NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Late Gandhi’s ashes scattered off South African coast

From Dawn News
Sixty-two years after his assassination, some of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes, held in secret for decades by a family friend, are scattered at sea off the city of Durban. Participating in the final immersion rites are great grandaughters Asha and Ashish, grandaughter Ela Gandhi, great grandson Kidar Gandhi and grandson Satish Dhupelia. —AFP Photo

DURBAN: Ashes of India’s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, kept for decades by a family friend after his assassination, were scattered Saturday off South Africa’s coast, his family said.

“About 200 people attended. Everything went well, it was a beautiful ceremony,” said Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of the apostle of non-violence.
An AFP photographer said the pre-dawn ceremony was “dignified”.

“Before the immersion took place, the Hindu priest recited hymns. Gandhi’s great grandson poured the ashes into the sea and afterwards people threw flowers as a sign of their final goodbyes,” he said.

A radical nationalist shot Gandhi on January 30, 1948 in India, just months after he led the country to independence from Britain. He was cremated according to Hindu custom.

Normally, ashes are immersed in rivers or the sea within days, but Gandhi’s ashes were divided and put in several urns and sent around India and across the globe so his followers could hold memorials.

One urn came to South Africa, where Gandhi had come to practise law in 1893, living in the country on and off for 21 years.

A family friend, Vilas Mehta, helped with the arrangements for the prayers, and the ashes were immersed after 10 days, according to the Gandhi Development Trust in Durban.

Unknown to the family, Mehta kept a few remnants of the ashes, and guarded them in secret for the rest of her life, the Trust said.

She “decided to take a little bit of the ashes and keep it in safekeeping as a memento of that occasion, not realizing that it is our custom to immerse them,” said Gandhi.

When Mehta passed on, her daughter-in-law decided to return them to the Gandhi family.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Secondary Schools to Follow UK’s First Hindu State Primary

From ISKCON news
Image: Abbie Trayler-Smith
The Independent
 The I-Foundation—the leading Hindu charity behind the UK’s first and so far only Hindu state school—has already announced plans to build at least one secondary school within the next six years, with sites earmarked in North London and Leicester.

Although the Krishna Avanti School only officially opened in September 2008, and moved to a permanent premises as recently as September of last year, it is already receiving five applicants for every two of its 240 places.

There’s a reason why the school, located in the London borough of Harrow, is so popular. Hindus feel that after integrating so quietly into British society, this is a chance for them to celebrate their own identity and to educate their children in a setting that evokes their motherland’s faith and culture.

Krishna Avanti’s look is the first unique element that makes it stand out from the crowd. The state-of-the-art design has the highest aspirations for sustainability and conservation, with wood-clad buildings, large expanses of light and grass-covered roofs. And rising from the center of the campus is a white marble Indian-style temple, looking distinctly out of place against the surrounding suburban landscape.

Students at the School study the national curriculum, but they are also taught much that pertains to their faith. Every morning, they chant Sanskrit prayers in front of deities of Krishna-Balaram, and take lessons that include meditation and yoga. They also tend the garden and learn concepts such as the equality of all living things.

The heart of the School’s ethos is harmony with the environment—it has just been formally acknowledged as the greenest school in Britain, according to the widely accepted BREEAM industry standard. Its unique eco-systems including wildlife zones, vegetable, fruit and flower gardens; and the building structure itself features rainwater harvesting and ground source heat pumps, which provide 70% of the school’s heating.
Krishna Avanti is also Britain’s first vegetarian state school, with meals being prepared for the children on site from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Parents are enthusiastic about all these innovations. “Krishna-Avanti School offers to our child the rare opportunity to grow and develop at all levels: socially, emotionally, academically and especially spiritually,” says Mrs Elena Beltran-Clarke, mother of six-year-old Bodhini.

The project has also achieved a UK BREEAM Schools ‘excellent’ rating with a score of 75.91 per cent—currently the highest rating score of any school in the UK.

With all its success in delivering the £13.5 million Krishna-Avanti Primary School, the I-Foundation believes it should now be given the opportunity to prove it can do the same in secondary education.  Hence the plans for two new secondary schools in North West London and Leicester, the two areas with the largest Hindu communities in Britain.

“It is patently absurd that, alone among the major faiths in the UK, Britain’s one million Hindus are deprived of the option of a faith-based secondary school education for their children,” says I-Foundation Director Nitesh Gor.

Mr Gor, who is also the Chair of Governors of the Krishna-Avanti School, explains: “Parents see the school’s open ethos, its work with local schools of other faiths and of none, its curriculum which teaches about all major world religions and its ethnically diverse intake, and they see the best of both worlds.  We combine the ethical values and moral discipline which accompany faith education with a willingness to engage with the world beyond and prepare our children to play a full part in British society.”

Parents as well as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which has worked with the I-Foundation as official Faith Partner for the School, look forward to further developments.

President Obama Praises Hindu Americans For Service (USA)


January 28th, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, January 26, 2010: Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, has lauded Hindu Americans for promoting inter-faith dialogue and cooperation through service in the United States.

In an exclusive interaction with the Hindu American community, 26-year-old DuBois — a political strategist and Pentecostal minister — said his office has been tasked with some special projects by the president in his first term in office, one of which was “promoting inter-faith dialogue and cooperation both here at home and across the globe, especially cooperation through service.”

