Hindu Council in its 20th years

In 1998, five pioneer Hindus of Sydney came together, Dr Anand Lalchandani co-founder of Sri Mandir in Auburn, Dr A Balasubramaniam co-founder of Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh, Surinder Jain co-founder of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, Bhagwat Chauhan of VHP Australia and Mr Jagdish Raniga of Braham Kumaris. Together they founded Hindu Council of Australia. Sanjeev Bhakri and his team pioneered the celebration of Diwali as a grand community festival under the banner of Hindu Council. Many more helped Hindu Council become the grand organisation of Hindus all over Australia, that it is today.

Hindu Council has over 40 temples and Hindu associations as its members and has become the voice of Australian Hindus.

We will be celebrating 20th Diwali this year in Sydney.

 

 

Jalaram Bapa a saint from Virpur

A once mighty civilization that India was, it continues to produce men and women of exceptional abilities from time to time and from place to place. The land of Punjab is Vir Bhumi, land of Kerala is Punuruthana Bhumi, land of UP and Utrakhand is Dev Bhumi, land of Bengal is Reform Bhumi, land of Bihar Jharkhand is Shanti Sandesh Bhumi, land of Tamilnadu is Kalaa Bhumi and so on. The land of Gujarat is famous as Sant Bhumi. Each Bhumi or land or state has produced many stars in its category.

Jalaram Bapa idol at a temple in Vadodara, dressed in colorful attire on occasion of Jalaram Jayanti holding a danda and wearing a turban.
Jethwarp – Own work

Gujarat has produced many saints. One such saint of Gujarat who lived mostly in 19th century affectionately known as Bapa (meaning great Dad) started a tradition of feeding the poor, the needy and everyone else who came to him. I had gone to Virpur where Bapa was born and witnessed his open kitchen, open to all, his earthen vessel that quenches the thirst of all and a place that does not accept donations. Even after 200 years, Bapa continues to shower his blessings and money has never been a problem to serve. 

The main shrine of Jalaram Bapa is located at Virpur. The shrine is actually the house complex where Jalaram lived during his lifetime. The shrine houses the belongings of Jalaram and the deities of Rama, Sita, Lakshamana and Hanuman worshipped by him. It also has on display the Jholi and Danda said to be given by God.[5] But the main attraction is the portrait of Jalaram Bapa. There is also an actual black and white photo of Jalaram Bapa, taken one year before his death.[7]

The temple is one of a kind in the world in a way that it has not been accepting any offerings since 9 February 2000.

Jalaram Bapa popularly known as Bapa was a Hindu saint from Gujarat, India. Bapa is revered by many people around the world for his saintly qualities and his ability to work miracles but most of all he is remembered for his selfless acts of charity.

Bapa was born on 14 November 1799 in the town of Virpur near Rajkot in India. He got married to Virbai at the age of sixteen. Virbai Maa, as she is popularly known, supported Bapa wholeheartedly in his saintly duties. Bapa’s feats of kindness, his devotion to God and his miracles are well documented.

At the age of 20, after obtaining his Guru’s blessings, Bapa started his Sadavrat (‘an oath forever’), providing free food to every person, at first to sadhus (monks) but later extended to anyone who dropped in. Inspired by his insatiable desire to feed the poor and needy, many became his devotees. True to Bapa’s desire and nearly 200 years later this tradition of feeding people continues to this day in Virpur.

For his devotees this meal is now a Prasad. Virpur has become an important Pilgrimage centre in India and attracts thousands of visitors daily.

Although Bapa origins were from the Lohana community his work and influence extended to all as he considered all castes and religions equally worthy of help and respect.

Bapa died in 1881 whilst praying. He was a divine soul who worked selflessly for humanity. His deeds are inspiring millions of people to follow the path of humanity and service. His birthday (Jayanti) each year is celebrated by many thousands of people across the world. His mandirs everywhere still serve the same Prasad of “Rotla, Khichdi, Kadhi and Shaak” and preach about the completely unselfish and kind deeds of Bapa.

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)

 

 

Take a Quiz on Hindu Diaspora

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Most Malaysian Hindus are Tamils? Yes/No

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

Khmer empire of Cambodia were Hindu kings? Yes/No

 
 

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

 
 
 
 

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

 
 
 
 

Nyepi and Galungan are Buddhist festivals of south east Asia? 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?

 
 
 
 

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

 
 
 
 

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”?

 
 
 
 

In Bali, the word Pura means?

 
 
 
 

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

 
 

When did the first Malay Hindu state appear in Malaysia?

 
 
 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 
 
 

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

 
 
 
 

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

 
 
 

Which province do most Pakistani Hindus live in Pakistan?

 
 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

When did the first Hindus came to Australia?

