Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hinduism is the BEST

Contributed by : L.Vanitha Malar

You know the Latin Catholic will not enter to Syrian catholic church,

these two will not enter to the Marthoma church,

these three will not enter to penthacost church,

these four will not enter to Salvation army church,

these five will not enter to 7th day Adventist church,

these six will not enter to orthodox church,

these seven will not enter to Jacobite church?

Like this there are 146 castes in Kerala alone for Christianity,

each will never share their churches for Christians!

Wonderful -- One Christ, One Bible, One Jehova? What a unity!

Among Muslims, Shia and Sunni kill each other in all the Muslim countries.

The religious riot in Muslim countries is always between these two.

The Shia will not go to Sunni mosque,

these two will not go to Ahamadiya mosque,

these three will not go to Sufi mosque,

these four will not go to Mujahiddin mosque?

Like this it appears there are 13 castes in among Muslims,

Killing / bombing/conquering/ massacring each other!

The American attack to the Muslim land of Iraq is fully supported by all the Muslim countries surrounding Iraq!

One Allah, One Quran, One Nabi? Great unity!

For Hindus 1280 books, 10,000 commentaries,

more than one lakh sub commentaries for these foundation books,

330 million gods, variety of aacharas,

thousands of Rishies, hundreds of languages?

Still everyone goes to the SAME TEMPLE?

Never Quarreled each other for the last ten thousand years in the name of Religion.

Whether unity is for Hindus or in others?
My choice : - Hinduism - UNIQUE and it stands for PEACE in the world and for all mankind.
by an American Author..........

It sounds TRUE - but what do you think?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ramayan 3392 A.D.


Ramayan 3392 A.D. (formerly called Ramayan Reborn) is a comic book series published by Virgin Comics based upon the Ramayana. It is written by Shamik Dasgupta and the art is by Abhishek Singh, and a brainchild of Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur. It features a re-imagining of the historical classic in a post-apocalyptic future.

The story primarily deals with the last kingdom of humans who are fighting demons (Asuras) to survive. The series' prime protagonist is the human prince Rama who, alongside his brothers, aims to bring down the demon-lord Ravan.

Plot summary

In the third age of mankind, the world, after a nuclear third world war, is divided into two continents, Nark and Aryavarta. In Aryavarta the last kingdom of humans exists inside a city called Armagarh.

The city is ruled by a council, the leader of which is a man by the name of Dashrath. His four sons, Rama, Lakshman, Shatrughan and Bharat are sent by the council to outposts of the kingdom to provide assistance. Rama and Lakshman go to the docile region of Fort Janasthan while Bharat and Shatrughan are dispatched to war-torn Khundgiri.

At Fort Janasthan, Rama and Lakshman are surprised to find a heavy regiment of Asuras attacking the fort. After sustaining heavy losses and injury to Lakshman, Rama barters with the enemy and surrenders so as to allow the Janasthanians safe passage while the Asuras destroy the Fort. This act angers the council who then plead with the gods that then subsequently punish Rama by banishing him into exile.

After Rama is exiled, the kingdom of Armagarh falls into disarray. Dashrath succumbs to his death while Lakshman finds himself having to deal with assassination attempts from rogue elements within the council that are aiming to cause an insurrection within the kingdom. In order to obtain support, he goes to Khundgiri to try and meet his brothers but on the way, he meets an old seer by the name of Vishwamitra who instead takes him to Rama. The seer, one of an exalted group of seven, convinces Rama (after showing him the vision of a devastated future) to follow him on a quest to a mythical city called Mithila.

Upon reaching the forests of Dandakaranya (a place near Janasthan), they are then told by an owl that the horde of Asuras that had destroyed Fort Janasthan had been busy fighting and slaughtering all the beasts of the region in the past few months. The Asuras, however, had also suffered equal losses and only a handful amongst them had survived. Rama and his fellow travelers then sprint towards Mithila in order to prevent further destruction.