“And, on that point, we have been really honored and amazed at the great work that many Hindu Americans and broader dharmic organizations have done around service on the ‘Summer of Service’ campaign,” he said.

DuBois said, “These were just tremendous work done by over 118 sewa centers and temples and ashrams and other organizations all across the country, completing over 1,300 sewa projects, and we took note of that and want to make sure that we are working to engage your community to do that even more.”

At the outset of his welcoming remarks, he said: “The President and this administration have been very intentional and very serious about engaging the dharmic community over the course of the first year in office and we are honored to connect with the Hindu American community.”

France moves towards full Islamic veil ban— with court's help

From Islamization Watch (Blohspot)

A woman wearing a niqab, the islamic full veil, uses a cell phone in a street in Lyon, eastern France

Fear of stigmatizing Muslims is overrated - because the wearing of the burqa is meant to stigmatize those in western society. Behind the burqa - in many cases - here in Europe - you would likely find one with a supremacist view - a view that objects to Western society and wishes to see it replaced by one governed under the Shari'a - with all its women hobbling around in the burqa. It is a mini revolt!

PARIS (AFP)— French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Friday asked France's top court to help the government draft a law banning the full Islamic veil, his office said.

The government's move comes three days after a French parliament report called for a ban on the burqa and niqab, saying Muslim women who fully cover their heads and faces pose an "unacceptable" challenge to French values.

Fillon wrote to the State Council, the country's highest administrative court, asking it to "study the legal solutions enabling us to reach a ban on wearing the full veil, which I want to be as wide and effective as possible."

He asked the court to "help the government find a legal answer to the concerns expressed by parliament's representatives and to rapidly submit a bill on the subject to parliament."
The State Council is to submit its findings by the end of March.

After six months of hearings, a panel of 32 lawmakers this week recommended a ban on the face-covering veil in schools, hospitals, public transport and government offices, the broadest move yet to restrict Muslim dress in France.

The commission stopped short however of calling for legislation to outlaw the burqa in the streets, shopping centres or other public venues after raising doubts about the constitutionality of such a move.

France is home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority but the sight of fully-veiled women remains rare. Only 1,900 women wear a niqab, 90 percent of them under 40, according to interior ministry estimates.

Supporters of a ban argue that the full veil is being pushed by radicals in the French Muslim community, but critics say the wearing of the garment remains marginal and warn a ban risks stigmatising France's six million Muslims.

In 2004, France passed a law banning headscarves and any other "conspicuous" religious symbols in state schools after a long-running debate on how far it was willing to go to accommodate Islam in its strictly secular society.

The new French debate on the face-veil is being closely watched, three months after Swiss voters approved a ban on minarets.

President Nicolas Sarkozy set the tone in June when he declared the burqa "not welcome" in France.

He has since sought to reassure France's Muslims, declaring this week that freedom to practise religion was enshrined in the French constitution.

French support for a law banning the full veil is strong: a poll last week showed 57 percent are in favour.

The leader of Sarkozy's right-wing party in parliament, Jean-Francois Cope, has already presented draft legislation that would make it illegal for anyone to cover their faces in public on security grounds.

The Netherlands and Austria are considering a ban on the full veil, while Denmark said Thursday it would limit the use in public of the burka and niqab veils although stopping short of an outright ban.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

'Bangladesh country of all religions’ ????

From Bangladesh Independent News Source

Our Correspondent, Joypurhat

'Bangladesh country of all religions and every one will live in peace and harmony,' said Advisor H T Iman at agathering held at Jaipurhat Town Hall organized by Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikkya Parishad (BHBCOP) and Bangladesh Puja Celebrating Parishad Jaipurhat district Committee recently.

H T Imam was present there as the chief guest. Abu Syeed Al-Mahamud Shawpon Organizing Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, Advocate Sattyendra Chandra Vokto, General Secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Committee and Abu Sayad Mohammad Hashim, Deputy Commissioner of Jaipurhat attended as special guests.

The chief guest said, Bangladesh is a country of religious assimilation. People of all religions are living together in peace. The past government failed to produce Bangladesh as a country of all religions. The present government had been able to free the country from that stigma.

Fake "secularism" is destroying Hindus and Bharat,India

From Organiser News

By JG Arora
Though a secular government cannot punish or reward its subjects on the ground of religion, Congress government started the "Haj subsidy" for Muslims in 1959. Though none of 57 Islamic countries pays such subsidy, successive Indian governments have continued this funding.

Though the creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by the Muslims was supposed to end the Hindu-Muslim problem, India’s history since 1947 is the terrible saga of bogus secularism and Muslim appeasement culminating in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion in 2006 that Muslims must have the first claim over national resources.
As per George Orwell, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Nevertheless, this write-up tells the truth about fake ‘secularism’ which is destroying Hindus and Bharat.

Though the term ‘secularism’ is all embracing and non-discriminatory, it has been debased by its false followers in India. Literally, the word ‘Secular’ means worldly as against religious; and historically and politically, ‘secularism’ implies separation of state and religion; and non-discrimination on grounds of religion. But for chorus singers of ‘secularism’ in India, anything which is anti-Hindu, pro-Muslim, divisive, sectarian, and even anti-national, is ‘secularism’.

