Desecrating Hindu temples by tolerant religion becoming a global phenomena

Another Hindu temple has been vandalized, this time in Louisville, America.

The crime signatures are very similar to Bhartiye Mandir, Reagents Park, Sydney, Australia vandalization event that took place a few months back. There was an outpouring of anger and disgust by Australians including from those sharing the religion of the vandals. Local mayor and council reacted swiftly to help clean up. All major political party leaders condemned the incident helping to heal the wounds and preserve unity and cohesiveness of multicultural Australia. You can read about the Australian incident by clicking here. The Australian Hindu leaders and community did not publicize the perpetrators religious persuation to avoid affecting harmony among Australians.

The crime in America seems to show the hallmark of same fundamentalist religious extremism as was in the Australian incident.

Hindu Council of Australia condemns the vandalisation of Hindu temples and calls upon other religious leaders and all Australians to condemn this incident.

Please register your protest here.


Hate Crime: Hindu Temple Vandalised In US’s Louisville; “Jesus Is All Mighty”, “Jesus Is Lord” Messages Posted On Walls

Posted: 31 Jan 2019 04:27 AM PST

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In a hate crime, a Hindu temple has been vandalised in the US state of Kentucky by miscreants who sprayed black paint on the deity and left a knife stabbed into a chair in the main hall.

The incident happened between Sunday night and Tuesday morning at the Swaminarayan Temple in the Louisville city.

According to local media report, vandalism resulted in deity image sprayed with black paint, broken windows, walls spray-painted with inappropriate messages and graffiti. A knife was stabbed in the chair, and cabinets were emptied. The incident has sent shock waves through the Indian-American community in Louisville Kentucky.

Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Condemning the incident of vandalism, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called upon the city residents to stand up against this hatred.

“Anytime we see hatred or bigotry we will stand against it. The cowards who did this have only given our community more fuel and determination to embrace compassion, understanding, and each other,” Fischer said as he visited the vandalised temple Wednesday.

“Sometime between the end of services at the Swaminarayan Temple on Bardstown Road on Sunday and the time a repairman arrived on Tuesday morning, vandals broke into a window and vandalised spots throughout the building,” he said. The vandalism of this temple, Fischer said is another example of the work “we still have to do as a city and a nation to make sure we live to our ideals of equality, of a country where everyone is treated with the respect we all deserve.” Fischer said that the vandals wrote “repugnant messages of hate.” “Regardless of what religion you are, this should not happen,” Raj Patel from the Swaminarayan temple said. “We come here to worship. We should not have to turn our backs to see who is behind us, but we should be happy to come here and worship in peace,” he added.

Describing the desecration as “heartbreaking”, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Steve Conrad told reporters that the police will provide additional security to the temple.

“What I’m here to do today is to assure everyone that attends this temple that we will do our best to find and hold accountable the person or persons who committed this vandalism and this hate crime,” Conrad said.

Kentucky State Representative Nima Kulkarni, the first Indian-American elected to the Kentucky General Assembly, said the vandalism was an “act of intimidation designed to weaken our faith and community”. There has been a number of such incidents across the US in previous years. In April 2015, a Hindu temple in north Texas has been vandalised with nasty images spray-painted on its walls.

In February 2015, Hindu temples in Kent and the Seattle Metropolitan area were also vandalised.

HinduStan Times

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Menstruation is Far From Taboo in Hinduism

By: Sunila Goray Raj

(edited by : Surinder Jain)

Menstruation is Far From Taboo in Hinduism.
 
There is so much to be said about it all – but here I only want to focus on the leftist’s latest favorite topic : Menstruation.
 
A survey conducted in USA in 1981 showed that a substantial majority of U.S. adults and adolescents believed that it is socially unacceptable to discuss menstruation, especially in mixed company. Many believed that it is unacceptable to discuss menstruation even within the family.[66] Studies in the early 1980s showed that nearly all girls in the United States believed that girls should not talk about menstruation with boys, while more than one-third of girls did not believe it appropriate to discuss menstruation with their father.[67]
 
In Hindu culture, a girl who achieved menarche, or her first period, was feted, and pampered at a ceremony where family and close friends gathered and lavished gifts on her. The girl would be bathed in fragrant water after applying oil, turmeric etc. she would be bedecked in fine clothes, flowers and ornaments – and her feet would be washed. This is because Hinduism celebrates, and does not abhor menstruation. The Shakti philosophy upholds it as a gift which is responsible for creation of life.
 
