Lessons from the ghost, A Hindu Wisdom


A picture of Vetal hanging by a tree and Vikra...

Image via Wikipedia

Lessons from the ghost

via Devdutt by Devdutt on 1/30/12

Published in First City,  January 2012  

A sorcerer once requested the legendary King Vikramaditya of Ujjain to fetch him a Vetal or ghost that hung upside down, like a bat, from the branches of a tree that stood in the middle of a crematorium

Not wanting to disappoint anyone who approached him, Vikramaditya immediately set out for the crematorium determined to fetch the Vetal.

“Make sure you do not talk to him. If you speak, he will slip away from your grasp,” warned the sorcerer.

Vikramaditya entered the crematorium, found the tree, and the Vetal hanging upside down from its branches. He caught the ghost, pulled it down and made his way back to the city when the ghost started chatting with him, telling him all kinds of things, annoying him, yelling into his ears, cursing him, praising him, anything to make him talk but Vikramaditya refused to succumb to these tricks.

Finally, the Vetal told Vikramaditya a story, a case study one might say, and at the end of it asked the king a question. “If you are indeed the wise Vikramaditya, as you claim to be, you should know the answer to the riddle. But how will I know if you are truly he, unless you speak? And if you choose to stay silent, I am free to assume I have been caught by a commoner, a pretender, a mimic!”

Too arrogant to be called a commoner, the king gave the answer. And it was a brilliant answer, one that made the Vetal gasp in admiration.

And then, he slipped away and went back to hang upside down from the branches of the tree in the middle of the crematorium.

So Vikramaditya had to walk back to the tree once again and pull the Vetal down once again.

Once again, the Vetal told him a story with a question at the end. Once again the Vetal told the king, “If you are indeed the wise Vikramaditya, as you claim to be, you should know the answer to the riddle. But how will I know if you are truly he, unless you speak? And if you choose to stay silent, I am free to assume I have been caught by a commoner, a pretender, a mimic!”

Once again, the arrogant king gave the answer. Once again the Vetal gasped in admiration.

And once again he slipped away.

This happened twenty-four times. The twenty-fifth time, a tired and exasperated Vikramaditya, sighed in relief.

He had succeeded.

“Have you really?” asked the Vetal, “How do you know the answers you gave the previous times were right? Each decision was subjective, not objective. You thought you were right, and so you spoke. Now you are not sure of the answer, and so remain silent. This silence will cost you dear. You will succeed in taking me to the sorcerer who will use his magic to make me his genie and do his bidding. His first order for me will be to kill you.

So you see, Vikramaditya, as long as you kept answering my questions, rightly or wrongly, you were doing yourself a favor. You had to keep chasing me, but you stayed king. Now that you doubt yourself, and stay silent, you are sure to end up dead.”

At the moment of decision-making, decisions are not right or wrong. They are right or wrong only in hindsight.

He who takes decisions proactively, he who is not afraid to let the Vetal slip away, he who knows that life is about solving one problem after another, is Vikramaditya.

To improve decision-making, Vikramaditya has to visit the crematorium where the past hangs upside down like ghosts and confront the Vetal.

This is where learning takes place. This is where he hones his skills.

The Vetal is the mentor, the trainer, the coach, the teacher, the guru, who presents the past as case studies and asks questions in the form of riddles and puzzles.

Does the Vetal know the answer?

Maybe yes, maybe no. It does not matter.

What matters is that Vikramaditya answers the questions and solves the problems.

Every answer, every solution, is subjective; only time will reveal if they are right and wrong.

If Vikramaditya refuses to answer, he will end up destroying himself and his kingdom.

A leader matters only as long as he seeks to solve problems.

Vikramaditya must always go to Vetal; the Vetal must never go to Vikramaditya.

Vetal is Saraswati. Unlike Lakshmi and Durga which can be given, Saraswati cannot be given. She has to be taken.

The crematorium is not a place where business happens, but it is here that the mind is expanded and beliefs are clarified.

It is a place of new ideas, new thoughts, new frameworks, that facilitate decision-making.

The more Vikramaditya visits the crematorium, the more he expands his mind, the more he gains Saraswati and the more attractive he becomes to power and prosperity, Durga and Lakshmi.

