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NCHTUK - Shubh Diwali!

Shubh Diwali from the NCHTUK!

 

On the 20th October 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron warmly welcomed British Hindu community leaders and sevaks to his residence at 10 Downing Street, with the blessing "Shubh Diwali" followed by deeply spiritual Sanskrit words of the ancient Hindu Rishis, Kama (sensory passions), Artha (material prosperity), Dharma (Harmonious Purpose) and Mohksha (diminution of attachments).

mdhus1At the annual Downing Street Diwali celebration, he spoke of the valuable contribution of the British Hindu community to British life, in terms of the above four purusharthas (human purposes) and he spoke of the vital contribution that the Hindu philosophy of reverence for Light, encapsulated in the Diwali celebrations, had for all people of all faiths and he wished the British Hindu community prosperity and happiness.

The Prime Minister touched upon the four purusharthas and in doing so, yet again demonstrated his courage and willingness to step out from the boundaries dictated by dogmatic adherence to religious traditions. In invoking the words of the enlightened Hindu Seers, he demonstrated by personal example, an enlightened willingness to explore, to recognise and embrace the ideas and observations of a “foreign” tradition, one which has its roots in a distant antediluvian past, in a land and culture distant from the land of his birth, by many thousands of miles. “Enlightened willingness” to challenge ones own fears, limits and beliefs is at the very heart of the Diwali message and the Prime Ministers courageous example will have a lasting effect on those who have understood its significance.

The enlightening rituals of Diwali, like all of the Hindu celebration, function on many levels. Some are obvious, like those relating to personal and cultural relationships for example, whilst others are more esoteric and adhyatmic (personally spiritual) and there is one aspect which often gets occluded by the smoke of fireworks and the deluge of feasting and celebration and which Prime Minister Cameron demonstrated and that is the aspect of Dharma (Harmonious purpose) and that is what we at the NCHT UK would like to thank him for and to celebrate and applaud this year.

Darkness takes many forms and the darkness of avidya (unharmonious knowledge) is a particularly dangerous darkness, one which is again inflicting untold suffering in many parts of the world. This darkness clouds the radiance of an innocent mind, poisoning it with fear and hatred and false beliefs about other human beings, and as history so clearly shows – leads to atrocities on a scale which makes one shudder in horror.mdhus3

This darkness, which arises out of a refusal to genuinely and with integrity, explore the life and ideas of the “other”, a refusal to consider the simple humanity of the “other”, a refusal to courageously celebrate and take delight in the differences of the “other”, plunges humanity repeatedly into the depths of hatred and unlimited pain.

Lesser leaders and especially religious leaders, too often lack the courage to take these steps, preferring not to risk the discovery of shared humanity, preferring not to risk the discovery of love and warmth to be found in friendship of “others”, preferring not to risk losing dearly treasured beliefs even if they are avidya (unharmonious knowledge) and the cause of their own suffering and the suffering of others.

Prime Minister Cameron in publicly embracing the common purposes of humanity, so eloquently articulated by ancient Hindu sages, has demonstrated this most essential principle of Diwali, the principle of enlightened courage to face ones own “dark unknowingness”, to explore the ideas of the “other” , to challenge and overcome Raavana, the demon of inner fear, and to then emerge a fuller member of the global human family. In a nation steeped in the history of colonial baggage, with some ossified religious relics of a medieval past yet to be “refreshed”, Prime Minister Cameron is to be warmly applauded for his courage, leadership and perception.

We, the Executive Committee members of the National Council of Hindu Temples, on behalf of the Hindu Temples of the United Kingdom, and on behalf of the British Hindu congregations of our Temples, thank him for his hospitality and Diwali celebrations and wish him and his family, a year full of prosperity, happiness and success and we look forward to the Light of Diwali blessing all of his endeavours with success.

 

Satish K Sharma,

General Secretary

National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

www.nchtuk.org

 

"Dharma Rising" Conference Videos & Photos

The full set of videos of the talks and speeches are being prepared but already there are a flurry of pictures and videos on FB.  For our dear friends who missed the events heres Dr Swamy's Keynote speech and also Kapil Dudakias "The Political Hindu" presentation, just to whet your appetite!.

 

   
 

Whilst you are waiting for the official releases, here are some photographs and some feedback from delegates. Thank you for supporting the Conference and we look forward to next years "Dharma Rakshak" Awards event being better and bigger!

