Pausha Krishna 9, Vik. Samvat 2071. Yugabda 5116: December 16, 2014


1. FESTIVALS: ‘KARTHIKAI DEEPAM’: 2. KAILASH SATYARTHI, MALALA YOUSAFZAI CONFERRED NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
3. UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARES JUNE 21 AS 'INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA' 4.   SAY NO TO DRUGS: PM MODI’S RADIO MESSAGE FOR YOUTH
5.  BHARAT'S TEAM INDUS GOES FOR THE MOON SHOT 6. ISRO LAUNCHES GSAT-16
7.   SERVICE CHIEFS LEAD BY ‘FITNESS’ EXAMPLE 8.   “PROBLEMS FACED BY MANIPUR ARE THE PROBLEMS OF THE NATION”
9. ‘EMERGENCY AN AVOIDABLE MISADVENTURE’ 10.  CGS BARRACUDA, FIRST BHARATIYA WARSHIP TO BE EXPORTED
11. MIGRATION NEW MANTRA FOR BHARATIYA PRIESTS 12. SHRIGURUJI WAS LIKE A RISHI—MOHAN BHAGWAT
13. YOGA WILL BE PART OF SCHOOL CURRICULUM 14.   3 KERALA COMPANIES HAVE MORE GOLD THAN SWEDEN, SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA
15.  STOP DIABETES MELLITUS THROUGH YOGA THERAPY: SEWA INTERNATIONAL AND SVYASA CAMP AT HOUSTON 16. HINDU COUNCIL'S TALENT@60 SHOW IMPRESSES
17. BHARATIYA WINS ICT MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT AWARD 18.   3 BHARATIYAS VIE FOR $1 MN PRIZE FOR OUTSTANDING TEACHERS
19.   BHARATIYA-ORIGIN EX-MINISTER SHRITI VADERA TO CHAIR BRITISH BANK 20. REMNANTS OF SHIVA TEMPLE FOUND DURING EXCAVATION AT MOSQUE IN GUJARAT
21.  KOREAN TEMPLE IN AYODHYA COULD HELP FORGE TIES 22.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN  -  FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Articles:

YEZIDIS AND HINDUS MAKE COMMON CAUSE UNDER ‘PEACOCK ANGEL’

SANSKRIT MESMERIZED WESTERN INTELLECTUALS

1. FESTIVALS: ‘KARTHIKAI DEEPAM’ is a Hindu Tamils and Hindu Telugu festival. The festival falls in the month of Kārttikai as per Tamil calendar. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and pournami. This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear. This year in Madurai, the festival was celebrated with piety and fervor on December 5. A large number of devotees thronged Sri Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram to get a glimpse of the ‘Mahadeepam’ lit atop the hillock on December 5. Devotees also stood in the streets around the temple and chanted hymns as the ‘Mahadheepam’ was lit at 6 p.m. Nearly 120 metres of cloth, five kg of camphor and 350 litres of ghee and oil were used for the wick and to fuel the ‘deepam.’ - goTop

 

2. KAILASH SATYARTHI, MALALA YOUSAFZAI CONFERRED NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Bharatiya child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 at an impressive ceremony held in Oslo, Norway on December 10 for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. This is the first time that a Bharatiya and a Pakistani have jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize. Satyarthi said that he was accepting the award on behalf of the martyrs and activists. "I bow to my late parents, my homeland Bharat, and to mother earth. I remember all the kids who I have freed," said Satyarthi. "The single aim of my life is that every child is: free to be a child, free to grow and develop, free to eat, sleep, see daylight, free to laugh and cry, free to play, free to learn, free to go to school, and above all, free to dream," he said. - goTop

 

3. UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARES JUNE 21 AS 'INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA': This comes less than three months after Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi proposed the idea. Through the resolution, adopted under the agenda of 'Global Health and Foreign Policy,' the UN General  Assembly recognised that Yoga "provides a holistic approach to health and well-being" and that wider the dissemination of information about benefits of practising Yoga, would be beneficial for the health of the world population. The main significance of the UN declaring an International Day is to focus the attention of the international community on the topic and to encourage activities among the member states to commemorate the day. - goTop

 