The process of gaining Saraswati is two fold.

There is the outer voice called Smriti and the inner voice called Shruti.

Smriti means that which can be remembered hence transmitted. Shruti means that which can only be heard but cannot be transmitted.

What a teacher teaches a student, what is passed on through texts and puzzles and riddles and questions and case studies, is just Smriti. These can be parroted and passed on. These can be mouthed to impress people.

But real learning happens when the aspirant listens to his own voice, the inner voice of his mind.

This is the only voice we hear. This is Shruti.

Only when Smriti provokes Shruti, do we internalize wisdom.

It becomes part of us. When this happens, we do not have to provide references for our knowledge (“This idea comes from that teacher”). We become the source of the knowledge (“This is my idea”).

Books and lectures are Smriti; they can be remembered and passed on.

The reader or listener can allow it to provoke Shruti.

Only when they listen to their inner voice and truly ‘get it’, will this knowledge of the past transform into timeless wisdom.

The way to this is to introspect on it, personalize it, rather than intellectualize it.

Frameworks appear when we see the mirror and are comfortable with the reflection.

As long as frameworks are meant to change the world, not ourselves, Saraswati will remain Vidya-Lakshmi, skill that grants prosperity, but not peace.

We will stay trapped in Swarga, like Indra, eternally on a shaky throne.

We will never find Vaikuntha, where Lakshmi sits at our feet, and we always enjoy the rhythmic swing of the waves.

Every king whose rule extends up to the horizon, the Chakravarti, is no different from the Kupmanduka, the frog in the well.

The walls of his kingdom define his well. However great the size may be, it is but a drop in the canvas of infinity.

 There is always scope to grow, outgrow the animal within, stop chasing Durga and Lakshmi, and make them chase him instead.

For this he has to cut his head.

Vetal cuts the head. Shruti cuts the head.

Cutting of the head is a metaphor for intellectual as well as emotional growth.

Intellectual growth may make us more skilled and less insecure, but it does not enable us to empathize. T

he point is not to be knowledgeable; the point is to be wise.

And in India, wisdom happens when knowledge combines with empathy, gyan with karuna.

Vedas became omniform for all periods of time


The Rig Veda is one of the oldest religious te...

Image via Wikipedia

By Prem Sabhlok

Via e-mail

Swami Viveknanda had said that religion is a spiritual science. Many contemporary gurus, swamis, pujaris and priests are not able to explain the concept of spiritual science. But most of them agree that the Vedas are the supreme scriptures of Hindus. The Bhagavad-Gita mentions that study of Vedas is the highest virtue. Adi Granth Sahib says Asankh grantha mukhi Vedpatha. There are innumerable scriptures but Vedic study is the supreme.

Sad-Darshana (six schools of Indian philosophy),  based on Vedic metaphysics and Vedic Ishta theory-paths, aim at welfare of mankind. They have made it amply clear that to know the concept of religion as spiritual science, the study of the Vedas is essential. To avoid spread of pious forgeries in the society, Swami Dayananda had suggested study and propagation of Vedic knowledge for the Aryans (noble people).

After the study of the Vedas through English translation of mantras, riks, hymns and even some verses, it was apparent the religion as spiritual science is dharma and it is an institution of social, moral, ethical and spiritual uplift of mankind. It is based on certain principles of spiritual science relating to Rta (cosmic laws of Nature), ideal mosaic society where people follow four divine professions (chatvar varnas) allotted through the Vedic education system based on merit, ability and aptitude and certainly not by birth.

The concept of guru —  Gu means darkness and Ru means to dispel —  dispeller of inner and outer darkness as a preceptor, the cosmic delusion (maya), the difference between soul, manifested soul, spirit and their respective roles, prakrti (divine Nature), the ineffable and formless Supreme Reality Brahman, the cosmic word “Om” (Shabd Brahma) cause of origin of the universe, physical sciences and scientific temper and many other subjects and concepts have been explained in the context of dharma as spiritual science.

In the social aspect of dharma, the Vedas refer to healthy community life through sabha and vidhta, local self-governance, iddm nan mmam — enlightened liberalism (nothing for self all for society), etc.

