Hindus join International Day of Peace celebrations in Canberra

Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture held a Multi-faith meeting on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, representing: Hindu, Christian, Islam, Buddhist and Quakers.

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Kahuta Hindu Temple in Pakistan

This beautiful Hindu temple in Kahuta Pakistan hides a secret

This fascinating Hindu temple in Kahuta Pakistan has a dark story to tell…In 1947, Kahuta had a population of 3500, with half of them Muslims, all living along the main junction of the ring road that went into Kashmir and looped back at the same spot. The Hindus were of the Mahajan caste (patwari, tehsildar, merchants etc.); Muslims were of the Rajput clan and Sikh were in the administration.Sikhs also lived around an adjacent town called the Thoa Khalsa, christened by ‘Bana’ a close confidante of Baba Guru Nanak.

Kahuta has vast fruit orchids (mangoes too), watering ponds, water falls, a vibrant town with Hindu temples, a guru dwara and a Jamia mosque.Incidentally, Ajit Doval of India has mentioned in his book that he spent quite some time around Kahuta and met some closet hindu who recognized his pierced earlobes and nearly blew his cover. The Hindu, he said had a white flowing beard like a Muslim holy man and had deities (moortis’) hidden in his closet.At the end of March 1947, all that was left standing in the shouldering wreckage was the minaret and the obelisk of the Hindu temples — nothing else survived.

Sikhs’ were the magnanimous ruling class, building administrative centers, schools all around Kahuta. The British ended Sikh rule on Kahuta which was then part of Kashmir and handed it over to Rawalpindi district. As Rawalpindi was also directly administered by the British, Hindus gains ascendancy in Kahuta.The same power structure was duplicated in other mixed communities with temples around Rawalpindi like Kurri Shehr, Lal Kurti, Kohati Bazar & Saddar Kabari Bazar & Purana Qila.

 

Muslims stayed the same, poorly educated, politically weak and living in the surrounding mountains.

In March 1947, rumors of Muslim lynching in India reached Kahuta and enraged mobs from the surrounding mountains, especially Narh, came clambering down for revenge. The sacred Sikh town of Thoa Khasa was burned to the ground with 50 Sikh killed in one day.

The mob then besieged Kahuta main town, dowsed the place in petrol and set it on fire. The Hindus, Sikh and Muslims living in the town Centre were all burned to death. Several were reportedly raped. The remaining stunned people fled.

One eye witness of the horror in Kahuta told me “upward of 1000 died in the fire and nothing was left except the minaret & temple spire” — but no one to worship inside.

Mountbatten personally came to visit after the killings. These violent deaths were the result of colonial divide and rule policies, sowing religious divide. I mean, how can you gift Kashmir – a Muslim majority state – to a hindu Dogra? Is it your Phuphi’s walima feast?

Now this temple is the prettiest of all the Hindu worship places I’ve visited around Pakistan. All its religious symbols are still intact. I wish someone would interpret them for me.

I guess the town folks had had enough of violence for the next hundred years — they left the temples alone.

Hate begets hate; there can be no peace till the healing takes place.

If you are in Kahuta to see this temple, don’t forget to see the other hindu temple, which is now home to a lovely Kashmiri family.

By: Wali Imran

This beautiful Hindu temple in Kahuta Pakistan hides a secret

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British Hindus are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with British Jews

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Ganesha Puja held in Adelaide Zoo

Hindu Council of Australia performed Ganesh Chaturathi festival in Adelaide Zoo on 13th September 2018.

 

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Interfaith prayers for Rain

Australia is going through a severe drought. Religious leaders of various faiths including Hindus participated in rituals to bring about rains. Hindu Priest is Pandit Prakash Pandey recited the prayers in Sanskrit. Mr Basu Banka explained the rituals and spoke at the Prayer Service.

 

A sum of $260 was collected for Buy a Bale charity.

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Register for Pad Yatra – 29th Sep

JoinPad Yatra to temples. 

Register here using the link.

 

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Wisdom for the Common Good – Multifaith forum

By:Kanti Jinna.

I was invited to speak on the topic of Wisdom for the Common Good as espoused in the Bhagavad Gita. I drew my inspiration from Chapter 6 on Jnanya Yoga.

This is an annual meeting organised by the Order of Australia Association and the Multi-faith aspect is led by Rev Bishop Stephen Pickard of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.