4.   SAY NO TO DRUGS: PM MODI’S RADIO MESSAGE FOR YOUTH: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on December 14 called drug addiction menace a "national pain" that leads to the dark alleys of destruction and devastation. In his third 'Man Ki Baat' programme on Akashvani, the PM said instead of the youth mired in the problem, drugs should be shunned. "Drug addiction is bad, not the child," he said. Calling drug addiction "a malaise-filled 3D-darkness, destruction, devastation", Modi said a thinking process should begin to rid the country of this problem.
"Have you thought that the money you spend on drugs might be going to terrorists who buy bullets to kill our soldiers? You also love mother Bharat. How can you help terrorists," he told the youth.
Modi also referred to the UN decision declaring June 21 as the "International Yoga Day" and mentioned how the resolution, proposed by Bharat, was co-sponsored by a record 177 nations. - goTop

 

5.  BHARAT'S TEAM INDUS GOES FOR THE MOON SHOT: Narayan, an IIT-Delhi alumnus and a space enthusiast who had done several tech ventures, conceptualized the Moon mission in 2011 when he heard about the Google Lunar XPrize, a global competition to land a robotic space craft on the Moon by December 2015. He spoke to some of his friends, and four agreed to join him - Sameer Joshi, a former Indian Air Force fighter pilot, Julius Amrit, an investment banker, Dilip Chabria, an advertising professional, and Indranil Chakrobarthy, an aerospace engineer.
For Team Indus, a huge boost came in February 2014, when Google Lunar XPrize named the team among the five finalists for what it called milestone prizes-teams that had achieved certain technological landmarks and appeared closest to reaching the final objective. Team Indus was among three named for the landing system and among four named for the imaging system. Only two US teams -Astrobotic and Moon Express -were named in all three categories, including the rover. Since the landing system is regarded the most complicated and carried the highest prize money (of $1 million), Team Indus was seen as No. 3 in the race. Another big boost came three months ago when senior Bharatiya space scientists did a design review and showered the team with praises.
"We had tears in our eyes when we heard the fantastic evaluation," says Narayan. V Adimurthy, the Mars orbiter mission designer for ISRO, has recommended to ISRO that Team Indus be provided launch network and ground services. Team Indus will also need ISRO's launch vehicle when the project is ready, and lots more funding in the months to come.
Narayan says he's confident Team Indus can do it. - goTop

 

6. ISRO LAUNCHES GSAT-16: Bharat's advanced communications satellite GSAT-16 was carried into orbit by an European Ariane 5 rocket, that blasted off from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on December 6. Weighing 3,181.6 kg, GSAT 16, designed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) carries 48 transponders -- automatic receivers and transmitters for communication and broadcast of signals. The GSAT-16 is equipped with Ku and C-band transponders to boost telecommunication transmissions on the Bharatiya subcontinent. The satellite is the 11th among GSAT series and the 24th geo-stationary communication satellite with a lifespan of 12 years. "GSAT-16 will replace the INSAT-3E, which expired in April," ISRO satellite centre director S. Shiva Kumar said. - goTop

 

7.   SERVICE CHIEFS LEAD BY ‘FITNESS’ EXAMPLE: Men in uniform have to look smart and fit. And the three Service chiefs live up to this image leading from the front. Sans pot bellies or extra flab, they can put any younger officer to shame with their fitness levels.
Army chief General Suhag runs five km on weekdays and 10 km on weekends. “I became a running enthusiast during my school days and after joining the National Defence Academy (NDA) it was part of our training.”
For Air Chief Marshal Raha, being a fighter pilot, he has to remain fit and alert in order to fly sophisticated planes. He also prefers the treadmill but for him regular yoga is the reason behind his fitness level and him being in shape.
A visitor to Admiral RK Dhowan’s office could well be bemused to find the Navy chief standing at the back of a specially-made desk and disposing of his official work. And he does so throughout the time he is in his office — “be it seven hours or eight hours”. “I picked up this habit as a navigator during my younger days. I had to stand on the bridge of the warship for hours together as part of duty and the only chair placed there is meant for the captain of the ship,” he says.
Late night parties are a strict no-no for the trio. “We have to be fresh and alert the next morning,” they stress. - goTop

 

