Happy Nag Panchami Day

By:Madya Lila.

Warm greetings on the festival of Nag Panchami! Hindu culture has always placed great importance on living in harmony with nature. Planet Earth is revered as our mother, Bhumidevi, and Hindus recognise a sacred connection between all living creatures. According to Vedic teachings, the soul in each body is an equal spark of life and should be respected.

Nag Panchami festival honours snakes and it is celebrated around India in a huge variety of interesting ways according to the local culture and family traditions. At the peak of the monsoon season, when snakes are at their most active, Hindus offer respect to snakes in the Nag Panchami festival.

Nag Panchami is also the auspicious day that Lord Krishna subdued the black serpent Kaliya.

Once, the serpent, Kaliya, who possessed many hoods and was extremely venomous, polluted the water of the Yamuna River. The trees and plants on the river banks dried up. Even the birds flying over the river were overcome by the poisonous vapours and fell into the water and died. The whole river that ran before Vrindavan village was deadly. Krishna decided the serpent needed to be tamed and the environment needed to be purified so that it was fit to drink and bathe in. He dove into the water creating great waves that enraged the serpent. Kaliya emerged and enveloped Krishna in his powerful coils but Krishna broke free and leapt onto Kaliya’s vast, spreading hoods. Then Krishna, who is celebrated as the original artist of all fine arts, began to dance on the hoods of the serpent. As each hood rose to strike Krishna, Krishna would press it down firmly with His lotus feet. Eventually the serpent became exhausted and humbly submitted himself to Krishna, realizing Krishna’s position as the Supreme Lord. Krishna then ordered Kaliya to leave the Yamuna river and move to the ocean so that the river water would once again become clear and clean. It is declared in the Bhagavat Purana that anyone who hears the narration of Krishna and Kaliya need not fear the activities of snakes. Happy Nag Panchami!

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HBF helps deceased Hindu family in Adelaide

Hindu Benevolent Fund of Hindu Council of Australia provided emotional and logistic support to a family in Adelaide. A young lady living with family in Adelaide, her husband died suddenly by heart attack. She has a little daughter. 

HBF team from Sydney and from Adelaide spoke to the young lady and helped her with emotional support and with the logistics of sending the body to India. HBF also spoke to nearest family members. It helped coordination with Dy Counsel of India, Department of Foreign affairs of Australia, the hospital and a travel company.

Great work HBF team. We are proud of you.

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Happy Independence Day India

15th August 2018, Happy Independence day India, home and birthplace of Hindus.

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Hindus participate in City2Surf for charity

By:Vikas Chopra.

City2Surf is an annual run for fun event in Sydney. Eighty Thousand people took part in the annual fun run this year running/walking a stretch of 14 km from Sydney’s Hyde Park through the city’s eastern suburb to Bondi beach.

Hindu organizations in Sydney and their members participated in the fun run this Sunday 12th August 2018. Hindu Council Team members started the day started meeting other participants @ Hyde Park in Sydney. About  30 participants (from Hindu Council of Australia & Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh Team) did warm up exercises and Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) before moving to their respective run schedules.

Renga Rajan completed City2Surf in 98 minutes.

Mr Renga Rajan completed the entire run in just 98 minutes.

Congratulations to the entire team many of whom donated their sponsorship money to Hindu Benevolent Fund.

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HCA to Teach Hinduism in NSW Schools

Hindu Council of Australia has been approved by the Minister of Education to teach Hinduism as an SRE (Special Reigious Education) in NSW state schools. The education is provided on a voluntary basis i.e. the department does not pay any thing and Hindu Council has to provide volunteer teachers, their training and teaching material. 

You can find more information about it at Hindu Council web site’s SRE page.

If you would like to help you can contact us here.

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Diwali ArtSpace Nov 8-20 2018

Come and see an Art Exhibition in Strathfield based on Diwali theme.

 

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Happy Guru Purnima 2018

By:Madya Lila. 

Happy Guru Purnima! Celebrated as the appearance day of Srila Vyasadeva, one of the most revered Gurus and the compiler of the Vedas, Guru Purnima is the auspicious day to honour our spiritual guides. 

Throughout India and in Hindu communities around the world, disciples offer Guru Puja (worship) and express their gratitude to their Guru. Special celebrations are held to recite the scriptures authored by Vyasadeva, accompanied by the singing of hymns, bhajans and kirtan. The system of Guru Sishya Parampara is also followed in the traditional schools of Indian classical music and dance. In India and Nepal, school students honour their teachers on this day, expressing their gratitude and presenting gifts.

Artwork by BG Sharma

In the Vedic system, accepting a guru is considered to be crucial for advancement in spiritual life. The human form of life is sometimes compared to a boat, and the guru is the expert captain who can guide the boat across the ocean of birth and death. It is not possible for a boat to cross the vast and treacherous ocean without a captain, and similarly, it is not possible for a person to solve the problems of life unless he takes shelter of a genuine guru. The word “guru” is composed from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness of our ignorance.

Sri Guru Pranama
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya 
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Artwork by BG Sharma

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Take a Poll on Dowry – Have your say

Do you say NO to Dowry?