 

Devotees singing in front of Kamakhya temple

 
The Kamakhya Temple in Assam celebrates the annual menstruation of the Goddess – and there is no idol there, just a structure that resembles the yoni, or the female symbol of creation.The Chengannur Temple in Kerala has a tradition of bathing the idol in a grand ceremony after her ‘period’ is over. According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni (genital) fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati.[41] It mentions Kamakhya as one of four primary shakti peethas: the others being the Vimala Temple within the Jagannath Temple complex in Puri, Odisha; Tara Tarini) Sthana Khanda (Breasts), near Brahmapur, Odisha, and Dakhina Kalika in Kalighat, Kolkata, in the state of West Bengal, originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati. 
 
The temple remains closed for three days during the Ambubachi mela[2][3] for it is believed that mother earth becomes unclean for three days like the traditional women’s menstrual seclusion. During these three days some restrictions are observed by the devotees like not cooking, not performing puja or reading holy books, no farming etc.[2] After three days devi Kamakhya is bathed and other rituals are performed to ensure that the devi retrieves her purity.[3] Then the doors of the temple are reopened[2][3][4] and prasad is distributed.[2][4] On the fourth day the devotees are allowed to enter the temple and worship devi Kamakhya.
 
Many religions have menstruation-related traditions, for example: Islam prohibits sexual contact with women during menstruation in the 2nd chapter of the Quran. In Judaism, a woman during menstruation is called Niddah and may be banned from certain actions. Western civilization, which has been predominantly Christian, has a history of menstrual taboos. [source: wikipedia] Some Christian denominations, including many authorities of the Eastern Orthodox Church and some parts of the Oriental Orthodox Church advise women not to receive communion during their menstrual period.[34] In certain branches of Japanese Buddhism, menstruating women are banned from attending temples.[37] In Japan, the religion of Shinto, the Kami, the spirits they worship, would not grant wishes if you had traces of blood, dirt, or death on you. In some portions of South Asia, there is a menstrual taboo, with it frequently being considered impure. Restrictions on movement, behaviour and eating are frequently placed.[57] The Yurok in North America practiced menstrual seclusion. Yurok women used a small hut near the main house.[65]
 
BONUS FACT: Hinduism is the only mainstream religion which worships God in the female form – for wealth (Lakshmi), education (saraswati), and courage too (Durga) – we worship Goddesses. What greater women empowerment can there be? To accuse Hinduism of gender disparity is beyond ridiculous!
 
An orchestrated effort is being made, or should I say, has been made for several years now, to denigrate Hindu customs and culture. In the whole uproar over Sabarimala, the issue being tom-tommed by pseudo liberals is Women’s rights – gender equality, and especially the whole taboo surrounding menstruation – and all of it is nothing but a distortion, and concoction, where the narrative is being twisted to suit the agenda of certain vested interests.
 
In the West, media houses like the BBC and CNN are upholding Kanakadurga and Bindu, who pretended to be transgenders, and were whisked into Sabarimala in ambulances with the support of plains clothes cops, as ‘defenders of women’s rights’.
I do not know if I should shake my head, or tear my hair out in frustration.
 
With the advent of western education, especially missionary education, Hindus were made to feel that this whole ceremony is horrendous – how can you announce that your daughter has now started menstruating, what an embarrassment, how orthodox, what a shameful ritual, how backward – these were the things we were told. And instead of trying to resist, and make others understand what this ceremony meant, and its deep significance – we (me included) hung our heads in shame, relented, and agreed with them.
 
Today hardly anybody performs this ceremony for their daughters, because we were taught by those who came from outside that it is taboo, and shameful. We also joined the bandwagon which proclaimed menstruation to be ‘filthy’.
 
Irony is that today, those very people who first advocated the stopping of ‘shameful and orthodox’ rituals of celebrating menstruation, are mocking Hindus about women entering Sabarimala and turning it into a ‘menstruation taboo’ issue, whereas clearly, it is not that at all.
Today, those very same people are trying to prove themselves as modern and as the harbinger of women’s rights and equality by conducting a festival dedicated to menstruation – styled ‘Aarpo Aarthavam’. It is laughable! The hypocrisy is just unbelievable.
 
