Hindus have a lot more at stake on Earth

By:Surinder Jain.

Most other religions than Hinduism believe in one life and a judgement day thereafter. Hindus believe that we will be born again and again to inhabit the earth until we perfect ourselves. We Hindus therefore have a lot more at stake in keeping the earth from calamities like Global warming and Climate Catastrophe. While others may be doing it out of their goodness and for their children’s sake, we Hindus have to save the earth, out of necessity and for our own sake, in addition to goodness and for children.

According to ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change)[1], the three areas where religious leaders and people of faith can take steps to save the environment of the earth are:

  1. reduced use of transportation based on fossil fuels, ie, air and road transport
  2. shifting towards plant-based diets, away from meat-based protein
  3. energy efficiency and sourcing energy from renewables

Doesn’t it sound so Hindu a way of life that our ancient Rishis used to live. Using Bulls for energy & transport and eating vegetarian food cooked on cow dung fuel. Of the three Hindu ways of life that ARRCC has reaffirmed are essential to save the earth in which we are going to come back to live again and again, we can all easily implement the second, i.e stay vegetarian if you are and shift to less meat and away from meat based food. Hindu Council supports ARRCCs efforts for reducing meat-based protein diet.

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Register for a self study course on Hinduism

Hindu Council is offering an “Introduction to Hinduism Course” with an easy test to monitor its successful completion. This course is web based and has 10 lessons. Each lesson should take no more than hour of self study at home. After reading a lesson, an objective type Quiz assesses the students proficiency. Students who pass each lesson quiz with an B or A grade are deemed to have completed all requirements.

The course is being offered for free.

In order to enroll in this course, you have to Register yourself at the Hindu Council web site. You will require an email address plus you have to choose a user id/password. You can register yourself  at

http://www.hinducouncil.com.au/new/wp-login.php?action=register

If you are already registered with the web site then you can logon with your user id/password by clicking

http://www.hinducouncil.com.au/new/wp-login.php

Once you have logged in, you can enroll into course at

http://hinducouncil.com.au/new/namaste-course/introduction-to-hinduism/ 

 

Any feedback on this course can be sent to editor at hinducouncil.com.au

Good luck.

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Tributes to Prof Raja Jayraman, former Vice President

Prof Raja Jayraman is remembered by us all. He did so much work for Hindu education in schools and for promoting interfaith harmony in Australia as Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia. Tributes are still pouring in.

Surinder Jain

Professor Raja Jayaraman left his mortal body on last Thursday; his funeral will be at 2 pm on Monday, June 4, at Lotus Pavilion, Macquarie Crematorium, Delhi Road
Nihal Agar
 
He will be missed and at our meeting of RfP we will remember him with a minute silence led by Gayatripana. May his memory be a blessing.
Josie
 
Deeply sad to hear the news about Raja ji. He will be missed for his enthusiasm , witty comment and thorough knowledge on many aspects . 

Sanjeev Bhakri

Sad to hear that the towering Personality Raja Jayramanji passed away , but relieved that this fighter, kept fighting till the end, true to his usual grit. 
I would say that I was one of the fortunates to have interacted with this Committed Hindu & hope to live and imbibe a fraction of his commitment towards social & Dharmic cause.
HSS ( Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh)prays the almighty to provide sadgati to this wonderful aatma. 
We hope that the family can recover from this great loss. 
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih 
Ramyavaran
 
Really sorry to hear the death of Raja ji. 

I used to call him Good Jayaraman. He was so humble, polite, receptive and good listener. 
May God bless him to Rest in Peace 
Jay Raman
 

Saddened to hear  Revered Sri Raja Jayaraman ji passing away. it  is a great loss to us all and the Hindu community at large.  May Bhagwan GauriShankar ji bestow peace to the departed Soul of revered Rajaji and give strength to the family to bear this great loss.

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva Bandanaan-Mrityormuksheeya Maamritat
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih 
Radha Krishna Sharma
 
Very sad to learn about Raja jis passing away. He was a truely committed  to social work.

It was a great pleasure and honour to work with him for many years. 
Soul never dies, only changes body. May he travel to next journey peacefully.
I sadly will miss him.
Tara 
 

Very sorry to hear about the passing away of Dr Jayaraman ji. May God bestow peace to the departed soul.