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Hindus have more at stake on Climate change than many others

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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Maharishi Sushruta, a surgeon famous in Melbourne

By:Surinder Jain.

The Royal Australia College of Surgeons (RACS), trains surgeons and is responsible for maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand.  It aims to foster and promote the pursuit of excellence in surgical education and actively supports innovative surgical research, aid projects in underprivileged communities, skills transfer and education programs.

A statue of Surgeon Sushruta in the Royal Australia College of Surgeons, Melbourne

In its building, among some of the most prominent ancient physicians, one may come across a statue of Sushrata with the plaque mentioning him as Father of Surgery.

When contacted, the RACS were very proud of having the now famous statue in their building. The statue is displayed at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne and has been on display since early June 2018. It is made of marble with a granite base, is 1.2 m high and weighs a massive 550Kg. It is installed in the Skills lab area, East wing level 1 of the building and according to the RACS college, is a true work of art.

The college also has a collection of many rare and significant books in the field of medicine in its Cowlishaw Collection. A 1907 English translation of the works of Sushruta known as Sushruta Samhita by Kunjalal Bishnagratan is a part of that prestigious collection. According to the college, Sushruta is a foundation figure in Indian medicine and surgery and is hailed as the Indian counterpart of Hippocrates . 

College museum which holds the translation of Sushruta Samhita is open to the public twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 12noon (check with the college here for latest details). The college curator can arrange private tours for groups or if people are interested in viewing a particular item. That can be arranged by contacting the college curator at Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia, Telephone: +61 3 9276 7447, Fax: +61 3 9249 1219
Email: college.curator@surgeons.org

 

Dr K M Cherian

The statue was donated to the college by one its Alumni, Dr K M Cherian. Dr Cherian performed India’s first successful Coronary Artery bypass surgery in 1975. He also performed the country’s first heart transplant after legalization of brain death. The first Heart- Lung Transplant, the first Paediatric Transplant and the first TMR (Laser Heart Surgery) were also performed by him[1].

He started his career in Christian Medical College Hospital, in Vellore as lecturer in Surgery. He did his FRACS in Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1973 from RACS, while being a migrant in Australia. He also worked in New Zealand and  the United States. He worked as a Special Fellow in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama under Dr. John W. Kirklin and in the University of Oregon under Dr. Albert Starr. He is an honourable Prof at the Yangzhou University, China. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1991. 

Dr Cherian is very fond of and inspired by Sushruta.

Sushruta statue at RACP East wing 1, Melbourne

The Indian epic Mahābhārata lists Suśruta amongst the sons of Viśvāmitra, the legendary sage.[8] [9] The Bower Manuscript, an early birch bark document, dated to the Gupta era (between the 4th and the 6th century), is an Indian text and is one of the oldest manuscripts known to have survived into the modern era.[3] It mentions the ancient Indian tradition of “garlic festival”, as well as a mention of sage Sushruta in Benares (Varanasi).[6]

The Suśruta-saṃhitā (works of Sushruta) is one of the most important surviving ancient treatises on medicine and is considered a foundational text of Medicine. The treatise addresses all aspects of general medicine, and the translator G. D. Singhal dubbed Suśruta “the father of surgery” on account of the extraordinarily accurate and detailed accounts of surgery to be found in the work.[5] 

A statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in Haridwar. In the sign next to the statue, Patanjali Yogpeeth attributes the title of Maharishi to Sushruta, claims a floruit of 1500 BC for him, and dubs him the “founding father of surgery”, and identifies the Sushrut Samhita as “the best and outstanding commentary on Medical Science of Surgery”.

The Suśruta-saṃhitā was known to the scholar Dṛḍhabala (fl. 300–500 CE)[7] and some concepts from it can be found in the Śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa, that is dated to the sixth century BCE,[6] 

The Suśruta-saṃhitā, in its 184 chapters contains descriptions of

The text discusses surgical techniques of

It enumerates six types of dislocations, twelve varieties of fractures, and classification of the bones and their reaction to the injuries, and gives a classification of eye diseases including cataract surgery.

 

Nepal, Text- 12th-13th century; Images- 18th-19th century Books Ink and opaque watercolor on palm leaf Gift of Emeritus Professor and Mrs. Thomas O. Ballinger (M.87.271a-g) South and Southeast Asian Art

Sushruta says that in his works, he has presented the teaching of his guru, Divodāsa[16] a physician who taught in a school in Kashi (Varanasi, India) in parallel to another medical school in Taxila (on Jhelum river, ancient India),[17][18] sometime between 1200 BC and 600 BC.[19][20]  The text uses terminology of Samkhya and other schools of Hindu philosophy.[32][33][34]

The text was translated to Arabic as Kitab Shah Shun al-Hindi’ in Arabic, also known as Kitab i-Susurud, in Baghdad during the early 8th century at the instructions of a member of the Barmakid family of Baghdad.[138][10] Yahya ibn Barmak facilitated a major effort at collecting and translating Sanskrit texts such as Vagbhata’s Astangahrdaya Samhita, Ravigupta’s Siddhasara and Sushruta Samhita.[139] The Arabic translation reached Europe by the end of the medieval period.  In Italy, the Branca family[11] of Sicily and Gaspare Tagliacozzi (Bologna) became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta.[10]

