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Caste and "Shakti without Bhakti.."

Brothers and Sisters in Hindu, Sikh, Jain and all Dharma traditions,

 

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It seems that we UK Dharmi's are approaching a nexus, a moment which will define us and our next generation, and we felt it possibly worthwhile to share a few words to help with our work. We the Executive of the NCHT UK, ask for your patience as you start your day's efforts in support of the anti Caste work, both Pro Legislation & and Anti Legislation lobbys.

Firstly, as we make our case before the Establishment, it might be helpful to remember that as Dharmi's we all know that the Paramatman residing in our hridayam is the same Paratman who looks out at us from the eyes of both lobby groups - in both lobby groups there are members from across all "caste's", they are our Brothers and Sisters too and their suffering is our suffering. 

Secondly, please recall that as Jasdevji's article so clearly states, the CASTE system was created by the British Government of the day, if you havent read his article, it is critical that you do so here, "..'castism' as an attitude was promoted by Britain in the first place since 'caste' as a category is a wholly British colonial construction."  

Thirdly, Indian's and non-indians the world over are celebrating Swami Vivekanand's 150th Anniversary this year, but those who are genuine saadhaks also bow their heads with respect to Rani Rashmoni the Shudra queen who built Dakshineshwar temple, the Queen who supported Paramahansa RamaKrishna without whom there would not have been a Swami Vivekananda; the Shudra Queen without whose support for Swami Vivekanand's beloved Guru, the philosophical mind of Europe and especially the USA would have become completely immersed in Asura Vritti's. Those who are saadhaks also recall that there were social and religious leaders and priests who refused to allow Brahmins to conduct prayers in a Shudra Queens Temple, and that the "mad Brahmin RamaKrshna" broke ranks with the religious dinosaurs of that time. Rani Rashmoniji, RamaKrshnaji, Vivekanandji's names have become immortal, the names of those fossilised discriminators who refused to support these three in their Divine duty have disappeared into the dust of history. Please, please take note, in the India of only 1850, it was possible and quite NORMAL for a SHUDRA QUEEN to rule Bengal, the British colonisers had not yet completed their mischievous social re-engineering.

     On behalf of the NCHT UK, we ask everyone to please recall that all humans are born imperfect, born into an imperfect world and our Dharma declares that all can become "Siddha" - perfected by the strength of their own efforts and saadhana.

     We all of us choose our personal role models and to our brothers and sisters in the Pro Legislation lobby, we ask that you take the example of Rani Rashmoni who was known for challenging the British Raj at every turn whilst being a staunch Dharmarakshak, and who would not be deflected from her adherance to Dharma and the highest moral code. To our brothers and sisters in the Anti-legislation lobby, we ask that we ensure that our attitude remains one of Bhakti combined with Shakti, of humble resolve and determination. Shakti without Bhakti is like a knife without a handle, its also cuts the hand that wields it.

     We are living in a time and in a nation under siege from the Asur Vritti's and there are many Asur's (beings without internal harmony) of all skin colours and castes, who will find our differences a source of great amusement, as they always have. If we navigate our differences with respect for the divinity within all of us, the journey of mutual re-discovery will bear surprising fruit.

     We all grew up with this song ringing in our ears and it has always helped the listener to refocus and to recall where the real work is to be done. If you have a spare moment, please do listen to it, especially the words "Kartey hain jo aaj ladaye, sab ke sab hai yeh apney hi bhai".

Thank you for your patience and good luck with all of our meetings!

DharmaKshetra KuruKshetra...

On behalf of the Trustees and Executive of the NCHT UK

NCHTUK, www.nchtuk.org,

 

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Alleged "Caste Discrimination" Legislation

Dear Hindu Well Wishers,
 
The Trustees and Executive Committee of the NCHTUK having considered the House of Lords vote, and the background evidence available to us, express our position as follows.

