HINDU TEMPLES’ ( MANDIRS) OF RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN – 1

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Jagannatha Puri Ratha Yatra 14th July 2018

By: Madya Lila

May the Lord’s blessings be upon you on the auspicious day of Puri Ratha Yatra. In the holy city of Jagannatha Puri, the Supreme Lord resides within His ancient temple by the shores of the sea. Once every year, during the rainy season, Lord Jagannatha (Lord Krishna), along with His elder brother Balarama and His younger sister Subhadra come out of the temple to ride on magnificent chariots in a grand parade to the Sri Gundicha temple.

This festival is called Ratha Yatra, the journey (yatra) of the chariots (ratha) and it has been celebrated in Jagannatha Puri for many hundreds of years. It commemorates the occasion when Krishna, accompanied by His brother and sister, travelled by chariot from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra to meet their dear friends and family members from Vrindavan, fulfilling their wish to see Him again after many years.

In the 16th century, the great saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, devoted 20 years of His life to worshipping Lord Jagannath and propagating the sankirtan movement in Puri. Due to His influence, millions of pilgrims from around the world visit Jagannatha Puri for the Ratha Yatra festival to gain darshan of the Lord. It is said that simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot, one makes advancement towards liberation from the wheel of birth and death. Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a prominent scholar and devotee in the line of Lord Chaitanya, inaugurated the international Ratha Yatra festivals that are now held in more than 100 cities around the world.

An important element of the festival is called Chera Pahara (sweeping with water). The Gajapati King, ruler of the medieval kingdom of Odisha, humbly and with great devotion sweeps the road in front of the chariots with a gold handled broom and sprinkles sandalwood powder and water. By the Gajapati’s performing this menial service, we learn that no matter how exalted a person one may be, we are all the servants of the Lord. For this reason, it is recommended that at least once a year, we should engage ourselves in cleaning the temple of the Lord to help to remind us of our position as a servant of the Lord and to taste the happiness of humility.

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Hindu Council welcomes ISKCON Gauranga Prabhu

Gauranga Prabhu, disciple of H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaja Graduated from IIT Bombay in 1993, his interest in Krishna Consciousness dawned during his college days.He moved in as a full time preacher at ISKCON Chowpatty.

ISKCON is a member of Hindu Council of Australia.

Mr Prabhu visited Sydney on 23rd June 2018 and held a special dinner and invited Hindu Council. He shared the progress being made on Sri Sri Radha Govinda Temple (now also known as the Hare Krishna Community and Cultural Center) – a capital project aimed at constructing a new temple in Sydney. He asked Hindu Council to get the Hindu community involved in this project.

Hindu council was represented by Joint Secretary Bimal Joshi, Dharmendra Modi and Udyan Sharma.

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Take a Quiz on Hindu Symbols and Icons

Check your knowledge of Hinduism

Take a Quiz on Hinduism Symbols and Icons

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1. What is the  purpose of performing aarti and the waving of lighted wicks before the deities?

 
 
 
 

2. How many number of cotton wicks can be put into the oil and lighted for an aarti lamp?

 
 
 
 

3. A Toran is a decoration hanging at the front door of a home and can be made out of any one of the following (you can tick more than one)

 
 
 
 

4. How many strands of thread does a Janaeu or Yajnopavit has?

 
 
 
 

5. Aum is a representation of Brahma God out of three God heads? Yes/No

 
 

6. A Vermilion red colour Bindi signifies that the woman is married? Yes/No

 
 

7. A mangala sutra is worn by wife for the long life of the husband? Yes/No

 
 

8. What is the usual number of beads in a Hindu Japa Mala?

 
 
 
 

9. Conch shells are used in Hindu worship as a trumpet?

 
 

10. Playing with colors on Holi festival is called Rangoli? Yes/No

 
 

11. A Hindu can not apply a Tilak to a non-Hindu? Yes/No

 
 

12. While a Tilak can be applied at various parts of the body, Bindi must be applied only in between the eyes? Yes/No

 
 

13. Hindus apply a Tilak on their foreheads to express their devotion? Yes/No

 
 

14. Is it Ok for a married woman to wipe off her sindoor? Yes/No

 
 

15. Vibhuti  means super natural powers acquired through religious practices? Yes/No

 
 