Vijai Singhal

Very sorry to hear about Raja ji. May his soul rest in peace.
Vikas Chopra
 
It’s really sad and hard to believe that Prof Raja jayraman ji not with us. I’m with Rajajis family at this hour of time. May god give solace to the departed soul. 
Chandrakant Kulkarni 
 
Very sad to know that Dr Raja ji is left us. I  am deeply sad that I couldn’t meet him in last few weeks. I am not in Sydney for last month and will be back on 10th so I am not be able to with you all at this moment of sorrow.
Dr Raja ji will always be an inspiration to us all the time.
I pray for him and convey my deepest condolences 
Bhagwat Chauhan
 
Very sad to hear. Om Shanthi.
Sai Pravastu
hari om 
 
very sad to hear. Om shanthi shanthi shanthi 
Manju Nath
 
Sorry to hear that. RIP.
Ashwani Jain
 
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The Case for India by Will Durant

Book Review by : Vijai Singhal

The Case for India

This book was written by Will Durant, an American writer, historian and a philosopher in 1930 after visiting India. Given below are some of the abstracts from this book which can be freely down loaded from the Internet. The book was written without the help or cooperation by any Indian.

Will Durant had made an in-depth study of the Indian civilisation, which he declared as one of the oldest and the greatest civilizations that mankind had ever known. He went to India to see for himself but was appalled to see almost one fifth of the human race suffering poverty and oppression bitterer than anywhere on the earth. He had not thought it possible that any government would allow it’s subject to sink to that misery. The British conquest of India was an invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company utterly without scruple or principle.

Writing about the rape of a continent, he says, “When the British came, India was politically weak but economically prosperous. It was the wealth of 18th Century India which attracted the commercial pirates of England and France”. Quoting Sunderland, he says, “Nearly every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world existing anywhere had long been produced in India. India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her Textile goods-the fine products of her looms, in cotton, wool, linen and silk-were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelain, ceramics of every kind, quality, colour and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal-iron, steel, silver and gold. She had great architecture-equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works. She had great merchants, great businessmen, great bankers and financiers. Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea. Such was the India which British found when they came.”

The East India Company management profiteered without hindrance; goods which they sold in England for $10 million they bought in India for $2 million. The Company paid fabulous dividends that its shares rose to $32,000 a share. By 1858 the British Government took over the captured and plundered territories as a colony of the Crown. England paid the Company handsomely and added the purchase price to the public debt of India to be redeemed, principal and interest at 10.5% out of the taxes on the Hindu people. Province after province was taken over by offering rulers choice between pension and war. James Mills, historian of India, wrote: “Under their dependence upon the British Government … the people of Oudh and Karnatic, two of the noblest provinces of India, were by misgovernment, plunged into a state of wretchedness with which… hardly any part of the earth has anything to compare”.

“The fundamental principle of the British has been to make the whole Indian nation subservient… they have been taxed to the utmost limit; the Indians have been denied every honor, dignity or office”.… F J Shore testifying to the House of Commons in 1857.

“The Governments’ assessment does not even leave enough food for the cultivator to feed his family” – Sir William Hunter, 1875.

Economic destruction – The English destroyed the Indian industry. India was forced to become the vast market for the British machine-made goods. They ordered that manufacture of silk fabric must be discouraged but the production of raw silk be encouraged. A tariff of 70-80 % was levied on Indian textile while the English textile was imported duty free into India. It might have been supposed that building of 30,000 miles of railways would have brought prosperity to India. But these railways were built not for India but for England, for the British army and British trade. Similarly Indian shipping industry was ruined. All Indian goods were to be carried by British ships. There was a big drain of revenue through payment of salaries and pensions to English officials. In 1927 Lord Winterton showed, in the House of Commons, that there were some 7500 retired officials in England drawing annually pension of $17.5 million. From Plassey to Waterloo, 57 years, the drain of India’s wealth to England was computed by Brooks Adam to be 2½ to 5 billion dollars.