Many allegations are being made on all sides regarding alleged caste discrimination, its nature, the degree and severity, the fundamental Christian agenda, etc etc and these allegations are clear indication of insufficient research, of adequate quality, having been conducted.

 

On our WebSite home page, we declare in the words of Adi Shankaracharya, "Na mey jaati bheda - I see no Caste distinction" and that is sufficient to state the Hindu perspective.

The NCHTUK is deeply concerned at the precedent being established where a group of non Indians/non Hindu's can without adequate consultation or courtesy, assume moral authority and appoint non-Indians/non Hindu pseudo scholars, funded from the public purse to which Hindus contribute significantly in this country, to sit in judgement and scrutinise the whole of the Indian community as though we were an ant colony. This group has no issue with then  taking a "statistically embarrasing" sample of 32 anecodotal cases, heavily biased to one particular religious subsect, spanning a period of 15 years, and then has the temerity to extrapolate this to the WHOLE of the Indian community as though it were a huge problem, and then seeks to rush to legislate. We would submit that it is possible to find 32 people who are still convinced that the earth is flat, to find 32 racists who are adamant that white skinned people are genetically superior or indeed 32 people who are convinced that Elvis is still alive and that Obama is an alien.

 

In the words of William Paley, the famous "Christian Apologist" ..

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

We the Hindu community of the UK are again on the receiving end of contempt prior to investigation from this Legislative process. The precedent set by such sloppy research and rushed legislative process is dangerous and for the good of all British citizens, such heavy handedness MUST be resisted. The quality of legislation is only as good as the quality of the legislators and the legislative process. We would remind everyone that NOT one of Hitlers actions were ILLEGAL according to German law at the time, since all actions were preceded by speedily passing desired appropriate laws, without full and honest consultation and due diligence.

 

The definition of the word prejudice is:-

"an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason; any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable; unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group."


We the elected representatives of the Hindu Temple community assert that this legal process is flawed and racially prejudicial. No research has been conducted into the existence of the Jewish Caste system nor indeed the Muslim caste system not to mention the existence of a bloodline based monarchy in the UK and to catapult legislation affecting all such communities on the basis of a sample of 32 INDIAN specific, anecdotal accounts is not what we expect from our legislators.

We the NCHTUK reject the need for such rushed legislation since the very existence of a problem has NOT been adequately researched nor established. If this legislation is enacted we will challenge and resist its application as well as seek legal redress through European Legislation, because the legislative process which has been pursued is itself RACIALLY PREJUDICED.

The NCHTUK will be making our Hindu communities and congregations aware of the, in our opinion, neglectful, ill-considered manner in which members of the House of Lords and the members of the House of Commons who have supported this legislation, have acted. We expect our legislators to fully assess the data prior to voting and there is sufficient data to imply that this desire and expectation have not been respected. 

Every Indian, not just every Hindu, needs to be aware of the manner in which these legislators have worked, collectively and individually, the seeming lack of quality of attention and sensitivity they appear to have applied to this issue, focussed primarily on the Hindu community. This will be most useful information when both local and Government elections are in the pipeline.

The NCHTUK propose that appropriate, reliable, unchallengeable research is conducted, by a reputable and respected SOCIAL, RELIGIOUS and CULTURAL organisation, perhaps the Oxford University Centre for Hindu Studies, that this research is funded by Government in the same manner as the wholly inadequate and unsuitable NIESR was funded and that all legislative process is halted until the very NEED for legislation has been unquestionably established. Until this has been established the NCHT refutes the need for an educational programme, which we feel may well be wholly unnecessary.

The issue is NOT one of discrimination, which we agree is abhorrent in all its flavours and it is our submission that those who are focussing and beating the Caste drum, both pro and anti are possibly focussing on the tail and not the Elephant; the Legislative process which has been wielded against the Hindu community in its entirety, is by far the bigger cause for concern.

