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By Francois Gautier

Instead of calling an all-party meet to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir row, the government would do well to try to understand the fury of Hindus and not limit the scope of the introspection to the Amarnath issue. Are Hindus angry only with the hypocrisy of the government on the land issue? Are there no other topics that make them furious?

Hindus are a peace-loving people. The average Hindu is easy-going and accepts you and your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Parsi or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. He goes about his business and usually does not interfere in yours. In fact they take it a little further: They hate trouble and go out of their way to avoid it.

Everywhere in the world, on the other hand, Hindus are hounded and humiliated; be it in Fiji where an elected government was twice deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims target Hindus every time they want to vent their anger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book Lajja). There were one million Hindus in the valley of Kashmir in 1900. Only a few hundred are left today, the rest having been forced to flee through terror. In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorised by pro-Christian separatist groups, such as the Bodos or the Mizos, while local governments often turn a blind eye. Their temples are being taken over in states like Kerala or Karnataka, the donations appropriated by the state governments.

Yet in 3,500 years of known existence, Hindus have never invaded another country and never tried to impose their religion upon others. No, it has rather been through peaceful invasions that Hinduism has stormed the world, whether in the East, witness Angkor Wat, or in the West today, where the byproducts of Hinduism, yoga, meditation, ayurveda, pranayama have been adopted by millions.

Hindus also gave refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world.It’s a pity that these two communities turned against their Hindu brethren , the former by way of lured conversions, and the latter with bloody invasions.

Hindus, who accept everybody and welcome all religions, are mocked and bombs are planted in their markets, their trains and temples are attacked, they are chased out of their homelands; television and newspapers make fun of them, their own politicians ostracise them.

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, erupt in fury ,uncontrolled fury.

Yes, one should condemn the Gujarat pogrom, but one should look also at the causes. It is not only the 36 innocent Hindu women and children who were burnt to death in a train by a mob of criminals. It is also how much silent frustration and anger must have built over the years, decades, or centuries even, amongst Gujarati Hindus, that in one moment, 1,25,000 Hindus, normal, peaceful people, came out on the streets of Ahmedabad with such fury.

The same thing is true of Jammu and the Amarnath issue. Hindus never complain about their government giving billion of rupees to Indian Muslims for the pilgrimage to Mecca. But when Hindus need shelters, toilets and basic facilities at a height of 15,000 feet to worship at Amarnath, it is denied by the same government. So they erupt in fury.

Instead of appealing for calm and communal harmony, instead of giving us all this eyewash about a 500-year-old Dargah �mostly patronised by Hindus� political leaders, journalists, and spiritual leaders, would do well to look at the root cause of Hindu fury, and try to address their frustrations.

Journalists should also do a little bit of introspection. Hindus have had enough. If this government, or the next, does not take note of their frustrations, we might very well see more Jammus erupting in the coming months and years.

Source: NewIndPress.com


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New York: Noted French journalist and writer Francois Gautier who has made India his home and propagation of Hinduism his cause and mission for over three decades, is currently traveling across the US to raise funds through his foundation, FACT-India, for the setting up of an Indian history museum in Pune, India.

Gautier, perhaps one of the very few Westerners to have unconditionally adopted a Hindu way of life, feels the widely prevalent distorted image of Indian history as propagated by the British, Christian missionaries, communists and the western world in general for over two centuries, has necessitated the museum to portray Hindu civilization in the right light.

In an interview with India Post during his visit to New York last week, Gautier spoke about his ambitious museum project, the many threats to Hinduism in today’s world and how Hindus can gain the respect of the world.

IP: Can you tell us about the Museum of Indian History?
Gautier: I have been donated some land in Pune by a private trust where I want to build the museum to be called the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History.

I see in India there are no museums of Indian history worth the name. So the idea is to start from the Vedas, go on to talk about the greatness of the whole of India and the entire drama of the invasions through history, the Hindu holocaust, and then portray India of today and tomorrow.

IP: What kind of funds do you need and how long will it take to complete the museum?
Gautier: It’s a huge project but definitely it will happen. It’s about $40m dollars, and I don’t know how long it will take — perhaps 10-20 years, because I don’t have the money right away. But I am ready to start, once I start, the donations will come and people will understand the importance of this museum.

IP: Why is it important to have such a museum?
Gautier: As a journalist and writer, when I started documenting for my book, I realized that most history books on India are based upon very old theories considered defunct or debatable such as the Aryan invasion theory, which evidence shows has never taken place.

