Archives for May 2018

Rohingya Muslims committing crimes against infidels confirms Amnesty International

Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh): 

Hindu residents of Chikanchari in the troubled Rakine state of Myanmar had a miraculous escape from a killer squad of Rohingya militants who had butchered Hindu inhabitants of neighbouring villages. After a long march from their village, they arrived at Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar where thousands of Hindus and Rohingya refugees had already migrated from the neighbouring country after the violence that was unleashed on 25 August last year.

The tales narrated by the inhabitants of Chikanchari have been corroborated by  Amnesty International which names the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) or Harakah al-Yakin as having carried out the carnage resulting in the death of 99 persons from Hindu villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

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Are Westerners stealing Hindu Gods – Not all Hindus are Indians

The phenomenon of non-Indians adopting Hinduism is not new. However, the stories of how individuals came to the religion have not been regularly recorded. I hope to rectify that by time to time publishing interviews with those people who weren’t raised Hindu but now publicly identify as such, in the hopes of shedding some light on what drew them to Sanatana Dharma. By Mat McDermott

Click below to read their stories.

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Hindu Council’s FAQ on Hinduism

FAQs : Answers to frequently asked questions

 

What is Hindu stance on animal abuse?

Ahimsa – non-violence or non-killing is one of the basic tenets of Hinduism. Hindus believe in the Unity of all existence – “Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma” proclaim the Vedas – all this universe is pervaded by Brahman, the Supreme Consciousness. Hindus revere life in all forms. A majority of Hindus are vegetarians to avoid cruelty to animals, especially a number of industrialized farming practices are very cruel, e.g. de-beaking of chickens, killing of male
calves for veal meat etc. It is not at all ethical to abuse animals for human use.

Hindus treat all animals with respect and care and do not kill them for
meat. In majority that is the case. Hindus even worship some animals e.g. cows are treated as mothers as they give us their milk. There are Goshalas (homes for cows), where cows, especially older cows who have stopped giving milk are taken care of in India.

In Australia, Hindu Council of Australia, with the support of ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change) was first in Australia to launch “Meat Free Day” campaign on 2 nd October, 2008. Since then the campaign was taken to ARRCC and renamed as “Eat Less Meat” to appeal to meat eaters to reduce their consumption of meat. It is good for the  environment, good for our own health and good for the animals. Since then a number of similar organisations have come up, e.g. Meat-Free Mondays, Meatless Mondays, Meatless Fridays, Meat-free Week, No Meat May, Less Meat=Less Heat etc. The emphasis of these organisations has been more from the Climate Change point of view but there are a number of organisations like Animals Australia, RSPCA, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Voiceless etc. who have been campaigning for the ethical treatment of animals.

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Has Hinduism’s values and ethics on Euthanasia shaped contemporary society into become a better place?

Hindu ethics on euthanasia encourages us to live an ethical and moral life. There are times when we have to undergo hardships and if we are not morally strong in our beliefs we tend to breakdown and seek easy way out and commit suicide, which is not allowed in Hinduism. The practice of Prayopavesa provides a proper way out for the person who has fulfilled his responsibilities and may be suffering from a terminal disease and may not be in a position to perform the normal bodily purification function.

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What is the Hindu beliefs on euthanasia?

Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering by administering lethal dose to the person on his/her own request, who is suffering from an incurable and painful disease or is in an irreversible coma. It is only allowed in a very few countries. Australia does not allow it legally.

Hinduism does not support active euthanasia or “assisted killing”. Hindus believe in the Karma principle and rebirth. Hindus believe that we are not the body. We are the Atman, which never dies. It takes many births according to its Karmas. The ultimate aim of life is Moksha, freedom from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth. If the life is intentionally ended one takes those Karmas to his/her next life. Thus prolonging that cycle.

However, there is a practice in Hinduism called Prayopavesa (in Sanskrit), which allows a person to end his/her own life by fasting to death. Such a person has no desires or ambitions left and has no responsibilities remaining in life. The decision to undertake this practice has to be declared by the person well in advance. There are examples of such practice undertaken in recent times. In 1982, Acharya  Vinoba Bhave  (spiritual successor of Mahatma Gandhi) died by prayopavesa. In November 2001, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami of Himalayan Hindu Academy, Hawaii USA subjected himself to prayopavesa. He was diagnosed to be suffering from terminal intestinal cancer. He later died on the 32nd day of his fast.