In Indian villages, its a common teaching imparted to children by family elders to be wary of the meddling outsider, very keen to "support/inflame" one sibling against another, and in so doing further the outsiders own purpose of disrupting the family for his own advantage. If this issue does exist, it is a FAMILY problem one which the Indian/Hindu Family is perfectly capable of resolving without "nanny state" interference. We the NCHT confirm that in the 35 years of existence, with membership of Temples representing the diverse traditions of Hinduism in all of its colours, we have NEVER encountered an instance of the alleged "systemic" discrimination. We extend a warm hand to our brothers and sisters of all Indian religious traditions to engage with us and if necessary, conduct unimpeachable valid research into this issue and to then proceed on the basis of such findings. Together we are certainly capable of doing this without the intervention of "meddling outsiders", no matter how patronisingly well meaning.

At a time when confidence in the integrity and competence of Members of both Houses is at an all time low, with recent memories of "Honours for Cash", "Expenses fraud" and "Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest", not to mention the spectacle of snoring Peers, it is critical that the legislative process is transparent and reliable. The process we are scrutinising is not so; our scrutiny has revealed the existence of a sham, discredited report masquerading as academic erudition, being relied upon by Peers in what can only be described as a disappointing and shallow process of inspection. The Peer who declared that this issue affects HALF of the Indian population in this country did little to enhance the reputation of the House as being a source of well informed, balanced legislation. This is unacceptable to the Indian Hindu Community, against whose freedom to self regulate and self manage, which has been exemplary for so many years, this offensive assault is specifically targeted.

 

The Trustees and Executive Committee of the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

 

 

Additional resources:-

The NCHT UK is not alone in being concerned in the manner in which this legislation has been thrust upon the Hindu Community and a rejectinon of this issue has been jointly expressed by almost ALL the Hindu organisations. The Joint statement can be found here.

 

Also of interest may be this Huffington Post article by Jasdev Sing Rai, which will no doubt open a few eyes!

..and this article will hopefully bring a smile as well as some very serious observations about conduct... "Caste & Shakti without Bhakti"

If you have feedback on this issue, please do engage with us here and share your thoughts. Thank you

Caste Legislation - Latest News

Caste Battles


 

1st August 2013 - Update:-

 

22/04/2013 Update - House of Lords reveal's its Racist Colours -

Religious Persecution of Hindus under the guise of Dalit protection.

 

 

When there is a dispute between members of the same family, there is no such thing as a victory for one family member over another family member and the harm that has already been done to the fabric of the hitherto relatively peaceful British Hindu family, by this political process is already beginning to be felt. Where only a short few months ago we were observing a gradual softening of communal boundaries at an organic pace, we are now, in such a short space of time, already witnessing a reversal and an accelerated polarisation of the Hindu communities, as even our 3rd generation now become aware of this legislative process and become wholly unnecessarily, caste aware.  
 
The NCHT UK, member of the Alliance of Hindu Organisations UK, welcomed the decision by the Government and the House of Commons to reject an amendment which would have introduced a caste system into the UK, targeted specifically at the Hindu community and we are grateful to the Parliamentarians who had the vision and perception to resist the considerable pressure from the Honourable Peers and recognised the possibility that such hasty legislation may have caused irreparable damage to the social fabric of the UK.  We have only to look at the example of India itself where the impact of enshrining such gradually dissolving concepts into Law has had the effect of preserving and exacerbating Caste awareness and discrimination, thereby sustaining the very discrimination and sense of separation and experience of suffering which the Law was supposed to eradicate. We believe that the assertion, that the mere insertion of the word “caste” into law, was an unchallengeable panacea for the ills of discrimination, is unfounded and we are relieved that the Government prevented this from happening.
 
Our position is simply this. We acknowledge without reservation that amongst socially unskilful families and communities in all religions and nationalities, discrimination does occur, usually on a prejudicial basis of one or more perceived differences. It is found amongst all social groupings in the UK and is not restricted to the immigrant Hindu population, who seem to have become the focus of this legislative process, with repeated mention of our Hindu community at all stages of the process, despite the fact that THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION DID NOT INCLUDE A SINGLE CASE WHERE THE ANTAGONIST WAS HINDU.
 