Bharat Varsha comprising the present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and even Zabol in Iran was Hindu land with zero Muslim population till Muhammad bin Qasim’s Arab army attacked Sindh in 711. Despite fighting valiantly to defend themselves during repeated Muslim attacks for over a thousand years, Hindus lost areas now known as Afghanistan in 987, and Pakistan and Bangladesh to Muslims in 1947.

Logically in 1947, on India’s Partition on religious basis and creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by Muslims, truncated Bharat should have been declared a Hindu republic to re-assert its Hindu identity. Instead, a perverse ‘secularism’ signifying anti-Hinduism was foisted on India.

Elaborate hoax called ‘Secularism’ in India is fiercely anti-Hindu; appeases non-Hindus and targets Hindus for discrimination and disempowerment. Helped by this farce, with each passing day, India is being made more Islamic and more Christian and less Hindu.

Only a few examples of havoc brought by charade of secularism are given as follows:

Genocide and eviction of Kashmiri Hindus
During 1980s and 1990s, terrorists killed thousands of Hindus in Kashmir, and drove out several lakhs of Hindus from Kashmir making it a Hindu-less region. There can be no worse national shame than Kashmiri Hindus living like refugees in their own country. But due to secularism, successive Central and State governments have done nothing to rehabilitate Hindus in their homes in Kashmir and to punish their tormentors.

Unlimited appeasement
Though the creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by the Muslims was supposed to end the Hindu-Muslim problem, India’s history since 1947 is the terrible saga of bogus secularism and Muslim appeasement culminating in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion in 2006 that Muslims must have the first claim over national resources. Unfortunately, pre-1947 situation which created Pakistan is being re-enacted in India through divisive ‘communal budgets’ and through Sachar Commission and Ranganath Mishra Commission reports and through the proposed reservation for Muslims in jobs and educational institutes though such measures are unconstitutional, and also unwarranted after the creation of Pakistan.

Such baneful moves are bound to trigger far more dangerous demands which will demolish India.

Though a secular government cannot punish or reward its subjects on the ground of religion, Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress government started the "Haj subsidy" for Muslims in 1959. Though none of 57 Islamic countries pays such subsidy, successive Indian governments have continued this funding.

Chasing bogus secularism, Congress government nullified even the Supreme Court’s judgement reported as Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum (AIR 1985 SC 945) by passing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 which made section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code inapplicable to Muslims.

After regaining power since 2004, Congress has been pursuing skewed secularism with renewed vigour. ‘Secular’ Congress is sharing power with Muslim League which had demanded and obtained Pakistan for Muslims.

Secularism has made India a soft state inviting frequent Pak-Bangla terrorist attacks. Though these attacks have claimed thousands of innocent lives, the government takes no deterrent action in the matter. Rather, in 2004, Congress-led government repealed Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act the way it had repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in 1995.

Disempowerment of Hindus
In India ‘Secularism’ implies appeasement and special privileges for non-Hindus; it also implies disempowerment and discrimination towards Hindus. Following facts amply illustrate this aspect.

Though secularism commands separation of state and religion, many State governments in India have taken over all prominent Hindu temples. And only Hindu temples have been brought under government control whereas no Christian church or Muslim mosque has been touched.

Article 30 of the Constitution which grants special rights to minorities has divided the nation into majority and minority with damaging consequences. As seen from the Supreme Court’s judgement reported as Bramchari Sidheswar Shai & Others versus State of West Bengal (AIR 1995 SC 2089), even Ramakrishna Mission, a prominent Hindu organisation, felt compelled to claim a minority (non-Hindu) status to get the benefit of Article 30.

Late Pope John Paul II’s outrageous call to convert Asia to Christianity was given in secular India’s capital in 1999.

Since secular India did not help Hindu Nepal, combined power of Maoists, Christian missionaries and Pakistan’s ISI divested Nepal of its Hindu identity in 2006.

And to complete Hindu humiliation, allotment of a piece of forest land in 2008 to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to provide temporary shelter for pilgrims visiting Amarnath shrine in Kashmir was cancelled by the State government due to violent protests from Kashmiri Muslims. This fact shows that in secular India, Hindu-majority areas belong to everyone but Muslim-majority areas belong to Muslims only.

Though Hindu identity of Bharat is being wiped-off by floodgates of phony ‘secularism’, Indian government’s affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in 2007 rejecting the existence of Sri Ram and Ram Sethu de-legitimised Hindu faith itself.

And Hindu history is being falsified by spurious secularists to rob Hindus of their national identity.

Terrorist and demographic invasion
To dismember India and plant more Pakistans and Bangladeshs on Indian soil, Pakistan and Bangladesh have sent countless terrorists and crores of their nationals into India. While India is being grabbed bit by bit by Pak-Bangla terrorists and infiltrators every day, steeped in secular stupor, the Indian government, mainstream media and political parties are silent spectators.

Despite the Supreme Court’s judgements delivered on July 12, 2005 and December 5, 2006 to deport infiltrators, no infiltrator has been deported by the ‘secular’ Indian government. Rather, Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangla trains and buses are bringing more Pak-Bangla infiltrators every day. And instead of being deported, infiltrators are given voting rights.