At Mithila, they subdue the last remnants of the dispatched Asura force thus saving the princess of the region, a woman by the name of Seeta who is gifted with magical powers of nature. Vishwamitra states that it is to be Rama's role to act as a protector to this woman, a role that he refuses to take up. They are then attacked by three Asura warriors (who are actually three of Ravan's children). In the battle, the three warriors are killed thus earning the humans the ire of Ravan himself who then arrives to destroy Mithila. Rama, Lakshman and Seeta flee through a secret route while the king of the region, Janak, prepares to fight Ravan.

On the other hand a small faction of Armagarhian rebels led by the former prime minister Sumantra, aims to bring down the conspiracy revolving around the House of Suryavamsha (Rama's clan). The sons of Dashrath are being eliminated one by one, systematically. Rama is exiled, Lakshman on the run, and Bharat lost in the battles of Khundgiri. They find out the prime culprit Kalnemi, an Asura who is disguised as a councilor in Armagarh. Bharat is held in captivity deep below in the mines of Khundgiri. Sumantra, with his daughter and Shatrughan, release Bharat from his prison, and they all go to Armagarh to bring down Kalnemi and his cohorts. Kalnemi is killed by Bharat and the valiant prince assumes the role of the first King of Armagarh, dissolving the corrupt council. Bharat vows that he will bring back Rama and coronate him as the true king of Armagarh, until then he will rule over the great country.

The Review

The story has been retold with a fairly futuristic approach and yet a lot of old elements have been retained.

The future in the story is not a very optimistic future. There has been an apocalyptic war and the ecology was destroyed. Earth is surrounded by a radioactive haze and humans only live at Armagarh in the Aryavarta continent where they have managed to penetrate the haze and get some sunlight. In the other parts of Aryavarta live ‘anthropomorphic’ beings like Vanaras, Garudas and others.

To the south lies the continent of Nark, hellish in all senses as the name implies. Ruled by Ravana who is a creature spawned by the apocalypse and who seeks to establish his rule over the Aryavarta kingdom too.

The kingdom of Armagarh (not Ayodhya) which is ruled by Chief Councilor Dasarath who has four sons - Rama and Lakshmana from the deceased queen Kaushalya and Bharat and Shatrughan by Kaikeyi - the story tries to give a reason for Lakshman’s bonding with his blue-skinned elder brother, the reason being tied to blood relations. He is more hot-headed, outspoken and resentful of his step-mother and for his father’s lack of time.

Kaikeyi unlike the Kaikeyi of the traditional epic is no sullen queen in the kop-bhavan sulking. She is empowered as she is a councilor in the kingdom’s governing council. She is also quite a racist, believing the humans should not join forces with other beings.

It would be interesting to explore racism in the Ramayan 3392 AD setting. Would some parallels be drawn to today’s stratified society. That would actually be hopeful to expect from the comics. On the other hand the use of the word Kshatriyas for warriors and use of Aryavarta for the ‘civilized’ continent might actually reinforce caste and cultural stereotypes.

The story opens with the Armagarh council debating how to combat Ravan’s Asura army and it is decided to send the four sons to the outposts of the kingdom. Rama and Lakshman get posted to the comparatively ’safe’ place of Janasthan which is underdeveloped.

No sooner have they reached that they realise that the outpost is under attack by an army of Asuras led by Ravan himself.

The Critics

The graphics are a quite disappointing. For whatever reasons, close-ups of the protagonists do not convey the intensity of the story as much as the graphics of the landscapes do. With the exception of Lakshman, whose distinctive red markings on the face help in conveying his anger with his parents much more eloquently than his expressions.

The final full page graphic shows Ravan who looks more like a beast than his traditional ten-headed humanoid form.

The question that it leaves one with is - would Ravan be shown as unidimensionally as the artwork suggests - in future issues? One hopes not. Ravan’s character is the epic is wonderfully diverse and rich. Ramayan 3392 AD’s success would lie in making both Rama’s and Ravan’s character multidimensional and not caricatures like Ramanand Sagar’s teleserial.