So please stop trying to fool gullible people, because there are still many of us who know the truth.

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Tirta Gangga in Bali

Bali is an island in Indonesia and has largely native Hindu population. A water garden was built in Bali by Dr Anak Agung Made Djelantik in the year 1948 and named after the Hindu holy river Ganga.

Tirta Gangga – Bali

Tirta Gangga is a former royal palace in eastern Bali, Indonesia, about 5 kilometres from Karangasem, near Abang. It is noted for its water palace, owned by Karangasem Royal.

The primary draw in this area for visitors is the Tirta Gangga water palace, a lovely maze of pools and fountains surround by a lush garden and stone carvings and statues. The one hectare complex was built in 1946 by the late King of Karangsem but was destroyed almost entirely by the eruption of nearby Mount Agung in 1963. It has been lovingly re-built and restored and has an air of authentic royal magnificence. The centrepiece of the palace is an eleven tiered fountain, and there are many beautiful carvings and statues adorning the gardens.

Lempuyang Temple (Pura Lempuyang Luhur) is about 10 km east of Tirtagangga on the slopes of Mount Lempuyang. This is one of the key nine directional temples on the island. Park in the car park and walk up the steps to the temple. The lower temple is always open but the upper temple (at the top of the dragon staircases) is often locked, so it is best to go with a Balinese driver who will usually be able to arrange for the temple priest to open it up for you. It’s situated high up a mountain and there are magnificent sunset views at dusk.

Taman Ujung or Taman Sukasada (Sukasada Park) is 5 kilometers to the southeast of Karangasem (Amlapura), another water palace built by the predecessor of the King who constructed Tirta Gangga. It was largely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963, damaged again by an earthquake in 1979, and has not been restored on the same scale as Tirta Gangga. 

Holy Water

The water from one of the natural springs of Tirtagangga has always been regarded as holy. It is used for religious ceremonies in the temples in the area until today. Tirta means blessed water, gangga came from Ganges, the holy river in India. The holy water is required for ceremonies of the temples in the surrounding as far as Tirtagangga can be reached by foot.

History

Dr. Anak Agung Made Djelantik (1919 – 2007) (source : http://www.tirtagangga.nl/)

After a childhood in the puri (palace) of Karangasem, my father was educated in Java and Holland. Completing his medical study during the turbulence 2nd world war, he worked from 1948 as a doctor and chief medical officer in various parts of Indonesia. From 1969 he was connected to the World Health Organisation, taking postings in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. From 1979 he continued his passion for public health, culture and arts, especially painting, in Bali.

Construction (An account by Dr Anak’s son Widoere Djelantik)

In 1948 my grandfather built a watergarden complex which he gave the name Tirtagangga.

Apart from his personal interest, my grandfather built Tirtagangga for 2 main reasons:

– To ensure and improve the holiness of a holy place;

– To create a place of contemplation, rest and joy for every one, the local people as well as the domestic and foreign visitors.

These are still and will always be the purposes of the garden.

The religious function of the spring, the cool climate and the scenic beauty of the surrounding hills inspired him to build recreational water gardens for himself and his people. Making watergardens of all sorts had always been his hobby. He not only did all the designing himself, but he also used to work together with his labourers, digging in the ground, standing knee deep in the water, dirty with mud. It was always a great surprise for the visitors after some time looking at the work in progress to discover the tiny figure of the Raja among the workers. People liked it and it was one of his many charming traits.

The construction of the water gardens had been severe interrupted by the eruption of the Mount Agung which lasted from February to September, 1963. A series of eruptions occurred during those months. Lava and hot ash from the mountains had killed all vegetation. The grounds had not been affected by the lava flows which found their way along the valleys to the east and to the west of the complex. However, what had been built thus far was for the greater part destroyed by earthquakes of more and less severity during all those months. In addition to the natural disaster vandalism done by people who fled their villages and had no food had taken its heavy toll. The Raja family took refuge to saver place on the island. Tirtagangga was abandoned and fell pray to looting. Everything that could be taken away and sold such as furniture, windows, tiles, pipes, chinese porcelain, flower pots, statues and so on disappeared in the course of time.

