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Yoga - Not a part of Hinduism? Dissecting Dharma...

 "Separating Yoga from Hinduism,

is like trying to separate Shiva from Shakti, water from wetness, love from life.

A fools errand promoted by those who know of neither,

but are intent on the destruction of both" Satish K Sharma

  ardhnarishwar

 

For thousands of years Hindus have been practising what the west calls "Yoga" and what the west calls "Hinduism" and have enjoyed the peaceful exuberant journey called Life as a result. Never invading any other nation, placing all life on a pedestal and worthy of worship, never harming a flea as a result of this synergistic philosophy. Millions of Hindu's have enjoyed health, tranquility, wealth and even enlightenment and have sought merely to preserve and share the blessings they received from their ancestors. Never to "patent", to deny or to pollute or taint and always seeking to protect this most humanist of cultures from infection with the disease of commerce, rampant rapacious profiteering, always hoping to share and nurture, support and bless.

Enter stage left the Western urge to colonise and pillage. As Samuel P Huntingdon saidThe West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”  Violence takes many forms and if you can no longer colonise geographical continents, then colonising the Continents of thought will do nicely. If you want to colonise the Continent of Hindu Knowledge the oldest and deepest repository of wisdom and science known to human beings, you need academic foot soldiers to perpetrate academic atrocities. Academic violence uses the same colonial principles and the assault on this continent is under way.

The Western corporate mind, exporter of GM manipulation, subprime finance, and warfare unceasing now has turned its attention to the gentle Yoga practices of the Hindus. The cry has gone out "Yoga IS NOT Hinduism" and "Yoga IS Hinduism" and the campaigns are afoot and gathering steam. When you want to exploit Yoga or attack Hinduism, the battle cry is "Yoga is nothing to do with Hinduism" and when you want to attack Yoga, the cry goes out that "Yoga IS Hinduism". Academics, occidental and sadly some deluded orientals too, are having a field day with the Yoga/Hinduism question and in the runaway train of academic intellectual debate, a few simple questions are being conveniently and quite deliberately overlooked and we are asking those questions. The questions which every racist, white colonist just doesnt want to address is : -

"What in Gods name has it got to do with non Hindus anyway?" 

If it doesnt trouble us Hindus, and it has never troubled Yogis and Hindus alike for millenia, why are non Hindus getting into such a tizz over this question? There they are, having their forums and their conclaves, producing academic research on the "Yoga in the West" phenomenon but ask yourself WHY? It strikes me that the Western corporate mind is only ever interested if there is an opportunity for exploitation, whether it is of oil or knowledge doesnt matter, or perhaps if its dominance is threatened. Do you hear Hindus huddling together and holding conferences Cut ratabout the flaws in reasoning behind the "reason-averse" rhetoric which has been spouted by the Church of Empire in its history and even today? No, and since the reason why Hindu's dont do this seems to be beyond the capacity of predominantly European "academics" to understand, lets spell it out once and for all, ITS BAD MANNERS to nail a neighbour to the wall and dissect away at his or her history, tradition, religious and spiritual practices as though they were not quite human in the same way as our paler white supremacist friends, or even worse as though he or she were dead. And yet they do it without a second thought. The West spawned a whole generation of Indologist's to study the Hindoo's, the same barbaric mind set studied and categorised the people of Africa for exploitation and although it has become less strident, there is a definite sense that this mind set is still there, naming and looking for differences to pounce upon, seeking opportunities to criticise what it usually can't understand in the hope of convincing itself of its own superiority. The Hindu mind set, developed and nurtured for 5,000 years with elevated ideas such as "Athithi devo bhav -  the guest is God" wouldnt dream of being so crude and insulting as to engage in deeply personal poking and prodding, rummaging around in the psyche and sensibilities of a living culture, whilst members of that culture were sitting in the very same room.

Do Hindu's produce academic papers and award each other degrees on the publishing of statistics of the insane mind set, peculiar to the West, which can enslave whole races, rain war upon weaker nations, whose religious ideologies have supported everything from global genocides against indigenous peoples all over the world, upto and beyond the Holocaust ? Naom Chomsky has said that, "if judged against the principles set out at the Nuremberg Trials, every postwar US leader would be found guilty of war crimes" ? Surely here's a field of research worthy of Doctorate's! And then Hindu's too could create forums, invite leading occidental academics and clergymen and then in front of them dissect the very fabric of their personalities, their quaint "culture" and rustic philosophies, their latent aggression and immature self image - exploring and rummaging around in the deepest innards of their darkest demons, just like with the poor rat above. Its the height of bad manners and no self respecting Hindu would dream of being so uncultured.

The UK Charity, the British Wheel of Yoga under the guidance of Chair Paul Fox, seems however to have reconnected with its own deeper hitherto latent sense of "white supremacy". Completely unaware of a phenomenon again best described by Samuel P Huntingdon..“In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civlizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous”  the British Wheel blunders forward making ill researched remarks, blindly stomping around in the spiritual and religious lives of British Hindu's, choosing to remain blithely ignorant of the damage being done to inter-community harmony.

 

yogatheft

 

Since legal and statutory avenues of redress are now being explored, this new colonialiist development is best left at this point for the time being. The greater tragedy is that only harm to all concerned  has already been acheived by the Wheel, the self styled Governing Body, pursuing this agenda of cultural and religious appropriation.

 

For a clear explanation of how Cultural Appropriation works... No one does it quite like Sri Louise..