Both British historians and later Nehruvian historians have toned down the considerable impact on Indian culture of the invasions starting from Alexander the Great to the Arabs, the Muslim invaders and the British — that entire part of the history has been swept under the carpet. And even later, the history of India’s Independence is very unfairly portrayed.
The need of the museum is very important so we can look at India’s history in a very scientific manner, which is what my organization FACT India is doing.

IP: Will the museum focus only on the Hindu history of India?
Gautier: The museum will also broach upon many of India’s dark periods in its history like the inquisition in Goa by the Portuguese, the Sufi persecution, the Ahmedi Muslim persecution in Bangladesh, how the Buddhist history was wiped out and how some of the early Syrian Christians of Kerala were persecuted. And of course the Hindu holocaust right from Hindu Kush (massacre of Hindus) to the current terrorist activities against them.

I want school children to come to the museum and learn of their own culture and be proud. Kids in Indian schools are learning about Shakespeare and Milton, not about their Hindu or Indian culture. In my country we are taught about great French people like our poets, social reformers, artists etc… so I grew up proud of my culture, but Indian kids do not grow up learning about or feeling proud of their culture.

IP: Do you see any kind of opposition to your project from either the government or any section of the Indian society?
Gautier: Of course there’s bound to be some opposition, you can’t make everybody happy. But one has to go by the truth. Whatever one’s limitations, if backed by truth, even if it is opposed, there will be some kind of direction and protection.

In fact, there are three reasons for setting up the museum in Pune: One– of course the land donated is in Pune; second– since I work in Pune, I found that people of Pune, irrespective of their political affiliations, are quite nationalistic in nature. I feel my museum will be more protected in Pune than anywhere else in India; thirdly– Pune is Shivaji’s birth place. There is no museum of Shivaji anywhere in Maharashtra though he is a true hero. So naming it after Shivaji will be a protection for this museum.

IP: Over the many years of your career, how successful have you been in changing western perceptions of Hinduism?
Gautier: It’s a very difficult task, because unfortunately the image of Hinduism is not that good. But, there is more ignorance than hostility. Westerners do not know that it is a monotheistic religion. Secondly, Hindus, especially Brahmins have been at the receiving end of many like the British, the missionaries, the Islamic invaders all of who created a very negative image of Hinduism — particularly the missionaries emphasized only the negative sides of Hinduism and amplified them a thousand times. Today we still find that even after 200 years, these negative images have survived even in the minds of Hindus in India.

Unfortunately it is a great handicap for journalists like me who like Hinduism and want to defend it. I can’t say I have been very successful, but at least now westerners are open to going to India and understanding Hindus.

There are so many good things to be said for Hinduism, but unfortunately there is no will among Hindus to try to explain to westerners. Hindus are just content to come to the West and melt into local cultures or at best keep their spirituality and religion to themselves.

IP: What do you think of the role of the Indian intellectual elite and media in projecting the image of Hindus?
Gautier: The British have left such a mark on the minds of much of Indian intelligentsia and elite, right from the erstwhile Maharajas who have copied the British way of life that it has left a deep impression on generations after that. Today Indians think that everything that comes from the West is good. It’s very stupid, because many things in the West have failed like family values etc.

This generation of Indian intelligentsia is aping Marxism so brilliantly, which is dead even in Russia, and is probably only left in Cuba, but I don’t see why Indians should copy Cuba (laughs).

Look at the Chinese, they are so proud of their culture; nobody dares to fiddle with them, even America will not dare to interfere with their affairs.

IP: Many Hindus fear the very survival of Hinduism in the face of Islamic fundamentalism. How real are their fears?
Gautier: The fear is very real. I see there are five or six enemies that may be covertly or overtly attacking Hinduism. In the past there was any one threat at a time like the Greek, British or Muslim invasions. But today, there are the threats of Muslim fundamentalism, Christian conversions, Marxist onslaught, Westernization and so on which are eroding the Indian culture all at the same time. However, there are many great gurus today like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and others who are repackaging the Hindu tenets like spirituality. pranayama, yoga, ayurveda etc for everyone’s easy consumption while not associating them with Hinduism. Though I do not agree with that, it’s an important movement today and helping to preserve that culture.

It’s true that Hinduism is under attack and it looks frightening at times. That’s why the museum is so important.