 

Harrow Glimpses

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Wednesbury Glimpses

"A day full of "intellectual feasting - we want MORE!" - Harrow Delegate on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Dharma Rising" Caste Legislation Revisted

 

 

**UPDATE - 2ND SEPTEMBER 2016**

PM Theresa May Announces Caste Legislation review

click above for details

"Dharma Rising"

 

The Caste Amendment revisited ....

caste bnnr01

 

 

The British Board of Hindu Scholars presents the results of a 2 year research project into the concept of Caste - the work the EHRC have never done but should have, the work that NIESR neglected to do, the work that the British Government have still not done. Some of the questions we have asked :

  • Why did Labour blindly discard its loyal British Hindu votebank in pushing unfair, "hate based", ill-defined, mediocre quality legislation, and has their position changed?
  • In the light of the Governments' new policy position on Hate Crimes - how does this legislative process measure up?
  • Why hasn't the Government repealed this malicious discriminatory legislation, as promised? Are there still Judicial or Political impediments to overcome?
  • Who has really benefitted from tarnishing the faultless "British Hindu reputation" and what motives could they have?
  • What has been the ACTUAL impact of imposing Caste identities elsewhere, has it helped those superciliously and demeaningly labled as somehow "lower"  - the research is presented.

Join the most influential Hindu scholars and leaders, from India, the US and the UK, to explore answers, and to map our own journey BACK to a "Caste" free future. A future where such divisive, malicious legislation, initiated by institutions themselves riddled with racism, sexism and allegations of institutional bullying and abuse, is instantly recognised as corrosive mischievous adventurism, designed specifically to destroy community cohesion, harmony and long standing friendships.    

To set the scene, what do Dalits who haven't been groomed by evangelical missionaries have to say .... Sandeep Dedage is Director, Hindu Education Foundation USA and has been actively working on curriculum reforms in California textbooks says -

 

"Hinduism and Indian Civilization belongs to Dalits and “lower castes” as much as it belongs to any other community. In fact, it belongs to us even more. If you erase Indian civilization and Hinduism, you erase us too. Dont use Caste to erase my civilisation"

 

click here to read his Huffington Post article.

 

In the meantime, for all of those innocent Hindus

who have been feeling guilty

about the well publicised "Hindu Caste System" for the last 60 years or more,

here's something to mull over.... 

 

 caste middleton 02

 

 

 

The event is by registration and invitation only so please do register by facebook or by email to

hatecrime @ nchtuk.org asap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NCHT(UK) Caste Legislation Report Launch

 The long awaited NCHT(UK) report revealing how an atmosphere of hatred of Hindus was created in the UK, how the ideology of Caste was nurtured as an anti-Hindu "hate brand" by the Anglican church, how the Dalits were created by the British Criminal Tribes Act of Parliament of 1871 .... and above all, how the lie that to "be an indian was to belong to a caste" was repeated until it became an assumed truth .... and more...

Thanks to Dr Swamy for his unfailing support

 

 

The Background to the Caste Report and the Fostering of HinduOdium - Hatred of Hindus

 

 

This report has been entirely researched and produced by volunteers of the NCHT(UK). This project has been supported by small private donations from well-wishers from all religious traditions who are committed to seeing the scourge of caste consciousness erased from the global mind.

We are printing copies of this publication in English, Hindi, Gujarati and Punjabi for FREE distribution to Parliamentarians, Legislators, Temples, Schools and InterFaith bodies and would be grateful for your support in raising the funds necessary to do this. Please note that your donations to the NCHT(UK) are 100% used on project costs - all members of the team are volunteers dedicated to the protection, preservation and proliferation of Dharmic Knowledge.

We need your help with printing, posting and seminar costs

Please support the project by sending a small (or large!) secure donation

Click the donate button above, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for bank details.

PLEASE HELP US TO REVERSE A 250 YEAR OLD

GLOBAL HATE CRIME AGAINST HINDUS,

A CRIME WHICH IS STILL CREATING VICTIMS TODAY

Thank you for supporting us.

 

(click here for full Gallery)

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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**Kashmir - Parliamentary Debate**

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 NCHT UK Supporting the Kashmiri Hindus

 

House of Commons


Attending the debate was Satish K Sharma, the General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples.  He commented, “Even though MP David Wards’ motivation in calling for the debate may have been unsound and biased, the Hindu community of the UK is indebted to him for helping to bring the issue of the genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus at the hands of Pakistani Muslim terrorists, on to the national and international stage.   Bob Blackman MP and Paul Uppal MP and other members of the Government benches presented compelling, well researched arguments and the Hindu community of the UK should appreciate their contribution”.   Mr Sharma went on to say “I was  pleased that even Labour MP’s Bob Gardiner and Virendra Sharma were clear in stating that the State sponsored Pakistani Muslim campaign of terror could no longer be ignored and that British citizens of Pakistani Muslim origin should not be using this subject to ferment hatred and divisions here in the UK”

 

MP's giving a resounding vote of support for Kashmiri Pandits,

the Indian Government and the Indian Army.

 

Bob Blackman MP spelling out the realities of Ethnic Cleansing by Pakistani Muslim terrorists..