 

and if you would like to see how Matthew Remski, Paul Fox and others following the notion that the sacred can be freely invaded by those who have no scriptural knowledge of worth .... again Sri Louise is pure shakti! Here is how Hindu ideas which permeate the Yoga scriptures are being stripped out....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 bwy nos 1

Academics would do well to recall the words of Swami Vivekananda...

"In regard to the teacher, we must see that he knows the spirit of the scriptures. The whole world reads Bibles, Vedas, and Korans; but they are all only words, syntax, etymology, philology, the dry bones of religion. The teacher who deals too much in words and allows the mind to be carried away by the force of words loses the spirit. It is the knowledge of the spirit of the scriptures alone that constitutes the true religious teacher. The network of the words of the scriptures is like a huge forest in which the human mind often loses itself and finds no way out."  The leadership of the Wheel has clearly lost its way.

 

Hindu's do not dissect the psyche of others and thats because Hindu's are practising Yogis and if there is one thing that authentic Yoga practice does, it brings refinement to the coarse mind, it brings genuine compassion to the hardened heart and the desire to serve to the grasping thief. It brings sensitivity to the feelings of other humans in particular and living things in general. And perhaps thats why the Western religious powers fear Yoga so much - in Yoga lie the seeds of the Wests long overdue civilisation - the revelation of all lies and the final unavoidable recognition that the fears which lie at the heart of the Western minds aggression, were the only true heathens. Like all fears, the fear of ones own flaws having to be faced and reconciled is the greatest fear of all and it drives them to attack verbally when not physically, anything which requires them to confront their own flaws. It turns out that the heathen natives the world over, have lived more in harmony with the earth and with themselves than any Western nation, and yet they have been deliberately consumed and digested by the unendingly consumptive psychosis which is generously referred to as Western civilisation. Thank God for Divinity, for as our most famous Yogi, the first to courageously minister to the West said, and the corporate structures of spiritual repression promptly ignored, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth".

bwy nos 2

 

 

 

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Shackling Shiva - Controlling Yoga in the UK

For 10 000 years or more (depending on your prejudices) Yoga has been free of the interference of bureaucratic red tape. Well here in the UK there is now an initiative underway to "regulate" Yoga teachers. This decision has earned the would be regulator a backlash from the well established "free" yoga scene who value their freedom to practice, teach and choose their own yogic journey.

 

nos shiva 2

 

NCHT(UK) whose member temples have been teaching and practicing all of the Yoga Darshans for over half a century here in the UK, usually free of charge, were contacted by concerned Yoga schools and practitioners and we have written to the would be regulator as follows:-

 

Open letter to SkillsActive re NOS

 

 

Hello Caroline,

Thank you for your reply from which I understand the following:-

A decision has already been made to apply standards
The Steering Group will influence which standards.

This is of concern to us and contrary to the conclusion arrived at in my initial request for clarification, in which according to the notes of our telephone conversation – you assured me that the decision to apply standards had not yet been taken.

In your subsequent email you wrote :-

“As there are numerous types of qualifications being delivered already in Yoga this has presented the need for National Occupational Standards to ensure standardisation” ….. why must there be standardisation and who made this decision and on the basis of what research and what evidence ? The fact that there is diversity is to be applauded - why does there need to be uniformity? Please justify this foundational assumption.

To the best of my knowledge, you have not felt it necessary or courteous to consult with my religious community before deciding that we needed your regulation and yet you have pressed ahead holding meetings with the BWY? To us this demonstrates a singular lack of sensitivity or a lack of knowledge, both of which are disappointing in this day and age. We have chosen to respond to you in a reciprocal mode of directness.

Allow me to express that Yoga is a fundamental part of the Hindu Religious and spiritual practices. We have family lineages of priests and guru’s who have been practicing and preserving this body of knowledge for millennia and under no circumstances will we permit any of our religious practices to be assessed, defined, judged or assessed in any manner which curtails or even presumes to pass comment upon our traditions, scriptures or religious practices. This is NOT NEGOTIABLE.

If you do presume to rush forward with standards, we will ensure that any person who is harmed physically, psychologically or intellectually by one of your “approved teachers”, by our standards has the full support of our community in pursuing legal redress, and we will be publicising our availability as legal experts in this field. The standards of the BWY with whom I note you have already had meetings do NOT pass muster on many counts and do not adhere to the traditional teachings of Yoga. As long as their activities in this regard, were minimal we were willing to tolerate their pretensions to be a” Governing Body” . The very fact that they have not withdrawn from this title is a display of a lack of integrity and a disregard of the very basic requirements of those who aspire to learn Yoga, never mind teach. I personally have spent significant time picking up the emotional pieces of so called Yoga teachers whose tranquillity and mental well being had been significantly disturbed in the process of “qualifying” with the so called leading organisations. In future we may encourage them to seek legal redress. If this proceeds, we will also turn our attention to the BWY’s own teaching and “output” and begin scrutiny of the suitability, stability and tranquillity of their “teachers”, more so than we have to date.

I would draw your attention to the UN Resolutions on both the rights to Religious Freedom, specifically Article 18, and UN Rights of Indigenous peoples and their cultures, specifically article 8 which states -

Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
“Recognizing, the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies …”

Please be aware that these UN resolutions were passed to protect humanity from the depredations inflicted upon the First Nations, all non white and non Christian, by predominantly European barbarians in their various colonial exploits, especially in their attempts to perpetrate cultural genocide. It therefore is NOT for you to determine what is or isn’t Yoga and what is or isn’t Hinduism nor indeed to attempt to extricate or separate them so that you can regulate them. YogaVidya is a religious, philosophical and spiritual resource of the Hindus and we have safeguarded it through the last 2,000 years of aggression, so that all may have free and open access to it purely on the basis of merit and humility, and that its capacity for liberation and human empowerment do not become the subject of limit by those who hold lesser aspirations for humanity.