Article 370: Country within a country
And though Article 370 of Constitution negates the very concept of one unified India and though this Article has brought genocide and eviction of Hindus from Kashmir, ‘secular’ political parties do not want its abrogation though the Constitution framers had inserted this Article in 1950 only as a "temporary provision". Because of Article 370, Kashmiris can colonise the rest of India but the rest of Indians cannot settle in Kashmir.

No Uniform Civil Code
Though Uniform Civil Code will make India a really secular country; though Supreme Court has emphasised its enactment in a number of judgements and though Article 44 of the Constitution stipulates that, "The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India", secularists oppose this move.

Beside other secular absurdities, Muslims are allowed four wives in India though even Muslim countries like Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, etc., permit only one wife.

Way out
Blatant fraud in the name of secularism is not only outrageous, it is beyond outrageous.

Sham ‘secularism’ has weakened nationalism, strengthened terrorism, separatism and evangelisation. It has helped the growth of organisations like Indian Mujahideen and SIMI which want to establish Muslim rule in India.

Since the so-called ‘secular’ India has proved to be a disaster, it has to be transformed into Hindu Bharat before ‘secularism’ completely destroys the Hindus and Bharat.

Since Hinduism is all embracing, Hindu Bharat will give justice to all and appease none. In Hindu Bharat, there will be one law and one nation; no distinction of majority and minority; no discrimination against any community and equal rights for all citizens. Hindu Bharat will save Hindu identity of Bharat and remove laws which discriminate against Hindus. It will re-settle Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir and restore their homes and lands to them.

Hindu Bharat will dismantle fake-secularism and liberate the nation from Pak-Bangla terrorists and infiltrators. It will prevent the creation of more Pakistans and Bangladeshs on Bharat’s soil.

No one can object to emergence of a Hindu Bharat when all the 57 Muslim majority countries (including Pakistan and Bangladesh which used to be Hindu lands) are declared Islamic countries.

Since those who shun politics are governed by their tormentors, all nationalist individuals and organisations must actively participate in politics to acquire state power; and to transform the present fake ‘secular’ India into a really ‘Secular Hindu Republic of Bharat’ by all peaceful, constitutional and lawful means.

Ralph Nader has put it very aptly, "If you are not turned on by politics, politics will turn on you."

(Author is former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and can be contacted at

Stop Eating Meat and Save the Planet (Hinduism and Vegetarianism)

A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide.

January 27th, 2010
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, January 25, 2010: Delegates arriving at the gates of the climate conference in Copenhagen last month were met by women in furry animal suits holding placards showing pictures of lambs, cows and pigs and warning, “Don’t Eat Me.” These activists say that one of her principal goals is to fight environmental disasters, and her representatives in Copenhagen appeared eager to spread the message that methane, which is belched in large quantities by cows and other livestock raised for the meat and dairy industries, is among the most potent planet-warming gases.

But the virtues of vegetarianism as part of the battle to curb climate change are far from being an issue just for the spiritually inclined. Long before the summit meeting in Copenhagen, rising demand for meat and dairy products, particularly among the burgeoning middle classes in countries like China and India with fast-developing economies, meant that links between climate change and food policy were becoming an important element in the debate over what to do about the rising levels of greenhouse gases. The issue appeared to have gained traction in the weeks leading up to the Copenhagen conference, with prominent figures from the worlds of science and entertainment stepping into the fray.

Early this month, the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health said it would study the effect of meat output on climate change in light of requests from its member countries. “It’s a question that needs to be studied with a lot of distance,” Bernard Vallat, the organization’s director-general, told a news conference, according to Reuters. “We want to make a modest and independent contribution,” he said. Mr. Vallet said that one of the thorniest issues was how to involve agriculture in efforts to reduce gases while maintaining food security.

Thousands of Devotees Expected for “Cavadee” Festival (REUNION ISLAND)

A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide.

Reunion Island

Tamil (Hindu) Temple/Mandir
January 27th, 2010
REUNION ISLAND, January 25, 2010: The ten-day celebration of the festival called Tai Poussam Cavadee (commonly spelled as Thai Pusam Kavadi in English, a celebration of God Murugan) has begun at the Hindu temples in Saint-Andre and Saint-Louis on Reunion Island, located 120 mile southwest of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Cavadee is celebrated each year by the Tamil community here when hundreds of penitents participate in the religious processions. Ten thousand people are expected to worship this year at the Petit Bazar temple in Saint-Andre on Tai Poussam day, Friday, January 29. Last year nearly 900 faithful carried cavadee, the most to date.

Over 100 Hindu Religious Heads Meet at the Dharma Acharya Sabha

A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide.

January 27th, 2010
HYDERABAD, INDIA, January 10, 2010: The Dharma Acharya Sabha’s fourth meeting took place in Hydrabad. When announcing the 2010 meeting date, the organizer of Acharya Sabha, H.H. Swami Dayanand Saraswathi, said “Religious heads recognize that Hindu religion is sacred and ancient. But we still have a long way to go in getting our rights back as a majority religion in India.”