Barry Gardiner MP Lecturing David Ward MP

Virendra Sharma MP - Deeply disappointed with the bias in the debate

Paul Uppal MP, "Have more faith in the Indian Government"

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All Pro India Supporters of the Kashmiri Hindu Position in a single clip

 

 

... and finally, David Ward MP - before and after.

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And if you really want to know the true source of the problems in Kashmir..

no-one spells it out better than Dr Christine Fair..

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 KP Hindus

Some of the Kashmiri Hindus campaign team and wellwishers, after the Historical debate

Developing the Hindu Christian Relationship

 

 

Posted as registered letter to Pope Francis on 10th  December 2013 from Puducherry, India

 

Respected Holy Father,

Great hope for a positive change in the Catholic Church is pinned on the Pontificate of your Holiness and recent statements indicate that this hope may not be misplaced. The future, your Holiness said in November 2013, is in the respectful coexistence of diversity and in the fundamental right to religious freedom in all its dimensions, and not in muting the different voices of religion.

Pope-Francis

This statement makes eminent sense and would need to be implemented by all who presently do not subscribe to a respectful coexistence of diversity in regard to religions. However, I sense (wrongly maybe) that it is a plea for other religions to respect Christianity, rather than a commitment by the Church to respect other religions. To be precise, since Christians are occasionally persecuted in Islamic countries, it seems to be an appeal to ‘live and let live’ between the two biggest religions on earth.

 

Your Holiness is aware that both, Christianity and Islam, claim to be the only true religion and their God, respectively Allah alone is true. Both religions further hold that all people on earth have to accept this claim and join their particular religion to be saved and reach heaven or paradise. Both give a serious warning to those who don’t join: they will land up eternally in hell. These claims of exclusiveness are made without any evidence whatsoever, apart from the fact that the claims contradict each other, as both cannot be true. They require blind belief, and as blind, unreasonable belief is not natural for human beings, for many centuries it was enforced with state power and indoctrinated right from childhood with the fear of hell as the boogeyman.

May I ask Your Holiness to ponder how the respectful coexistence of diversity and the fundamental right to religious freedom is possible as long as these claims of exclusiveness are in place? Were these claims originally made to gain political power or were they made in the interest of the spiritual welfare of humanity? And may I also ask whether Your Holiness personally believes in these claims?

I trust that privately, Your Holiness does not believe in them, as media reported your statement that good atheists also will be redeemed. In other words, they won’t go automatically to hell. However, the Vatican took pains to clarify that Your Holiness did not mean it. Even my mother, 95 and a staunch Catholic all her life, expressed dismay that a perfectly sensible statement by the Pope was watered down.

Your Holiness may feel compelled for worldly reasons to stick to the claim of exclusiveness as dropping it would entail wrapping up all conversion attempts and in the process lose power, wealth and influence. Further there may be fear that other Christian denominations will not go along and will gain an advantage over the Catholic Church. Still another worry may be that Islam will not drop the claim of exclusiveness and will push aggressively for conversion.

However, the Catholic Church was the first institution to put up this baseless claim, which has brought unspeakable disaster upon humankind. From this claim the Church derived not only the ‘right’, but the ‘duty’ to storm across the globe and impose forcefully her ‘belief system’ – in Europe, in the Americas and in Africa and now in Asia. It was no doubt an ingenious ploy to claim that God wants everyone to become Christian. . Mark Twain famously said, “Religion was born when the first con-man met the first fool”. I would change it, “Dogmatic religion was born when ….”.

Some centuries later, Islam followed suit, claiming that Allah wants everyone to accept Islam, and we all know the violent conflicts resulting from those unsubstantiated claims. Since the Catholic Church started this disastrous trend, she needs to reverse it. The welfare of humanity as a whole has to be the concern and not the welfare of a religious institution. Hopefully Your Holiness has the courage to make a real, clear change for the better and will not fall for hairsplitting theological arguments, like ‘redemption is possible but not salvation’, etc.

Most Christians especially in Europe don’t believe anymore in unreasonable claims. The sad thing is that together with the dogmas, many reject belief in God altogether. They have not learnt to listen to their conscience and to enquire into truth, as the Church has played the role of the conscience- and truth-keeper for too long. The consequences for our societies are there for everyone to see.

However, many Christians do start pondering and believe in a ‘great power’, but not in the Christian God. For example, when I asked some fifty Christians in Germany whether they believe that Hindus who heard about Jesus Christ, but do not convert, will go to hell, nobody said yes. Even a priest said no. And not a single German I met was in favour of missionary activity in India. Yet Pope John Paul II declared in India the intention of the Church to plant the cross in Asia in the new millennium and considered India as a field for a rich harvest, which goes completely against ‘respectful coexistence’.