Unless you can first establish that Yoga and the religion of my ancestors are separate, you cannot legally proceed. We have already tolerated the foolishness, endorsed by the BWY parading itself as the Sport England Governing Body of Yoga, as if Yoga were a Sport, allowing the BWY to work its course as one does with adolescents in the hope that age will mature and bring understanding if not wisdom but your “expedition” transgresses upon our religious freedoms.

We are very comfortable with the manner in which the understanding of Yoga is developing in this country with an increasing number of persons’ who are becoming aware that unless they have mastery, they honestly cannot teach and in order to attain a degree of stable mastery, freedom of personal exploration is vital.

Please note that this is an experiential science where a person’s demonstrable ability is the determinant of their suitability to teach and in the UK there are no more than a handful of Yogi’s who are able to demonstrate sufficient mastery of their own thought processes and moral and physical purification to be entrusted with the well-being of another human being, we have the ability to judge this and we will begin to do this should the need arise.

I personally would not presume to even speak on say “birthing” if I were seated in a gathering of midwifes, I would feel it dishonest, lacking in professional integrity and above all hugely disrespectful. Unless the persons involved in all aspects of Yoga adhere to the same moral standards which are clearly defined in the basic practices of Yoga, what right do they have to do otherwise? I would very much like to know the basis upon which you, professionally, have been authorised to venture into this “space” and your religious, spiritual and philosophical dimensions. Bumbling good intentions no matter how well meaning, are not adequate qualification in any field, least of all Yogabhyasa.

Since this is an issue affecting many genuine practitioners, this letter is an open letter and is being sent to the BWY, the IYN and other yoga related bodies and individuals. I note that you have advised that only one person per organisation is attending, please confirm that this applies to ALL organisations who have been invited.

Kind regards

Satish K Sharma B.Sc. (Hons) Econ MBCS FRSA
General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)
Chair, British Board of Hindu Scholars
Chair, City of London InterFaith
Director, InterFaith Network UK

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The NCHTUK writes to the British Wheel of Yoga ....

 

bwy nos 3 

The NCHT(UK) whose member temples have been teaching and practicing all of the Yoga Darshans for over half a century here in the UK, usually free of charge, were contacted by concerned Yoga schools and practitioners and we have written to the would be regulators of the British Wheel of Yoga as follows:-

Open letter to the British Wheel of Yoga re NOS

Dear Shelagh,

It was a pleasant surprise to meet you yesterday and being able to also bump in to the “oh so safety concerned” but uneducated and uninformed non-practitioners from the SkillsActive team, at the same time, was a an unexpected boon. I hope that you too found the event of value.

Thank you for being so courageously open to discussion and engagement, it is necessary and the wholly misplaced and unfounded “governing body” attitude and positioning, which is unfortunately becoming associated with the  BWY, has been destructive and counterproductive to date. I will do you the courtesy of being direct and frank in my communication since time is of the essence and if something is to be salvaged from the BWY, wiser counsel must prevail and its current trajectory be quickly corrected.

Despite evidence to the contrary I am going to assume that the BWY is merely guilty of innocent bumbling naivety and not crass monopolistic commercialism and from this perspective present to you what the non BWY world is now seeing in your team. The Wheel has abandoned the Yamas and the Niyamas and is selling Asana for profit. Further it is exploiting Hindu religious and cultural imagery, iconography and vocabulary dishonestly for commercial gain and it is promoting NOS to merely clothe a predatorial desire for market dominance.

We have an understanding that asana should not be taught to those who have not yet accepted and intellectually established, that the Yamas and Niyamas are core and foundational prerequisites, not optional. To ignore any one is folly and this principle is ignored at one’s own peril. Only misguided innocents, fools and the naive could elect and appoint to a position of Yoga representation, a person who has a blatant disregard for the basic “occupational standards”, which have been refined over millennia and which are already enshrined in the Yamas and Niyamas.

For the sake of an example and for clarity, the BWY in deceitfully and duplicitously calling itself the “Governing Body” commits an act of intellectual and emotional violence on other traditions, practitioners and schools - and in your heart you know this to be true. We, and others, have communicated with Paul Fox and Pierre Bibby on this and their squirming responses are worthy of shame.  This “Governing Body” approach and positioning is contrary to the very core of the traditions ie AHIMSA and by creating an US and THEM scenario you create tension and friction – the enemies of Yoga. The word Govern means to control and cannot not be spun into “humble service in the safety of all the vulnerable” no matter how manipulative, self-delusional or conceited the spin doctor.  By seeking to negate others by ignoring their contributions whilst emphasising and highlighting at every juncture your own (seeking to IMPOSE your limited attainments and tragically narrow vision) is HIMSA. You really should take note that in the history of Yoga those who were QUALIFIED BY ABILITY to govern, chose instead to nurture, to serve and to support – perhaps they weren’t as wise, enlightened and elevated as the Olympians of the BWY and SkillsActive?

I can’t help but wonder if somewhere in the ancestry of the present day Trustees of the BWY,  there isn’t a link to the colonialist raider of the Raj, James Canning who, proud in the belief in his own natural superiority, told a gathering of Hindus “You are all a parcel of poor ignorant semi barbarians, you do not even understand your own language and system as well as we enlightened Englishmen who have been at regular Grammar schools..” We are able to recognise neo colonialist theft when we see it.