The mention of such a practice is found in the Hindu Scripture of Bhagavat Puran. It is mentioned that when the king Parikshit was observing  prayopavesa, sage Suka, son of sage Vyasa narrated Bhagvat Puran to him. When one is fasting one should do prayers and listen to holy scriptures.

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Hindu View on Capital Punishment

As an individual a Hindu’s conduct is to always forgive even the worst enemy or not to judge another human being and leave the judgement to the Lord. 
 
As a government the Hindu view is that at times there is no option but to end a life to protect the society from within or from without. This is based on a higher principle that death and rebirth are necessary for the soul to grow and know its own Divinity.
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What do Hindus believe about judgement and what is the process of salvation?

We believe in a law of karma that is in operation all the time. There is not the judgement day in our way of thinking. There are multiple ways of achieving salvation and we do believe that accepting Jesus as the Savior could be one of them.

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What do Hindus believe about Jesus and his role in Hindu faith?

We believe in Jesus as Divine. We Hindus believe that Jesus added to the capacity of the human flesh to experience love. This is based on the Hindu concept that every incarnation enhances the ability for the matter that makes up humans to evolve higher. 

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How do you think Christians perceive God and his relationship to humanity?

Christians perceive God as someone in heaven who is the ruler of this world. He loves each of His subjects but he is also bound by the law that he has laid down for humanity.

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What is the nature of God and HIS relationship to humanity

The nature of God cannot be described in words completely but we are all manifestations of God in different forms. God is present in all of us but we also worship God in a form external to us and in that form God is our protector and God loves us much more than we can love God.

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Hindu perspective on euthanasia

Hinduism does permit Prayopavesa or renouncing of food and water which is actually euthanasia.
Prayopavesa literally resolving to die through fasting is a practice in Hinduism that denotes the suicide by fasting of a person, who has no desire or ambition left, and no responsibilities remaining in life.  It is also allowed in cases of terminal disease or great disability. A similar practice exists in Jainism.

Committing Prayopavesa is bound by very strict regulations. Only a person who has no desire or ambition left, and no responsibilities remaining in life is entitled to perform it. The decision to do so must be publicly declared well in advance.  Ancient times law makers stipulated the conditions that allow Prayopavesa. They are one’s inability to perform normal bodily purification, death appears imminent or the condition is so bad that life’s pleasures are nil and the action is done under community regulation.   eg King Parikshit in ancient time had observed prayopavesa and in current time, in 1982 Acharya Vinoba Bhave ( spiritual successor of Mahatma Gandhi) died by prayopavesa. In Nov 2001 Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami subjected himself to prayopavesa. Subramuniyaswami was diagnosed to be suffering from terminal intestinal cancer. He later died on the 32nd day of his fast.

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Arrest of ISIS-inspired Texas Teen a Reminder for Temples to Review Security Plans

Washington, DC (May 3, 2018) — Yesterday a Plano, Texas teenager was arrested after he revealed his plot to carry out a mass shooting, in what is being reported as an ISIS-inspired attack. Among the targets reportedly considered by the suspect, were a school, local Hindu temple, and shopping mall. The latter was ultimately the chosen target.

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Australia’s first religious same sex marriage performed in a Synagogue

Australia has recently permitted same sex marriage. While many such marriages have been held in civil ceremonies, most religions have been reluctant to embrace the change and incorporate LGBT in their religious marriage ceremonies.

By Dolly442 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20285641 

Now, a first religious same sex marriage has been performed in a Synagogue.

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Ray Williams MP wants to stamp out racism in Australia

Some leaders have recently made racist and divisive statements affecting residents of NSW and Australia.

Upset by these developments, Hon. Ray Williams MP will host a round table with Community Leaders to explore ways to stamp out racism in Australian community.

He is holding a forum on the same 2:15pm, Saturday 26 May 2018

 

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Hindus chant to ‘purify’ former Nazi concentration camps

PARIS (RNS) — There are few places on earth more haunted by evil than the memorial sites at former Nazi concentration camps. Visitors who tour their headquarters, barracks and ovens are constantly confronted with the memorials’ main lesson — “Never Again!”