We positively accept that discrimination exists in pockets and also maintain that the proposed legislation could not fail to promote that very same evil which it was presented as being the solution to, as has so obviously happened in India and as we are observing already as this process gains momentum here in our own British community.
 
The NCHT UK and other member bodies of the AHO, will continue to engage fully with the Government to produce better quality, less biased and more reliable and comprehensive research and more importantly will fully engage with the Government to help develop Educative or Social Cohesion based initiatives to foster closer ties between the varied but spiritually and religiously connected members of the Hindu family. In addition to the above we, the NCHT UK will be shortly announcing our own independent initiatives designed to help accelerate the already dissolving vestigial communal boundaries even further.
 
We hope and pray that those communities who feel marginalised or who have suffered such discrimination will accept our open invitation to work with us, together as a Hindu family, who as John MacDonald so graciously asserted during the debate, have contributed so much to the fabric of our adopted country and have so much more yet to contribute.

Satish K Sharma
General Secretary (Acting)
National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)
Secretary[@}nchtuk.org
www.nchtuk.org

 

BWY Delusions of Governance?

British Wheel of Yoga accused of "Colonial Arrogance and Religious Denigration" as it tries to enforce its dubious status as the "Governing Body of Yoga". (Please click on the image to enlarge)

 

PB-BWY-LETTER-SML

 

To see the above as a downloadable pdf file, please click here (Please note that if traffic is too heavy, the document may not appear in which case please try again after a few minutes). Feedback is always welcome too, and we will keep you informed of progress.
 

 

Yoga


 

 

 

 

BWY Letter

British Wheel of Yoga accused of "Colonial Arrogance and Religious Denigration" as it tries to enforce its dubious status as the "Governing Body of Yoga".


 

 

 

 

 

Yoga


 

 

 

 

Diwali (Deepavali) 2015

Diwali (Deepavali)

diwalirow1

 

Diwali 2015 (Europe only)

Wednesday 11th November 2015

 

Diwali - Introduction


Diwali or Deepavali meaning 'rows of lights' is one of the most popular festivals within the Hindu calendar. The theme of the festival is derived from the epic Ramayana, originally written by the sage Valmiki, but the festival also marks the Hindu New Year's Eve. When His father was reluctantly forced to banish Him, Rama entered the forest- exiled along with His brother Laxman, and wife Sita. There Sita was captured and taken away by the demonic king Ravana to the island of Lanka. Desperate to find His beloved wife, Lord Rama received the help of an army of celestial monkeys and bears. The monkey race included the most mystically endowed member - Shri Hanuman. Hanuman leaped over the ocean to Lanka and met Sita languishing in the grove of trees within Ravana's palace grounds. He returned the news to Rama, and together they built a bridge across the sea.

The battle was long and hard, but eventually Lord Rama personally met with Ravana. "You have stolen my wife just like a dog steals food from the table in his master's absence. Today, I whose attempt never fails, shall punish you!" After thus rebuking Ravana, Lord Rama shot an arrow which pierced his heart like a thunderbolt.

After defeating the demonic king Ravana, Lord Rama, along with brother Laxman, his wife mother Sita, Hanuman and all the monkey warriors triumphantly returned to the city of Ayodhya so that Lord Rama could claim the throne. Whey they returned in a splendid pushpak vimana (a flying chariot of flowers), it was the new moon night: pitch black. All the citizens of Ayodhya, therefore, lit the way for the return of Lord Rama by lighting millions of lamps along the route accompanied with fireworks.