Social Destruction – When British came there was a system of communal schools, managed by village communities. The agents of East India Company destroyed these communities and the schools. In 1911 Hindu representative Gokhale introduced a Bill for compulsory primary education. The Bill was defeated. After British took possession of India the illiteracy rate in India increased to 93%. Instead of education the Government encouraged drinking of alcohol. In 1922 the government revenue from sale of alcohol increased to $60 million annually. There were also 7000 opium shops operated by the British government. In 1901, 272,000 died of plague. In 1918 there were 125 million cases of influenza, and 12.5 million recorded deaths.

There is a chapter devoted to Mahatma Gandhi and his Satyagraha movement. Gandhi was an idealist. In 1914 when the 1st World War broke, Gandhi saw the war as an opportunity for securing Home Rule by proving the absolute royalty of India to England. India contributed $500 million to fund for prosecuting the war; she contributed $700 million later in subscription to war loans; and she sent to the Allies various products to the value of $1.25 billion. The suspension of the revolutionary movement enabled England to reduce India army to 15,000 men. The number of Indians persuaded to join the army to fight in the war was 1,338,620 which was 178,000 more than troops contributed by combined Dominions of Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Indian fought gallantly but none of them were granted a commission. Nothing came of that sacrifice by the Indian people. Lord Curzon wrote: “British rule of the Indian people is England’s present and future task; it will occupy her energies as long a span of the future as it is humanly possible to forecast”.

In the later part of the book the writer has stated arguments from England’s side, for example: “if India has seen the decay of her old domestic handicrafts, it is because she rejected modern machinery and methods of industrialization; India did not exist as an entity, there are seven hundred nativ

e states, forever at war; no common language, 200 different dialects and the caste system dividing the people etc.”. Later on he debunks these claims, for example the British government has always been friendly to caste, because caste divisions make the British task of holding people in subjection easier, on the principle of “divide and rule”. They encouraged Moslem communities to gain weight against Hindu nationalism. Shifting of capital from Calcutta to Delhi was aimed to secure support of Moslems against the Hindus.

In conclusion he states: “I have tried to express fairly the two points of views about India, but I know that my prejudice has again and again broken through my pretense at impartiality. It is hard to be without feeling, not to be moved with a great pity, in the presence of a Tagore, a Gandhi, a Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose, a Sarojini Naidu, fretting in chains; there is something indecent and offensive in keeping such men and women in bondage”.

Vijai Singhal

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OAM Honor awarded to Kanti Jinna Vice President

Congratulations to Mr Kanti Jinna, Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia for being awarded OAM MEDAL, (OAM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION on Queens birthday in 2018. Such an honor has earlier been bestowed by the Australian government to other Hindu Council members including Dr Balasubramanian (Current Director and Ex-President) , Prof Nihal Agar (Current Director and Ex-President), Mr Jay Raman (Current President NSW Chapter) and Mr Vijai Singhal (Current Director).

Hindu Council is proud of their acheivements.

The medal has been awarded to Mr Kanti Jinna for his service to the multicultural community of the Australian Capital Territory.

His service to the community includes :

Hindu Council of Australia:
Vice-Chairman, since 2009.
Member, current.

Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, Australian Capital Territory:
Co-founder, current.
Former President.

Royal Commonwealth Society, Australian Capital Territory
President, 2014-2016.
Council Member, since 2017.
Member, current.

Canberra Multicultural Community Forum
Advisor Ageing, since 2010.
Member, since 2005.

Indian Senior Citizen’s Association, Australian Capital Territory
Vice President, since 2010.
Member, current.

Board Member, Australian Capital Territories Public Cemeteries Authority Board, since 2015.
Member, Partnering with Consumers and Carers Advisory Group, Calvary Hospital, since
2015.

Patron, Fiji Australia Association of Canberra, since 2008.

Member, ACT Chief Minister’s Council of the Ageing, 2005-2011

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SBS TV records growth of Hinduism in Australia

SBS (State Broadcasting Services) is an Australian TV and radio network supported by Australian government and specializes in ethnic community news. Decades ago when there were very few Hindus in Australia and Internet had not been invented yet, SBS was a major (and sometimes the only) source of news and entertainment for new migrants to Australia.