The Sabha is the largest gathering of Dharma Acharyas of the Country concerning all Hindu Sampradayas. It was formed in 2003, to represents many leaders of Hindu religion working together. Since its first meeting in Chennai, the group had met twice more in Mumbai (2005) and Bangalore (2008), bringing together Mathadhipathis, Dharmacharyas, Mahamandaleshwars, Adheenamkartars and leaders of other sampradayas.

The declared topics of the 2010 meeting were, initially:
  • How to attain the Right to Religion consistent with the “UN 2008 Faith in Human Rights Resolution.”
  • Removing the meddling role of secular government in running Hindu temples
  • A Common Civil Code in India, to ensure human rights for all, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
  • A ban on cow slaughter

These are some of the results of the Sabha, as reported

The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha called upon its members to do away with outdated and harmful practices, such as ill-treatment of women and dowry harassment. On the concluding day of the Sabha, the members have adopted a resolution to abolish child marriage, mass killing of animals and casteist approach in family and social contexts.

Vedic Verses

A daily collection of verses from the Vedas, Hinduism's revealed scripture

Vedic Verses for 1/28/10

Consideration (Chitta) is, verily, greater than will. For when a man considers, then he wills, then he thinks in his mind, then he utters speech, then he engages speech in the recitation of a name. The sacred hymns are included in a name and all sacrifices are included in the sacred hymns.
Sama Veda, Chandogya Upanishad VII, V - Consideration as Brahman, 1

Consideration is, indeed, the goal of all these beginning with mind and ending in sacrifice; from consideration they arise and in consideration they all abide. Therefore if a person is without consideration, even though he possesses much knowledge, people say of him that he is nothing and whatever he knows is useless; for if he were really learned, he would not be so inconsiderate. But if a person is considerate, though he knows but little, to him people are eager to listen. Consideration, indeed, is the goal of all these; consideration is the self; consideration is the support. Meditate on consideration.
Sama Veda, Chandogya Upanishad VII, V - Consideration as Brahman, 2

He who meditates on consideration as Brahman, he, being permanent, firm and undistressed, obtains the worlds which are permanent, firm and undistressed; he can, of his own free win, reach as far as consideration reaches-he who meditates on consideration as Brahman. Narada said: Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than consideration? Of course there is something greater than consideration. Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.
Sama Veda, Chandogya Upanishad VII, V - Consideration as Brahman, 3

Meditation (Dhyana) is, verily, greater than consideration. Earth meditates, as it were. The mid-region meditates, as it were. Heaven meditates, as it were. The waters meditate, as it were. The mountains meditate, as it were. The gods meditate, as it were. Men meditate, as it were. Therefore he who, among men, attains greatness here on earth seems to have obtained a share of meditation. Thus while small people are quarrelsome, abusive and slandering, great men appear to have obtained a share of meditation. Meditate on meditation.
Sama Veda, Chandogya Upanishad VII, VI - Meditation as Brahman, 1

He who meditates on meditation as Brahman, can, of his own free will, reach as far as meditation reaches-he who meditates on meditation as Brahman. Narada said: Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than meditation? Of course there is something greater than meditation. Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.
Sama Veda, Chandogya Upanishad VII, VI - Meditation as Brahman, 2

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

RAWALPINDI Hindu Community

RAWALPINDI – Nov 09: Girls light clay lamps in their house on the occasion of Diwali on Friday.—Dawn Online

Lahore’s Hindu community, Pakistan

 From Daily Times

By Ayesha Javed Akram

LAHORE: If you were not looking, you could easily miss it. The only thing that will guide you to the great Hindu god Krishna’s home in Lahore is a meek black signboard on an unassuming yellow building. There is no grand 100-step staircase leading to a temple in the clouds; you have to squeeze your way through a snaking alley if you want to reach Krishna Mandir. But for all its humble trappings, this three-room temple is the hub of Hinduism in the Punjab.

Pandit Kashi Ram, in his thirties, says this is the oldest mandir in Lahore. “It dates back to the time when the river Ravi used to flow through the city,” he says while showing me around, which doesn’t take long because there simply isn’t that much to show. The mandir can be best described as minimal with only two small cubicles dedicated to worship. Devotees have to make do with photographs of the statues or moortis; there isn’t any place for the real thing. It is no wonder then that Hindus have to trek to Peshawar and Karachi for weddings and larger religious gathering. It becomes a real test of their faith on religious festivals like diwali and holi, when up to four hundred of them from all over the province flock to these three rooms.

Most estimates put the Hindu community in Lahore at no more than a few hundred, which is no wonder why their demands are rarely heard. Some time back, the walls of the mandir were pushed in, leading to an even tighter fit. For many years now, there have been appeals from the Hindu community for funds to improve the mandir but it was only last month that their prayers were answered and this appeal was finally accepted. A delighted Pandit Kashi Ram said Rs 1.2 million has been allocated for the improvement of the mandir, which will involve converting the three, little rooms into one big hall. He is also hopeful that the inflow of funds will lead to better pay for those who work at there. Who knows, we could even get air-conditioning, he says.

Minorities have long learned to keep a low profile in Pakistan. A capricious political climate and fluctuating public sentiment mean that it is safer to neither be seen nor heard too much. This could in part explain Pandit Kashi Ram’s eagerness to praise his neighbours. “They assist us during our religious festivals and we invite them to all major gatherings at the mandir,” he says.