8.   “PROBLEMS FACED BY MANIPUR ARE THE PROBLEMS OF THE NATION” said RSS Sarasanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat while inaugurating conference of cadres of the organisation at the Bhaigyachandra Open Air Theatre in Imphal on Dec 7. He said that the people of Manipur are part of the nation and their problems should be shared and solved by the nation. King Leishemba Sanajaoba, who was present in the function, said that the immediate need of Manipur is the reintroduction of the Inner Line Permit system. He also said that for the sake of posterity, the Armed Forces (Special Posers) Act 1958 should be repealed and the territorial integrity of Manipur protected.
A day before on 6th December, RSS opened a telemedicine unit at its Nagamapal Seva Bharati office complex, as a major endeavour of the Sangh Pariwar as part of its healthcare programme in the northeast. RSS Sahsarkaryavah Dr. Krishna Gopal inaugurated the unit in the presence of a number of swayamsevaks.
A team of medical and technical experts from Jharkhand and West Bengal have been engaged in the unit, the first-of-its kind in the northeast set up by the RSS. The new unit would help develop the healthcare system in the state, Krishna Gopal said.
Besides the health sector, the Sangh Pariwar has also taken up different education and career-oriented programmes in the northeast, including 'Psychological Mapping Test', (PMT) for students from Classes VI to X. - goTop

 

9. ‘EMERGENCY AN AVOIDABLE MISADVENTURE’: Revealing minute details of the events leading to the imposition of Emergency in the country, which included the liberation of Bangladesh and the Jayaprakash Narayan movement, Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee, in his book The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years, has said that the then Prime Minister was “unaware of the constitutional provisions” of such a move and it was then West Bengal chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray who guided her into the decision. Mr Mukherjee, who terms the imposition of Emergency an “avoidable event’”, documents his relationship with Indira Gandhi through her good and bad years. “The Congress and Indira Gandhi had to pay a heavy price for this misadventure,” Mr Mukherjee says.
“Indira Gandhi told me subsequently that she was not even aware of the constitutional provisions allowing for the declaration of a state of emergency on grounds of internal disturbance, particularly since a state of emergency had already been proclaimed as a consequence of the Indo-Pak conflict in 1971,” he said. - goTop

 

10.  CGS BARRACUDA, FIRST BHARATIYA WARSHIP TO BE EXPORTED: Bharat will export its first warship later this month, a move that is seen as a big leap for the country’s defence public sector units. CGS Barracuda, a 75 ft by 15 ft off-shore patrol vehicle, will be handed over to Mauritius on December 20 and will be first such export by Bharat. The island nation has bought the ship for about Rs 300 crore. “This is a big leap for domestic defence manufacturers as this is the first time when we are delivering a ship that has been purchased by a foreign country,” sources said. The ship is built by state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited. - goTop

 

11. MIGRATION NEW MANTRA FOR BHARATIYA PRIESTS: With more temples coming up in countries like the US, UK, the country's best and brightest priests are headed abroad. While it is primarily devotion that drives young Brahmin boys to wake up at 4 am every day to study the vedas in their decade-long preparation for priesthood, a few ambitious souls among them are also inspired by the American dream. Over the past 40 years, temples in America have proliferated from one in the 1970s to around 700 today, opening up prospects for hundreds of Hindu priests. The 2,500-year-old Kanchi Mutt in Kancheepuram is one of the several hunting grounds in Bharat for trustees of temples abroad, who make annual recces to schools of Vedic studies and prominent temples looking for promising candidates. America and Australia are the preferred destinations for young priests-in-training, admits Chandrasekhar S Mehta, PRO at Kanchi Mutt.
A decade or two ago, homesickness, extreme weather and an uncertain grasp of English would have driven many holy men back to Hindustan, but as the expat population abroad grew, so did the kinship. - goTop

 