When after about ten months the calamity was over the Raja returned, only to find the beautiful garden in ruins. There was no money for rebuilding the ponds and structures. With the introduction of the Land Reform Bill the Rajas, like all the other great land owners, had lost their means for extravagant undertakings. The rehabilitation of Tirtagangga could only be done in a very frugal and haphazard manner.

Since 1979, after a long duty period abroad, my father supervised the rehabilitation of the garden. With a slight increase of the entrance fees in 1985 a little bit could be accomplished. With the help of the local government the upper swimming pool was rehabilitated. Little by little the watergardens are coming into a better shape.

As my father became older, he was less capable in supervising the garden. In the nineties deterioration started again as very little maintenance was executed. During a walk in 1999, while overwhelmed by the majestic Banyan tree of the garden, I received a vision to transform the distressing state into the one of splendour. This vision was the reason why I found the foundation, drawn up the masterplan, build this website, seek for donation, incorporated the Balinese Hinduism-Buddhism concept in the complex, design the buildings, bridges, sculptures and so on to be able to restore the garden until the present shape.

WHO IS WHO

  Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem (1887 – 1966)

My grandfather, the last Raja of Karangasem, succeeded his uncle, Gusti Gede Djelantik in 1908 as stedehouder (local ruler under the Dutch colonisation). A born architect and lecturer, he build several watergardens and wrote many philosophical, ethical and religious notes, hymns and poems in the Indonesian and Balinese languages.

As a child I found him most happy when sitting on his verandah or walking around enjoying the watergarden in a modest sarong, chewing his sirih.

   
  Dr. Anak Agung Made Djelantik (1919 – 2007)

After a childhood in the puri (palace) of Karangasem, my father was educated in Java and Holland. Completing his medical study during the turbulence 2nd world war, he worked from 1948 as a doctor and chief medical officer in various parts of Indonesia. From 1969 he was connected to the World Health Organisation, taking postings in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. From 1979 he continued his passion for public health, culture and arts, especially painting, in Bali.

My father wrote several books, including an autobiography, The Birthmark (Periplus, 1997, isbn 9625931651). The autobiography is an excellent source to know more about the background of the watergarden.

   
  Widoere Djelantik (1953)

My full name is Ir. Anak Agung Gede Dharma Widoere Djelantik MMIT. I spend most of my childhood in Denpasar, Bali. In 1971 I went to Holland, where I completed studies in architecture, fine arts and information technology. After posted abroad as development engineer in Mali, Botswana and the Maldives between 1979 and 1986, I worked as information analist for the municipal of Gouda until 1998. From then until today I am connected as senior adviser to Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch forestry department.

From childhood, the watergarden has always been an exciting place to me. With my sisters and other children I jumped in and out the water the whole day. In between the swims there were endless possibilities to play, such as building ships, daming the open gutters, playing in the rice fields or in the hills in the surrounding.

 

  Agung Bagus (1971)

Born and grown up outside Bali, my cousin Ir. Anak Agung Bagus Raka Barahyangwangsa obtained his master degree for architecture in Jakarta in 1995. Between 1979 and 1982 he lived in several south American countries, where his father served as ambassador for Indonesia. Before he and his family moved back to Amlapura in 2000, Agung Bagus has gained experience as architect and job captain in large projects such as Plaza Indonesia and Menara Jakarta.

   
  Surya Djelantik (1950)

Like me, my sister Anak Agung Ayu Suryawati Djelantik spend most of her childhood in Denpasar, Bali. After completion of her hotel-management school in Holland in 1973, she worked at several Indonesian leading hotels, such as Kartika Plaza in Jakarta, Nusa Dua Beach and Sheraton Nusa Indah in Bali.

 

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ASMY Donates to help Regents Park Mandir rebuild after vandalism

By : Madya Lila.

Mark Orwin from the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga recently visited Regents Park Mandir to present the devotees with the holy scriptures Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  
 
He also offered a donation of a thousand dollars on behalf of ASMY to Indrajit Rai, President of the Satsang Hindu Maha Sabha of Australia, with Shailendra Tiwari and the members of Regents Park Mandir.
 