The “outer worlds” perception of the Wheel has changed in the last two years. You have moved from “innocent bumbling but harmless do-gooders” to ambitious, grubby grasping monopolists and in doing so you have abandoned Aparigraha i.e. non-grasping. Where is the generosity of heart and desire for heart based sharing which Aparigraha fosters ? In its place the Wheel now projects this message “Sure we can teach about Aparigraha but you have to sign up for a paid course and our courses are regulated and better than everyone elses..” Nauseating and morally reprehensible – totally unacceptable.

What about the pinnacle of the Yamas and the Niyamas, Isvarapranidhana "to lay all of ones actions at the feet of Ishvara." ? It is the contemplation on Isvara, the Divinity in one’s own breath, in order to become attuned to the Divinity present in the flow of the Universe. It is the recognition that the spiritual suffuses everything and through our attention and care we can attune ourselves with our role as part of all of Creation. The practice which makes clear that there is the possibility of a presence larger than ourselves that is influencing, guiding and directing the course of our lives leading to real humility and a deep sense of service.  But the Sport England Governing Body, the Wheel “doesn’t need this at all because its religion and Hindu”, and for this stupidity and arrogance alone your organisation is worthy of reform or if this is resisted, deconstruction, before you do more harm.

Your Chair has mistaken our Hindu tolerance for vulnerability and this is a tragic mistake  - a loss for all of the members of the Wheel and for those who are interested in Dharmic practices (yes Yoga is a Dharmic practice). We have never asked anyone to “become a Hindu” or become religious, NEVER, but we will not permit you to re-define us or any our traditional religious practices.

I have written already advising the Wheel, that if you wish to attempt to deconstruct, delineate and separate Hindu and Yoga practices then you must NOT uses Hindu religious texts in your activities. To do so would be dishonest and offensive in the extreme, and this is universally accepted by all of the Yoga practitioners outside of the Wheel and many inside also. Please do not oblige us to act further to protect our traditions and practices from such disrespectful and dishonest distortion, corruption and outright cultural theft.  

If the Wheel had an ounce of integrity it would recognise what the UNESCO has declared only last month“Based on unifying the mind with the body and soul to allow for greater mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing, the values of yoga form a major part of the community’s ethos. Yoga consists of a series of poses, meditation, controlled breathing, word chanting and other techniques designed to help individuals build self-realization, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation.” Which Community are they referring to ? Yes the Shiva and Ganesh worshipping Hindu community.

In the spirit of robust transparent and frank discussion and engagement, I am copying this to the IYN and others who too who feel that you have injured the practice of Yoga in this country.

My mobile number is XXXXX  and I am available to discuss any initiatives which may be beneficial to British Yoga students.

 

Kind regards

Satish K Sharma B.Sc. (Hons) Econ MBCS FRSA
General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

Chair, British Board of Hindu Scholars

Chair, City of London InterFaith

www.nchtuk.org

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Hindu Dharma needs to spread

Hindu Dharma needs to spread

maria wirth1Intellectual integrity and truth are obviously unwanted in our times. These have been displaced by political correctness. Why this happened is a mystery, but mainstream media and other agencies vehemently enforce the politically correct opinion. They drum into us powerfully what we should think even if it goes against common sense.

Let me give an example:

When in 1999, the Pope declared in India that the Church will plant the cross in Asia in the 21st century, media portrayed it as ok. After all, the Church has the duty to spread Christianity all over the world, so the Pope is just doing his duty.

When people like Zakir Naik conduct mass conversion of Hindus to Islam, media ignores it or tells us that it is ok. After all, Islam also needs to spread till all of humanity has become Muslims.

When, however, a Hindu group brings back some of those who had converted out of Hindu Dharma, the media goes hyper: those Hindu groups are communal and divisive forces who want to disturb the plural fabric of our society and establish an intolerant Hindu rashtra. The ranting goes on for days on TV channels.

Why do media get it so wrong? Clearly, the truth is the opposite. Of the three religions, only Hindu or Sanatana Dharma is not divisive and not communal. Only this eternal Dharma considers all as family – Vasudaivam kutumbakam – without any precondition.

In contrast, Christianity and Islam, which are sort of newcomers in the religious field, divide humanity into believers and unbelievers. The believers are right and the unbelievers wrong. The believers are loved by the Supreme and can go to heaven and the unbelievers, even if they lived a virtuous life, are thrown into hell by the Supreme personally. And all those claims are made without any proof.

Are these unsubstantiated claims not intolerant, communal and divisive, apart from not being true?

So in all fairness, the term “divisive forces” must be applied to Christianity and Islam and not to Hindu Dharma. Yet even suggesting this is likely to get the ‘liberal’ elite into fits. They are dead sure that only Hindu Dharma is divisive and needs to be stopped from spreading. But WHY are they so sure?

To explain it, let’s go back to the 18th and 19th century, when the ancient knowledge of the Vedas first reached western universities. The intellectual elite there were deeply impressed and wanted more of it. Prominent personalities like Voltaire, Mark Twain, Schopenhauer, the Schlegel brothers, Paul Deussen and many others spoke in glowing terms about India’s heritage. In the early 20th century scientists like Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Pauli, Oppenheimer, Einstein or Tesla were in their research inspired by Vedanta and acknowledged it.