In the age of Internet and beaming of TV from all over the world, SBS has reinvented itself as a channel for multicultural Australia. As part of recording religions in Australia, Abbey from SBS has produced a TV program on the growth of Hinduism in Australia. The program was aired on SBS TV and a link to the article is provided below. 

Hindu Council of Australia has recorded the growth of Hinduism in Australia on its website as a part of its eLearing course on Hinduism. A link to that internet based course lesson is also provided below.

Link to SBS program

Link to eLearn Article on Hinduism in Australia

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Best wishes on Savitri Puja!

Written by Madya Lila

Best wishes on Savitri Puja!

Savitri Puja celebrates Savitri, the courageous woman whose loyalty and courage brought her husband back from the dead. Savitri’s story is found in the Mahabharata. In ancient times, Savitri was a princess who chose to marry Satyavan, a prince living in exile in the forest. She left behind her life of luxury and loyally accepted the hardships of forest life where she devotedly cared for her husband and his family. One day, while chopping wood in the forest, Satyavan suddenly felt faint. He laid his head in Savitri’s lap and died. But when Yama, the god of death, came to take Satyavan away from his body, Savitri got up and followed him. Again and again, Yama tried to convince her to turn back, warning her of the terrible consequences to herself if she followed him, but she continued to follow behind him. Finally, Yama offered Savitri a boon, saying she could ask for anything except the life of Satyavan. Savitri requested that she and Satyavan have 100 children, creating a dilemma for Yama. How were Savitri and Satyavan to have children if he took Satyavan away? Impressed by Savitri’s devotion, Yama returned Satyavan to his body and Satyavan awakened as if from a deep sleep. Women who observe fasting on Savitri Puja hope to achieve Savitri’s qualities of love, determination, loyalty and courage as well as a long and happy life for their spouse.

Artwork by B.G. Sharma

Image may contain: 1 person
Hindu Council Australia
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A Hindu Textbook Controversy in USA

The basic complaint by Hindus, including the American Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) is that previous textbooks have given an inaccurate and disparaging portrayal of their religion. While there are many individual complaints the big three are: the emphasis on the caste system, making the Indo-Aryan Migration Theory seem undisputed, and changing ancient India to Southwest Asia.

[Click here to read more ….]

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HBF donates to Fiji Cyclone Relief

By Jay Raman and Sai Paravastu

Hindu Benevolent Fund, a project of Hindu Council of Australia has donated $2,100 for the relief work being done in  Fiji for the victims of the recent cyclones in Fiji.

Hindu Council had a few months ago helped raise substantial donation in cash and kind (3 containers of clothing, utensils, baby food etc) as sequence to Flood Relief Appeal from Fiji government. This was an initiative of Karma Kitchen, HBF and HCA volunteers. Kanti Jinna sought the help of Fiji High Commission and the goods were sent to the right people in need in Fiji.

Mr Sai Paravastu, Director Hindu Council of Australia

HBF had earlier sent relief goods for helping immediate needs of the cyclone victims. This money is to be used for rehabilitation of the Fiji cyclone victims.

The High Commissioner of Fiji had invited Hindu Council of Australia volunteers to thanks them and to facilitate for the help. Hindu Council’s NSW President Mr Jay Raman and by Hindu Council’s Director Community Services Mr Sai Paravastu went to the high commission to meet them. The Hon Fiji High Commissioner Mr Yogesh Punja and Hon Consul General and Trade Commissioner Mr Zarak Khan met them and hosted a high tea for them. During the Tea, they were acquainted with various activities of Hindu Council.
 
Mr Zarak Khan offered to send a Fijian cultural team to perform in next Deepavali festival.  He also confirmed high commission’s participation in Parramatta Deepavali festival and take up a community stall.

Sai Paravastu, Jay Raman, Yogesh Punja and Zarak Khan

 
During the cyclone and floods, 280 homes were destroyed in Kadavu Island. Rebuilding efforts are in place and it will take some time before life comes back to normal. The money donated by Hindu Council will be used for rebuilding effort.
 
The Hindu Council team promised to keep in touch and made an open offer of help to Fiji and Fijian in their times of crisis.