Mark Orwin from ASMY at Regents Park Bhartiye Mandir

 
The temple was recently broken into and vandalised and now needs renovating. Devotees also lost their scriptures in the attack. Mark addressed the community of devotees and said in times of adversity we grow and come together in friendship like never before. The devotees meet at the Mandir – 42 Kibo Rd, Regents Park every Friday night for Rama Katha at 7.30. Everyone is welcome.  
 
Regents Park Mandir devotees have set up a fundraising page where online contributions can be made https://www.gofundme.com/bhartiyemandirsydney

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Sikh Samadhi and Hindu temple of Gulyana Pakistan

By : Wali Imran.

Gulyana town Gujar Khan Pakistan that was destroyed twice

Courtesy : Wali Imran,
 
900 years old Gulyana town of about a 50,000 people, just a few kilometers South of Gujar Khan, was raised to the ground once several centuries ago, by raiders from the West. The second time it was destroyed during the 1947 partition riots.GulyanaBefore 1947, the Gulyana town center was mostly Hindu and Sikh. The Hindus and Sikh owned all the businesses in the town center and Muslims were their tenants, peasants and laborers. Muslims sold their lands to pay off their debts and also handed over their crop of wheat. The Dewan, Dutt, Mohyal Brahmin, and Singh families were always part of royal elite.

Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt is from the same branch of warrior Brahmin Dutt and belongs to the same place.GulyanaLand owners were guaranteed protection from military’s presence in Gujar Khan from the North and a rivulet from the south. This land produced sheer gold and wealthy Sikhs and Hindus lived like kings in mansions make of stone, several storey high.GulyanaBakshi Tek Chand, Dewan Prithvi Chand Dutt, Bakshi Moti Ram and Tara Singh were the dominant names of those times.  They built temples, dug up wells for the 30-50 kanal holdings each and distributed these lands amongst their permanent serfs. They did however, treat their serfs with respect and gave them a good share of the crop — what do you expect from absentee landlords.The Sikh had a timber business. Logs from Kashmir valley were dumped into Jhelum River and recovered downstream near Jhelum city to be sold at Gujar Khan.

The Hindus were mostly traders, money lenders and retailers.GulyanaMuslims were mostly illiterate and poor and were destined to stay that way considering the only quality boarding school in nearby Gujar Khan had 95% non-muslim attendance.

During the 1947 riots, one Sikh Bali Singh and one Hindu Lady Banto were killed in the riots but the rest were whisked away with their gold, in the safety of Gorkha soldiers. The Muslim riot crowd burnt to the ground the several symbols of oppression and got rich in the process, during the looting.

One Hindu tehsildar had the magistrate’s powers to jail someone for 6 months.GulyanaWhen the British left suddenly in 1947, the carefully crafted social experiment in native subjugation came crumbling down within days.

 

Otherwise, one 100 years old resident of Gulyana tells me, “the Hindus and Sikh were very friendly towards the Muslims, their women played around with the boys, molvi were not trouble makers then; they cared about their serfs and neighbors’, built schools, hospitals and wells for the general public. No Muslim was allowed into their kitchen however. Balraj, Sita, Beera, Ramu Shikari, Gujrati, Peecha Singh, Mangat Singh, Jawals Singh, Raab Singh, Gurdyal, were the well-known Hindus and Labbu, Gurra, Jagdev, Santa, Paacha, Chatru were the known Sikh of the time. One Tek Chand Never left for India and embraced Islam. His wife and three sons left for India. Tek Chand married a Muslim lady and had seven children. They are all in poverty now. Several of the old mansion, one dhramsala, one temple, several bowlis (watering hole) have been lost to time.Gulyana

The surrounding farms around Gulyana were refreshing. The old styled spoke wells, Sikh Samadhi, Hindu temple and 100 years old Gujarati’s mansion still survives.I went into the temple inner sanctum and saw the most beautiful frescos of mixed Hindu and Sikh religious figures like hanuman, Krishna, Sita, Baba Guru Nanak, Bala, Mardana, etc.Gulyana

Pakistan government build a dam 5 km upstream, called the Ugahaun; it’s a lovely place to fish and boat around.

The union council in 1947 had more financial powers than it does today.GulyanaIn short, all the entrepreneurs, educators, administrator, jurisprudence people, revenue people, land record people and large scale farmers left in 1947.