IP: Have you ever felt conflicted about the culture you were born into and the one you adopted?
Gautier: Personally I have never felt conflicted, but people of my country often do not understand why I defend the Hindus– that has been a bit of a problem. Though my country is sympathetic to India, when you touch the intellectual layer – people who are fed on the Nehruvian history and the downgrading of Hindu culture, I have come into conflict sometimes with these people. But for me living in India is a protection; people often appreciate the work I do. Some of my friends do not understand why I poke the dangerous Islamic fundamentalism by defending Hindus. I started speaking about it (Islamic fundamentalism) 20-25 years ago when it was not at all politically correct to speak about it. Even those friends who like me sometimes do not really understand me. I have faced a lot of hostility also.

IP: What can Hindus living in America do to preserve their culture?
Gautier: For Hindus living in the US, whether fist or second generation, it is important that they carry their Hinduness. It is a special privilege to be born a Hindu, because you inherit the knowledge which is very ancient and very practical. Also the many Hindu groups which are scattered should unite to become a lobby like the Jews. They should teach their children to be proud of being Hindu while being faithful to their Americanness. They should create a lobby in the US to be able to influence South Asia policy at the administration level and see that it does not cap India’s nuclear policy.

IP: Is there something that really frustrates you?
Gautier: Hindus don’t think big. Most Hindu movements in the US have mostly people without a vision, they don’t unite; it’s very frustrating. When I last visited the US in 2002, the Hindu community was more vibrant, today I find many of the Hindu leaders of that time burnt out or taken a back seat or gone back into mainstream life; that is saddening. If only Hindus knew their own power — there are one billion in the world — Islam is conscious of its might and its numbers; Christianity though on the decline, is conscious of its greatness in terms of technology and power. Hindus, who are not all that small in number, have to use more muscle. Meekness and submissiveness will not take them far, they have to show muscle power. That’s the way to get respect in the world.

Source: India Post

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Many times we find that people often quote the Khajuraho Temples as an excuse to equate Hinduism and Hindu Deities with nudity and sex. What is actually Khajuraho, what does it contain and how many of the quoters have actually visited the Temples ? Here are the facts.

Lady Applying Make-up

Male and female Statues

Chandela War March

Chandela Musicians

Finally Erotic Sculpture Depicting the Kamasutra Positions. (Less than 10% of the total carvings)

The name Khajuraho may be derived from khajura (date palm), which grows freely in the area and perhaps because there were two golden khajura trees on a carved gate here. The old name was Kharjuravahaka (scorpion bearer), the scorpion symbolizing poisonous lust. The temples were built under the late Chandela kings between 950 and 1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity. With the fading of Chandela fortunes, the importance of Khajuraho waned but temple building continued until the 12th century at a much reduced pace.

The Chandelas were followers of the Tantric cult which believes that gratification of earthly desires is a step towards attaining the ultimate liberation. Tantrism has been mostly misunderstood and the Philosophical part of Tantras like the Mahanirvana Tantra have been totally forgotten. This was one of the reasons why Tantrics perished. Nevertheless it remains a distinct path of Spiritual Practice though it has very few followers all over the world.

The facts

1. It must be emphasized that Khajuraho Temples, do not contain sexual themes inside the Temple premises or near the deity but only on external carvings. They portray that for seeing the deity, one must leave his sexual desires outside the Temple. They also depict that the inner deity of the Temple is pure like the soul (atman) which is unaffected by sexual desires and other gross tendencies, destiny etc, whereas the external curvature and carvings of the Temples depict the bodily changes that occur in us.

2. Only as many as 10% carvings contain sexual themes, not between any deities but between ordinary humans. The rest depict the common man’s life of those days. For example ladies applying makeup, musicians, potters, Farmers etc. All these are away from Temple deities. They give the message that one should always have God as the central point in one’s life even though one is engaged in worldly activities.

3. It is a misconception that since Khajuraho are Temples, they depict sex between deities!

4. In Khajuraho Temples, the idols of Shiva, Nandi, Goddess Durga, Incarnations of Vishnu etc are fully clothed.

5. All over India, in no Temples have idols of Deities been shown nude and in sexual positions !

6. Types of beauty in the Hindu religion – Union of man and woman

‘The basic Universal Divine Energy (Shakti) is a symbol of the union of man and woman and it is the main spiritual emotion in Hindu art depicted in the man-woman sculptures seen in Amravati, Khajuraho, Konark, etc.Here Divine Energy (Shakti) manifests  in the man-woman union, the basis of Vedic art and culture. Sculptures in the Ajanta caves are also a depiction of the man and woman, but sexual congress is prohibited in the sculptures’.  Bharatiya Sanskruti Kosh, pages 166-169

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He is adored by millions. Terrorists have laid their weapons at his feet. Nobody has ever seen him utter a word in anger. Truth and love have been his constant motto in life. Yet, much of the media has maligned His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar after the shooting incident of Sunday (May 30) in Bangalore, and he has more or less been accused of lying. The truth is that at the moment there is a witchhunt against Hindu gurus.

It started with the Shankaracharya, then Swami Nityananda was thrown in jail for 45 days, for allegedly having consensual sex with a woman. Today, the media and the government are trying to malign Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the eyes of his disciples and Indians in general. Who is next?

One should analyse why Hindus are so much under attack at the moment. First, there is such a thing as karma. Hindus have often betrayed each other and have become lethargic, complacent and sometimes arrogant. Secondly, there are at the moment combined forces, which are assaulting Hinduism, knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously, openly or covertly.

First you have as a pivotal leader of this country, a person, who whatever her qualities of honesty, hard work and dedication, is a Christian — it would be impossible in a Christian dominated country, such as France, to have a Hindu as the ‘Eminence Grise’ behind the scenes.

Secondly many of India’s present leaders, are of a Marxist bent of mind, which considers religion as an old fashioned and eventually to be rid off (but mind you, they will not touch at Christianity or Islam); this is why in the land of yoga, yogic and spiritual organisations are being taxed today.

Thirdly, Christian conversions have never been this rapid, even at the time of the British: statistics say only three per cent of Indians are Christians, but you will be surprised at the new census: after the tsunami, at least 12 per cent of the Tamil Nadu coast has been converted with millions of dollars given by gullible Westerners.

Indian Muslims working in the Gulf have also brought back to India a more radical brand of Islam, which indirectly helped in fuelling the violent anti-Hindu waves of terrorist attacks. Indeed, there is no way Pakistani terrorists can function without local Muslim help and encouragement.

Finally, Westernisation through television and advertisements, is sweeping across India, and this may be the greatest danger, as westernisation has killed the souls of many Asian countries.

The Christians have a Pope, the Muslims the word of the Quran, communists have Das Kapital of Karl Marx. But Hindus are totally disunited. Hindus are busy at the moment making as much money as possible and aping the western way of life, not even bothering to teach their children Hindu values and culture, whereas every Muslim child is told about the Quran.

Hindu groups in the US or the UK, are constantly fighting each other and thus have very little lobbying power, contrary to the Indian Muslims or the Christians, who are able to deny visas to a chief minister whose state runs efficiently and without corruption. It is said that even the Hindu deities and goddesses are jealous of each other.

It is thus of vital importance that Hindu gurus and swamis regroup under one umbrella which could be called the ‘Supreme Hindu Council’. Each group and guru will retain its leadership and autonomy but will meet three times a year and issue a number of adesh, which will be binding to 800 million Hindus in India and a billion worldwide.

There are too many gurus and swamis all over India and the world and it would not be possible to assemble them all in one group. Thus I propose that the 12 gurus in India who have the most disciples, represent all the other swamis and gurus. Amongst them, of course, we should find Satya Sai Baba, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amrita Anandmayi, the Shankaracharya of Kancheepuram, Guruma of Ganeshpuri, Shri Ramdev, Satguru Jaggi, etc.

The leadership of this group will be rotated every year and so can membership for that matter, as there are quite a few other gurus of India who have a huge following.It is not only Hinduism which is at stake, but the ‘Knowledge Infinite’ which came down, through the ages and has survived today only in India in a partial form.

This knowledge only can save the world. Let Hindus understand that not only do they have the numbers, but also that they are one of the most successful, law abiding and powerful communities in the world. Nobody should denigrate their gurus.

Reference: Express Buzz

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In the broad sense, denigration means displaying something in an undesirable form/shape, different from its original form/shape.

Any act or object that obstructs emanation of subtle sattvik vibrations of the Divine Principle can also be considered as denigration. (All creation is made of three kinds of vibrations – tamasik, rajasik and sattvik. Each creation has a combination of these three, with one being predominant. These are the subtlest of all basic qualities. The tamasik qualities are the most inferior and the sattvik are the most superior.)

While discussing this subject, we will differentiate between a human being and a Divine being. We will include humans who have attained Divinity in the category of ‘Divine beings’. Denigration can find expression in a painting, sculpture, text, words, sentences, play, films etc.

Importance of Divine symbols

1. Divine symbols emanate Sattva component (or Divine vibrations).

2. A Divine symbol embodies the Divine being it represents. Hence, it represents Divine qualities and serves as a beacon for the common man to walk the right path in this life.

3. A Divine symbol serves as a source of inspiration to an individual, to live his life in a righteous manner.

4. For a believer in the Divine being, His symbol draws equal reverence. (In contrast, a non-believer finds it impossible to feel anything for the symbol, when he does not believe in the Divine.)

5. Because of such qualities and their nature, Divine symbols occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of the devout. Faith, which follows, is a by-product of this phenomenon.

6. Divinity of the mind is the ultimate stage in evolution of a man. To achieve this, he requires the help of some form/shape. Symbols serve this purpose.

Types of denigration

1. Intentional :

A. Out of malice
Example: 1. Paintings by MF Husain

MF Husain’s painting ‘Rape of India’ on Mumbai Blasts
displayed in ‘London Art Gallery’
Nude ‘Bharatmata’ Painting by MF Hussain

B. To destroy its importance and create doubts about it in the minds of people
Example: 1. Sri Ganesh depicted as Hitler, Laden and Bush

2. Unintentional:

A. Out of ignorance
Example: 1. Deity Shiva depicted as Dog

B . For commercial gains
Example: 1. Sri Durga with whisky bottles in Her hand

C . As lack of pride for its qualities
Example: 1. Srikrushna in a half-pant

Impact of denigration and the need to combat denigration

A. Denigration can shatter faith of individuals and set unwanted examples for future generations.

B. Create a doubt about the credibility of the Divine and / or its symbol. Finally, it can even cause exclusion of religious practices, and facilitate destruction of religion.

One can understand denigration of individuals; it can show an individual in a light, which tarnishes his reputation. Commenting on a Politician’s / public figure’s misdeeds or sketching their cartoons, are two such examples.

At the level of individuals, such caricatures, cartoons, creations or lampooning are the lightest forms of denigration – and subject to differences in personal opinions.

Whereas denigrating the Divine, questions the very relationship humans have with the Divine. It questions the faith of a human in Divinity and Its powers. It erodes values – moral, social and spiritual.

Thus, the urgent need to strongly oppose and stop denigration through any medium, of Deities and Divine symbols.

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28 Feet Ganesh Idol
Huge Ganesh Idol in lord Parshuram Form

A. According to the scriptures, the height of the Ganesh idol should be limited. The idol should have a maximum height of 1.5 metres because an idol larger than that makes it difficult to perform ritualistic worship. The custom of keeping a small idol for ritualistic worship and a huge idol for exhibition is absolutely incorrect. Idols of deities cannot be objects of exhibition.

B. As sufficient clay is not available to make huge idols, sometimes the idols are made from dry leaves and grass with a coating of clay over it. How much divinity will be present in such an idol?

C. When making huge idols, iron rods, bamboos, etc. are required to be inserted within them for support. It is improper to use such objects in the idols. Besides, if these idols surface above the water source after immersion, some people even break them and sell the iron rods and wooden plates found within.

D. It is very cumbersome and expensive to transport huge idols. Traffic congestion during transportation of these idols is a common phenomenon. There is also the risk of touching electric cables when transporting idols which are 51 feet high. At times, people even get injured while loading and downloading the huge idols from trucks.

E. Since transportation of huge idols is very slow, their arrival at the site of immersion is delayed. By then if there is high tide, one cannot go deep into the sea. By rule, the huge Ganesh idols should be taken into the sea for immersion before high tide, where the water is 10 to 15 feet deep. In reality however, the huge idols are immersed in water which is merely 6 to 7 feet deep. During immersion, the idols on trolleys are thrown into the water by fastening a rope around the neck of the idol. Thus the idol cracks and breaks down into several pieces. So also, sometimes the volunteers of the festival committees are so exhausted by singing and dancing in the procession that they are not prepared to immerse the idol in deep water. They partially immerse the idol in water, place it horizontally and leave.

F. The other idols and scenes kept along with the Ganesh idol should not be huge in size. When offering obeisance, one should touch the feet of the deity by which one can derive greater benefit of the energy emitted by the deity. This is not possible in the case of huge idols. It would be worth knowing the experience of a devotee of Lord Ganesh who insisted on having a huge idol. At Colval in Goa, a devotee obstinately made an idol which was the biggest in the entire village. He had to break the door of his house to take the idol inside and till today that door cannot be fitted properly! The government itself should enact a law to check the production of huge idols. If those making huge idols and Ganesh festival committees are fined heavily then it will curb this practice.

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