With regard to the moral aspect hydra-headed corruption with nine heads and 99 sources of entry in the human body is mentioned and solution thereof to eliminate corruption.

On the ethical aspect of dharma, trivarga (three kinds of value systems are explained) and as regard spiritual side of dharma harmonized divine, spiritual and material knowledge (para jnan) is explained in great details.

After study of the Vedas, I wrote Glimpses of Vedic Metaphysics as a part of Vedic spiritual science. Hence the book is by a commoner for the common human beings and seekers of Vedic knowledge, who may not have time to study over 17,000 mantras/riks in all the four Vedas, but are keen to know what these shrutis contain. The Atharva Veda clearly mentions when soul was provided to the human beings, the Vedas were revealed (hence shrutis).

Thus the Vedas became omniform for all periods of time. The study of the Vedas can save simple, honest and God-loving people from the pious forgeries of “leaders of hope” like miracles, breaking unity into diversity of cults/sects or even declaring Veda mantras have secret divine power.

Instead of publishing the book and commercially pricing it, I opted for putting it on the Internet for online reading and even taking print at no cost. It is available on http://www.sabhlokcity.com/metaphysics. The book can be accessed through google.com, yahoo.com, lulu.com search for the book or just Vedic Metaphysics.

If Slaughter Houses had Glass Walls, Everyone would be a Vegetarian.”


Happy peeper is happy

Image by Marji Beach via Flickr

You are what you eat.

 If slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”

By Uttam K. Jain

The celebration of Thanksgiving spells a death knell to the turkey. Thousands of birds are slaughtered to enable Americans to celebrate this festival.

Conceived through forced and artificial insemination, the turkey begins its life’s journey in an egg form in the womb of its mother turkey caged together with many other such mothers made to go through the horrors of factory farming.  

Laid in a cage and rolled out in the form of an egg, and immediately separated  and moved to a factory-hatching environment it, together with  millions of others,  the chick enters  the world only to be forced through  extreme  tortures, pain and agony as  its mother did.  

Given only three square feet of floor space on which to spend its life, each bird is forced to endure beak and toe mutilations intended to prevent crowded birds from injuring one another, both procedures are performed without the use of anesthesia and can cause extreme pain, stress and even death.  

Although turkeys have a natural life expectancy of about 10 years, they are commonly slaughtered between 12 and 26 weeks of age.

When they grow up they have to endure horror. During transportation to the slaughter houses these birds are crowded in small cages with very little or no ventilation and they are even deprived of food and water during the long distance hauls that sometime take days.  When arrived at the destination to get them off the truck, these birds are thrown mercilessly handled by their necks and feet only to become ready to be hung up by their feet on a rotating conveyor with anchors.  

The conveyor moves and takes each bird to the knife to have its throat slit while it is alive.  While trampling, confused as to what’s happening to itself and trying to free itself some fall on the bloody floor only to be picked up, smashed and put back on the anchor for its only crime that it was created by artificial insemination and for no fault of its own!

 Stunning is not legally required for most farm animals. (The poultry, which comprises over 90 percent of “food animals,” is not covered under The Humane Slaughter Act).

Even when stunning is required, industry reports indicate an alarming failure rate. Standard slaughter practices, combined with gross negligence, result in immense pain and suffering for millions of animals.  So, these birds go through the torture factories while being conscious.

 Speed, not humane consideration, guides the slaughter process. Thousands of animals are dismembered or dropped into a scalding tank while they are still conscious.

  Next, these birds are thrown into a machine where their feathers, toes and beaks  are removed in few seconds.  The carcasses are then packed neatly and shipped across the nation to distribution warehouses and then to the grocery stores.

This is the bird that gets cooked, sliced and put on the dinner plates — to celebrate Thanksgiving by neatly dressed family members and invited guests, who are blissfully ignorant of the torture the turkey has suffered from the birth to the death.  

Is it not  the pinnacle of hypocrisy  indulged in by the so-called civilized society? Is there no better way to celebrate the Thanksgiving?

Paul McCartney said: “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”

“I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals,” said  Henry David Thoreau.