GulyanaI am astonished how Pakistan survived with an illiterate mass of people, steeped in poverty — traumatized by exploitation and mass killings.

Other interesting places in Potohar region are:

Bedi Mahal, Pharwala fort, Malot fort, Sangini fort, Rawat fort and Mankial Stupa.

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Australia Rises against Temple Attack

Australians from all walks of life have risen in anger and indignation at the desecration and vandalism of a Hindu temple in Sydney last week. Hindu community has been overwhelmed by the support shown to it by the Governments, Political leaders, Religious leaders, Mayor, Councillors and ordinary Australians. Many ordinary Australians have shown their disgust for the attack and have come forward and donated money for temple restoration. The Police have installed two high-tech cameras, solar powered and installed on top of electrical poles to keep an eye on both the streets around the corner block the temple land is on. The local council has provided a number of free rubbish bins and clean up kits fee of charge.

Idols

The temple management expresses its gratitude to Australians for their support and is ready to move on. The first step is to do visarjana (final resting of the broken and desecrated idols) in deep ocean so that they remain there and do not get trampled upon ever. Once this has been done, the committee will start getting quotations for various work and material needed for restoration. They need :

  • Cabinet makers for Stand of the Idols and statues.
  • Carpet suppliers and layers.
  • Donors for Musical Instruments in any – i.e. Harmoniums, Dholaks, Tabla etc.
  • Donors for Religious books i.e.: Ram Charitra Manas, Bhagwat Puran, Devi Bhagwat etc.

They have set up a GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/bhartiyemandirsydney

Those who would like to help can go the web site above and make their donations.

The Temple Management has issued following statement about the incident :

We the executive members of the Bhartiye Mandir Sydney, are obliged with the assistance of Hindu Council of Australia with several members of the community who have visited the temple and offered their support in various ways.

We made several representation to Australian media but all went on deaf ears up until the article of our brother Shree Surinder Jain being published. This came as a storm in the media world and we have been stormed by several media group to cover the story.

This has been exposed in Indian television AAj Tak and Fiji One in Fiji also on SBS which showed here in Sydney on Thursday 18th October.

We have received visits from several members of the Parliaments representatives,From Cumberland Council the Mayor, Councillor Suman Saha ji who have been visiting us on several days with his command on Friday the installation of two security cameras on the street facing our temple building from both sides. The supply of bins for cleanup of the temple building. 

The team from Multicultural NSW consist of The Chairperson Dr. Hari Harinath, Ms. Megan Lancaster(Director), Mr. Malcolm Haddon (Senior Manager Community Resilience) Ms. Thida Young (Community Engagement Officer) together with Mr. Sreeni Pillamarri (President of UIA) all visited and inspected the ruins inside of the  Bhartiye Mandir Temple and jointly condemned the act of vandalism caused therein.

We request Hindu Council to assist us in this appeal as we need all support and guidance we can to rebuilt this holy temple.

We have cleaned the place as the council has provided the bins and assured that will take all the rubbish away by Monday.  Although the carpet is still to be stripped out as small particles of glasses are still stuck in the carpet and are dangerous for bear feet.

Australian Leaders Condemn this shameful act :

  • Victoria Bismire

It’s terrible that someone did this to you – Australia is better than this. Hope this helps with the restorations.

 

I stand with the Hindu community

I was horrified to see the awful damage to your holy place.

I am so sorry that this has happened.

Even though I am an agnostic, I firmly believe in the freedom to practise one’s faith. This vandalism was completely unacceptable. Shame on the perpetrators.

As an atheist who strongly believes in a multicultural and pluralist community free of religious bigotry and violence, I am proud to stand with our Hindu community.

I stand in solidarity with the Hindu Community.

I saw the sbs news article and was sad to see such a thing happen. Whilst I’m not religious I wish your temple well

COVERAGE BY AUSTRALIAN MEDIA

 
 
 
 
 

 

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APRO all religions leaders condemn Temple attack

APRO Australian Participation of Religious Organizations condemned the recent attack on a Hindu temple in Reagents Park. APRO aims to  promote and advocate for inter-faith harmony, and understanding and respect between the adherents of the various religions in Australia and to combat religious prejudice and discrimination. It has members from Council fo Australian Jewery, Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu (represented by Hindu Council of Australia), National Council of Churches, Muslims and Sikh faith.