But one look around the place paints a very different picture. The walls of the mandir are repeatedly pasted with posters and spoilt with graffiti. When I press him to speak about this, he admits that the first thing he has to do every morning is scrape the posters off the walls. And even though he has put up notices, cars are always parked in front of the mandir. He shrugs his shoulders. “If I ask them nicely they do sometimes move them,” he says.

And so while he insists that the mandir’s Muslim neighbours harbour no hard feelings, police have to be deployed there every time there is a gathering of even a hundred people because, as Pandit Kashi Ram admits himself, “kabhi bhi kuch ho sakta hai” (anything can happen any time). Sources at the Derasahib Gurdwara say that while the Hindu community in Lahore is much happier under the current government “they are still scared.”

If this is the case, then the Muslims of Lahore need to do much more before they can completely win the confidence of their Hindu neighbours, who continue to brave it out for their bhagwaan.

The 1947 exodus from Lahore

Link me

By A Hamid

Before independence, several of Lahore’s residential localities had large Hindu populations: among them being Gowalmandi, Shah Alami, Chowk Sutar Mandi, Chowk Gurjan Singh, Qila Gujjar Singh, Naya Qila Gujjar Singh, Sant Nagar, Shyam Nagar, Krishen Nagar, Shisha Moti Bazaar, Ram Gali, Purani Anarkali, Nisbet Road and Model Town. There were mixed Hindu and Sikh populations in and around Nicholson Road and Beadon Road but the areas lying at the back of Shah Alami and Suha Bazaar were mostly Hindu. Gowalmandi and Shah Alami were considered Hindu strongholds.

Ichhra was a Muslim-majority area but compared with its Hindu residents, the Muslims living there were not well off. Model Town was where the Hindu elite lived, made up of bank managers, intellectuals, advocates, politicians, businessmen and judges. Most of the homes had been built over large plots of land. Model Town had its own bus service, which took passengers right into city neighbourhoods like Gowalmandi. The Model Town Bus Service remained operational for several years after the emergence of Pakistan, but went out of business in the 1950s, I think, and was replaced by the Lahore Omnibus Service. Lahore’s first double-deckers were run by the latter service.

The first route of the Lahore Omnibus Service stretched from Krishen Nagar to RA Bazaar in Lahore Cantonment. The last Krishen Nagar stop of the service was a block or two away from Suri Building. The poet Habib Jalib lived close by and would take the bus from there to get to Pak Tea House or Royal Park. I should mention that the famous Indian actor Kabir Bedi’s family lived in Model Town. The head of the family was the well-known communist leader BPL Bedi, who used to publish an English weekly called Monday Morning. According to Som Anand’s Lahore memoir, any Punjabi Hindu who wanted to make his mark in politics, literature, law, journalism or another profession or calling moved to Lahore. The links between Lahore and the Hindu community were strong, deep and highly emotional. The loss of Lahore to Pakistan was something that those who were forced to leave their beloved city feel to this day. Although more than a generation has passed, younger members of those families remain proud of their links with Lahore and although most of them have never even seen Lahore, it occupies a special place in their hearts. Some of these younger people who manage to visit Lahore go looking for the houses where their parents and grandparents used to live and get very sad when they recall how their elders left the world carrying with them an unfulfilled desire to return to the city which was once their much-loved home. “My father died longing for Lahore,” one of them told me.

I remember a conversation with Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabussum in 1953 or 1954 at Radio Pakistan, which was still at its old Simla Pahari location. Sufi sahib said, “I was recently in Delhi and I went to look up an old student of mine but it was her daughter who came to meet me. She told me that her mother had died two months earlier. I remarked that when she left Lahore in 1947, she was in such good health. ‘She never overcame her sense of loss because she loved Lahore and missed it terribly. Her life kind of ended when she left Lahore. She wasn’t much interested in anything any longer and she would not even eat much. She would keep talking about Lahore and sighing.’ It could never ever have occurred to the Hindus of Lahore that a day would come when they would have to leave their city.

Gopal Mittal writes in his poignant Lahore memoir, “The Hindus of Lahore just could not believe their ears when the radio announced that Lahore would become a part of Pakistan. An attempt was made even to have the city partitioned like Berlin, with the area stretching from Shah Alami to Krishen Nagar becoming the Indian part of the divided city. That of course was not possible; the die had been cast. In Gowalmandi, a Hindu family left its matriarch behind because she just refused to go. All she would say between sobs would be, ‘I am never going to leave Lahore. They were saying to me, ‘Granny come with us to India’ but I told them I would never leave Lahore. Never.’”

The poet Rajpal, the humourist Raj Baldev Raj, the progressive poet and intellectual Fikr Taunsavi and Gopal Mittal lived in Lahore as long as they could, because they really did not wish to leave. Fikr Taunsavi was in Taunsa Sharif where the situation was getting bad, so Ahmed Rahi and Arif Abdul Mateen travelled to Taunsa and brought him to Lahore. Sahir Ludhianvi and I invited him to share the lower portion of a flat we had moved into in Royal Park, off Mcleod Road. The only furniture the room where we all kipped in at night had was a sofa and a table lamp. Sahir and I used to take turns sleeping on the sofa. Later, Fikr wrote a book called Chhata Darya, in which he described his last days in Lahore in that abandoned place in Royal Park. When Fikr left, he was quite sure - as were most people at the time - that before long the trouble would be over, things would settle down and he would come back. That day never came for him as for millions of others.