On Diwali people visit their friends and relatives, wear new dresses and exchange gifts. Local temples are also visited to pay respects to Lord Rama. Probably no aspect of the Lord is ore universally known as Lord Ramachandra, 'the moon-like Rama'. In the temple, we see Him with one hand lifted in blessing and the other holding His bow of a warrior king. He came to demonstrate the justice, moral values and heroic activities of a perfect Monarch. His activities are remembered by way of enacting His pastimes and by singing devotional hymns. To finish the day everyone treated to wonderful firework displays in which effigies of Ravana are burnt to mark the victory of goodness over evil.

Coming of Diwali has great significance in the life of people. It is from this day they pray to follow the ideals exemplified by Lord Rama. They pray that the whole world can live in peace and everyone can interact with each other just like members of a big family, just as the scriptural injunction states ‘the whole world is a family’ - all living entities are children of one God, who is known by various names by different people. Prayers are said for the poor, homeless and the underprivileged of the world. In this way Hindus celebrate this important day and they wish that darkness of  ignorance be dispelled in everyone’s life by the ‘festival of lights’ and we can turn our face towards the Lord and realise that we all are eternal servants God.

The day after Diwali is the Hindu New Year. This day also marks the beginning of ‘Rama-rajya': the first day of rule for Lord Rama. Also on this day is Go-Puja, a ceremony which specially honours mother cow and 'annakut' which celebrates the worship of Gorvardhan Hill. These festivities have been practiced for thousands of years.

Summary of the Epic Ramayana


From Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.10) 
By A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Lord Ramachandra appeared in the dynasty of Maharaja Khatvanga. The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu, and his son was Raghu. The son of Raghu was Aja, the son of Aja was Dasharatha, and the son of Dasharatha was Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Lord Ramachandra went with Vishvamitra and killed Rakshashas like Maricha. After breaking the stout and strong bow known as Haradhanu, the Lord married mother Sita and cut down the prestige of Parashurama. To obey the order of His father, He entered the forest, accompanied by Lakshmana and Sita. There He cut off the nose of Shurpanakha and killed the associates of Ravana, headed by Khara and Dushana. Ravana’s kidnapping of Sitadevi was the beginning of this demon’s misfortune. When Maricha assumed the form of a golden deer, Lord Ramachandra went to bring the deer to please Sitdevi, but in the meantime Ravaaa took advantage of the Lord’s absence to kidnap her. When Sitadevi was kidnapped, Lord Ramachandra, accompanied by Lakshmana, searched for her throughout the forest. In the course of this search, They met Jatayu. Then the Lord killed the demon Kabandha and the commander Vali and established a friendly relationship with Sugriva. After organizing the military strength of the monkeys and going with them to the shore of the sea, the Lord awaited the arrival of Samudra, the ocean personified, but when Samudra did not come, the Lord, the master of Samudra, became angry. Then Samudra came to the Lord with great haste and surrendered to Him, wanting to help Him in every way. The Lord then attempted to bridge the ocean, and, with the help of advice from Vibhishana, He attacked Ravana’s capital, Lanka. Previously, Hanuman, the eternal servant of the Lord, had set fire to Lanka, and now, with the help of Lakshmana, the forces of Lord Ramachandra killed all the Rakshasha soldiers. Then Lord Ramachandra personally killed Ravana. Mandodari and other wives lamented for Ravana, and in accordance with Lord Ramachandra’s order, Vibhishana performed the funeral ceremonies for all the dead in the family. Lord Ramachandra then gave Vibhishana the right to rule Lanka and also granted him a long duration of life. The Lord delivered Sitadevi from the Ashoka forest and carried her in a flower airplane to His capital Ayodhya, where He was received by His brother Bharata. When Lord Ramachandra entered Ayodhya, Bharata brought His wooden shoes, Vibhishanaa and Sugriva held a whisk and fan, Hanuman carried an umbrella, Shatrughna carried the Lord’s bow and two quivers, and Sitadevi carried a waterpot containing water from holy places. Angada carried a sword, and Jambavan (Riksharaja) carried a shield. After Lord Ramachandra, accompanied by Lord Lakshmana and mother Sitadevi, met all His relatives, the great sage Vashishtha enthroned Him as King.