16. Who is the vehicle or mount of Lord Ganesha?

 
 
 
 

17. Rudraksha beads represent tears of which God?

 
 
 
 

18. What is the difference between clockwise and anti-clockwise versions of swastika?

 
 
 

19. All other Yantras are derived from Sri Chakra Yantra?

 
 

20. Upnayana is a rite of passage to mark adolescence? Yes/No

 
 

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A new Hindu Education Centre coming up in Sydney

As Hindu population is growing rapidly in Australia (mostly due to migration), existing temples are struggling to cope up with the demand for spiritual guidance of Hindus. To keep up with the demand, a new Hindu Education and Culture Centre is being planned in western Sydney suburb of Riverstone.

Havan signifying the hand over of land by a donor to the trust is being planned on the site on 8th July 2018. 

According to its President, Prof Nihal Singh Agar OAM, the HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY Incorporated has several objectives, the core being:

  • Establish resources and facilities and centres of learning and teaching Hindutvam, including worship, inculcate spiritual practices and cultural behaviours of followers of Hinduism
  • Build and manage library, resource and research centre on Hinduism
  • Provide centralised facility for Hindu community
  • Provide support and promote activities of Hindu organisation.

The Centre’s constitution stipulates that income, property, profits and financial surplus of HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY, whenever derived, must be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY as set out in this Constitution.  It also stipulates that the Centre shall not carry on business for the purpose of profit or gain to its individual Members and no portion of its income, property, profits and financial surplus may be paid, distributed to or transferred, directly, indirectly, by way of dividend, property, bonus or otherwise by way of profit, to the Members, or the Board of Directors, or their relatives, except as provided by this Constitution.

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Why do Gods look the way they do?

By: Surinder Jain.

Hindus have many Gods and each God has his or her own form. We have Shiva sitting on an ice cold mountain top with a fountain of water (river Ganga) flowing out of the top of his head. We have Ganesh with an elephant head and Shakti shown with up to eight arms carrying weapons and gifts in each.

 

All religions have a well defined concept of The God, Their God. Not all religions however can show you what their God looks like. In fact some religions prohibit showing their God’s or their prophets form altogether going to the extent of calling such an act a heresy. In some religions it is asserted that God created Man in His own image and therefore one can deduce that reverse must be true, i.e. God must look like a man (not a woman, mind me).

By Source, Fair use, Link 

Vishnu from Bali

Vishnu from India

 

But if each religion had to follow Hinduism and depict their God in the form of a picture or a sculpture (murti), and assuming it is permitted, what would their deity look like.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill scholars went about addressing this issue for Christians. If Christians had to draw a picture of God, what would it look like. Now, this is not the first time that someone has dared to draw a face and picture of a Christian God. Many historic paintings available in Churches in Europe show God as an old white male with a white beard and this is what the scholars must have been expecting to come up with.

After showing a number of different photos (very much like mug shots) to devout Christians and asking them which photo resembles their God the most, they came up with a picture of a Christian God. They found that God comes not in one but in as many forms as human aspirations or groupings.

The researchers found that American Christians see God as young, white and loving. But those with views aligned to liberals see God as more feminine, more African-American, and more loving than conservatives. They see God as older, more intelligent, and more powerful. But everyone in the study seemed to see God as similar to themselves.

God and anti-God

Even though American Christians ostensibly believe in the same God, people perceived God in their own way, their perceptions reflecting their political ideologies and their own personal appearance,” the researchers found. When Christian believers think about God, they perceive a form suited to meet their needs and who looks like their own selves.

If people believe they live a godly life, they’re most likely to see a god that looks like themselves, and it might explain why one person’s perception of hypocrisy of some believers, isn’t to others, basically making their view of God conform to them rather than the other way around.

So, if Christians were to make deities in their churches of Christian God (not that they would or should), they are likely to end up with as many Christian Gods as in Hinduism. 

So, next time you are teased by a non-Hindu for being a Hindu with many Gods, quote this study and tell them to try and come up with a unique universally acceptable face or form of  their own God.

[You can read more about the university study here …. MPR News]

here [NBC ….]

and here [Science Alert ….]

By: Surinder Jain.

