except me, a jew.

(2) Further, a real intolerance would have been to discuss those temples that still discriminate on the basis of caste (for the lack of a better word) and deny entry to those folks who the priests think are of a lower strata. IMO, if you had used that as an example, you might have had a little more credibility.

Lets for the sake of argument assume that a member such as say Shiv or Ramana had pointed the above as a sign of the intolerance of hindu clergy. Are there any members of this forum who would defend such clergy that indulged in discrimination? My guess would be NOT EVEN ONE.

To a person, members of this forum would have classified such actions of hindu clergy as evidence of bigotry. In case you still dont get what i am leading up to, here's it in bold " Bigotry by hindu clergy would get soundly condemned on this forum."

Yet, the bigotry that is inherent in the acts of EJs draws no condemnation from you. To the contrary you defend their acts and refuse to admit to the evil that they sow in your own society. Yet, when its comes to the acts of hindu clergy, this blindness that you exhibit disappears with the miraculous alacrity of a cripple walking off the stage at a Benny Hinn gala, right after Hinn thumps him on the head. Hallelujah.

So, i pose this question to the members of this forum: "Whose putative tolerance stands exposed?"

In case you dont remember, you used a rather pithy saying by Abe Lincoln on me saying to the effect that i should have kept my mouth shut and be thought a fool rather than open it to remove all doubts.

Right back at ya.

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Mar 2007 09:07

Much like observant jews who refuse to eat at my place, they can also, should they wish, deny me entry in their own homes based on the fact that i do not adhere to a strict kosher regimen.


But tomorrow if you turned observant, you would be allowed entry..no ?

A place of worship has every right to deny entry to a non-adherent of that faith. I am told that Farsis in India do not allow entry to non-Farsis in their Fire Temples. GEEEEE, i guess the Farsis must be the most intolerant of all minorities in India, right??


Farsis are more of an ethnic gathering, not just a faith-based religion alone. So no one expects them to be tolerant. They never claimed to be. If a parsi marries a non-parsi, then their progeny are discommunicated from the ethnic group.

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Postby Calvin » 18 Mar 2007 09:10

Sadler:

There is a difference between a private residence and public place of worship. Do you suppose that a place of worship in the US would be able to deny entry to people on the basis of race, gender, or religion? For the rest of your email, it appears that you are setting up straw-men for the purpose of personally attacking me.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 09:23

Yes it does. In USA there are places which prevent entry based on RELIGION and not only the US constitution protects it, no one can challenge it on the basic of freedom of practice (1st and 14th amendments if I am not wrong).

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Postby SaiK » 18 Mar 2007 09:26

I disagree slightly here, when we hear denial of entry for yesudas at guruvayur temple. i do agree otoh, that its a faith issue.. but i am pretty positive about yesudas would not have even approached the temple entrance if he had no faith in guruvayur. i don't think the issue of denail for this special case, yesudas was faith.

furthermore, if any christian or muslim just goes into any temple (lets assume he is not local, so no one knows him), how in the dickens anyone would know what religion he belongs on entry? kerala temples do go or have gone extreme on denial on entry even to other castes of hindus. should i say, very communal more than comm-i-nal.

when the congregation is for a good purpose, the administrators of the religious practices should ensure, such things don't happen. and help setup a framework such that these past historical idiocies are eliminated. have a common rule or practices and procedures so that anyone follows are allowed, to participate in the social gatherings.

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Postby shiv » 18 Mar 2007 09:29

Vishy_mulay wrote:Do you think SD should follow their path and open a Bazaar for spirituality and harvesting souls?


Yes and no

Yes to opening a bazaar
No to harvesting souls which cannot be done

If a soul exists - only YOU have control over yours. You can start a bazaar that fosters the environment in which people are capable of sorting out their souls as per guidance that only SD can provide.

But that is a digression..

No matter how far you go back in history, "big structures", "space", "well maintained (clean?" is associated with political power.

When North Indian temples were erased by Islamic hordes, Hindus lost political power simultaneously.

But that did not mean all temples went. it only meant that the biggest ones that served as icons of the recently dethroned Hindus were destroyed or built over.

But Hindus of those days (as they do today) continue to create temples where no temples exist. A Peepul tree growing in the ruins of abuilding becomes the beginning of a temple. The only problem about temples created by poor people with no power is that he overall quality of the temple reflects the lifestyle of the creators. So you have small, crowded, ill maintained (no servants/staff) temples.

What is needed are supermarket style temples/ashrams outside cities with greenery, a couple of "traditional temple areas", parks, libraries and halls for marriages and other vceremonies, and a theater or two for music and dance.