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Reasons for the Appearance of Lord Rama

Lord Rama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared hundreds of thousands of years ago at a place called Ayodhya, north India. The reason for His advent are told in the Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all the Vedic scriptures, where Lord Krishna tells Arjuna:


yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham (4.7)

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinashaya cha dushkrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge (4.8)

To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.

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Lord Rama’s Qualities



From Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.10) 
By A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

  • People are very fond of the pattern of Rama-rajya, and even today politicians sometimes form a party called Rama-rajya, but unfortunately they have no obedience to Lord Rama. It is sometimes said that people want the kingdom of God without God. Such an aspiration, however, is never to be fulfilled. Good government can exist when the relationship between the citizens and the government is like that exemplified by Lord Ramachandra and His citizens. Lord Ramachandra ruled His kingdom exactly as a father takes care of his children, and the citizens, being obliged to the good government of Lord Ramachandra, accepted the Lord as their father. Thus the relationship between the citizens and the government should be exactly like that between father and son.
  • When Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it.
  • Lord Ramachandra took a vow to accept only one wife and have no connection with any other women. He was a saintly king, and everything in His character was good, untinged by qualities like anger. He taught good behaviour for everyone, especially for householders, in terms of varanashrama-dharma. Thus He taught the general public by His personal activities.
  • Eka-patni-vrata, accepting only one wife, was the glorious example set by Lord Ramachandra. One should not accept more than one wife. Lord Ramachandra accepted only one wife and manifested sublime character, thus setting an example for householders. A householder should live according to the ideal of Lord Ramachandra, who showed how to be a perfect person. As Lord Ramachandra is the ideal husband (eka-patni-vrata), mother Sita is the ideal wife. Such a combination makes family life very happy.
  • On return to His Kingdom after killing Ravana and rescuing Sita, Lord Rama was joyously welcomed by His people. The whole city was very nicely decorated with rows of lamps being lit everywhere. ‘Being pleased by the full surrender and submission of Lord Bharata, Lord Ramachandra then accepted the throne of the state. He cared for the citizens exactly like a father, and the citizens, being fully engaged in their occupational duties of varna and ashrama, accepted Him as their father.

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The Diwali Celebration



The festival of Diwali is celebrated over five days and falls in October/November each year.


Day One


This day is known as
 Dhan-Trayodashi or Dhan Teras, which falls on the 13th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartik. The word Dhan denotes wealth and the festival has a great importance for the mercantile community. Residences and business premises are renovated and decorated and their entrances are extensively decorated with traditional patterns of Rangoli designs to welcome Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. Small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermillion in the houses to show her long-awaited arrival. Lamps are kept burning throughout the night. New utensils and/or gold are purchased by the household. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped in the evening with great pomp and ceremony and traditional sweets are offered to her.

This day is also known as Yamadeepdan and an offering to Yama, the superintendent of death, is made. There is very nice story to illustrate this: a king’s son was cursed to be bitten by a snake on the fourth day after his marriage. When that day came his wife did not allow him to sleep but rather engaged him in hearing many Puranic stories and sang bhajans. She also placed a lot of gold and silver ornaments in a big pile at the entrance of the resting chamber and lighted many lamps. When Yamaraj arrived in the form of the serpent, he was blinded by the glare generated by the lights and the ornaments, which prevented him entering the resting chambers. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and sat there listening to the wife recounting stories. The next day Yamaraj quietly went away and the power of the curse was over. Thus the young wife saved her husband’s life from the clutches of death. Since then this day is also known as Yamadeepdan. As an offering to Yama lamps are kept burning through out the night in the direction of South.

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Day Two


This day is known as
 Narak Chaturdashi and falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartik. On this day Lord Krishna killed the demonic king Bhaumasura, who was also known as Narakasura, happened to be the son of the earth personified.