Hindu Council of Australia has been an active member for last ten years.

All the leaders condemned the attack in strong terms and issued following Press Release :

“We,  leaders and representatives of faith-based organisations in Australia, condemn the shameful attack on the Hindu Temple in Regents Park on 14 October 2018. 
 
Attacks on religious institions are intolerable and shameful.
 
Australia enjoys and celebrates religious diversity and is rightly recognised as a leading example of fairness, tolerance and inter-communal harmony and cooperation and it is incumbent upon us to do our best to ensure that incidents such as this are exposed for what they are and the perpetrators punished. 
 
We call upon the police to make every effort to speddily identify the culprit/s and for the courts to deal with any guilty party promptly and appropriately.
 
We further call on our political leaders to publicly and unambiguously condemn the attack”
 
  • National Council of Churches in Australia
  • Muslims Australia (Australian Federation of Islamic Councils)
  • Executive Council of Australian Jewry
  • Australian Baha’i Community
  • Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils
  • Hindu Council of Australia
  • National Sikh Council of Australia

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Hindu Council condemns attack at Hindu Temple in Sydney

Hindu Council of Australia expresses its pain on learning of the vandalism that occurred at the Hindu Temple in Regents Park on Sunday, 14 October 2018. Unfortunately it happened in the most holy period of Navaratri in Hindu calendar.  The vandalism has caused lot of pain and anguish to the devotees.

We do not have enough information to know if the vandalism was a criminal act or a protest against multi-cultural Australia. More than 30 Deities and other accessories were broken. The financial cost of replacing the deities and rebuild temple will be in many thousands of dollar, but the emotional cost will be much higher.

HCA requests the police to investigate this matter and clarify the intent of the perpetrators. Considering the room for confusion such incidences can cause and hurt the multi-cultural fabric of the Australian society, we urge the police to investigate the matter considering other than just the financial cost to repair the damages. 

HCA offers its assistance to meet with the perpetrators if they have done this in ignorance of our beliefs as it effects their way of life.

The Hindu community sincerely hopes that such incidences do not occur in future. HCA offers all the help that is needed to inform the wider community about Hindu beliefs and practices so that such incidences do not happen due to ignorance.

HCA appeals to the wider Australian community to support the affected community and help them to rebuild the temple and ease their pain.

 

 

Prakash Mehta

National President,

Hindu Council of Australia

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An Old Hindu Temple desecrated by Vandals in Sydney

A Hindu Temple situated at Regents Park in Sydney Australia has been set on fire and all statues and icons of Indian Godheads have been smashed and left in ruin. They do not know who has done it but it has caused lot of pain and anguish to devotees celebrating the festival NavRatri or nine nights dedicated to worship of God in female form. Popularity of the NavRatri period for Hindus can be compared to popularity of Christmas to Christians but it continues for a period of nine days to worship nine different form of female Shakti or source of power or God manifest as and in this world.

The temple has been there for about twenty years and but for an incident of stone throwing ten years ago, the Fiji Hindu community has not had any problems until now. During the period of nine days, Hindu hold regular Prayer sessions in the evening. When devotees came at 6pm to open the temple on Sunday evening 14th October 2018, they found smoke coming from inside their temple. Upon investigation, they found some people inside and when challenged, the miscreants jumped out of the window and vanished.

 

The head priest of the temple Pandit Paras Ram Maharaj was in tears on seeing his Gods broken and strewn all over the floor. The Vandals had not only desecrated the God statues and icons but had also shamelessly thrown prayer material around. They had even set the alter on fire. Luckily the fire was quickly brought under control before it could do any further damage to the temple and the building. The temple is visited regularly by about 250 devotees who come from all over Sydney including from places as fas away as Penrith.

After serial coup in Fiji, a large number of Fijians of Indian descent had migrated to Australia. About twenty years ago, some of them collected funds while others put their homes on mortgage to raise funds and purchased an old Anglican church building. The devotees were all Hindus and brought their own Hindu icons to install in their new temple. Being an old church building, the building has a typical church architecture with lead glass color tinted windows and a wooden cross which is almost a part of the wall.