I live in India since 33 years and can assert with full confidence that India has no need of Christian missionaries, and yet huge sums of money are being pumped in to lure converts with material benefits and to build churches. I am aware that Your Holiness is responsible only for Catholics and not for the myriad of other Christian denominations that prey on poor Hindus, but if the Catholic Church made a start of truly respecting Hindus, it would have a big impact.Maria Wirth sml

Maybe Your Holiness is under the impression that Hinduism is a depraved religion and Hindus would do well to accept the Christian God instead of their multiple gods. Such an impression would be completely wrong. There is no other religion that is –unjustly – denigrated as badly as Hinduism. Sorry to say that Christian (including Catholic) missionaries are in the forefront of this vilification campaign. Few people in the west know how profound India’s ancient tradition is. A solid philosophical basis for our existence and helpful tenets for a fulfilling, meaningful life had been known in India long before ‘religions’, as we know them today, came into being. The only addition Christianity brought in anew, are unverifiable dogmas that cannot possibly have a bearing on the absolute Truth. Can an event in history impact the absolute Truth? Will Truth make a distinction between people who are baptized and those who are not? “There is no salvation outside the Church” is, and I may be excused for using strong language, ridiculous.

The Indian rishis had discovered ages ago that an all-pervading Presence is at the core of this universe, indescribable, but best described as absolute consciousness. Further, the Hindu law of karma preceded the Christian dictum “as you sow so you reap’. A Council stopped Christians from believing in rebirth which would explain many riddles that trouble them, for example why there is great injustice already at birth? The advantage of having a perfect person as a friend and guide on the spiritual path was known in India, but till some 2000 years ago nobody claimed that ‘only’ Krishna or ‘only’ Ram or ‘only’ Buddha can lead to salvation and that whoever does not believe it, goes to hell. “Truth is One, the wise call it by many names”, the Indian rishis declared and listed different names of gods. That was at a time, when Christianity was nowhere in sight. Surely they would have included ‘God’ as another name and Jesus as an avatar, not expecting to be backstabbed by followers of “God” declaring: “Truth is one and must be called only by one name and is fully revealed only in one book.”

The multiple gods in Hinduism are personified powers that help to access the formless, nameless Presence that is in all of us. Christians in India are told that Hindu gods are devils. At the same time, Christianity tries to revive (possibly inspired by Hinduism) belief in angels, as devotion for the Invisible is easier by focusing on images.

Hinduism is not a belief system. It is a knowledge system. It is a genuine enquiry into what is true about us and the world. Hindus are not required to believe anything that does not make sense and can never be verified. There is complete freedom. Yes, most believe in rebirth, which makes sense. Most believe in an all pervading Brahman (many other names are in use) that is also in humans. Most believe that this divine essence can be experienced in oneself, if the person purifies herself by certain disciplines coupled with devotion. This belief is verifiable. It is not blind. There were many Rishis who realized their oneness with Brahman. In Christianity, too, there were mystics who experienced oneness with the Divine like Meister Eckhart did. Sadly, he was excommunicated by the Church. Why is the Church resisting scientific insight that there is some mystery essence in everything? And why is it difficult to accept that in the long, long history of humanity, there were several, not only one, outstanding personalities who showed the way to the truth?

Holy Father, I request you in all sincerity to be such an outstanding personality who guides his followers on a path of expansion, and does not straight-jacket them into an unbelievable belief system, which among others demands converting Hindus to Christianity. Your Holiness is venerated as the representative of the Highest Power in this universe by over a billion of Catholics. Many of your predecessors were not worthy of this veneration. Utmost truthfulness and integrity are required. Calculations about worldly power must not come in the way. The Catholic Church surely would benefit, not lose out, if it honors Truth and gives up its claim that there is no salvation outside the Church. Truth cannot be cheated; neither can it be contained in a book. Truth is what we basically are. Hindus, whose religion is universal and all-encompassing, respect diverse traditions. They are one of the most cultured, gentle and peace-loving people on earth who live and let live, unless greatly provoked.

Holy Father, if you are serious about respecting other religions, the claim of exclusiveness must be scrapped and Hindus who have given to the world a deep philosophy and a great culture, must be respected. Many of us look forward to hearing truly good news from the Catholic Church under your stewardship. The main issue that plagues the Church is not whether women should be priests or whether divorcees can take Holy Communion .The main issue is the unfounded claim of exclusiveness regarding ‘salvation’. It divides humanity into us who are right and saved, versus them who are wrong and damned. Kindly drop this harmful claim and make your Pontificate truly memorable and beneficial for all humanity.

Yours Sincerely

Maria Wirth

Posted as registered letter to Pope Francis on 10th  December 2013 from Puducherry, India

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