So what changed? How did Hindu tradition lose the esteem of people worldwide – so much so that now it is considered even by western academics as the worst of all religions?

The reason dawned on me when I recently read that Voltaire, too, had praised the Vedas as the greatest gift for humanity.

Voltaire was in the forefront of fighting the Church. He went to prison for it. Clearly the Church was not amused that western intellectuals praised Indian wisdom as much superior to Christianity. There was real danger that the Church would lose her sheep as it had already lost the power to punish those who dared to disagree with the Church.

The Christian view of the ‘true’ God, who sits in heaven, is jealous of other gods and sends all those who are not baptized into eternal hellfire, was no match for the Indian concept of Brahman which is the one conscious essence in all the different forms, like the one ocean is the essence in all the different waves.

“Brahman is not what the eyes can see but That whereby the eyes can see. Brahman is not what the mind can think but That whereby the mind can think” (Kena Upanishad).

Such profound insights severely challenged the simplistic view of a personal God who cruelly punishes all those who worshipped him under another name or form. The Church must have been genuinely worried that the ‘Christian’ God would be seen as an invention by the Church to keep its members under control and submissive – which in all likelihood comes close to the truth but of course must never be known to the common people.

So it would make sense that the Church – in collaboration with state powers which also had an interest to keep the myth of western superiority intact – developed a strategy to put an end to this praise of India’s great civilization. And the strategy was simple and time-tested:

Teach children all over the world negative aspects about Hinduism (all Indian traditions got an “ism”- ending in the English language which made them look dogmatic) and after some 15 years, the new generation will not even want to know anything about Hinduism. They will be convinced that it is worthless because their teachers said so.

And what were these negative aspects they wanted students to associate with Hinduism? Obviously first and foremost an “oppressive caste system” and next “idol-worship”.

The most unfortunate part was that this strategy was implemented in India, the source of this ancient knowledge, as well. Thomas Macauley correctly analyzed that the Sanskrit culture is India’s backbone. It needed to be broken if the British wanted to subdue the ‘natives’. Macauley’s advice was followed and the Sanskrit education system was replaced with the English one. And even more unfortunate – this English education system continued even after Independence till now.

The strategy worked.

Already in primary school in a small Bavarian town, I knew that India had a terrible caste system and untouchables. We saw pictures of poor, miserable Indians and it left a bad, lasting impression. At that age, I knew nothing about the Holocaust of Jews and gypsies in Germany. It was left to the initiative of our Latin teacher in High School to impress on us what happened in the concentration camps by showing us a documentary.

Neither were we told in school that all societies have a caste or class system and that the Vedic analogy of a society being like a human body was actually ingenious. Caste as such is not bad. Every society needs to be structured. Looking down on lower castes is bad. Yet this is a human weakness all over the world and not advocated by sacred texts.

Since the claim “India has the most terrible caste system” was, and still is, a strategy to put Hinduism and Hindus down, fairness was not to be expected. Otherwise it would become quickly clear that the sins against humanity by the Whites and Arabs were far greater than those by Indians. Slavery, colonialism, the Christianization of the Americas, the Muslim invasions, and even today discrimination against women, racism especially against Jews and Blacks, cruel oppression and terrorism in the name of religion took the lives of many millions of human beings.

Indians come nowhere near their horrific record and have no need to go on the defensive. Yet unfortunately Hindus fall into the trap and become defensive. They enact more laws in favour of backward castes or women, but they of course cannot satisfy those who do not want to be satisfied.

Virulent attacks on Hindus and their tradition continue in Indian and foreign media, often from persons with Hindu names – Macauley’s children. These attacks have the same purpose as the indoctrination of kids with distorted, insincere info on Hinduism: nobody should discover the depth and profundity of the Indian tradition, least of all Hindus.

Fortunately for India and the world, there are still highly knowledgeable Sanskrit pandits, yet the mainstream, especially the youth, tends to look west for inspiration which will make them feel lost and without direction in the long run.

Isn’t it time to set things right, turn around and ask uncomfortable questions for example during the next Interfaith Dialogue? Ask on what basis Christianity and Islam claim that the Supreme Being, the creator of us all, is so cruel and unfair that he throws billions of humans, including all Hindus, for all eternity into hell after one single life, that might have lasted only a few days or may have been lived virtuously and with greatest integrity for 100 years?

If they say that the Highest himself has revealed this truth, tell them that the Vedas also have been revealed by the Highest (as well as other scriptures) and the Vedas claim that the Supreme Being is present in all as blissful awareness and nobody is damned forever. All get chance after chance to realize their divine essence.

So since there are divergent views, there needs to be an intelligent debate about which view is more likely to be true and which can possibly even be proven to be true. However, Christian and Muslim delegates may not be interested in truth as this would endanger the basis on which their whole religious system is built – blind belief in unverifiable dogmas.

Therefore, to bring truthfulness to the discourse is the sole responsibility of the Hindu delegates. That they fulfill their responsibility is in the interest of all humanity, including Christians and Muslims, except maybe of those who earn their livelihood by peddling religion.

Many Christians turned atheists, because they lost faith in ‘God’, but didn’t realize that there is a very different perspective of ‘God’ possible which makes far more sense than atheism – the perspective of the Indian Rishis.

If Hindu Dharma were better known – and it needs to spread for the benefit of humanity – it will become clear that it was portrayed as the worst option for humanity, because nobody should know that it is actually the BEST option.