When most in a society consume flesh as a normal food, you have a violent society.  Most of us have heard of the saying: “Your are what you eat.”

Smile Philosophy


Rules to Live By…..

Some Times : Santosh Bhatt

Smile reveals the world to us. Body and soul crave it. It triggers in our heart the sensations of love. Smiles feed us, supplying the energy for us to grow.

It inspires us with dreams and hopes.

Smiles cast an aura of mystery and beauty in the face of those who smile. Faces lit with smiles enlighten the whole world.

Smile is almost like air. A human would no longer linger over the concept of smile than a fish would ponder over the notion of water.

But people are smiling less and less these days. Why are people smiling less? And what can be done about it?

The answer is that nobody knows. The reason nobody knows is a flipside of the Human behavior – its uncertain nature.

In theory, solving this sort of problem is easy.

Connect to life by doing things you never thought possible. Spend more time with family and friends. Now you can really start living. And ultimately you will smile.

But in reality it is very difficult to smile when you are having multidimensional problems throttling your neck all the time.

Furthermore, not every man or woman who smiles is happy. Nor every man or woman who doesn’t smile is sad.

Such is the mystery of life, my friend.

But remember, sometimes, when we cry, we shed happiness instead of tears, and therein lies the true test of heart and the hearts character.

It’s easy to shed happiness, but it’s tough to gather it thereafter.

Sometimes it takes a moment, an hour, a day or a week but at times, you may not be able to gather them at all after years and years.

Take care of your happiness, no matter how tiny they are – they’re as precious as the dawn.

Isn’t life all about challenges and wouldn’t it be nice to grow old with few more laugh lines?

It’s easy if you know how to make more friends and fewer foes with your humbleness and attitude.

Hence, greet the unhappy face, with a beautiful smile.

Treat the scorched ears, with the jingle of rhapsody. Feed the desiccated heart, with the fountain of love. Extinguish the darkness, with the lamp of perception. Heal the sore of the wounded, with the balm of compassion. Escort the estranged soul, with the cohort of hope.

Solve the violent problem, with a non-violent solution.

Bathe the desert of malice, with the dew of harmony. Chop the branches of woe with the sickle of laughter. Enshroud the smoggy mind, with the luminous rays of humanity. Demolish the mansion of falsehood, with the bull-dozer of truth. Add meaning to your life, by subtracting the egos one by one.

Paint the canvas of your dreams, with the blood of your sweat for you are the Picasso of your own life.

Life, yes, it is not the distance between the cradle and the grave.

It is the borderless edge. You never know how far you will reach or how soon you shall fall in the pit.

So cheer up, smile often and make yourself necessary to yourself and you will never be sad, my friend!

LIFE IS SHORT and Hard Change Your Thinking


‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present.’

The origin of this letter is unknown.

I pray you will forward it to all your friends to whom you wish God’s blessings.

LIFE IS SHORT and Hard
Change Your Thinking

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled..

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present.’

The origin of this letter is unknown.

I pray you will forward it to all your friends to whom you wish God’s blessings.

LIFE IS SHORT
PLAY HARD…………

Interpretations on Gita: A scholarly study


Aum calligraphy. Aum (Om) Hindu Symbol

Image via Wikipedia

Interpretations on Gita: A scholarly study
By Dr Vaidehi Nathan
The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse, Nagappa Gowda K, Oxford University Press, Pp 286(HB), Rs 695.00

BHAGAVAD Gita the eternal text has been explored and re-interpreted by men since it was originally penned by the great sage Vyasa. Each one has found his/her own meanings and answers from the Gita to quests and queries on life and beyond.

The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse by Nagappa Gowda K. has analysed the contemporary understanding of Gita by leaders in 19th- 20th century. Six men have been selected who wrote dissertations on or referred extensively to Gita. They are Bankimchandra Chatterjee, Balgangadhar Tilak, Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and BR Ambedkar. These are all men who influenced the course of the nation — some politically, some spiritually. “The nationalist engagement with the Gita was both emotional and intellectual, since nationalism expressed itself, whether sui generis or as a response-product of engagement with colonialism, at those levels. Locating the source of nationalism in the Gita was a way of rejecting the Western claim that nationalist impulse and ideology were its exclusive gift” says Gowda.