12. SHRIGURUJI WAS LIKE A RISHI—MOHAN BHAGWAT: The ancestral house of the second Sarasanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), late Madhav Rao Sadashiv Rao Golwalkar, popularly known as ShriGuruji was renovated and dedicated to the nation at the hands of Sarasanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat recently at Ramtek, 50 km from Nagpur. Acharya Govindadev Giri Mahraj, RSS Sarkaryavaha Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi and many other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
The new house has been named “Sw. Bhauji-Tai Golwalkar Smruti Bhavan” in memory of Shri Guruji’s parents. Sharing his emotions after inauguration Shri Bhagwat said Sri Guruji’s persona resembled to that of a Vedic rishi. In spite of his sharp intellect and deep knowledge, he was easily accessible to all. He took on many challenges of his times and successfully steered clear the organisation through strife and turbulence. He appealed to the swayamsevaks to dedicate themselves to the service of the nation following the ideal of Shri Guruji. Acharya Govind Dev Giri also praised the mission of Shri Guruji citing good number of examples to substantiate his point of view. - goTop

 

13. YOGA WILL BE PART OF SCHOOL CURRICULUM: A day after the United Nations General Assembly accepted Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi's proposal and declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on December 12 announced yoga would be included as an integral part of the school curriculum in the state.
Since 2007, Madhya Pradesh has been observing Yoga Day in January wherein schoolchildren, government officials, ministers and the CM publicly participate in a state-wide pranayam and surya namaskar exercise. - goTop

 

14.   3 KERALA COMPANIES HAVE MORE GOLD THAN SWEDEN, SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA: Three gold loan companies in Kerala – Muthoot Finance, Manappuram Finance and Muthoot Fincorp – jointly hold nearly 200 tonnes of gold jewellery, which is higher than the gold reserves of Singapore, Sweden or Australia. Muthoot Finance 116 tonnes of gold as security for its loans, Manappuram Finance has 40 tonnes and Muthoot Fincorp, 39 tonnes. The trio's combined holdings are 195 tonnes. To put things in global perspective, Singapore's gold reserves are 127 tonnes, Sweden's 126 tonnes, South Africa's 125 tonnes and Mexico's 123 tonnes. Bharat, according to the World Gold Council, has the 11th largest gold reserves, with 558 tonnes. - goTop

 

15.  STOP DIABETES MELLITUS THROUGH YOGA THERAPY: SEWA INTERNATIONAL AND SVYASA CAMP AT HOUSTON: “This was by far the best program in this center with highest rate of retention”, said William Rees ‘Billy’, Senior Consultant with DAWN (Diabetes Awareness & Wellness Network) facility in the 3rd ward area of downtown Houston. The 20 hour program to manage Diabetes through Yoga therapy was conducted in partnership with City of Houston Health department. This was 4th such camp offered by Sewa International and VYASA in Houston. 15 residents of third ward area participated in this camp which was spread over 3 weekends. Melanie Gilmore, (Health Planning Chief with Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS), Division of Aging, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (ACDIP), expressed great joy and shared her happiness that so many participants could participate and benefit from this program . She and her family prepared delicious vegetarian soup and sandwiches for all participants and encouraged all to continue the practices which they found beneficial. - goTop

 

16. HINDU COUNCIL'S TALENT@60 SHOW IMPRESSES: The Hindu Council of Kenya hosted the inaugural 'Talent at 60 and over' concert on November 29. The idea of Shaina Shah, director, Social and Relief Welfare committee of the Hindu Council of Kenya, organizer of the event was to recognise the unknown and bring out the hidden talent of the people who are in their golden, diamond and platinum ages. The guest of honour was Dr Magan Chandaria. There were 15 entries with a variety of talents. The participants performed singing, dancing, reciting and acting. They also spoke on happiness. The talent show went on for more than three hours. - goTop

 

17. BHARATIYA WINS ICT MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT AWARD:  Jayprakash Panwar a Bharatiya won a mountain development award in Nepal along with Avinash Jha and Sibjan Chaulagain of Nepal, Suleman Mazhar of Pakistan and HELVETAS Swiss Inter-cooperation. The award given by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) reflects the increasing importance of the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in improving the lives and livelihoods of mountain communities. The winners will receive USD 250 along with a certificate of recognition.
ICT Mountain Development Award is given by the Nepal-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)for promoting innovations and good practices for environmental conservation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The award seeks to recognise ICT-enabled innovations, good practices, and applications that help promote mountain development and environmental conservation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. - goTop

 

