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/

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 :

 

COVERAGE BY AUSTRALIAN MEDIA

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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When did the first Malay Hindu state appear in Malaysia?

 
 
 
 

Like Malayasia and Indoneasia, Hindus in Singapore also suffer religious prosecution? Yes/No

 
 

There are no Hindu temples left in Pakistan? Yes/No

 
 

In which country is Ramakien (Ramayana) is a popular epic and Ayutthaya (Ayodhya) is a city named after the birth place of Rama?

 
 
 
 

Which religion replaced Hinduism as the main religion of Khmer in 13th century?

 
 
 

When and where was a first Ravan effigy ever, burnt in Australia?

 
 
 
 

Like Indian Hindus, do Balenese Hindus also have four varnas of classification in their society? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism came to Fiji as Hindu contract workers started arriving there from 1879 onwards? Yes/No

 
 

Why did last of the Java Hindu Kings retreated to Bali?

 
 
 
 

Hindus in South America, are chiefly the descendants of Indian indentured labourers? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism came to Singapore between 7th and 10th century? Yes/No

 
 

When did the first Hindus came to Australia?

 
 
 
 

After gaining its independence in 1957, Malaysia became a secular country? Yes/No

 
 

Which people’s Hinduism was known by these names, namely Tirta, Trimurti, Hindu, Agama Tirta, Siwa?

 
 
 
 

Which country held until 1935, a swing festival known asTriyampavai-Tripavai whose name is derived from names of two Tamil language Hindu chants: Thiruvempavai and Thiruppavai meaning “opening the portals of Shiva’s home”?

 
 
 
 

Khmer empire of Cambodia were Hindu kings? Yes/No

 
 

When was the first Ganesh visarjana festival held in Sydney with clay Ganesha being immersed in the ocean at Stanwell Tops beach?

 
 
 
 

Most Malaysian Hindus are Tamils? Yes/No

 
 

Nyepi and Galungan are Buddhist festivals of south east Asia? yes/No

 
 

The population of Hindus in Pakistan and in Bangladesh has remained stable since after their independence? Yes/No

 
 

What is known as a Bimong in the Cham language of Vietnam?

 
 
 

According to the Australian census of 2016, Hinduism was the fastest growing religion of Australia? Yes/No

 
 

Java was ruled by Hindu kings from 4th to 15th century? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism is the leading single religion of the Indo-Caribbean communities of the West Indies? Yes/No

 
 

Most Hindus in Singapore today are ethinic Indians? Yes/No

 
 

In Bali, the word Pura means?

 
 
 
 

Hinduism was the main religion of Cham people in Central and South Vietnam between 2nd and 15th century? Yes/No

 
 

Many non-Balanese communities follow practices very akin to Hinduism? Yes/No

 
 

Which province do most Pakistani Hindus live in Pakistan?

 
 
 

The earliest evidence of Hinduism in Java comes from which century?

 
 
 
 

Fiji Hindus are also classified into four varna system? Yes/No

 
 

The earliest influence of Hinduism in Philippines can be traced by archaeological evidence to be from around

 
 
 

Did Khmer Hindu society of Cambodia had the Hindu four varna system for classifying the society? Yes/No

 
 

When did the first the Arya Samaj missionary arrive in French Guyana?

 
 
 
 


Fiji awards Hindu Council of Australia for its help during floods

Fiji was recently devastated by floods and a series of cyclones. Many people were marooned.  Hindu Council of Australia had organized a drive to send materials and money to help.

Fiji Counsul General in Australia, Mr Zarak Khan has awarded a Certificate of Appreciation to Hindu Council of Australia. 

 

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

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.

 

HBF sends help to Fiji Cyclone victims

Fiji has been hit by a series of cyclones causing floods and havoc. Hindu Benevolent fund of Hindu Council of Australia issued an appeal for new clothes, bed sheets and shoes. There was an overwhelming response by the Hindu community in Sydney and many pallets of helpful goods were collected at Gateway Cafe. Sai Ji took charge of the goods and many volunteers came to help sort the goods and pack them ready for shipping.

The goods were dispatched to be sent to Fiji on the night of 18th April 2018.

Cash donations were also collected into Hindu Benevolent Fund (HBF) account and will be sent to Fiji to help pay for emergency food.

APPEAL to help Flood/Cyclone victims in FIJI

You may be aware of natural disaster that hit Fiji two consecutive weekends and many people are without homes, food and water. Situation is still worse and again Category 3 cyclone likely to hit. The floods have washed away all domestic belongings. Worst affected area is the Western Division of Fiji which has almost half of FIJI’s population and the main cane growing area.

The immediate need is to replenish the homes with their food, clothing and shelter. Food requirements are by way of rice, flour, cooking oils, dhall etc. however there will be a need for what to cook on and cook under including clothes and footwear.Many organizations have mobilized locally in Fiji and overseas to provide necessary relief.   

Hindu Council of Australia along with Hindu Benevolent fund and Karma Kitchen are making an appeal for your extending your helping hand to Cyclone Victims of FIJI.

We are collecting donations both in cash and kind for breakfast cereals, rice, flour, cooking oils, dhall etc. There is need for cooking utensils, clothes and foot ware.  

HCA is working with Fiji High commission in Canberra and Fiji Consulate in Sydney.

Collection Point in Sydney

Karma Kitchen

C/O Café Gateway

8 Wethril Street South, Lidcome

NSW 2141

Contact – Sai Pravastu – 0402 449 524.

Cash can be deposited at Hindu Benevolent fund

Name of Account- HCA Benevolent fund

BSE 062 004

A/C -1044 7020

For inquires please contact either of the followings:

Sanjeev Bhakri – 0414 971 122   Sai Pravastu – 0402 449 52  Ajay Khanna- 0412 399 164

Kind Regards

HCA Team