My family moved to Lahore from Amritsar in September 1947. Most of my time in those early days I would spend mapping the roads. One day, in front of the Punjab government secretariat, I saw a man sitting under a tree selling guavas. His face was familiar and I recognised him. He used to sell fruit in Amritsar and would always come up with the most innovative sales gimmicks. When I saw him that day, he was cutting thin guava slices for a customer, which he then daintily placed in a plate and offered it to him. To one side, lay a basket bull of green, yellow and pink guavas, which he had put on top of another to make a kind of Christmas tree. Also at hand was a parrot – he used to have one in Amritsar also – who was nibbling at a guava. I asked him if it was the same parrot he had in Amritsar or whether he had bought one in Lahore. He smiled and told me that it was the same old parrot. “When our neighbourhood was attacked, I set the parrot free and instructed him to cross the border and fly to Lahore and I would see him outside the Lahore railway station. Well, believe me, there I was standing outside the station, having somehow managed to escape from Amritsar with my life, when a parrot comes flying down from a tree and lands on my shoulder. It was my Amritsari parrot.”

The parrot continued to nibble at the guava. “If you don’t stop him, he will soon have nibbled away all your fruit,” the man with the plate of sliced fruit said. “He can do what he likes. He is the boss,” our friend replied nonchalantly.

A Hamid, the distinguished Urdu novelist and short story writer, writes a column every week based on his memories of old Lahore. Translated from the Urdu by Khalid Hasan

First Sindhi Hindu woman to rock Krishna since partition

From Indiadivine News

Janamashtmi is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals
* 16 pilgrims to travel from Sindh to Punjab for festival
* Palna is placed in all Krishna temples all over the world

By Abdul Manan
posted August 24 2008

LAHORE: For the first time ever, a Sindhi Hindu pilgrim will place a palna (cradle) at the Krishna temple in the city, with the objective of swinging an idol of Krishna on the occasion of the Hindu festival Janamashtmi (birthday of Karishna,), sources in the Hindu community and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) told Daily Times on Saturday.

Sources in the ETPB told Daily Times that the ritual of swinging the palna at the Krishna temple was regularly practiced before the partition, however, although Janamashtmi was still celebrated afterwards, the swinging of the palna was only practiced in Sindh.

For the first time since partition, Shusheela Raj, a female Hindu philanthropist, along with 15 pilgrims from Sindh, will participate in the festival on August 24 (the 6,350th birthday of Krishna) at Krishna temple, Ravi Road, Lahore. Shusheela told Daily Times that she would participate in the festival as the first ever Sindhi Hindu woman to swing the idol of Krishna in the palna at this temple. She said that the palna practice has been exercised in Sindhi temples from the start.

Sources told Daily Times that ETPB Chairman Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Javeed would be the chief guest at the festival. Krishna temple General Secretary Dr Munawar Chand told Daily Times that the swinging of the idol was a part of the ritual, which was exercised at Krishna temples across the world. He said, “Janamashtmi is an eight-day Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of one of Hinduism’s greatest gods, Krishna.” He also said that Hindus would fast for 24 hours during the Janamashtmi. Sunil Chand, a Hindu social activist, told Daily Times that around 200 Hindus and Sikhs from Lahore would also participate in the festival.

Festival: According to tradition, upon the birth of Krishna, a havan (holy fire) will be lit after sunset and people will gather in the decorated Krishna Mandir to sing in his name and to recite excerpts from the Bhagavatam. This will be followed by the worship of Krishna, in which the idol will be bathed in milk while his name is chanted 108 times, after which the idol will be adorned with garlands and worshippers will perform aarti and recite anecdotes about the birth of Krishna from the Bhagavatam. At midnight (when Krishna is supposed to have been born), his idol will be rocked in a decorated cradle. The night will end with the Hindus taking home blessings in the form of prasad (sweets with blessings).

Krishna temple Executive Secretary Suny Kumar said that women would decorate their houses and prepare sweets made from butter to welcome Krishna’s birth. The footprints of children would be marked in red ink from the entrance of the houses to the meditation rooms to symbolise his visit. Joginder Nath Sharma, a Hindu student, said that Janamasthmi fell on the eight day of the dark half of bhadrapada (a month in the Hindu calendar that falls between August and September), and was one of the most celebrated religious occasions in Hinduism.

In Lahore, One Thousand Hindus But Only One Temple (Pakistan) ?

On October 4, 2005 Asian News International reported, "A recent survey has revealed that Lahore has only one Hindu temple for its over a one thousand-strong Hindu population. A study conducted by the Daily Times has revealed that the city has no place where Hindus can cremate their dead. The Krishna Temple at Ravi Road is not visited by many because of the distance that devotees have to travel. The survey further revealed that Pakistan Balmik Sabha (PBS) and Hindu Balmik Sudhar Sabha (HBSS) are equally responsible for this mess. PBS, the report said, is officially privileged and its Secretary General Munawar Chand takes care of the Krishna Temple."