‘This demon, Bhaumasura, having become very powerful, took by force the umbrella from the throne of the demigod Varuna. He also took the earrings of Aditi, the mother of the demigods. He conquered a portion of heavenly Mount Meru and occupied the portion known as Mani-parvata, plaground of the demi-gods.

"Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, went to Dvaraka and described the demons transgressions to Lord Krishna. Together with Queen Satyabhama, the Lord mounted His carrier Garuda and travelled to the capital of Narakasura’s kingdom, Pragjyotisha-pura.  On a field outside the city He decapitated the demon Mura with His disc. Then He fought Mura’s seven sons and sent them all to the abode of death, after which Narakasura himself entered the battlefield on the back of an elephant. Naraka threw his shakti lance at Shri Krishna, but the weapon proved ineffective, and the Lord cut the demon’s entire army to pieces. Finally, with His sharp-edged disc Krishna cut off Narakasura’s head.

The earth-goddess, Prthivi, then approached Lord Krishna and gave Him the various items Narakasura had stolen. She offered prayers to the Lord and presented Naraka’s frightened son at Lord Krishna’s lotus feet. After pacifying the demon’s son, Krishna entered Narakasura’s palace, where He found sixteen thousand one hundred young women. As soon as they caught sight of the Lord, they all decided to accept Him as their husband. The Lord sent them to Dvaraka along with a great quantity of treasure and then went with Queen Satyabhama to the abode of Indra. There He returned Aditi’s earrings, and Indra and his wife, Shachi-devi, worshiped Him."
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.59.1 – purport by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami prabhupada)

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Day Three


From 'Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead – Worshipping Govardhana Hill' (Chapter 24 ) By A.C. Bhaktivedanta  Swami Prabhupada

This day falls on the 16th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartik. On this
Govardhan Pujatakes place. This story is related in the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. It tells how Lord Krishna advised His father, Nanda Maharaja, and other cowherd men of Vrindavan not to perform a special ceremony to satisfy Indra, the king of heaven, but to worship the Goverdhan Hill, in order to chastise Indra, who was very much puffed up at being the supreme controller of the heavenly planets.

‘Lord Krishna gave them the following directions. “Prepare very nice foods of all descriptions from the grains and ghee collected for the yajna. Prepare rice, dhal, then halava, pakora, puri and all kinds of milk preparations, such as sweet rice, rabri, sweetballs, sandesha, rasagulla and laddu, and invite the learned brahmanas who can chant the Vedic hymns and offer oblations to the fire. The brahmanas should be given all kinds of grains in charity. Then decorate all the cows and feed them well. After performing this, give money in charity to the brahmanas. As far as the lower animals are concerned, such as the dogs, and the lower grades of people, such as the chandalas, or the fifth class of men, who are considered untouchable, they also may be given sumptuous prashadam. After nice grasses have been given to the cows, the sacrifice known as Govardhana-puja may immediately begin. This sacrifice will very much satisfy Me.”

They performed Govardhana worship and circumambulation of the hill. According to the instruction of Lord Krishna, Nanda Maharaja and the cowherd men called in learned brahmanas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prashadam. The inhabitants of Vrindavana assembled together, decorated their cows and gave them grass. Keeping the cows in front, they began to circumambulate Govardhana Hill. The gopis dressed themselves very luxuriantly and sat in bull-driven carts, chanting the glories of Krishna’s pastimes. Assembled there to act as priests for Govardhana-puja, the brahmanas offered their blessings to the cowherd men and their wives, the gopis.

When everything was complete, Krishna assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vrindavana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Krishna Himself are identical. Then Krishna began to eat all the food offered there. The identity of Krishna and Govardhana Hill is still honoured, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krishna in the temples.

From that day, Govardhana-puja has been going on and is known as Annakuta. In all the temples of Vrindavana or outside of Vrindavana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction.

This day also known as Varshapratipad, which marks the coronation of king Vikramaditiya. The most popular calendar, vikram samvat, has it’s origins this coronation.