 

God is one. People worship HIM in different forms

Although as owners of the building, they could have removed previous faith symbols, the temple committee decided not to remove or dismantle old christian symbols. They placed their Gods beside these symbols and started their worship in their new temple. There is only one God and different people worship HIM in different forms believe Hindus. So, how could these Hindus show any disrespect for the symbols of God worshiped by HIS earlier and different devotees.

 

 

 

Hindu Temple in Reagents Park

The young girl broke in tears and asked me, when we respect their symbols of God so much, why have they desecrated our forms of God. This sobbing young girl had spent countless hours in decorating the temple which has now become a crime scene with broken glass strewn all over.

Her mother who had come to the temple with her other friends ready to do the prayer of the fifth day of nine days was in a state of shock. Nav Ratri prayers are done together communally and now there is no place left to conduct prayers. Quickly, the kitchen building next door was vacated and converted into a make shift temple to continue the most important rituals of the day. The police came and did their forensic work and left at 2am next morning.

The big worry we have now, said the temple president is to restore the temple building back to its earlier glory. We will rebuild the temple he said with a determination, we are not going to go away, this is our home too. Australia is a very fair society. Australians have given us shelter and freedom to practice our religion. A few miscreants among them can not scare us away. Other committee members had more pressing thoughts and were discussing practical matters like how shall we raise funds to restore our place of worship. 

Donations to reestablish the previous glory of the temple can be made at https://bhartiyemandirsydney.org/donations/

The temple has also set up a GoFundMe campaign at
https://www.gofundme.com/bhartiyemandirsydney?fbclid=IwAR3TQZn-5e2OP58PzncK5no495hRy99n8BuDq5SpQqwRaInvIGflsqWskxc

It is time that Australians of all walks of life show their solidarity with these new Australians.

It is time for leaders of all faiths to come in their support and condemn this criminal act by a few vandals who do not represent fair dinkum Australia.

It is time for elected local, state and federal representatives to come and wipe the tears of that young girl and assure her that you are also a valuable part of our society and are free to practice your faith.

It is time that state and federal Parliaments pass a resolution condemning this disgraceful act.

If it has happened to one temple today, it may happen to other places of worship tomorrow.

Lets make sure it never happens again.

Lets keep Australia fair.

Hindus in anguish

AUSTRALIA CONDEMNS

Australian Leaders Condemn this shameful act :

  • Victoria Bismire

It’s terrible that someone did this to you – Australia is better than this. Hope this helps with the restorations.

 

I stand with the Hindu community

I was horrified to see the awful damage to your holy place.

I am so sorry that this has happened.

Even though I am an agnostic, I firmly believe in the freedom to practise one’s faith. This vandalism was completely unacceptable. Shame on the perpetrators.

As an atheist who strongly believes in a multicultural and pluralist community free of religious bigotry and violence, I am proud to stand with our Hindu community.

I stand in solidarity with the Hindu Community.

I saw the sbs news article and was sad to see such a thing happen. Whilst I’m not religious I wish your temple well

COVERAGE BY AUSTRALIAN MEDIA

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Hindu rituals under attack in Australia

By: Smith Jones.

Australia is a very tolerant society. Hindu practices are not only encouraged but participated by a large number of white Australians and elected Australian representatives from all shades of political spectrum. Hindus feel at ease and encouraged to become Australians.

Surprisingly, attacks on Hindus are not coming from other religions or from fringe political ideologies. Political leadership in Australia makes sure they come to Hindu events and celebrate it with Hindu Australians. All other religions including the main religion Christianity are very supportive of Hindus and their efforts to organize themselves and celebrate their festivities and conduct their rituals. In fact, some of the religious leaders of older religions who have been here for two hundred years, go out of their way to help new comers find their feet and guide them on how to integrate well into Australian society. The departments of multiculturalism and various other government ministries are inclusive, respectful and supportive of Hindus and their efforts to get spiritual guidance from their temples, associations, seers and saints.

The attack to dissuade Hindus from practicing their rituals is coming from other Communist leaning pseudo-secularists masquerading as journalists who have also migrated to Australia more recently. They seem to question the audacity of Hindus in performing their rituals and Hindu worship in their new homeland of Australia. All Hindus and all religious leaders of all religions in Australia as well as Political leadership should condemn such veiled and sometimes open attacks on Hindus by vested interests.

By:Smith Jones.

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