While Bankimchandra saw the Gita as a call for action, for Tilak, as revealed in Gita Rahasya, the appeal was the notion of sthitaprajna, the rejection of sanyasa and a direction for active engagement with life. For Aurobindo, who turned into sage after rejecting active political life, Gita was a text of supreme spirituality, demanding nothing less than total surrender. Gandhi on other hand found in Gita “supreme endorsement of the notions such as non-violence, Swadeshi, Svadharma and Satyagraha.”

interpreted Gita as an embodiment of national culture in true sense. Vinoba Bhave found svadharma as the central theme of Gita. Ambedkar saw Gita in a very different light. He thought it was a text that was trying to revive and justify “the Old Order with a new set of arguments as emanating from the mouth of God.”

Nagappa Gowda says that the Gita came back as a much discussed text of Hinduism because of the interest shown by the westerners in it. According to him, the Europeans, triggered by their eagerness to explore the Indian culture and religion sought out the “native informants.” “The native informants were the Brahmins – a small, literate monopoly class in the country, who thus became the sole spokespersons of religion. Brahmanical religion became the Hindu religion, and Brahmanical texts became the official Hindu texts.

Of them Shree Krishna and his Song Celestial seemed to merit the Semitic notion of a revealed religion… Thus, in the eighteenth century, we see both the orientalist and missionary discourses nudging the Bhagavadgita and its author to the centrestage of attention and engagement.”

Tilak used Gita in the political context. He exalts an all-India-Hinduism, playing down the differences of sect and caste. For Vivekananda the message is beyond India, in a world canvas and it is apolitical. He regards the truth in Gita as universal and not historical, says Gowda adding nishkam karma was the essence of the monk’s message from Gita.

Sri Aurobindo has written extensively on Gita. He wrote 24 essays on the first six chapters, twelve essays on the next six chapters and twelve on the remaining six. The first six chapters, he felt dealt with the notion of karma and its relation with jnana.

Gandhi delivered 218 lectures on the Gita at the Satyagraha Ashram, Ahmedabad over a period of nine months in 1926. He was introduced to the Gita by Edwin Arnold, to an English translation called Song Celestial, when he was twenty years old.

He said, “Only he can interpret the Gita correctly who tries to follow its teaching in practice…it may be a profound one, but in my view the realisation of its profound quality depends on the depth of one’s sincerity in putting its teaching into practice.”

Ambedkar on the other hand saw it as a reiteration of the caste system. The reviving debate on it he said was an attempt at ‘replying’ to the Buddhist preaching, by re-establishing the ‘relevance’ of the caste categorisation. After reading the views on others on the Gita, reading Ambedkar’s gives a feeling of ‘let down.’

One wonders if there was any relevance for his inclusion into this book. For, Ambedkar takes a limited, narrow and constrained attitude towards the text that is widely seen as enlightening, egalitarian and ennobling.

Nagappa Gowda says that the reason why Gita gelled well in the nationalist discourse is that it laid great stress on karma yoga and “undermined the asceticism of the Upanisadic persuasion and emotionalism and devotionalism of the bhakti persuasion.” And also it was seen as upholding a deep commitment to equality.

Gita has been a text of all times. From Adi Shankara, even before him and down the generations men have delved into this changeless doctrine and applied it and explained it as it revealed itself to them.

It has an appeal that has transcended time and space. Nagappa Gowda by contextualising the Gita on the matrix of national movement has given a new perspective worth pursuing. Gowda is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Government Women’s First Grade College and Post Graduate Centre, Ajjarakadu, Udupi.

20110823-064057.jpg

SURPRISINGLY, A FOREIGNER OPENS OUR EYES!!!


Very interesting!!

IF THIS IS TRUE, NOW YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL THE MONEY COLLECTED BY TEMPLES IN INDIA.
SURPRISINGLY, A FOREIGNER OPENS OUR EYES!!!
Believe or not, a Foreign writer opens our eyes… The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act of 1951 allows State Governments and politicians to take over thousands of Hindu Temples and maintain complete control of the money in any way they choose.