18.   3 BHARATIYAS VIE FOR $1 MN PRIZE FOR OUTSTANDING TEACHERS: Three teachers from Bharat have made it to the top 50 exceptional teachers shortlisted for a new $1 million Global Teacher Prize. The teachers, two from Gujarat and one from West Bengal, were selected from nearly 5,000 nominations from 127 countries for the Varkey GEMS Foundation Global Teacher Prize, instituted by a UAE-based NRI educationist. The Bharatiya teachers among the global top 50 include Kiran Bir Sethi, who teaches at the Riverside School in Ahmedabad; Hira Prasad, who is from Birla High School Junior Section in Kolkata, and Bijal Damani of S N Kansagra School (The Galaxy Education System) in Rajkot. The winner of the prize, created to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 16, 2015. - goTop

 

19.   BHARATIYA-ORIGIN EX-MINISTER SHRITI VADERA TO CHAIR BRITISH BANK: Bharatiya-origin Shriti Vadera has been appointed as chairman of Santander UK, becoming the first woman to head a major British bank. 52-year-old Vadera, former minister in the UK's finance ministry, will join the board of Santander UK as joint deputy chairman in January before succeeding Terence Burns in March next year. She will also join a very exclusive club of just three FTSE 100 firms, listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation, with women as their chair. Vadera was a Labour minister in the Cabinet Office, Business Department and International Development Department from 2007 to 2009 and served in the House of Lords. - goTop

 

20. REMNANTS OF SHIVA TEMPLE FOUND DURING EXCAVATION AT MOSQUE IN GUJARAT: Remnants of a Shiva temple having two shrines were found during an excavation carried out at Jami Masjid mosque and its adjacent areas in Gujarat about 35 years ago, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on December 10. Replying to a question whether two ancient Shiva temples were traced in Jami Masjid at Sidhpur district in Gujarat between May, 1979 and April, 1980 in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma said that "while exposing parts of mosque and adjacent area after removal of modern buildings, the remnants of a Shiva temple having two shrines were found."
On the details of scientific excavations carried out at the archaeological monuments of Rudramahalaya and Jami Masjid at Sidhpur district of Patan in Gujarat during the same period, he said plinth of the temple was exposed and sculptures, architectural members, decorative mouldings were found after scientific excavations. - goTop

 

21.  KOREAN TEMPLE IN AYODHYA COULD HELP FORGE TIES: A Korean monument in Ayodhya, built to commemorate a fable, could serve as a platform for the two countries to forge closer cultural ties. The legend goes like this: About two thousand years ago, a Bharatiya princess from Ayodhya — known as Queen Huh from the Gaya dynasty — travelled to South Korea and married a Korean king. The stories about the Bharatiya princess are part of one of Korea’s important epics, the Sam Guk Yoo Sa, and are taught in schools. “There is no historical record but in Korea, it is a fact of history,” Kim Ki-Jae, president of the Central Garak Clan Society (CGCS) said.
Kim, who is the former mayor of Busan, the country’s second largest city, said a monument to mark the legend was built in Ayodhya in 2001 with the help of the Bharatiya and Korean embassies, Uttar Pradesh government and generous donations by Koreans. Since then, every year around 100 members from the CGCS visit the site, take part in traditional Korean ceremonies and are felicitated by the local authorities. - goTop

 

22.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas`: Ma Suresh Soni sah sarkaryavaha RSS will return Bharat after finishing his tour to Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Shri Saumitra Gokhale samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned to USA from Bharat, Ravikumar sahsamyojak returned from Thailand. Dr. Ram Vaidya sah samyojak returned to UK.
Visitors: Smt & Shri Madhusudan Sukhwal - France, Ma Ramesh Bhutadaji & family, and  Rakshapal Sood - USA, Anil Shringi - Canada, Gayatri Mishra - Zambia.' - goTop

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I am proud to call myself a Hindu, I am proud that I am one of your unworthy servants. I am proud that I am a countryman of yours, you the descendants of the sages, you the descendants of the most of glorious Rishis the world ever saw. Therefore have faith in yourselves, be proud of your ancestors. – Swami Vivekananda. - goTop
JAI SHREE RAM