The text was known to the Khmer king Yaśovarman I (fl. 889-900) of Cambodia. Suśruta was also known as a medical authority in Tibetan literature.[138]

Ancient indian text Sushruta samhita shastra and kartarika, surgical instruments 1 of 4

A cataract surgery was found by Sushruta and was subsequently introduced to other countries. Sushruta Samhita mentions the operation in which a curved needle was used to push the opaque phlegmatic matter (kapha in Sanskrit) in the eye out of the way of vision. 

“vv. 57-61ab: In moderate season, after unction and sudation, the patient should be positioned and held firmly while gazing at his nose steadily. Now the wise surgeon leaving two parts of white circle from the black one towards the outer canthus should open his eyes properly free from vascular network and then with a barley-tipped rod-like instrument held firmly in hand with middle, index and thumb fingers should puncture the natural hole-like point with effort and confidence not below, above or in sides. The left eye should be punctured with right hand and vice-versa. When punctured properly a drop of fluid comes out and alsoe there is some typical sound.”

The cataract operation method described by Sushruta continued to be used throughout the Middle Ages and is still used in some parts of Africa and in Yemen.[20] For the most part, it has now been replaced by extracapsular cataract surgery. The first references to cataract and its treatment in Europe are found in 29 AD in De Medicinae, the work of the Latin encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who used Sushruta’s method and called it Couching.

Sushruta Samhita manuscript

 

The Sushruta Samhita states, per Hoernle translation, that “the professors of Ayurveda speak of three hundred and sixty bones, but books on Salya-Shastra(surgical science) know of only three hundred”.[125] The text then lists the total of 300 as follows: 120 in the extremities (e.g. hands, legs), 117 in pelvic area, sides, back, abdomen and breast, and 63 in neck and upwards.[125] The text then explains how these subtotals were empirically verified.[126] The discussion shows that the Indian tradition nurtured diversity of thought, with Sushruta school reaching its own conclusions and differing from the Atreya-Caraka tradition.[126]

Anatomy and empirical studies

The different parts or members of the body as mentioned before including the skin, cannot be correctly described by one who is not well versed in anatomy. Hence, any one desirous of acquiring a thorough knowledge of anatomy should prepare a dead body and carefully, observe, by dissecting it, and examine its different parts.

—Sushruta Samhita, Book 3, Chapter V
Translators: Loukas et al[8]

The Sushruta Samhita is best known for its approach and discussions of surgery.[44] It was one of the first in human history to suggest that a student of surgery should learn about human body and its organs by dissecting a dead body.[44] A student should practice, states the text, on objects resembling the diseased or body part.[130] Incision studies, for example, are recommended on Pushpaphala(squash, Cucurbita maxima), Alavu (bottle gourd, Lagenaria vulgaris), Trapusha (cucumber, Cucumis pubescens), leather bags filled with fluids and bladders of dead animals.[130]

Reconstructive surgery techniques were being carried out in India by 800 BC.[8] Sushruta made important contributions to the field of plastic and cataract surgery.[9] The medical works of both Sushruta and Charak, are originally in Sanskrit language.

British physicians traveled to India to see rhinoplasties being performed by Indian methods.[12] Reports on Indian rhinoplasty performed by a Kumhar vaidya were published in the Gentleman’s Magazine by 1794.[12] Joseph Constantine Carpue spent 20 years in India studying local plastic surgery methods.[12] and finally in 1814, he performed the first major surgery operative procedure on a British military officer who had lost his nose to the toxic effects of mercury treatments.[13] Instruments described in the Sushruta Samhita were further modified for use in the Western world.[13] 

Indian method of nose reconstruction, illustrated in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1794

Sushruta, states Tipton, asserts that a physician should invest effort to prevent diseases as much as curative remedial procedures.[124] An important means for prevention, states Sushruta, is physical exercise and hygienic practices.[124] The text adds that excessive strenuous exercise can be injurious and make one more susceptible to diseases, cautioning against such excess.[12] Regular moderate exercise, suggests Sushruta, improves resistance to disease and physical decay.[124] Shushruta has written Shlokas on prevention of diseases.

A number of Sushruta’s contributions have been discussed in modern literature. Some of these include Hritshoola (heart pain), circulation of vital body fluids (such as blood (rakta dhatu) and lymph (rasa dhatu), Madhumeha, obesity, and hypertension.[46] Kearns & Nash (2008) state that the first mention of leprosy is described in Sushruta Samhita.[135][136] The text discusses kidney stones and its surgical removal.[137]

With so much in his book (Sushruta Samhita), no wonder Maharishi Sushruta has been called Father of Surgery and it is no surprise that a prestigious and learned college like The Royal Australian College of Surgeons has given Sushruta such a place of honor in its temple of learning.

(Credit:Wikipedia)

 

 

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