Only the private sector can do it. It is being done by some swamis - eg Ravishankar , but there is scope for giving them some "competition"

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Postby sanjaykumar » 18 Mar 2007 09:59

WOW Thanks for those numismatic images, Arun S. I had these peculiar coins which I somehow lost. I have after decades identified them as MUGHAL (insert icon for exhultant).

Shukriya shukriya

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Postby sanjaykumar » 18 Mar 2007 10:02

Do you suppose that a place of worship in the US would be able to deny entry to people on the basis of race, gender, or religion?

With all due respect, do you know what it is you are talking about?

Please travel the US south. If your eye is keen, you will observe their churchs come in two flavours-White churches and Black churches.

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Postby Kumar » 18 Mar 2007 10:07

Calvin wrote:It appears that some temples, for all the putative "tolerance" of Hinduism, do not welcome people of non-dharmic faith
...
It appears that non-hindus are allowed at Char Dham

Calvin,
I believe it has nothing to with Dharma per se, but everything to do with the bad experience hindus have had regarding their temples and practitioners of Islam mainly and Christianity to a smaller degree.

It is a fact that Hindu temples, especially the big ones, tend to use a lot of gold, jewelery and gems inside the temples.

Greed for the wealth of the temples and a feather in the cap as an iconoclast has driven many a Islamic invader to destroy and loot hindu temples. And the number of detroyed temples runs in thousands.

In Goa, I was told by a Goan that all the temples tend to be in the valleys and low lying, unlike, elsewhere where they are made as high as possible, and on hills etc. This was in response to the Portugese Catholics attacks on the temples.

This long memory of destruction and humiliation had created a reaction and a general rule was adhered not to let outsiders get inside to assess the wealth of the temple, and plan for its loot or destruction. All the temple managements still are adhering to the old habits when the times have changed and there is not that kind of danger.

Some temples, are sensitive that their rituals will be misconstrued and fear that members of other religions would use them to abuse hinduism.

My thesis is supported by the fact that photography or videography is not allowed inside hindu temples, not even by hindus. It seems that age old fears of not letting outsiders know about the interiors of the temples persists even in this electronic age.

These are all old phobias still haunting hinduism. These have nothing to do with Hinduism's internals per se, but everythinng to do with what the outsiders have wreaked upon hinduism.

Needless to say these restrictions are unnecessary now, but temple managers tend to be conservative people, and changes in existing practices take time and effort.

JMHO.
Last edited by Kumar on 18 Mar 2007 10:18, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 10:16

Shiv, millenium old assault on Indic Dharma lead to many aberrations (worst affected are women whose rights were first casualty). Colonial rule left us penny less and were worried about roti than anything else. I hope the resurgence now is the first time in last millenium that we will see halt to downward trend and leveling or upswing in the SD. I think Birlas have done phenomenal job in building temples which are very inspirational. Also BAPS is doing great job (dont know first hand but heard a lot). What will be ideal will be Vedic University dedicated to scientific study , preservation and continuation of age old tradition of philosophical debates to enrich the Vedic Dharma.
Last edited by Vishy_mulay on 18 Mar 2007 11:15, edited 1 time in total.

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Mar 2007 10:29

>> Please travel the US south.

I think he lives somewhere in the US south.

Somehow get the feeling that in people's minds someone has become enemy # 1 who can do no right.

>>when the congregation is for a good purpose, the administrators of the religious practices should ensure, such things don't happen. and help setup a framework such that these past historical idiocies are eliminated. have a common rule or practices and procedures so that anyone follows are allowed, to participate in the social gatherings.

this discussion has been going on since a long time, people had made such points even 10 yrs back yet even today we hear of such events happening, which means popular opinion has not been able to enforce their will on the proceedings until now.

>>When North Indian temples were erased by Islamic hordes, Hindus lost political power simultaneously.

But that did not mean all temples went. it only meant that the biggest ones that served as icons of the recently dethroned Hindus were destroyed or built over
.

I think a problem is when a single important place serves as the repository of all knowledge. Doesn't the secret to success and longevity lie in good dispersal of assets. And even better still simplification of important codes which then can be practised easily by even the lowest common denominator without the need for an intermediary.

In xtianity/Islam there is nothing that can be done in a church/mosque which can't be replicated in a small house.

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Postby Kumar » 18 Mar 2007 10:41

P.S.

There is a big difference between temples and churches and mosques. churches and mosques are primarily a place for faithful to gather and worship & pray. Temples are literally the houses of the deity. Every temple goes through an elaborate ritual of "prana-pratishtha" or invoking the spirit of the deity into the idol.

A temple is not a public place as such. It is a private house of the deity. In fact many temple properties are registered as such where the owner of the property is listed as the deity and the management just runs matters on the deity's behalf. Every morning a whole set of morning rituals are performed before people can have a darshan of the deity. And in the night similarly elaborate rituals lead to closing up of the main area from the public.