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YEZIDIS AND HINDUS MAKE COMMON CAUSE UNDER ‘PEACOCK ANGEL’
Patrick Harrigan
A delegation of top Yezidi spiritual and political leaders visited Washington DC October 24-31 seeking support for their threatened minority and sacred sites in northern Iraq that are currently surrounded by ISIS fighters, who aim to ‘cleanse the Islamic State’ of any trace of the ‘pagan’ ancient religious minority who worship Melek Ta’us, the ‘Peacock Angel’.
In a deeply symbolic act, the Baba Sheikh, spiritual leader of the Yezidis, visited the Washington temple of the pan-Bharatiya war god Skanda-Murugan on October 29 to witness Soora Samhāram, the ritual conclusion of Skanda Sashti, ‘Skanda’s Six-Day War’ against demonic forces threatening the earth. It was the first time ever that the Yezidi spiritual leadership visited a temple of the peacock-mounted war god of Bharat, whom Yezidis identify with Melek Ta’us, the ‘Peacock Angel’ whom they consider to be God’s regent on earth.
In the Yezidi faith, Melek Ta’us is regarded as the foremost among archangels and an emanation of God Himself. Yezidi religion is centered upon Melek Ta’us, who is depicted as a peacock. Peacocks, however, are not native to the lands where Melek Ta’us is worshipped, but to the Bharatiya subcontinent.
According to their own oral traditions, Yezidis once lived in India thousands of years ago. Yezidis, moreover, still preserve a system of four castes that do not intermarry. And they also believe in karma and rebirth, which are core tenets of Hindu Dharma.
According to the Yezidi calendar, it is currently the year 6,764. Scholars of religion concede that the Yezidi faith has absorbed and preserved many elements from ancient faiths including Sanatana Dharma, Mithraism, and Zoroastrianism, as well as the influence of Sufis or Islamic mystics—all targets of hardline ISIS fundamentalism.
“The Yezidis are a very special religious community because they’re one of the only remaining religions in the Middle East with non-Abrahamic origins,” says Matthew Barber, a scholar at the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
“The Yezidi religion has absorbed elements from many religious traditions in the Near East, but within their religious framework are preserved some very ancient beliefs that no longer survive in any other religion. The reason that ISIS attacks the Yezidi community in this way is because they view them as pagan and polytheistic because they’re outside of the Abrahamic religions that have a written scripture.”
The Baba Sheikh and his entourage evinced a keen interest in the Hindu war god’s associations with the peacock. They were astonished to see tall standing brass oil lamps surmounted by peacocks, identical to the sanjaks or brass peacock lamps that play a central role in one of the most important events of the Yezidi New Year—the ‘Parade of the Sanjaks’ or ‘Parade of the Peacock’.
The war god Skanda Kumara was among North India’s most popular deities during the Classical Age in the first millennium of the Common Era. He remains extremely popular in South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and worldwide among the Tamil Hindu diaspora where he is known as Murugan, the ‘tender youth’ associated with poetry, love, and war.
The Baba Sheikh blessed Hindus who were observing the Skanda Sashti Soora Samhāram at the Washington temple. He remarked to them that this startling confluence of Yezidi and Hindu worship was also happening on a Wednesday, which is the Sabbath day of the Yezidis.
The Baba Sheikh urged listeners to strive for peace worldwide and not to descend into bigotry and intolerance that are the hallmarks of religious fundamentalism. Hindus and Yezidis alike marveled at the uncanny convergence of two ancient faiths on Skanda Sashti, and all prayed that their Lord of the Peacock would answer the fervent prayers of Yezidis in Iraq and worldwide.
The author is an American indologist specializing since 1972 in the Sri Lankan shrine Kataragama, regarded as sacred by the island’s Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and indigenous communities. -- December 8, 2014, WHN - goTop
SANSKRIT MESMERIZED WESTERN INTELLECTUALS
Salial Gewali
Sir William Jones first translated Kalidasa’s Shakuntala from the original Sanskrit into English in 1789. This stirred the minds and hearts of the top European intellectuals that include Johann Goethe, Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller, August Schlegel, Wilhelm von Humboldt, et al.
Very impressed by the language and its philosophical plot the father of the German literature (J. Goethe) learnt the Sanskrit on his own. And, he plunged into this ancient play Shakuntala for the whole thirty years. He even wrote an insightful poem eulogizing this play. Again, George Forster translated this Kalidas’s work into German in 1791. In a span of some decades sprouted 46 translations into fourteen European languages.