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Day Four


This day is known as
 Bhratra-Dwitiya (bhai Beej) and falls on the falls on the 17th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartik. The story related in the Puranas is as follows: Yamaraja, the superintendent of Death, visited his sister, Yamuna Devi. She put the tilak on his forehead, garlanded him and fed him sumptuously with variety of preparations. At the end they exchanged gifts and Yamaraj announced that ‘let every man dine at his sister’s house.’ From that day this day is known as Yama-Dwitiya and it is being observed as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers.

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The Age of Ramayana


The festival of Diwali is usually celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm in Britain. The popularity and acceptance of this famous celebration has steadily grown over the years  among the indigenous British population. From schools, where the festival forms part of the Religious Education syllabus; to the work place, where it is now common to have Diwali dinners; to coverage of the festival by the media; to the Royal Mail issuing press releases about the last day on which Diwali post can be posted; to the Prime Minister and other dignitaries attending Diwali functions; to diaries & calendars having entries about the festival; Diwali is now an established part of British Life.

When it comes to being cognizant about the time when the story of Ramayana actually took place one encounters many different theories. These ideas are nearly always based on an individual’s research, personal opinions and even speculation. Most of these notions postulate that events in the Ramayana occurred somewhere between 200 BC to 7000 BC. Unfortunately none of them give an opportunity for the tradition to speak for it self i.e. what do the Vedic (Hindu) scriptures say about the date of Ramayana?

We will now look at the evidence from the Vedas to calculate the date of the Ramayana.


kaushalyayam dasharathan
nava-durva dala-dyutih
tretayam avirabhavach
chaturvimse chatur-yuge 
bharatena sumitraya
nandanabhyam ca samyutah 
(Laghu Bhagavatamrta Text 78)

‘Splendid as a new blade of durva grass, and accompanied by Sumitra's two sons and by Bharata, He appeared in the Treta-yuga of the 24th chatur-yuga as the son of Kaushalya and Dasharatha.’


tretayuge chaturvishe ravanastapasah kshayaata 
raamam daasharathim praapya saganah kshayamiyavaan
(Vayu Purana 70.48)

‘Due to his lowly behaviour Ravana was killed along with his friends and relatives 
by Lord Rama, the son of Dasharatha, in the 24th chatur yuga.’


Present time
Kali Yuga in the 28th millennium of the 7th Manu in one particular day of Lord Brahma.

One Chatur-yuga
Satya yuga (1,728,000 years) + Treta yuga (1,296,000 years) + Dwapara yuga (864,000 years) + Kali yuga (432,000 years) = 4,320,000 years

1 Kalpa= 1000 Chatur Yugas

1 Day of Lord Brahma= 1 Kalpa (NB 1 night of Brahma also = 1 kalpa)

Life of Brahma  = 100 years i.e. 7300 Kalpas =311 trillion and 40 billion years

Catur-yugas passed
24th part (roughly half) of Treta & full Kali, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th till part of Kali-yuga

Years passed (appx.)
432,000 + 432,000 + 4,320,000 + 4,320,000 + 4,320,000 + (4,320,000 – 427,000 left)


=17,717,000 years + or - 432,000

(+ or - 432,000 years is required because we don't exactly know in which period of Treta Yuga, He appeared).

So according to the tradition Lord Rama appeared over 17 million years ago at Ayodhya, North India, to perform His pastimes as recorded by the sage Valmiki, the original writer of the Ramayana.

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Other important historical events coinciding with Diwali


Other important historical events coinciding with Diwali

1.
Goddess Lakshmi's Birthday:The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on
the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the
ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.

2.Lord Vishnu Rescued Lakshmi:On this very day (Diwali day), Lord Vishnu in his
fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King
Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Larkshmi on Diwali.

3. The Return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic `Mahabharata', it was `Kartik Amavashya' when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.

4. Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coronated on the Diwali day.

 

 

Click here to see a quick clip of Diwali and how its celebrated

 

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