 
 
 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 
 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 


Take a Quiz on Hindu History

Take a Quiz on Hindu History

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Hinduism and the scientific heart – a book review

Pavan Verma of JDU has written a book on Adi Shankaracharya. His interview is very informative and is given below. Pavan Varma is a celebrated diplomat, cultural catalyst and public intellectual. His new book on the Shankaracharya throws startling light about Hinduism and its fascinating relationship with science.
 
 
 

What Would India Look Like Today Had It Not Been Colonised By The British ?

While British rule brought about untold change and modifications to India, it is hard to imagine an India without its embedded British characteristics.

 
While some changes might’ve been good and other bad, the fact of the matter is that, British colonialism completely changed the face of the nation for better and for worse.
 

Indian archaeologists discover Mahabharat time 4000 year old chariots, weapons

 

Ancient chariots along with eight well-preserved corpses have been discovered by Indian archaeologists in a village of Sanauli 70 kilometers north of New Delhi. The find has been dated to belong to the period 2000 – 1800 BCE and included chariot parts like wheels, axles and poles. The archaeological team proposed a connection with royalty and a warrior class for the findings.[6][7] Some scholars believe it to be very close to post Mahabharat period when a great war was fought in India involving every king and nation.

Sinauli is an archaeological site located in Barot tehsilBaghpat districtUttar Pradesh, India, where 125 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation were found.[1] These graves are dated c. 2200–1800 BC. Sanauli, discovered in 2005,[2] is a fairly recent addition to the list of Indus Valley Civilisation sites in India.[3]

 

The site at Sinauli was accidentally discovered by people levelling agricultural land. The Archaeological Survey of India began excavations at the site during September 2005.[4]

Burials

As of 2007, the graves found are dated c. 2200–1800 BC.[5] and are 125 in number. These are all oriented in a north-south direction and most are identified as primary burials. Some of the burials are identified also as secondary and multiple burials and animal bones are also discovered next to human bones. The age group of buried starts from 1–2 years and includes all age groups and both male and female. Burial goods generally consisted of odd number of vases (3, 5, 7, 9, 11 etc.) placed near the head, with dish-on-stand usually placed below hip area as well as antenna swords, sheath of copper, terracotta figurines, gold and copper bangles, beads of semi-precious stones (two necklace of long barrel shape) etc.[4]

Remains of a burnt brick wall with a finished inner surface ran along the eastern side of the burial. A dish-on-stands and a violin shaped flat copper container having nearly 35 arrow head shaped copper pieces placed in a row are included in other important findings from Sanauli.[5]

A burial ground of this numbers should have been associated with a large habitation site, but so far such an habitation nearby has not been located.[5]

Dish-on-Stand

The survey found that dish-on-stand was usually placed below the hip area, but in some cases was placed near the head or feet. It was clearly an important part of burial goods. Its mushroom-shaped form has not found at any other archaeological sites. It was used as holding stand and in one case, held the head of a goat.[5]

(Source : Wikipedia)

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The History of Hindu India Parts Four and Five Released

KAUAI, HAWAII, May 11, 2018: Hinduism Today is delighted to announce the completion of its five part video documentary series, “The History of Hindu India,” based on the book of the same title. Both are available now on YouTube, Part Four at “source” above or https://youtu.be/nx_vSuduwAkand Part Five at https://youtu.be/eVnqJHO3PcY. Parts One (posted in 2014), Two and Three (both posted in 2015) have been very popular on YouTube, receiving respectively, 2.6 million hits, 1.3 million hits and 965,000 hits along with tens of thousands of “thumbs up” and hundreds of positive comments. The whole series is available on the playlist at “source” above

 

The History of Hindu India series was developed by the editors of Hinduism Today magazine in collaboration with Dr. Shiva Bajpai, Professor Emeritus of History, California State University Northridge. It is intended to provide an authentic presentation of the history of India and Hinduism for use in American middle and high school classes, as well as Hindu temple study groups and general presentations on the Hindu religion and history.

Part Four is based on the fourth chapter of the textbook, “The History of Hindu India,” published in 2011. It covers Indian history from 1850 to 1947, from when the British Crown took over direct control of India from the East India Company to Independence. Under British rule, economic exploitation of the subcontinent increased, resulting in frequent famine and deprivation across the once wealthy land. A determined and mostly nonviolent freedom movement emerged and finally succeeded, resulting in the formation of modern India and Muslim Pakistan in 1947.

Part five is based on the fifth chapter of the textbook. It covers Indian history from 1947 to the present day. Opening with Nehru’s famed speech on August 15, 1947, it describes the formation of the new government, development of the constitution, invasion of Kashmir by Pakistan, the horrors of partition, formation of states along linguistic lines, and efforts to uplift the lower classes. It covers the religions of India along with religious strife and its causes, Hindu pilgrimage using Rameswaram as an example, Ayurveda, the impact of Hinduism in the modern world and finally a nod to the popularity of Bollywood and Indian cuisine.