 

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Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the Integration multiculturalism model of Australia

Australian government has been agonizing at the growth of terrorism among some of the immigrant communities in Europe and USA. Its think tanks have been working hard on how to keep Australian multiculturalism a continuing success story. The Australian Government wants newly arrived migrants to succeed by integrating and make the most of the opportunities while maintaining a cohesive society.

Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the Integration multiculturalism model of Australia and calls upon all Hindus in Australia to integrate as proud citizens. Hindus can demonstrate their successful integration in Australia by

  1. Taking employment and contribute to society and have an immediate network of Australian people to interact with.
  2. Become an entrepreneur even it if it is by starting a small business thereby creating business and employment in Australia
  3. Interact with your neighbors and become part of local community groups
  4. Secure success for your children, which in large part is done through higher education.
  5. Stay out of poverty and flourish.
  6. Reach the highest levels of society; in business, politics and the arts.
  7. Support Australian charities

Most Hindus place a strong emphasis on employment as most Hindu migrants to Australia have been skilled migrants only. Many Hindus who came as non-skilled migrants under family reunion, students or other schemes have taken up small business like grocery shops, franchise of food restaurants etc. There are very few Hindus who live in poverty after having been in the country for more than a few years.

Hindu Council of Australia has started many projects to help Hindus achieve these goals of integration. These projects include :

  • Karma Kitchen – to help feed the homeless and thereby help the Australians in poverty
  • Hindu Chaplaincy – To help people in crisis by providing emotional support in Australian institutions like Hospitals, Jails etc
  • Diwali Art Space Exhibition – To bring Hindu Art among Australian Art galleries and buyers
  • Gargi Woman Award – To recognize contribution of individual Australian women on behalf of Australian Hindu community
  • International Yoga Day – Help other communities in Australia to benefit from Yoga
  • Interfaith forums – To mingle with and increase the understanding between communities
  • Ecology and Vegetarianism – Hindu Council has been working with a number of multi-faith organisations like the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change and Faith Ecology Network to promote actions for addressing the impact of climate change.
  • Education – Provide a platform of eLearning for non-Hindu individuals and Australian institutes like Police etc to learn about Hindu sensitivities and Hinduism
  • Diwali Mela – to preserve music, dance and other culture and provide a glimpse of it to non-Hindus
  • Organ donation – to promote cohesiveness between communities and health of Australians

Hindu council plans to start new projects to

  • Bring Hindus boys and girls into popular sports like Cricket, Swimming and Rugby
  • Encourage Hindu youths to join police, army, the legal profession and trades such as plumbing, mechanics, electrical repair, tiler etc so that Hindu youth easily integrate with wider Australian community
  • To help those in politics to connect with Hindus at gross root level and to raise Hindu voice in elected bodies
  • Encourage Hindus in Business and mentor each other through a Business Council.

According to Alan Tudge, MP and Minister for Citizenship and Multicutural Affairs of Australia, our multiculturalism is different to what is termed “multiculturalism” in other nations (particularly European ones) due to our strong emphasis on integration.

Integration according to Minister Tudge, means that a person who comes here shares our values, engages in the community and has full rights to government services. In exchange they must obey the law, participate and uphold democratic principles and support other Australians. They make friends at work and in their neighbourhood and hopefully join or start sporting or other community clubs.

This model of integrated multiculturalism is different to an “assimilationist” model or a “separatist” model. Assimilation is the idea that we must all be identical, and abandon our cultural and religious heritage. We don’t expect or want that in Australia, says the Minsiter. Where there are conflicts in cultural behaviours, Australian law and values must prevail, but otherwise we welcome the diversity that people can bring from being born elsewhere.

A separatist model of multiculturalism, while being the opposite to assimilation, is when people bring their entire practices, languages and cultures and plant them into the new land, with little desire to share or mix in with their local community. They live side by side, rather than merged with the existing population. 

Separatism is resulting in the “slow death of Europe” as groups effectively colonise parts of it and erode the values that made Europe so prosperous, free and (consequently) attractive to migrants.

The successful Australian model is one of integration; not assimilation and not separatism, says the Australian Government.

Minister’s speech can be found here

Surinder Jain,

National Vice-President and Director

Hindu Council of Australia

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