By Maria

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A Glimpse behind ancient Hindu Practices

A glimpse behind ancient Hindu Practices - Vanamali Mataji, Rishikesh

The universe is run according to certain scientific laws and unless we follow these laws we are bound to end up by being unhappy. This is the problem with human beings today. Our unhappiness is caused by our inability to follow natural laws based on science. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which is based on the scientific laws of Nature that is why there was never a controversy between science and religion as was found in the west. However there is a mis-understanding that Hinduism is hopelessly unscientific and based on a bundle of superstitions. This grossly unfair idea was subtly inserted into the Hindu psyche by the westerners who first came to India because they were completely at sea to understand a religion which seemed to be totally different from their own standard conceptions about God, Nature and man. The rishis of ancient India knew that there was no dichotomy between these three – nature, God and man as was supposed by Semitic religions. The religion known as the Sanatana Dharma which they gave to the country of their origin was totally based on scientific validities. They did not preach or propagate a religion, but a way of life into which was imbedded the truths of Nature which were the truths of science. But they also knew that if they tried to give scientific validity for all their extortions, they would not be understood at all by most people. In ancient times if anything had to have validity it had to have a background of spirituality and moral ethics. Therefore they exhorted their followers to do certain actions which would give them spiritual benefits and did not disclose the true facts to them that these commands were actually based on science. Today however we live in a science oriented world and anything, if it has to be accepted by the masses has to have scientific validity. Thus all the ancient so-called Hindu superstitions, when looked at from a scientific angle have disclosed the fact that all of them without exception are based on certain scientific truths by following which we will get better health and be able to function as better human beings. So today Hinduism is on a better wicket than any other religion since it is the only religion which is based on science. Here we will take a few examples of the commonly used actions and ideas in Hinduism and prove that they are indeed based on science.


Namaste or folding the palms in Greeting
Let us first take the common Hindu practice of greeting each other by folding the hands together and saying “Namaste”. This is of course an action which is normally done when we go to a temple and face the deity. It shows a high degree of respect and acceptance of the fact that we are facing something which is divine. This same action is done when we meet somebody and this implies that we are bowing to that divine which is present in that person however great or lowly, big or small, he or she might be. This is recognition of the divinity present in every human being whatever be his caste or religion. This forges a bond between us and the person on a transcendental level and not just on the physical level.
Secondly, the modern science of reflexology has recognised the fact that the tips of the fingers carry nerves to all parts of the body and hence when we join our palms together every time we meet someone, the fingers touch each other and stimulate these pressure points so that the corresponding parts of the body become more alive.
Another point to be remembered is that the habit of shaking hands is really not such a healthy habit since the person may be carrying some germs which will be passed on to us by the contact.


The dot or line on the forehead.
In ancient days all Hindus, males and females had a dot or a mark between their eyebrows. People may think that this is only a sort of spot which enhances the beauty of the face. No doubt it does do this but again there is a scientific reason behind this. The spot between the eyebrows is known as the ajna chakra or the third eye, in modern parlance. This is the spot where the mind has its abode during the day. During the night it reposes in the anahata or heart chakra. These chakras are whorls of energy and some of them correspond to the endocrine glands which have been recently discovered by western science and which they feel have a lot to do with the balance and health of the whole body. Of course our rishis were well aware of this fact a long time ago and they asked people to wear some sort of dot on the ajna chakra. When we are applying the kum-kum (vermilion powder) our finger automatically presses this chakra and energises the mind, which become alert. Moreover whenever a person looks at us, their gaze is immediately drawn toward the dot which is our third eye. This again activates our chakra and makes our mind more concentrated so that we can listen or talk to the other person in a better manner. The kum-kum or vermilion which is used by women is not a synthetic product as it is now. The process of making it is quite elaborate and is done very well in the south, especially, Kanchiupuram and Madurai, both in Tamil Nadu. It is actually a mixture of turmeric and lime and is exposed to the rays of the moon for a fortnight before it is ready. This mixture again passes through the skin and beautifies the skin.
Nowadays of course people no longer know the reason for this and they use synthetically made powder or to make things easier, dots and other shapes made of some synthetic material. Of course even then if the dot is kept in the right place it will still have some value but sometime people place it high above the forehead and not on the chakra which of course, has not much efficacy.
There are three types of material which used to be used in olden times for making these dots and all three correspond to one of the three gunas which are sattva, rajas and tamas. 1. The vermilion powder has been discussed already. This is related to the worship of the goddess and stands for rajas or the quality of kinesis or action. Shakti is responsible for all action in the universe. She is always personified as a goddess with various names. Naturally her colour should be red, the colour of energy and beauty.
2. Sandal paste. This is made out of sandal wood and is very cooling and soothing to the mind when kept on the forehead. Sandal paste has the quality of sattva or balance and harmony and Vishnu is the god connected with this quality. All Vaishnavites (devotees of Vishnu) wear sandal paste on their forehead.
3. Vibhuti or Bhasmam means ashes. This has the quality of tamas or inertia and is connected with Shiva, the destroyer in the trinity. This vibhuti has many medicinal qualities and can be applied to cuts, wounds, itches etc, and has immediate effect. However these ashes have to be made in a certain way. A few days before Shivaratri one has to make round cow dung cakes with fresh cow dung and place them inside a pile of rice husk. This has to be set on fire. Rice husk does not burn like firewood but will keep smouldering for many days. On Shivaratri day, you have to carefully take out the cow dung cakes which will be remaining intact in shape inside the smouldering fire. These have to be carefully taken out and powdered. In fact it will turn into powder as soon as you touch it so it has to be handled with great care. This is to be offered to Shiva on Shivaratri day and some of it should be used for abhishekam (poured over the lingam). This has to be mixed with the rest of the vibhuti and kept in a safe place to be used daily or as and when it is necessary.
Thus we see that the use of different types of dots or lines on the foreheads of Hindus all have a great esoteric and scientific significance.