Curiosity makes one looks forward to the rest of the story. Where would Sita come in? And everybody’s favorite monkey god, Hanuman? Does this Rama have divine nature and will it be revealed? And how will the stories be radically different from Ashok Banker’s series of Ramayana?

Ramayan 3392 has met with positive reviews from many sources, particularly for its original take on the epic, and artwork. However, some Hindu organisations feel the Ramayan should strictly follow the original version. They have urged the makers of Hollywood movie "Ramayan 3392 A.D." to stay true to the story and the spirit of the timeless epic.

Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka

The other day after my last post, I searched and studied on the subject. This is what I found out.





Adam's Peak is worshipped by all 4 major religions in Sri Lanka and it is also known in many names, Sri Pada for Buddhist, Muslims/Christians call it Adam's Peak, Sivanoli Patham (சிவனொளி பாதம் ) for the Hindus. Each religion has their own set of stories about the foot print. Another name for the mountain by the Sinhalese is "Samanala Kanda" meaning Butterfly Mountain due to the endless flocks of butterflies that wing their way to the mountain with the start of the season.




Muslims call it the Foot print of Al-Rohun (Soul), some Christians say the "footprint" in the rock atop the rust-red, peak is where Adam first set foot (hence is called Adam's peak) on earth after being exiled from Eden. Other Christians say it is the Footprint of St. Thomas, who brought Christianity to Southern India in the 1st century AD, while to Hindus it is the Footprint of Lord Siva hence call it Sivanadi Patham or Sivanoli Patham, "the mountain path of Siva's light".


The Buddhists alone refer to recorded history and partly legend. Buddhists, who have covered the original "print" with a larger than life concrete copy, say it was made by the Buddha on his third visit to Sri Lanka.


According to a legend, when the Buddha visited Ceylon he planted one foot on the north of the royal city and the other on Sumana-kuta (Adam's Peak) fifteen yojanas, or about hundred miles distant.


According to another legend the Buddha is believed to have left the print of his left foot on Adam's Peak, and then, in one stride, strode across to Siam, (now Thailand) where he left the impression of his right foot. It is called Phra Sat, and its appearance is supposed to be like that of the foot print on Adam's Peak and of similar size.


THE FOOTPRINT


The imprint of the Buddha's foot is about five feet seven inches long and two feet seven inches broad. The hole in the rock in Thailand, which is believed to have the imprint of the Buddha's right foot, is about five feet long and two feet broad. Buddhists attribute this universal size to the fact (such is the belief) that the Buddha was about thirty-five feet tall. The real footprint on Adam's Peak is believed to be set in jewels beneath the visible rock.




THE HISTORY


It is believed that the first person to discover the Sacred Footprint was King Valagambahu (104-76 BC) while he was in exile in the mountain wilderness, better known to our people as "Sri Pada Adaviya" (Domain of Sacred Footprint), to escape the marauding Cholians. He had been led to the summit of the mountain by a deity in the guise of a stag. Thereafter not only ordinary pilgrims but Royalty with their court retinue paid homage to the Foot Print of the Buddha from ancient times.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Floating rocks of Raam Sethu (Adam's Bridge).

I have visited more than 10 countries, I always wanted to visit India. Last year with God's grace I was able to visit Thirupathi and Rameswaram. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera except a camera phone with a weak battery. To make things worst, most of the places I visited didn't allow me to bring in it inside. So I can't post much photos here.

In Rameswaram I was able to visit Sree Raam's foot print temple, Floating rock centre. The floating rocks were taken from Rama's Bridge or Rama Sethu. The bridge more famously known as Adam's Bridge is claimed to be built by Sree Raam, the Hindu God with the help of Vaanaras (Monkey people) during his invasion of Sri Lanka's Ravana to save his wife Seeta.

The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long. Currently the bridge is full with coral therefore unable to float. Situated 600m below sea level. These rocks were taken and studied by Western scientists who claim the bridge was built 125,000 years ago. You may find more information on this bridge in Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%27s_bridge.