The ambience of the temples is of subjects visiting their emperor and it is the emperor's genrosity that he lets them come inside his palace to request help etc. It is not people's right to tread as they wish inside the imperial palace, but a privilege.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 18 Mar 2007 10:45

>> Please travel the US south.

I think he lives somewhere in the US south.



:roll:

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 10:45

Raju, I dont think anyone here is enemy #1. We are all here because we all love India and its people. We can always have Voltairian discussions (hope they will be civil but mods are really good on this forum :D ).
What is in temple that we as SDF can not do in home? Many things priest do are simple if you try to understand and can do your self(pandyas will kill me for this :D ). There is a real need to make people understand the sanskaras in local languages and simple way which they can understand. "Brahmam JÄ
Last edited by Vishy_mulay on 18 Mar 2007 11:16, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Kumar » 18 Mar 2007 10:49

Yes, and every hindu home tends to have a shrine. Temples are for bigger occasions & specific purposes. Most of hinduism is practiced in front of small shrines within one's own home.

P.S. Raju, Who is being classified as enemy #1 here? Calvin?? Why do you think so?? One may differ with him, but IMHO he has been one of the most "reasonable" postors on this forum.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 18 Mar 2007 10:59

Sadler just for you,
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them. Murrow 1955.

Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out.

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Mar 2007 11:13

>>There is a big difference between temples and churches and mosques. churches and mosques are primarily a place for faithful to gather and worship & pray. Temples are literally the houses of the deity. Every temple goes through an elaborate ritual of "prana-pratishtha" or invoking the spirit of the deity into the idol.

I know that...but something's got to give, since we were/are still in kalyug and one has to adapt according to the times. Xtianity/Islam have perfected themselves for life in kalyug. But hopefully we won't have to be in kalyug for much longer since as per the highly accurate Mayan calender the world as we know it comes to an end in Dec 21, 2012. I usually do not give credence to these theories...but this one has me spooked...

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Postby Kumar » 18 Mar 2007 11:35

Raju,

Temples have their own set dynamics and age old revered rules, and any changes are going to be very very slow IMHO. If you are expecting "major" changes in the way temples function, then don't hold your breath waiting for them.

As shiv mentioned, besides the main worship areas inside the temples which which indeed have become lot more cramped, largish gathering places which can seat lots of people may be good addenda to most existing temples. As it is, most of hindu worship is private, even within temples, except some big or special occasions and some primary daily rituals like Arati. It would help in increasing the community feeling and involvement.

Most religious gathering by hindus tend to be talks (pravachan) by spiritual leaders or bhajan-kirtans & puja etc. But something akin to a frequent local gatherings, as christians are supposed to do on Sundays and muslims on Fridays, will help improve the local community and this may be one way to help improve the appalling civic sense in the people too.

P.S. IIRC Mayan calendar doesn't go beyond year 2012. I think it is a sensationalizing extrapolation to infer from it that the Mayans thought world would end then. Makes me think of the year2k problem. By a similar logic one could say that the computer scientists of the 20th century thought that the world would end on the last day of the century and therefore they didn't plan for the 21st century. More reasonable explanation is that they just didn't expect their computer systems to last that long, or grow so numerous and important for this to become such a big issue ...
Last edited by Kumar on 18 Mar 2007 19:35, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Pulikeshi » 18 Mar 2007 11:43

Is Hinduism an organization (like The Book driven religions!) or is it an organism (with no central control, but with tacit transmission of knowledge among adherents)?
- Therein lies the question. Fredrick Von Hayek (Road to Serfdom fame) used the same argument to show why Socialism fails, as it is an organization not an organism. However, some of you are adrents of if we have survived all this time, then we ougt to survive for ever, etc. Please wake up.

All due respect to forum-gana, but Y'all seem to be mucking around with technicalities of entry into temples & churches and missing out on analyzing Porter's five forces for Hinduism and analyze its environment and changes required to defend itself and find value to its shareholders :mrgreen:

I see internal rivalry, barrier to entry, easy book based substitues, buyer apathy and desire for instant gratification and finally supplier out of touch with market reality - sorry state of affairs. If there were a CEO of Hinduism, time to fire him/her! But we are an organism - so how does one go changing that - evolution?

Who wants to be in a market that is shrinking, facing increasing pressure for new entrants and has a dissatisfied consumer base?

Oh! and for gods sake lets change the attire of the priests - how about suits, shoes made of composites (approved by the Gods!) and pretty lamp girls to brighten up temples? Why not a bowling alley and a soda fountain? Lets bring the marketing might of the pagans to bear on them EvanJihadists :mrgreen: I say we can have a fun time - bring it on!