(acknowledgements wikipedia photos)

 

 

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Hindu Temples Of Lal Kurti Bazaar, Rawalpindi Pakistan

The most well preserved of the three Hindu temples in the old Lal-Kurti Bazar is now a private property of a well-connected Muslim migrant family and is closed to the public. It is just a few yards from the Lal Kurti main square. Both Hindus and Sikh used to worship in the place during British times. This temple is in the courtyard of an old Hindu mansion. The place had a watering-well and the sacred Banyan tree.

[Click here to read more ….]

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Hindus fear takeover of their temples in Malaysia

Malaysian government is proposing the formation of a Hindu Endowment Board (HEB) in all states with a sizeable Hindu population is to manage all Hindu temples. Hindus view this move of the Malaysian government with suspicion. 

To assuage the fears of the Hindu community, a government spokesperson has said that it is not the aim of the board to take over temples. There has been some misrepresentation of the functions of the board by some individuals who want to settle old scores with some temple managements in the country who were closely aligned with the BN government. The board will serves to protect existing temples, work closely with existing temple committees, and more importantly find ways and means to advance the religious, social and economic interests of Hindu or Indians in the country.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. The constitution of Malaysia declares that Islam is the only religion of true Malay people and that natives are required to be Muslims.[22] Conversion from Islam to Hinduism (or another religion) is against the law, but the conversion of Hindus, Buddhists and Christians to Islam is welcomed. The government actively promotes the spread of Islam in the country.[6] The law requires that any Hindu (or Buddhist or Christian) who marries a Muslim must first convert to Islam, otherwise the marriage is illegal and void.[6] If one of the Hindu parents adopts Islam, the children automatically become Muslim without the consent of the second parent.[5][23]

In recent decades, there have been increasing reports of religious persecution of Hindus, along with other minority religions, by various state governments of Malaysia and its Sharia courts.[5][8] Hindu temples built on private property, and built long before Malaysian independence, have been demolished by Malaysian government officials in recent years.[9]

After a violent conflict in Penang between Hindus and Muslims in March 1998, the government announced a nationwide review of unlicensed Hindu temples and shrines. However, implementation was not vigorous and the program was not a subject of public debate.

Between April to May 2006, several Hindu temples were demolished by city hall authorities in the country, accompanied by violence against Hindus.[25] On 21 April 2006, the Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur was reduced to rubble after the city hall sent in bulldozers.[26] The authorities’ excuse was that these temples were unlicensed and squatting on government land.

The president of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam in Selangor had been helping to organise efforts to stop the local authorities in the Muslim dominated city of Shah Alam from demolishing a 107-year-old Hindu temple. The growing Islamization in Malaysia is a cause for concern to many Malaysians who follow minority religions such as Hinduism.[27]

On 11 May 2006, armed city hall officers from Kuala Lumpur forcefully demolished part of a 90-year-old suburban temple that serves more than 3,000 Hindus. The “Hindu Rights Action Force”, a coalition of several NGO’s, have protested these demolitions by lodging complaints with the Malaysian Prime Minister.[28]

According to a lawyer for the Hindu Rights Action Task Force, a Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia once every three weeks.[29]

In 2007, Malaysian Hindu organisations protested the destruction of Hindu temples by the Malaysian regime. On 30 October 2007 the 100-year-old Maha Mariamman Temple in Padang Jawa was demolished by Malaysian authorities. Following that demolition, Works Minister and head of the Malaysian Indian Congress Samy Vellu, who is of Indian origin, said that Hindu temples built on government land were still being demolished despite his appeals to the various state chief ministers.

[Click here to read more ….]

Sources : Wikipedia, Picture of Batu By Aruna at ml.wikipedia – Transferred from ml.wikipedia by User:Sreejithk2000 using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link, Picture of temple By Kalaivani SomiahOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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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.

[Click here to read more ….]

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NetFlix’s controversial portrayal of Rajneesh

NetFlix has made a six part documentary on Osho (Bhagwan Rajneesh) called  Wild Wild Country, and is streaming it now. The six-part series tells the story of the Rajneshees, calling him an Indian “sex cult” whose 2000-odd members moved en masse from India to rural Oregon in the 1980s.   


Almost immediately the movement ran into conflict with county residents and the state government, and a succession of legal battles concerning the ashram’s construction and continued development curtailed its success.

Photo By Samvado Gunnar Kossatz, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3001538 

 

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