It was held on Sunday 19th August and the other Faith Leaders were from Islam, Buddhist, Baha’i, Hinduism, Jewish and Christian faiths.

By:Kanti Jinna.

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Happy Raksha Bandhan

By:Madya Lila.

Happy Raksha Bandhan! Also known as Rakhi, this is a special occasion to celebrate the love between brothers and sisters. On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie an amulet around their brother’s wrist and wish him a long and healthy life. In return, he gives her a small gift, pledging to always protect and care for her. “Raksha Bandhan” means bond of protection and it signifies the bond of love between brother and sister.

 

One of the most famous histories in connection with Raksha Bandhan is from the Mahabharata.  Once, Krishna cut His finger and Draupadi quickly tore a strip from her sari to bind it. Krishna was so grateful for this simple act of love,  that He promised He would take care of Draupadi forever. Throughout her life, whenever Draupadi was in danger, she would call Krishna and He would come to wherever she was and give her protection.   In the Mahabharata, Krishna said, “When I was away from Draupadī, she cried with the words, ‘Hey, Govinda!’ This call for Me has put Me in her debt, and that indebtedness is gradually increasing in My heart.”

 

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Happy Varalakshmi Vrat

By:Madya Lila.

Best wishes on Varalakshmi Vrat, the festival honouring Srimati Varalakshmi the Goddess of Fortune and consort and shakti (potency) of Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva himself is said to have recommended the observance of Varalakshmi Vrat to his wife, Parvati. Commemorating Parvarti’s devotion and love for her consort, married women fast and worship Goddess Lakshmi, offering flowers and sweets and praying for Her blessings upon their family members.  Saints teach us that the best boon we can pray for is the blessing of love for the Lord. This divine love will fill our hearts with a deep inner happiness that goes far beyond any material benediction and brings the greatest benefit to our loved ones.

 

In the Bhagavat Purana we find this beautiful prayer to Lakshmidevi

 

viṣṇu-patni mahā-māye

mahāpuruṣa-lakṣaṇe

prīyethā me mahā-bhāge

loka-mātar namo ‘stu te

 

O wife of Lord Vishnu, O internal energy of Lord Vishnu, you are as good as Lord Vishnu Himself, for you have all of His qualities and opulences. O goddess of fortune, please be kind to me. O mother of the entire world, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

 

 

 Image by BG Sharma

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Happy Onam

By:Madya Lila.

Happy Onam! The joyful festival of Onam originates in Kerala. It celebrates the auspicious appearance of the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu and the homecoming of Mahabali and it also marks the Malayalam new year. Onam is enthusiastically celebrated with worship ceremonies, beautiful flower arrangements, boat races, traditional dance performances, martial arts, music and elaborate vegetarian feasts.

 

According to the Bhagavat Purana, Mahabali was the grandson of the saintly devotee Prahlad Maharaj. Mahabali was a mighty warrior who conquered the devas (demigods)  and ruled the three worlds. The devas sought help from Lord Vishnu who descended in the form of a gloriously effulgent dwarf brahmin boy, Vamana.

 

At an opportune time, Vamana approached Mahabali asking for alms. Mahabali promised to give Vamana anything He wished for – land, gold, jewels – but Vamana said that greed destroys a person and He would only take three paces of land from him.

 

After Mahabali had made the promise to give Him the three paces of land, Vamana expanded in size revealing His cosmic form. With His first step He covered all the lower planets up to the earth, and with His second step He reached all the way to the top of the universe. His toenail pierced the universal coverings and the water of the Causal Ocean surged in, washed the Lord’s lotus feet, and descended into our universe as the celestial Ganges. Mahabali then placed his head at the feet of the Lord and offered himself as the place for Vamana’s third step.

 

For this act, Mahabali has become renowned throughout the ages as the devotee who exemplifies full surrender to the Lord. Vamana was extremely pleased with Mahabali and gave him the celestial planet, Sutala, to live on. Vamana also resides there with him. Onam celebrates this glorious event and is also the time that Mahabali returns to visit Kerala.

 

The twelfth-century poet and devotee Jayadeva Goswami writes:

 

chalayasi vikramane balim adbhuta-vamana 

pada-nakha-nira-janita-jana-pavana 

keshava dhrita-vamana-rupa jaya jagadisha hare

 

“O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana! All glories to You! O wonderful dwarf, by Your massive steps You deceive King Bali, and by the Ganges water that has emanated from the nails of Your lotus feet, You deliver all living beings within this world.”

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