Toe rings worn by married women.
It is normal for married women to wear toe rings on the second toe of both feet. This is put on their toes by their husbands and is about the only time a husband touches his wife’s feet. This custom has a deep scientific principle underlying it. An essential nerve connects this toe with the uterus and passes on to the heart. Wearing a ring on this toe stimulates this nerve and strengths the uterus. It helps to regulate the blood flow and normalize the menstrual cycle. In this way it ensures a safe and good pregnancy. It also sustains the foetus while it is in the womb. The toe ring is always made of silver, never of gold. Silver absorbs polar energies from the earth when the foot is pressed down and passes it to the body.


Ringing of bells in temples.
It is a practice amongst Hindus to ring the bell before entering the sanctum. Bells are also rung during the pujas (rituals). The sound made by bells which are made of certain specific metals cause sounds which set up vibrations in or brain and surroundings. The sound spreads in waves to the ecosphere and keeps echoing into space, like the waves set off in a pond when we throw a stone into it. They will keep on till they reach the banks. The sound of the bell also results in an echo which will last for 7 seconds which will have positive effects on all the seven chakras.


Why do Hindus circumbambulate (go round) temples?
Temples are always strategically placed at those places where positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. Moreover the idol itself is made of certain metals or stone and before putting it in place, a Yantra or mystic design made out of copper is placed under it. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. This Yantra will keep on emitting vibrations which are activated by the ringing of the bell. These vibrations emanate from the idol in concentric circles and like the sound of the bell this energy whorls keep spreading out to the outer walls of the temple and even beyond. The devotee who is going round the temple is engulfed in this energy field and gets maximum benefit the more times he goes round. That is why people make vows to do 108 times and so on. Some people do this with their whole body touching the ground. Naturally they get extra benefit not only of the vibrations emanating from the sanctum but from contact with the earth which is also emitting energy.


Why do Hindus eat with their hands?
There is a deep science behind this particular Hindu custom for which we are despised by the westerners. Food is a gift from God and eating is an art in which all the five senses have to be involved in order to get maximum benefit and pleasure. The five senses are sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. Western culinary techniques take into consideration the first three of these senses but totally disregard the other two. It is  deeply conscious of the fact that food should look good and be artistically arranged and it should smell good and of course taste good. But they make no use of the other two senses of sound and touch. This is like using only three fingers instead of all five. If the hand is to be of use we must use all five fingers. Similarly if eating has to be a fulfilling action it has to take all five senses into consideration. So in Indian cooking no meal is complete unless we serve something which produces a sound like crunching. AND most important we will never be able to relish the taste of any food completely unless we use the sense of touch and feel the food with our fingers. God has given the human being five fingers to use as spoons and forks and all children automatically use their hands to put food into their mouth. Western parents have to forcibly insist that the child uses an artificial aid instead of the ones given by god to shovel food into his mouth!


Why are Hindus asked to sleep with their heads to the South?
The human body is actually a huge magnet which attracts the beams from the Earth’s magnetic fields located in the South and North Poles. When we sleep with our head towards the north, our body’s magnetic field becomes completely asymmetrical to the earth’s magnetic field. This forces our heart to work harder in order to overcome this and leads to a rise in blood pressure and general discomfort. Our bodies also have a significant amount of iron in the blood. When we sleep with head to the North, the iron from the whole body starts to congregate in the brain and can lead to headaches, cognitive decline and brain degeneration.


Why do Hindus to pierce their ears?
Recently modern science has discovered that the lobes of the ears are extremely sensitive and has nerves leading to the auditory system and nervous system in the brain. When we are worried we should slowly massage our ear lobes and along the sides and we will immediately feel calmer. In ancient India piercing of the ears was a scientific process and known only to some special goldsmiths. They knew the exact point to be pierced by which our hearing, intellect and nervous system would be fortified.  It also helps to develop creative powers. In ancient India both males and females used to pierce their ears. Sometimes you find that when doctors do this, even though they anesthetise the spot and supposedly do it in a very hygienic way, it often happens that the hole will not heal naturally and sometimes breaks out in a small nodule.


Importance of the Peepul Tree and Tulsi plant. 
The peepul tree is a huge tree which spreads out in branches and has beautiful leaves which shake and quiver at the slightest breeze that passes through them. It doesn’t seem to have much use since it has no flowers or fruit but the Hindus consider it holy. This again rises from the great botanical knowledge which the rishis had about all types of vegetation. They told the common people that it was holy and encouraged them to plant these trees in the village and care for them because they knew that the peepul is the only tree which produces oxygen at night. All other types of vegetation give out carbon dioxide at night. The quivering leaves obviously have a role to play in keeping the oxygen going throughout the night.
The tulsi (holy basil) is another plant which is considered holy by the Hindus. It is closely connected with the worship of Vishnu and his incarnations. Again the rishis knew well of the medicinal and healing properties of the plant and that is why they linked its name with one of the chief gods in the pantheon and insisted that every garden should keep a tulsi plant which should be protected and taken care of at all times. It is a remarkable antibiotic and if used daily in tea or simply chewed it will stabilise the health and balance the body system. If kept in the compound close to the house, it prevents insects from entering the house. Even snakes don’t like to go near a tulsi plant. Thus in ancient days people were encouraged to grow lots of tulsi around their house. 