A charge has been made not by any Temple authority, but by a foreign writer, Stephen Knapp, in a book Crimes Against India and the Need to Protect Ancient Vedic Tradition, published in the United States that makes shocking reading.
 Hundreds of temples in centuries past have been built in India by devout rulers and the donations given to them by devotees have been used for the benefit of the (other) people. If, presently, money collected has ever been misused (and that word needs to be defined), it is for the devotees to protest and not for any government to interfere.

This letter is what has been happening currently under an intrusive law. It would seem, for instance, that under a Temple Empowerment Act, about 43,000 temples in Andhra Pradesh have come under government control and only 18 per cent of the revenues of these temples have been returned for temple purposes, the remaining 82 per cent being used for purposes unstated. Apparently even the world famous Tirumala Tirupati Temple has not been spared.

According to Knapp, the temple collects over Rs 3,100 crores every year and the State Government has not denied the charge that as much as 85 per cent of this is transferred to the State Exchequer, much of which goes to causes that are not connected with the Hindu community. Was it for that reason that devotees make their offering to the temples?

Another charge that has been made is that the Andhra Government has also allowed the demolition of at least ten temples for the construction of golf courses. Imagine the outcry, writes Knapp, if ten mosques had been demolished. It would seem that in Karanataka, Rs. 79 crores were collected from about two lakh temples and from that, temples received Rs seven crores for their maintenance, Muslim madrassahs and Haj subsidy were given Rs 59 crore and churches about Rs 13 crore.

Very generous of the government! Because of this, Knapp writes, 25 per cent of the two lakh temples or about 50,000 temples in Karnataka will be closed down for lack of resources, and he adds: The only way the government can continue to do this is because people have not stood up enough to stop it. Knapp then refers to Kerala where, he says, funds from the Guruvayur Temple are diverted to other government projects denying improvement to 45 Hindu temples. Land belonging to the Ayyappa Temple, apparently has been grabbed and Church encroaches are occupying huge areas of forest land, running into thousands of acres, near Sabarimala.

 A charge is made that the Communist state government of Kerala wants to pass an Ordinance to disband the Travancore & Cochin Autonomous Devaswom Boards (TCDBs) and take over their limited independent authority of 1,800 Hindu temples. If what the author says is true, even the Maharashtra Government wants to take over some 450,000 temples in the state which would supply a huge amount of revenue to correct the states bankrupt conditions.

And, to top it all, Knapp says that in Orissa, the state government intends to sell over 70,000 acres of endowment lands from the Jagannath Temple, the proceeds of which would solve a huge financial crunch brought about by its own mismanagement of temple assets. Says Knapp:
Why such occurrences are so often not known is that the Indian media, especially the English television and press, are often anti-Hindu in their approach, and, thus, not inclined to give much coverage, and certainly no sympathy, for anything that may affect the Hindu community. Therefore, such government actions that play against the Hindu community go on without much or any attention attracted to them. Knapp obviously is on record.

If the facts produced by him are incorrect, it is up to the government to say so. It is quite possible that some individuals might have set up temples to deal with lucrative earnings. But, that, surely, is none of the governments’ business? Instead of taking over all earnings, the government surely can appoint local committees to look into temple affairs so that the amount discovered is fairly used for the public good? Says Knapp: Nowhere in the free, democratic world are the religious institutions managed, maligned and controlled by the government, thus denying the religious freedom of the people of the country. But it is happening in India.

Government officials have taken control of Hindu temples because they smell money in them, they recognise the indifference of Hindus, they are aware of the unlimited patience and tolerance of Hindus, they also know that it is not in the blood of Hindus to go to the streets to demonstrate, destroy property, threaten, loot, harm and/or kill. Many Hindus are sitting and watching the demise of their culture.

They need to express their views loud and clear. Knapp obviously does not know that should they do so, they would be damned as communalists. But, it is time someone asked the Government to lay down all the facts on the table so that the public would know what is happening behind its back.
 Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not secularism. And temples are not for looting, under any name. One thought ….. that Mohammad of Ghazni has long been dead?????

%d bloggers like this: