Ashwin Krishna 8 Vik Samvat. Yugabda 5116: September 16, 2014



1.  FESTIVALS: Vijayadashmi also known as Dasara, Dussehra is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated on Ashwin Shukla Dashmi (3rd October this year)  in various forms all over Bharat and neighbouring countries. It has a puranic history when Bhagwan Ram defeated Ravana on this day; Maa durga killed Mahishasura after a nine day battle, Pandavas completed their agyatvas and recovered their weapons kept on shami tree etc.

Vijayadashmi comes after 9 days’ celebrations of Navratri and takes various forms like Aayudha puja, Durga puja, Ravan dahan, Seemollanghan (crossing the border of the area for victory over enemies).  Dussehra celebrations of Kullu – Himachal Pradesh, Mysore and Nepal are famous.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – RSS was founded at Nagpur in 1925 on this day and each year its chief - Sarsanghchalak addresses Vijayadashmi utsav for Nagpur city. --top


2. RSS CHIEF: QUOTA NEEDED TILL THERE’S EQUALITY IN SOCIETY: Conceding inequality in society a reality, the RSS on 7th September supported the provision of reservation, as it said the facility has to remain to bring equality to those suffering from discrimination. It, however, cautioned against politics on the quota issue.
“We support reservation. Till the time there is inequality in the society, reservation is needed.” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said during a book launch event at Delhi.. He went on to add that for 1000 years, those people for the benefit of the country tolerated injustice.
Recalling that the mentor of Jansangh, Deendayal Upadhyay, used to say that if one has to bring everybody as equals, then those who are above the ordinary masses should bow and extend their hands to underprivileged. --top


3. MORAL VICTORY FOR BHARAT IN BRITISH PARLIAMENT'S KASHMIR DEBATE: The British government on 11th September condemned terrorism and violence and rejected mediation in the dispute between Bharat and Pakistan on Kashmir in a parliamentary debate in which pro-Bharat speakers among the MPs overwhelmed Pakistan supporters by almost three to one.
Replying at the end of a three hour debate on the political and humanitarian situation in Kashmir, Tobias Ellwood, a junior minister in the foreign office, said: "Talks (between Bharat and Pakistan) can only take place free from terrorism and violence." This seemed to back the Bharatiya position that export of jihadis by Pakistan into Bharat must stop.
He reiterated there would be "no mediation" by Britain in respect of the differences between Bharat and Pakistan over Kashmir.
Of the 18 speakers who participated, only three clearly stood up for Islamabad's cause - the mover of the debate, David Ward, who represented a Bradford constituency where most of the voters or their families hail from Mirpur in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and two MPs of Pakistani-origin. In contrast, only two of the lawmakers who supported the Bharatiya position were of Bharatiya descent.
Leading the charge for Bharat, Barry Gardiner, a Labour Party MP, stated: "Britain would be outraged if the Bharatiya parliament debated the merits and demerits of the Scottish referendum." Paul Uppal, a Conservative Party MP and Virendra Sharma of Labour party participated in the debate.  Bob Blackman, Conservative, highlighted the issue of "ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits". --top


4. SEVA BHARATI EXTENDS HELPING HAND TO J&K FLOOD VICTIMS: The Sewa Bharati organisation run by RSS swayamsevaks has extended its helping hand in flood-hit Jammu & Kashmir regions. Hundreds of Karyakartas are working day & night to rescue thousands of people trapped, arranging the last rites of the dead, building temporary shelter for the homeless, distributing blankets & warm clothes, arranging langars, milk for children, medical aid etc. RSS and Seva Bharti has appealed for generous donations for alleviating the sufferings and assist the relief work. For more information,contact
Sewa International Bharat is also working with Jammu Kashmir Sahayata Samiti for providing relief to the flood affected. For more info, contact:
5.  RSS HITS ARE GROWING IN NUMBERS; SANGH GAINING POPULARITY: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is growing popular on monthly basis. More youngsters are becoming keen to join RSS. From monthly requests of 1000 to join RSS in year 2012, in the month of August in 2014, the number jumped to 13,000. The information was revealed by Dr. Manmohan Vaidya, All Bharat Publicity in charge of RSS while talking with media at Doraha - Punjab recently.
Vaidya also stated that per year 1 lakh persons are coming to the RSS training camps and apart from this, they are also focusing on professionals now and they have named such units as Information technology (IT) milan.  These are going on in the  10 states with IT hubs .” till now we have 222 such IT milans and over 10,000 professionals are connected with us who attend meetings on weekends or for short duration as they are not able to devote much time because of their busy schedule.”  --top


6.  PRESIDENT VISITS VAISHNO DEVI INAUGURATES TWO NEW FACILITIES: President Pranab Mukherjee on 2nd September concluded his maiden two-day visit to Jammu by paying obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine where he inaugurated two new facilities for pilgrims.
Accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, the president performed 'darshan' at the cave shrine after inaugurating Shridhar Bhawan Elevator and the Panchi Helipad.
The new Panchi helipad has reduced the distance for pilgrims visiting the cave shrine by air. It is located at distance of 2.8 km from the Bhawan. The previous one was at Sanjichat, five KMs from the shrine. The elevator can be used by the aged and infirm devotees to reach the shrine without having to climb the 127 steps up the mountainous trek.
The president was driven to the shrine in a battery car and after performing the 'puja' he interacted with pilgrims who were happy to have the First citizen of the country amongst them.  --top


7.  BHARAT SUCCESSFULLY TEST FIRES N-CAPABLE AGNI-I MISSILE: Bharat on 11thSeptember successfully test-fired it’s indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I missile, which has a strike range of 700 km, from a test range off Odisha coast as part of a user trial by the Army.
Agni-I missile has a specialized navigation system which ensures that it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
The missile, which is already inducted in to Armed Forces has proved its performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1000 kg, has already been inducted into the Bharatiya Army.  --top


8.  FOLLOW VIVEKANADA'S MESSAGE TO AVERT ACTS LIKE 9/11: MODI: If Swami Vivekananda's message of universal brotherhood been followed by the world, history would not have witnessed "dastardly acts" like 9/11 in the US, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11thSeptember. .
"Had we followed Swami ji's message, history would never have witnessed such dastardly acts as we saw on 11th September 2001 in USA. Let us remember the words of Swami Vivekananda and dedicate ourselves to furthering the cause of unity, brotherhood and world peace," Modi said in a tweet.
On this day in 1893, Swami Vivekananda had created history by his soul-stirring address at World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.
"There are two images of 11th September - one of the trail of destruction in 2001 and the other - the message of Swami Vivekananda in 1893. Through his address, Swami Vivekananda drew the entire world's attention to our nation's rich history and strong cultural roots. "Sisters and brothers of America with these words of Swami Vivekananda, India's message of universal brotherhood reverberated across the world," he added. --top


For Ringzhen Tundup Shastri, the floods sweeping Kashmir valley is like yesterday once more.
Shastri, a practising Buddhist like many Ladakhis, was a part of the relief effort in 2010 when a cloudburst caused massive floods and wiped away entire villages in the region.
His 'voluntary organisation', the Ladakh Phande Tsogspa (LPT), was among those which sought to fill in where the government failed, earning goodwill from locals and contributing to the creation of a fertile ground for the first ever LS victory for the BJP from Ladakh.
Shastri, a 'scholar' of comparative religion from Banaras, is the head of RSS in Leh district; and President of the Tsogspa or 'Ladakh Welfare Sangh', which is a front organization of the RSS. Parivar activists see the floods of 2010 as a watershed event in Ladakh for the organization as hostility from locals towards it decreased notably following its extensive relief work carried out in the aftermath of the floods.
"In Ladakh, people do not know us as the Sangh. They all know Phande Tsogpa, because of our relief work after the 2010 flashfloods. Like the Kashmir's floods today, Ladakh also saw devastation and we put in severe effort in helping the flood affected, which created goodwill for us," Shastri said. But this was not always the case.
In the early 80s, when a team of RSS workers sought to put up the first shakha in Ladakh, there was resistance from Buddhists as well as political parties, as the latter was perceived as a 'missionary organisation' working with an agenda to convert people to Hinduism.
Ladakh Pracharak Dhaniram says, "We had to assure people that, unlike some Christian NGOs, we are not here to convert people from Buddhism to Hinduism." According to BJP's Leh president Cheering Dorjee, anti-RSS hostility grew during the NDA's first reign. "Then J&K Pracharak Indresh Kumar pushed for the Sindhu Darshan Yatra, which was taken up by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani by officially inaugurating it on the banks of the river outside Leh town. I think there was some Hindu agenda in that, which they could not fully realise then," Dorjee explained.
He further claimed that the "Hindu Agenda" could not be realised because of anti-RSS campaign by the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Congress and National Conference. But a combination of different tactical measures adopted by the Parivar's outfits helped it overcome the social opposition.
Committed Buddhist cadres like Shastri and Vice President of LPT, Lama Tashi from Zanskar, were uniquely placed to allay fears among Buddhist majority about the RSS.
For, both are practicing Buddhists of the Mahayana school and the local Buddhist religious organizations appear to be favourably disposed towards them.
Pracharak Dhaniram detailed some subtle but symbolically important practices adopted in Sangh-run institutions here. "We told them (the Buddhists) our agenda is nationalist, not religious. At our Shakhas, we started hoisting both the RSS' saffron as well the colourful Buddhist flag. In schools, we recited Sanskrit prayers as well as Buddhist goddess Manjushree's prayers. This assured the local people that we are not here to carry out conversions," he said.
Other RSS full timers point out towards the social welfare activities taken up since 2010. "When local residents witnessed work done by 'Phande Tsogspa' and Seva Bharati, they warmed up to us.
Schools, computer training centres, environment awareness seminars get better response now," said a pracharak from Jammu. Today, there are at least four active Shakhas in Leh town, and more are sought to be made operational.
Konchuk Namgyal of the Ladakh Gompa Association, which controls all monasteries, said, he has heard positive things about LPT's activities.
"They even call me for their annual Sindhu Darshan yatra, as has been their practice for the past few years of calling five Buddhist priests to offer prayers alongside Hindu priests. I attended it once in 2013. While I am aware about the agenda to convert Buddhists to Hinduism, I have not seen anything like that so far. If they do it, we will oppose it," he said. Dr Tondup Tsewang of LBA was a little more circumspect. "I do not know of links between LPT and RSS.
I had heard about Phande Tsogspa while co-ordinating relief works of NGOs in 2010. They were very much involved in the work," he said.(Akshay Deshmane, Economic Times Sep 12, 2014)  --top


10. SEWA USA – HOUSTON CHAPTER is conducting multitude of activities, especially for Bhutanese refugees. Sewing and tailoring classes have been moving along smoothly due to the huge effort of the dedicated volunteers. Sewing classes are intended to help students develop their sewing skills and sell their products for profit. Computer Literacy Classes were launched on 8th July which help refugees develop their computer literacy skills that are important for their self-empowerment. Children’s activities have been a huge hit among the children living in Los Arcos. Activities include arts and crafts, games, sing-alongs, etc.
Sewa partnered with Texas Children's Hospital to provide free immunizations for children living at the Los Arcos apartments. Get Inspired Houston (GIH) interns began holding weekly health camps in the Los Arcos apartment on Thursday, July 10th. In these health camps, GIH interns discuss various health topics with the aim of improving health within the community. These topics include nutrition and hygiene, women’s health, and tobacco. --top


11. MUSLIM WOMAN NOW HEADS SANSKRIT DEPT: For many it may come as a big surprise. The name of the head, department of Sanskrit at Allahabad University, current head happens to be a Muslim woman.
Once regarded as the Oxford of the East, a history of sort was created at Allahabad University when Kishwar Jabin Nasreen took over as the head of the Sanskirt department.
For Nasreen, a language has nothing do with one’s religion. “For me every language is a source of knowledge,” Nasreen, who has been studying Sanskrit from sixth standard, said.
Nasreen throughout her academic career excelled in the language. A recipient of Junior Research Fellowship in the language, she joined the varsity after completing her PhD a little later.
Nasreen’s family always encouraged her. “My parents never looked at a language from the point of view of religion…and truly speaking language must never be clubbed with the religion,” she said.
Her husband is a computer engineer and is currently in the USA. Her son, however, is pursuing a different career. “He wants to be an IAS officer,” she said.
She also never faced any problem from within the Muslim community. “The community members may have found it strange but they never discouraged me or felt uncomfortable with my education,” she remarked.
Nasreen has received several prestigious awards, including Sahitya Shree, Mahadevi Kiran Samman, Prayag Gaurav, Rashtriya Gaurav and Father Kanil Bulke Award for her achievement in the field of Sanskrit.
(Sanjay Pandey, Aug 17, 2014 --top


12. BHARATIYA ECONOMY CONTINUES TO GAIN GROWTH MOMENTUM - OECD: Bharat's economic growth continues to gain momentum while most major economies are seeing stable prospects, according to Paris-based think-tank OECD. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a grouping of 34 countries.
The readings are based on Composite Leading Indicators (CLIs), which indicate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, for the month of July. "In India, growth continues to gain momentum while in China and Russia CLIs point to stabilisation of growth momentum. The CLI for Brazil suggests a tentative upward change in momentum," OECD said in a statement.
Bharat's CLI in July rose to 99 compared to 98.9 in June. The same has been improving since it stood at 98.5 in March. The country's growth touched 5.7 per cent in April-June quarter, the highest in two-and-a-half years. --top


13. PAKISTANI HINDUS IN BHARAT MAY GET VISA REPRIEVE:  Seeking to facilitate Pakistani Hindus wanting to stay back in Bharat for fear of religious persecution back home, the Union home ministry has constituted a taskforce that will monitor and expedite processing of citizenship and long term visa applications for such applicants.
The taskforce, to be headed by joint secretary (foreigners) in the home ministry, will start its work in two weeks.
Home ministry sources said the taskforce will work to grant citizenship to all Pakistani Hindus with complete documents within two months. For those with inadequate documents, long-term visa will be facilitated.
Most Pakistani nationals belonging to the minority community come to Bharat on a tourist visa only to claim refugee status. Seeking to stay back, they usually apply for citizenship or long term visas.
As per data put out by the union home ministry, 3,753 Pakistani nationals were given long-term visas over 2013 and 2014 (up to June 30) and 1,093 granted citizenship between 2011 and the current year. --top


14. AUSTRALIAN PM TONY ABBOTT RETURNS 11TH CENTURY STOLEN IDOLS TO MODI:Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 5th September handed over to his Bharatiya counterpart Narendra Modi two antique statues of Hindu deities which were allegedly stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu before being bought by art galleries in Australia.
During his meeting with Modi, Abbott returned the idols, one of which is a Nataraja — the dancing Shiva — which belonged to the Chola dynasty of 11th-12th century.
The other sculpture is of Ardhanariswara, which represents Shiva in half-female form, and dates back to 10th century.
Both the statues were allegedly stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu and their return was sought by Bharat in March.
Returning the sculptures is a testimony to Australia's good citizenship on such matters and the importance with which Australia views its relationship with Bharat, Abbott's office said. --top


15. NALANDA VARSITY RESURRECTS AFTER 800 YEARS: The centuries old, world-famous Nalanda University marked its revival on 1st September with the beginning of its academic session with 15 students and 11 faculty members.
The academic session temporarily began at the Government-owned Convention Centre while the adjacent hotel was converted into a hostel for research scholars and faculty members as well.
To get admission in the ambitious Nalanda International University over 1,400 students from 40 countries had applied but only 15, three from Bihar and one each from Japan and Bhutan, were selected in two streams: School of Historical Studies and School of Ecology and Environmental Studies.
Later, there will be a total of seven streams and each discipline will have a maximum of 20 students. When asked about the low-key start the Vice-Chancellor of the University Gopa Sabharwal said that they wanted to begin the academic session on a small note so that students and teachers could settle down first. --top


16.  BOOK ON YADAVA RAO JOSHI, RSS PIONEER IN KARNATAKA, RELEASED: Veteran RSS Pracharak Kru Suryanarayan Rao released a special Kannada book ‘Yadava RayaraLekhaniynda’, a compilation of articles by Yadava Rao Joshi, the man who pioneered RSS in Karnataka.
The book was released on the occasion of Birth Centenary Day of Yadava Rao Joshi on September 07, 2014 at RSS Pranth Baitak held at Kapu, Udupi. RSS Pranth Sanghachalak M Venkataramu was present on the dais. The book was published by Vikrama Prakashana, Bangalore.
In 1946, Kru Suryanarayan Rao became Pracharak from Bangalore, was one of the first Pracharak from Karnataka who dedicated his life for a social cause inspired by Yadava Rao Joshi. After the book release, Kru Suryanarayan Rao shared his memories of those days when Yadava Rao Joshi toured across the length and breadth of Karnataka, to strengthen the roots of RSS, Sanghparivar organisations.
A special Video depicting the life and message of Yadava Rao Joshi was screened in the Baitak. Nearly 500 select district level cadres attended the annual Pranth Baitak. --top


17. BHARATIYA SCIENTIST GETS 2014 MIDORI PRIZE FOR BIODIVERSITY: An evolutionary Bharatiya ecologist, Kamal Bawa has won the prestigious $100,000 Midori Prize for biodiversity for his pioneering research, including in climate change in the Himalayas.
The AEON Environmental Foundation, Japan, established the Midori Prize for Biodiversity in 2010, which is given to only three individuals, who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at global, regional or local levels.
Bawa, 75, would be receiving the award in October, 2014 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, at COP-12, when Bharat, current chair of the Conference of Parties (COP-11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will pass the baton to Korea, according to a media release from ATREE.
Bawa, who has taught at the University of Massachusetts for more than 40 years, had also received international recognition as the recipient of the first Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science, a major international prize, in 2012. --top


18. NEEL MUKHERJEE’S BOOK MAKES THE CUT FOR MAN BOOKER PRIZE: Kolkata-born British author Neel Mukherjee’s latest novel The Lives of Others, set in troubled Bengal of the 1960s and centred around a dysfunctional family, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize 2014, in its debut as a global literary award.
Mr. Mukherjee, who studied at Oxford and Cambridge, was also the only Bharatiya origin author to be longlisted earlier this year, the first time the prestigious literary award opened up for anyone writing in English regardless of nationality.
Mr. Mukherjee, now a British citizen, reviews fiction for the Times and the Sunday Telegraph and his first novel, A Life Apart was a joint winner of the Vodafone-Crossword Award in Bharat. --top


19.   BANGALORE BOYS WORLD TOPPERS IN CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL EXAM: Bangalore student Manas Kohli is a world topper in Computer Studies in the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination. It's the world's most popular international qualification for students between 14 and 16 years old.
Another IGCSE student, Manik Raghu Reddy of the Centre for Learning, Bangalore, is the world topper in combined science. Manik and Manas are world toppers among 30 Bharatiya toppers who achieved highest marks in the world in individual subjects in the November 2013 and May 2014 Cambridge International Examination series - Cambridge International IGCSE, Cambridge International AS Level and Cambridge International A level.
Also, 18 students from Bangalore secured the highest marks in Bharat in individual subjects. For their outstanding performance, they'll receive the 'Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award'. Of the world toppers, 15 students got the awards for outstanding performance in Mathematics. The rest excelled in subjects including English, Information Communication and Technology, Biology and Economics. --top


20. REPORT: SPIRITUAL RETREAT: The Spiritual Retreat programme was concluded at Golden Pagoda, Tengapani district Namsai of Arunachal Pradesh on August 24. The programme was organised by Janjati Faith and Culture Protection Forum. While delivering his blessings for the audience Revered Pragya Sara, Delhi expressed, “For universal peace and harmony, tolerance and non violence are the most essential values which we Indians have in heritage and every community of this earth has to inculcate it.”
Chief Guest of the Valedictory function Shri Chawna Mein, Minister Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, Dairy of Arunachal Pradesh stressed on the importance of spiritual education for strengthening vital values of tolerance and non violence. Main speaker of the session RSS Sah Sarkaryavah, Shri Sureshji Soni ventilated his thoughts and said, “Diversity is plan of nature which is widely accepted in all Janjati faith and beliefs. Denying this beautiful diversity is denying the will of God. Janjati communities don’t have any religion; it is a myth which is intentionally propagated by western thinkers. This seminar proved that the myth is absurd”. Others who particiapated were  Shri L Khimun, convenor Shri B B Jamatiya, Shri Jaleswar Brahma, and several prominent personalities from Arunachal , Assam ,Meghalaya Nagaland and Mizoram were the resource persons of the seminar. Total 119 delegates representing 33 tribal communities of North-East participated in the seminar. Programme ended by Donypolo prayer presented by Dadumjona villagers.  --top


21. RSS DELEGATION MEETS UNION HOME MINISTER: An RSS delegation called on Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh on September 2 and demanded strict action against the CPM goons who brutally killed a senior RSS worker at Kannur in Kerala.
In a statement issued after the meeting, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Dr Krishna Gopal said: “The brutal murder of RSS worker K Manoj by CPM goons in Kannur shows the frustration of the CPM. We outrightly condemn this dastardly coward act of violence by CPM. Recently, there has been rise in CPM workers joining RSS activities in large number. This frustration has resulted into such inhuman violent act by CPM. It is highly deplorable that even some national leaders of the CPM have made provocative speeches against RSS and related organizations during their recent tour to Kannur. They have repeatedly referred to ‘Kannur model’ as a successful model to be followed elsewhere.
The Congress government had a tacit understanding with the CPM in these matters. In this context a State based investigation cannot identify or punish those who have sponsored the terror for the last half a century in the killing fields of Kannur. Only an independent central agency will be able to untangle the mass of political patronage, terror financing and murder, which has gripped this area. Hence, we humbly appeal to the Union Home Ministry to take proper action in this matter.”  --top


22. COMMUNITY LAUNCHES ITS FIRST MUSEUM IN AUSTRALIA: Bharatiya  diaspora in Australia has opened its first museum comprising over 1200 rare pieces including pictures, paintings, photographs, coins and stamps at Melbourne on the Independence day.
Partly funded by Bhartiya High Commission in Canberra, the museum is an initiative of Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV).
The entire collection showcased in the museum is a personal collection of an Bharatiya doctor, living in Melbourne, Dinesh Parekh who has been collecting arefacts for the last 50 years.
The museum was launched by Consul General of Melbourne Manika Jain in the presence of the state Minister of planning Matthew Guy, Dandenong Mayor Jim Memeti and several other high profile leaders and Bharatiya community members. --top


23.  NAVY’S LARGEST PATROLLING VESSEL COMMISSIONED: Aimed at enhancing the Navy’s coastal surveillance, its largest offshore patrol vessel INS Sumitra was formally commissioned by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan on 4th September at Chennai.  The vessel is the fourth in its class and built on in-house design of state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd.
The ship, which has a displacement of 2,200 tonnes and can travel a speed of up to 26 knots, is equipped with state-of-the art medium and short range weapons which include 76mm medium range gun, a potent Close-In Weapon System, Electronic Support System Sanket Mk III and Communication Intelligence System ELK 7036. --top


24. MAHANT AVAIDYANATH PASSES AWAY: The ailing `Peethadheesh’ of much revered Gorakshnath Temple in Gorakhpur, Mahant Avaidyanath passed away late on 12th September after a prolonged illness. He was 92.
Mahant Avaidyanath, who had in the past been a Lok Sabha member four times, was an important member of the `Ram Temple’ movement of Ayodhya. He was ailing for quite some time. The heir apparent of the “Peeth”, Yogi Adityanath, was by his side when the Mahanat Avaidyanath breadth his last. --top


25. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: RSS sahsarkaryavaha Ma Dattatreya ji is on a tour to UK and some European countries.Visitors: --top


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Just as the fire is the direct cause for cooking, so without Knowledge no emancipation can be had. Compared with all other forms of discipline Knowledge of the Self is the one direct means for liberation. – Adi Shankaracharya. --top

Anirban Ganguly
A re-imagined and re-awakened new Asian Order is in the making with Prime Minister Modi reaching out to the East and South East countries
It augurs well that over the past few months India has begun to look and act East with renewed vigour and commitment. India's recent reaching out to the members of the Asean, to Myanmar, Vietnam and now to Japan is symbolic of its pledge to re-imagine and re-lay its age-old civilisational links with this crucial region and to infuse them with a new dynamism and vision for the creation of a restructured Asian Order.
Such a determined move towards reaching out to India's natural civilisational allies often bring to mind efforts — past and present — made by scholars who have spent a lifetime re-configuring India's cultural-philosophical contour as a great civilisational state. Be it Central Asia and beyond, be it the archipelago là-haut, India's civilisational reach has always been multi-dimensional and multi-region.
In a study on the “Expansion of Indian Medicine Abroad”, French physician and Indophile Jean Filliozat pointed at such multi-dimensionality, when he wrote of how elements from Indian medicinal systems, especially Ayurveda, reached the Greeks and were incorporated in their medical lexicon.
“We have several direct references”, argued Filliozat, “in the Hippocratic Collection to the borrowing of some Indian drugs and Indian medical formulas in Greece”. In the period of the expansion of Indian civilisation towards Central Asia, China, Indo-China and “Indonesia beyond the seas”, Filliozat wrote, “Indian Ayurvedic medicine has been one of the main matter of export, along with astronomy, religion and arts”.
The other iconic Western scholar of Eastern civilisation, Sylvain Lévi , in his ‘L'Inde et le Monde’ (1928) also referred to India's reach, “l'étude des monuments et des inscriptions a montré dans l'Indochine et dans l'Insulinde des colonies hindoues fidèles aux arts, aux religions, aux oeuvres littéraires de l'Inde” (Study of monuments and inscriptions in Indo-China and Maritime South East Asia reveal the existence of Hindu colonies that remained faithful to the arts, religion and literature of India). Lévi  read in the ancient world an Indian civilisation inspired world order, he saw India's footprints far and wide, “de la Méditerranée à l'Océan Pacifique, les nations proches et lointaines” (from the Mediterranean to the Pacifique ocean, nations far and wide) revealed India's civilisational reach), the countries that had preserved India's civilisational footprints, came round together around India, as it were, and projected converging rays of light, at last lightening up the night that had long silenced or engulfed her civilisational memory, “un faisceau convergent de rayons sur la nuit muette de son passé”.
One such scholar who has untiringly studied India's past in that converging light for nearly half a century is professor Sachchidanand Sahai, perhaps the only scholar of India's civilisational reach in Southeast Asia to have successfully completed his thesis on the ‘Institutions Politiques et l'Organisation Administrative du Cambodge Ancien’ (The Political Institutions and Administrative Organisations of Ancient Cambodia), from the University of Sorbonne and under the guidance of the legendary scholar of the ‘Hinduisation’ of Southeast Asia, George Coedès (1886-1969). In his widely acclaimed and path breaking study, ‘Les Etats hindouisés d'Indochine et d'Indonésie’ (Hinduised States of Indochina and Indonesia) (1948, 1964) Coedès, referring to the civilisations of this region and their religio-cultural-societal expressions, argued that under their “apparent uniqueness, lies the imprint of the Indian genius” which give these countries “a family likeness and produces a clear contrast between these countries and the lands that have been civilised by China”.
Professor Sahai's prolific academic quest, like that of his celebrated guide, has been dedicated to unearthing facets of that "family likeness" through a study of Hindu India's civilisational achievements and expressions. In this he has dedicated a lifetime to travelling and mingling with the people and civilisations of Southeast Asia, making them his partners and co-seekers in this fascinating search of his.
His latest study, ‘Shiva Beyond India’, examines the widespread and influence of the parampara of Shiva worship in the archipelago and beyond. It promises to reveal a fascinating civilisational journey. --top