Why do Hindu women wear bangles?
In olden days even men were encouraged to wear bangles of copper or shell. The wrist is a very sensitive part of the human being. When a doctor wants to check your pulse he will automatically lift up your wrist. When bangles are worn on the wrist, the constant friction increases the blood circulation. Electricity passing out through the outer skin is reverted to one’s own body through the action of the circular bangles which make sure that the current is kept within the body and does not pass out of it.
Thus we see that almost all the so-called superstitious customs which Hindus are prone to do, have their basis in some scientific or medical truth. Western science did not pierce beyond the veil of the obvious which could be experienced by the five senses. Hinduism on the other hand always strove to reach beyond the obvious to the transcendental. Hence we find that almost every act in Hinduism has a deep spiritual meaning as well conferring physical benefits.
Hari Aum Tat Sat

HATE CRIME ALERT - ANTI HINDU INCIDENT AT WEST LONDON TEMPLE

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HATE CRIME ALERT - ANTI HINDU INCIDENT AT WEST LONDON TEMPLE

 

4th August 2016

Dear All,

Please note that on the afternoon of the 3rd August, an incident occurred at one of our member Hindu Temples in which an individual, stating his name as Hanif and declaring himself as Pakistani, spent half an hour wandering around the Temple premises speaking with Priests and devotees. He asked questions re the following specific points -

1)    Where do the priests live ?

2)    When are the busy functions and festivals ?
3)    Which days is food served on ?
4)    Which days do the jalaram temples serve food ?

5)    Do the Neasden and ISKCON temples serve food and if so on which days?.

6)    Further questions were asked about the West London Temples

The incident has been reported to the Police and a photograph of the person will be also be available shortly. When it is available we will send it to out immediately to our member Temples by Whatsapp and others of whom we are aware.

NCHTUK have set up a TempleNet Whatsapp group in order to be able to share and communicate urgent information and if you would like to join please nominate a person in your Committee who will have the designated mobile phone, and please forward the Mobile number to us on our info @ nchtuk.org address.

We are approaching a very busy time of year for our Temples with very major festivals just around the corner, please forward this message to any Temple or Hindu Institution which may need to be notified. Lets look after our community and our Temples and please report any incidents to the Police and to us so that they can be shared with the TempleNet whatsapp group. A video of this person has been posted to the WhatsApp group already.


If your local Hindu Temple is inadequately protected, please access Government Funding in order to ensure that it can be made secure and that our Devotees and visitors can be assured of adequate safety. The details of this scheme are below.

Hate Crime Action Plan

The Government has published a four year Hate Crime Action Plan.   The press release about the launch is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-for-communities-in-united-drive-against-hate.

In the foreword Home Secretary Amber Rudd says “Hate crime of any kind, directed against any community, race or religion has absolutely no place in our society.” In his endorsing foreword, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid speaks of the need not to take tolerance for granted and says “Together, if we report every incident of hate crime, we can drive it from our streets.”

The Action Plan outlines actions the government will take to:

  • prevent and respond to hate crime
  • increase reporting of hate crime incidents
  • improve support for victims
  • build an understanding of hate crime

The relevant section of the summary of the wide-ranging plan is at Annex A to this Circular.  Further information is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-for-communities-in-united-drive-against-hate.

The Action Plan applies to England and Wales. The Welsh Government’s Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents: A Framework for Action (2015) continues to take forward specific actions within Wales. The Welsh Government was consulted on the Action Plan and there will continue to be engagement on non-devolved areas across Wales through the Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru. The Action Plan does not cover actions in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Home Office will continue to work with the devolved governments to ensure that best practice is shared across the United Kingdom.

Security for Places of Worship

Funding Programme

As part of the Hate Crime Action Plan, the Home Office has launched a £2.4million funding scheme for places of worship to provide protective security measures to them.  The scheme is open for 8 weeks and closes at 5pm on 20 September.  A second round of bids will open in Spring 2017.

Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme.

Police message relating to security of Church buildings in wake of attack on priest in France

In the wake of the murder of a Catholic Priest in France, the Police issued today a message to Christian Churches about security. This also contains information relevant to other faith communities and is at Annex B to this Circular.

Looking After One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities

As member bodies will be aware, in July 2005 IFN published a resource entitled Looking After One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities.  This is available to download from IFN’s website at http://www.interfaith.org.uk/publications/all-publications/all-publications/20-looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-faith-communities/file.  A copy is also attached.

Since 2005 the document has been widely circulated and drawn on by many bodies. Interfaith Scotland (then the Scottish Inter Faith Council) reproduced the document, with permission, in partnership with Scottish bodies. The document is in the process of being updated with new contact details and to reflect the current operating environment, including the impact of terrorism, and the very different communication world of social media. The document can be found at:  http://www.interfaith.org.uk/publications/all-publications/all-publications/20-looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-faith-communities/file.  If you have any comments on the text, David Hampshire (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) would be pleased to receive these by 19 August.

How to report hate crime

Lastly, as part of tackling hate crime, a reminder that it is important to report it.

Hate incidents can be reported directly to the Police. They can also be reported via the True Vision website at www.report-it.org.uk/home and, in some areas, to the Stop Hate website at www.stophateuk.org/report-hate-crime.   In Scotland, hate crime can be reported athttps://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/hate-crime/.



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