I was able to see with my own eyes the greatness of these stones. Please view the video attached.

video



Every time I pushed the rocks into the water, they came back up floating with ease as if it was a ball made of plastic. The rocks were examined by some western scientist and determined it was not a fake but true miracles of God.


RAAM SETHU (ADAM'S BRIDGE) - PHOTO TAKEN BY NASA


The name Adam's Bridge came later during Islamic influence where they claim that Adam used the bridge to reach Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka, where he stood repentant on one foot for 1,000 years, leaving a large hollow mark resembling a footprint. Both the peak and the bridge are named after this legend.

Please note the foot print I mentioned earlier is in Rameswaram in India and not in Sri Lanka. I do not know any Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka. My personal opinion is the Islamic people tried to claim the miraculous existing to their own religion to convince their followers but unfortunately they fell short in explaining the facts about the floating rocks. Furthermore the time of the formation of the bridge did not coincide with their claims of creation of mankind note fully the time of Adam's existence has yet to be determined.


RAAM'S FOOTPRINT TEMPLE IN RAMESHWARAM, TAMIL NADU. - PHOTO TAKEN FROM GOOGLE EARTH

Extra Note:

I like to add that eventhough the western culture had claimed Adam as the first human it does not go far from Hinduism where Manu is said to be the first man to exist in this world. His children are called Manusha (Children of Manu in Sanskrit). This word then taken into English as MAN, woMAN and huMAN being. In Malay the word manusia is a direct importation of word Manushan in Tamil.

According to Vishnu Purana, there would be 14 Manus reign the earth before its complete disolution. Current Manu is said to be the 7th Manu.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vinayagar and his "vehicle"

Have you ever wondered why Vinayagar's vehicle is mouse?

Yes, some of us ridicule the idea. Vinayagar is Lord who removes the obstacles. Vakrathundan is another name meaning Vinayai Theepavan. Elephant's most feared animal is not lion or tiger but mouse, yet in Hinduism mouse is the vehicle of an elephant. It is a metaphor. It means ride the fear, be master of your fear and not otherwise. If you dont control your fear the fear will control you.

Everytime you pray to Lord Vinayagar before proceed with your tasks. We live in the time where we pray everyday but we dont know exactly why we are doing what we are doing, especially when it comes to religion. Hinduism teach us a lot of things in our daily life yet we failed to listen to them.

We question why so many temples built why the temples must have Gold tops, why we need to burn camphor and so on. We forget everything in Hinduism has a scientific reason. Praying with 2 hands together a lone doesnt serve any purpose. Learn why.

For those who doesn't know the hymn of Vinayagar, this is it.
Practice it daily.

Vakrathunda Mahakaaya
Sooryakoti Samaprabha
Avighnam Kuru Me' Deva
Sarva Kaaryesu Sarvadhaa

Meaning:
The Lord with the curved trunk and a mighty body,
who has the luster of a million suns,
I pray to thee Oh Lord,
to remove the obstacles
from all the actions I intend to perform.

MAY GOD BLESS US ALL!

Why Hinduism Has Too Many Gods

Ever wondered why our religion has a lot of "Gods" and yet claims there is only 1 God? Let me try to explain this with my own understanding.

In our culture and religion each God represents 1 function or more of the God. Like Saraswathy for Education, Laxmi for Wealth, Amman for health and so on. The reason behind this is when you approach God with a focused mind, more known as prayers, they will be answered. Therefore Hindus pray different Gods for different purposes. These Gods are situated in different kind of Temples for another reason. Each temples are built with different stone, metal and shapes to "catch" the "PROPER" Cosmic Energy and thats why when we go temples we feel different, clear mind is just 1 one them. That's why we can't put different Moorthis together in 1 temple as the effect will not be optimum.