On the other hand the translation of the Bhagavad Gita by Charles Wilkins in 1784 and Upanishads by Anquetil Duperron in 1801 opened up unprecedented vistas for the philosophical regeneration hitherto unknown in the European literature. ‘Oneness of the universe’ of the Vedanta seemed very plausible to the philosophical psyche of the western scholars.
Again, one of the fathers of Modern linguistic Franz Bopp and a great philosopher Friedrich Schlegel, both from Germany, laid the revolutionary foundation of the comparative linguistic by freely borrowing from Panini’s “Ashtadhyayi” which was later further developed by the language giants like Ferdinand de Saussure, Leonard Bloomfield and Noam Chomsky. Panini, who was an enlightened sage of 4th BC Bharat, was the first to systematically put down the comprehensive Grammar of Sanskrit language. This treatise consists of about 3959 sutras which can handle the nuances and intricacies of any languages in the universe, empirically and anatomically.
Having been too bewitched by the Sanskrit language a most renowned American linguist Leonard Bloomfield exclaims --- “It was in India, however, that there rose a body of knowledge which was destined to revolutionize European ideas about language. Panini Grammar taught Europeans to analyze speech forms; when one compared the constituent parts, the resemblances, which hitherto had been vaguely recognized, could be set forth with certainty and precision." Yes, here at home we prefer to call Sanskrit as a dead language, and instead, with enthusiasm and hubris chose to learn German.
There are countless western scholars and scientists who have overwhelmingly acknowledged the exceptional richness of Sanskrit language wherein they saw an immense scope in the development of an area of studies. Voltaire, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, TS Eliot, Neils Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, Mark Twain, Car Jung, J. D. Salinger and others learnt Sanskrit or studied Sanskrit literature to strengthen their intellectual prowess.
John Archibald Wheeler –a famous modern physicist who first coined Black Hole and Warm Hole and occupied the chair that had previously been held by Albert Einstein, enthuses – ‘One has the feeling that the thinkers of the East (INDIA) knew it all, and if we could only translate their answers into our language we would have the answers to all our questions.’ With the same vigor bursts out another physicist Erwin Schrodinger, known as the father of Quantum Mechanics --- “Some blood transfusion from INDIA to the West is a must to save Western science from spiritual anemia.”
Here are my few earnest questions -- had all these rational thinkers, scientists, writers whose theories, principles, literature, formulae and equations we study in schools and colleges and thus claim ourselves as academically qualified, gone crazy to heap high praise on Sanskrit and its literary treasure troves? How can we claim to be BHARATIYA when we joyfully belittle and undermine our own heritage? What is it that makes us to see only flaws in our Mother even without ever making a bit of genuine effort to know and realize her uncanny virtues?
I don’t think we have ever seen any country in the world that its citizens speak ill of their heritage, their tradition and values - however archaic, rustic and crude they may be. Why does it touch our raw nerves when someone appreciates the values and culture of the native land? Sanskrit and the myriad scriptures produced in this grand language are as resplendent as the Sun ball over our head. Can you ignore the Sun? I don’t think Fran├žois Voltaire was a big fool to announce with vehemence about 300 years ago ---- ‘Everything has come down to us from the bank of GANGA’; ‘The first Greeks travelled to India to instruct themselves’; ‘India, whom whole Earth need, who needs no one, must by that very fact the most civilized land’. Should it not call for a dispassionate introspection and thus our self-correction and reawakening?
is a Hindu Tamils and Hindu Telugu festival. The festival falls in the month of Kārttikai as per Tamil calendar. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and pournami. This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear. This year in Madurai, the festival was celebrated with piety and fervor on December 5. A large number of devotees thronged Sri Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram to get a glimpse of the ‘Mahadeepam’ lit atop the hillock on December 5. Devotees also stood in the streets around the temple and chanted hymns as the ‘Mahadheepam’ was lit at 6 p.m. Nearly 120 metres of cloth, five kg of camphor and 350 litres of ghee and oil were used for the wick and to fuel the ‘deepam.’ - goTop