A new Hindu movement based in Germany has come up with a different approach to dealing with the camps’ sinister legacy.

The group, called Bhakti Marga, organizes sessions of followers calmly chanting “om,” the sacred mantra of Hinduism, to “purify” the sites by turning their negativity into positive energy.

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Spoken Sanskrit Workshop For beginners in Canberra

Organised by Hindu Council of Australia

Objective: to give students a taste of Sanskrit as a living language by introducing its basic grammatical structures so that they can start understanding simple texts as well as allow them to use it in daily life. It also seeks to give them an understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the different aspects of this language from its sounds to its rich content so that they feel enthused enough to delve further into it.

This is a basic language course and it would be of interest to persons from different disciplinary backgrounds of science, technology, computer sciences and humanities and social sciences.

When : Sat 2 June and Sunday 3 June, 2018 Time : 10am-1pm & 2pm-5pm

Where : Hindu Temple & Cultural Centre, 81 Ratcliffe Crescent, Florey ACT 2615

Cost : Free, #note

Contact : himanshu.pota@gmail.com or 0426057354.

 Short bio of the Presenter
Dr. Jyoti Raj obtained her Ph.D. on brahmasūtra from the University of Delhi. She got her graduate and post-graduate qualifications from St. Stephen’s College, the University of Delhi. She is an Assistant Professor at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, the University of Delhi.

She is a news reader, editor, and reporter with DD News Sanskrit section. She is also a Governing Body Member of Delhi Sanskrit Academy. She has conducted several Spoken Sanskrit Camps for School and College Students.

Dr. Jyoti Raj presenting a news bulletin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5S5Yri9Dek
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Note: 1. Participants can attend part of the workshop too.

2. Depending on the number of registrations we will request small contribution for the workshop to cover the travel cost of the presenter.

3. Lunch is included

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Tiny Australian towns are inclusive but lack diversity

While large Australian cities have seen a large influx of different ethnic and religious groups, tiny Australian towns although considered inclusive by some authors, lack diversity of ethnicity and religions. They seem to live in a time warp that existed in Australia before 1970’s. Most new immigrants avoid country towns for their lack of employment opportunities. Most Hindus who came to Australia after abolition of whites only policy, settled in cities though a handful of Hindu doctors  did settle in small towns. These doctors were respected and seen as as an important asset to medical services starved communities.

However most Hindus who came to Australia later, started settling in large cities as a rush of IT and then technicians came in. Later, students immigrating started drifting to medium towns for jobs and small businesses. It seems that tiny towns of Australia are still living in their old familiar ways. It is a matter of time, perhaps one full generation before these new migrants start affecting the way of life of tiny towns as they have done to large cities.

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Hindu Council supports Girmit day celebrations

Commemoration of Girmit Dewas at Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre of ACT Inc. (HTCC) – Canberra

19 May 2018.

Members of Fiji Community who are members/devotees of HTCC have been marking Girmit Dewas (arrival of the first ship load of Indians to Fiji on 14 May 1879) by hosting a prayer meeting at HTCC premises for some years now and this year it was held on Saturday 19 May. On this occasion, The Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) lended its full support for the event.

The function was officiated by Temple Priest, Acharya Prakash Chandra Pandey, and presided over by vice president of HTCC, Shri Kamal Singh. The program included puja, recital of Ramayana by three mandalies and addresses by Pandits, Anil and Rama Sharma, Shri Prakash Mehta, President, Hindu Council of Australia and Shri Basu Banka, President, HTCC.

In his message Shri Prakash Mehta reminded the congregation that the Indians had Lord Rama with them in the form of Ramayana which they had brought with them and this gave them the strength and courage to face the adversities which they encountered. Regular recital of Ramayana has not only helped to preserve Hindu culture, but also supported to pass language to next generation. It is really inspiring lessons for new migrants. He thanked the organizers’ for hosting the ceremony in memory of their ancestors and the Hindu Council of Australia was happy to support the event.

Approx. 150 people, mainly Indo-Fijians but a growing number from India attended the function. It was also attended by Shri Kanti Jinna, Vice President HCA and Santosh Gupta, coordinator of ACT chapter of HCA

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