Usually Malaysian Indians pray at Amman, Murugan, Vinayagar or Shivan Temples. As you already know, they are members of 1 family, Mother, Father and 2 Sons. Apart from this temples there are other temples like Mathurai Veeran, Aiyanar, Kali and so on. These are also known as Guardian Gods.

Normally when Indians conducts prayers like Thaipusam or Vinayagar Chaturthi, there will be chariots travels from the children Gods to the Parent God's Temples and show of respect and blessing just like us humans do get the blessing from our parents. Our Temples are not only representing our religion but also our culture. It reminds us to get blessing of our parents and only then we can success. This is just 1 example I can give you now.

Just like when we have problems (from unwanted people) we approach our King (in those days), but a King will not come personally to solve these troubles but he will summon the guard to look into it. When the problem is solved, we normally thank them (the guards) by giving whatever we can afford but never infront of the King.

Same goes to God, when we have unwanted trouble we approach our God. When we pray for help, the Guardian Gods will be summoned to help us by our main God. We normally thank these Guardian Gods by giving what they like most, or what we think he'll be happy with, like Mathurai Veeran is normally provided with beer and cigar, but these gifts can not be given in Amman temple eventhough Mathurai Veeran moorthis is located in Amman Temple.

When the King resides, the guards are to be present there but they have thier own houses and offices where we need to approach them. Same goes to these Guardian Gods.

FOREWORD




Hi my friends. Before you proceed on reading my views on my Hindu religion, let me tell little information about myself.

The truth is I lost my faith in religion and God when I was 10 years old. Being one of only 3 Hindus in a school full of Malays and being raised far from any other Indian, I had very little knowledge about my religion. I was always mocked by my Muslim friends. My other 2 Indian friends gave in to them. 1 started reading Quran and the other was half lunatic even at that age, he doesn't know what he was doing himself. I had a lot of questions, I asked my elder brothers and sisters and even my parents. None of them was able to explain anything to me up to my satisfaction. I was always hushed to hide thier inability to explain.

Slowly, I started to loose my faith. I started to believe that all rituals are craps, made by humans to make a living from the poor people. According to my mother, I was not able to speak until I was 5. So my grandfather prayed to Lord Murugan and promised that I will pay my respect by taking a small vel on my tongue when I'm ready. Since I started to loose my faith, my mother opted to ask me to do it on my cheek instead. I fasted accordingly and took the vel but I couldn't get into trance as I should be. This made me loose more faith.

After my 13th birthday, I started to question myself if religion is fake, what make the universe and how live force came.

Since I am living in a multi racial country, I had the advantage in learning other religions. I started learning Islam and its way of living in my school but it still couldn't answer a lot of my questions.

During that time a group of church missionary used to come to my house every month to preach us. My mother is a very generous woman, so she never turned them down. They used to preach me and always leave books for me to read on including bible. I always have a lot of questions but none of them was able to explain the descrepancies with thier religion and sceintific facts.

I knew there is God but I just couldn't trust the religions. My search continued. I have read so many books until I lost count. My desire to know more never lessened. Finally with internet I was able to access more books than I ever could. I was able to read books on Hinduism translated into english.

I began to understand more on my own religion like I never did before. I realised that all rituals and practices done by my family have deep meanings but my family was practising them blindly. As my family many more people doing the same.

Recently I explained my views about Hinduism in one of the internet group. Suprissed and overwhelmed with the response I decided to create the blog.

In this blog I will from time to time will try to explain my views and understanding about religion, ritual and cultural practices. I at no time claim to be the fully qualified person in religion practices. All articles written here are merely my understandings on the said topic. I must inform you that some of them might sound offensive to others.

One of my reasons of writing these articles is for me to learn more about Hinduism. I welcome open and honest opinions. Please do critise my articles by giving referral links so I can learn more.

Readers and responders are reminded to keep the language clean as many young minds too will read these comments. I will try not to delete or edit the comments as much as I can but some sensitive issues or words might need censorship.


'Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya':
My respects for Vasudeva, the Supreme Lord.


Dvadasaksara-mantran(SB: C4:8-54)

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