Shanti! Shalom! Peace! Er, donno how to say that in Arabic! I'm just a tourist! :twisted:

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Postby Abhibhushan » 18 Mar 2007 11:58

Ameen

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Postby Alok_N » 18 Mar 2007 12:05

Calvin,

how many churches in the US do you believe would welcome me if I walked in wearing a t-shirt proclaimining "jesus sucks"?

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Mar 2007 12:07

kumar, do you know how the origin of the name 'Mayan' ? It takes after the name of the ancient architect Maya Danava who was the same person Krishna asked to construct the house for the pandavas. He was also known as the founder of India's temple architecture, vastu shastra and master of yantra-vigyana (science of machines) among other things. Similarities between Mayan architecture and Indian architecture & temple design have been oft noted but rarely publicized. It is his imparted knowledge to the mayans; what has resulted in the mayan calender.

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Postby Kumar » 18 Mar 2007 18:55

Old causes for mistrust of the non-hindu regarding hindu temples. Couple of references:

Hindu temple destruction caused by the followers of Islam:
Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them

Hindu temple destruction caused by the followers of Christianity:
Temples of Goa
Temples in Portuguese Goa

Goan temples today are more modern as compared to most of India's ancient temples, mostly because these are second homes to most deities that were re-established outside of Portuguese controlled areas during the early days of Portuguese invasion and the dreaded Inquisition.

The edict of 1540 gave the Portuguese Viceroy the authority to destroy all Hindu temples and shrines within the area of Portuguese control, "not leaving a single one on any of the islands" He was also ordered to confiscate temple estates for the maintenance of churches that were ordered to be built on their sites. This was meticulously carried out by many loyalists including the famous "Temple destroyer" Diogo Rodriguez, buried at Rachol. In the areas under the Old Conquests, all traces of any temples have vanished without a trace.They even forbade Hindus to cross the border to worship at shrines and temples outside of their areas.

The first temple to be approved for construction by the Portuguese in their 300+ years of control was the Mahalaxmi temple in Panaji, approved in 1818 after bitter opposition.

Here is a table showing a list of famous temples at their current location with their original sites, almost all of them were moved during the early Portuguese rule and during the infamous Inquisition.
    Shree Kamakshi Temple at Shiroda Raia, Salcette, until its final move to current site.
    Shree Saptakoteshwar Temple at Narve Divar Island off Old Goa, until its final move to current site.
    Shree Shantadurga Temple at Dhargal Mapusa, then Sanquelim, Sawantwadi until its move to in 1550 to current site.
    Shree Damodar Temple at Zambaulim Margao, at the present site of the Church of the Holy Spirit from where it was moved in 1550 to current site.
    Shree Navdurga Temple at Borim Karad, then Benaulim in Salcette until its final move to current site.
    Shree Shantadurga Temple at Fatorpa Cuncolim, Salcette, until its final move in 16th century to current site.
    Shree Mhalasa Narayani Temple at Mardol Verna, until its final move in the 16th century to current site.
    Shree Mangueshi Temple at Mangueshi Cortalim, until its final move to current site.
    Shree Laxmi Narsimha Temple at Nagueshi Old Conquests area, until its final move to current site.
    Shree Mahalaxmi Temple at Bandode Colva, Salcette, until its final move during the Inquisition to current site.
    Shree Ramnath Temple at Bandode Lotulim, Salcette, until its final move in 1566 to current site.
    Shree Shantadurga Temple at Kavlem Kelsi, until its final move to current site.
    Shree Sanusthan Goudpadacharya, Kavlem Math, Kavlem Cortalim, Salcette, until its final move in 1630 to current site.

-------------------
P.S. Raju, There are tantalizing hints regarding Mayans and India, but I don't think anyone has been able to show a verifiable link beyond speculation.

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Current anti-hindu websites run by mainstream xtian bodies

Postby G Subramaniam » 18 Mar 2007 19:26

Excerpts from a 52 page report

http://www.hafsite.org/pdf/hate_report_2007.pdf
HYPERLINK TO HINDUPHOBIA:
ONLINE HATRED, EXTREMISM AND
BIGOTRY AGAINST HINDUS
--
This is the first of what the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) hopes will be an annual report
on anti-Hindu hatred found on the Internet.
--
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), with its annual report of digital hatred, was the first
organization to document anti-Hindu digital hatred and served as the inspiration for our report.
HAF thanks the SWC’s Associate Dean Rabbi Cooper and Rick Eaton for their assistance. HAF
also acknowledges the work of various other organizations – the American Jewish Committee,
the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, amongst others – that have made
considerable strides in bringing attention to the individuals and organizations sponsoring hatred.
--
The methods generally used to degrade Hinduism are: 1) categorizing Hindu rituals and
traditions as “devil worship,â€


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