No Crematorium For Hindus In Lahore, Pakistan

From Hinduism Today

LAHORE, PAKISTAN, October 4, 2005: A recent survey has revealed that Lahore has only one Hindu temple for its over a one thousand-strong Hindu population. A study conducted by the Daily Times has revealed that the city has no place where Hindus can cremate their dead. The Krishna Temple at Ravi Road is not visited by many because of the distance that devotees have to travel. The survey further revealed that Pakistan Balmik Sabha (PBS) and Hindu Balmik Sudhar Sabha (HBSS) are equally responsible for the situation. PBS, the report said, is officially privileged and its Secretary General, Munawar Chand, takes care of the Krishna Temple. While Punjab Auqaf Minister Sahibzada Saeedul Hasan said the government had given US$20,000 to renovate the temple, HBSS Secretary General Amarnath Randhawa said that successive governments have ignored his group. “We have decided to allot 30 kanals (3.75 acres) of land at Bund Road for graveyards for Hindus and Sikhs. We will also give Hindus the possession of temples in the city,” the paper quoted Hasan as saying. “Recently, we asked the government to allow us to arrange an interfaith conference at Agarwal Ashram in connection with Lord Krishna’ birth anniversary, but the government did not gave us permission. We held the conference at a banquet hall,” said Randhawa. Reportedly, the government allowed the PBS to hold a function at the Agarwal Ashram in connection with Krishna Day. “The temple has been named after Lord Krishna, but it is famous as Kali’s Temple, and therefore, followers of Lord Ram and Krishna don’t want to pray there. We have been struggling for a temple and crematorium over the last several years,” Randhawa said, adding that HBSS was making an effort for a temple that would be named after Lord Ram. He claimed that the crematorium at Baghbanpura was either occupied by encroachers or full of graves, and that the Hindus had to go to Narowal to cremate their dead.

Christians, Hindus divided over temple possession (Lahore-Pakistan)

From Daily Times (Old News)

Lahore Hindu Temple (Pakistan)
* Temple Committee information secretary says temple built by community ancestors
* Subhar Sudha programme director says Hindus should control temple

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: The Balmiki Temple situated in Anarkali has become the focal point of a feud between converted Christians and Hindus, each claiming full rights to the temple, with Christian converts currently retaining control of the site.

The ancestors of the Balmiki Christians, who currently have possession of the temple, converted to Christianity from Hinduism about 30 years ago, but are still affiliated with the Swami Balmik, for whom the temple was built. They maintain that they have full rights to the temple despite being Christians, and will not give it up.

Conversely, the Hindu Sudhar Sabha, an association of Lahore’s Hindu population, has alleged that the Christians caretakers harass them and prevent them from worshipping in the temple. They claim that their actions have made the temple the site of a hub of activities that are against the respect of the temple. However, the Christians claim that they do not want any ‘occupier’ to intervene in the internal affairs of the temple.

A committee of Christians who look into its financial and other related affairs currently runs the Balmiki Temple independently. However, the shops outside the temple are rented out by the Auqaf Department. A few years, when the Baber Masjid in India was demolished in India, some protestors partially demolished the temple in retaliation. However, it was repaired afterwards.

Heritage: Imran Maqsood, introducing himself as the information secretary of the Temple Committee, told Daily Times that the temple was built by his community’s ancestors and they would not allow anyone to take possession of it. He claimed that the Hindu Sudhar Sabha had tried to occupy the temple and interfere in the temple’s affairs. He said that even though his community had converted to Christianity, their affiliation and goodwill towards Swami Balmiki was still unchanged. A worshipper at the temple, Baghat Lal Kokhar, who is Christian by faith, said that his community still worshipped at the temple and did not bar anyone from doing the same. However, he added, they would not tolerate any interference in the temple’s affairs.

Hindu Sudhar Sabha President Heera Lal told Daily Times that it was illogical to have a Hindu Temple run by Christians. He said that the temple was not the personal property of anyone and the converts had no right to retain it after changing their faith.

Convert: Hindu Sudhar Sabha Programme Director Amar Nath Randhwa said that the Balmiki Temple had no qualified pandit. He said that if the Christians who had possession of the temple wanted to keep it under their control, they should convert to Hinduism. He alleged that when Hindus tried to worship at the temple, the Christians there hooted at them and teased their women. He claimed that they had turned the temple into an adda. He said that the Sudhar Sabha had taken the issue to Minority Affairs Minister Kamran Michael, who had ordered an inquiry into the matter. He said that the inquiry should be expedited, adding that a Hindu delegation would also visit Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for a solution to the issue. He said that the government should seriously look into the matter to avoid any untoward incident.

Talking to Daily Times, the residents of the area said that the temple dispute should be solved with justice. They said that it should be ensured that no one’s religious feelings are hurt.

Baba Guru Balmik Swami was a Hindu scholar, saint and writer of Ramayana. He is supposed to have been the re-incarnation of Jagat Guru in Hinduism. He was born around 60,000 years before Sri Ram Chander (a Hindu god). Guru Wasdat was Ram’s Guru and Guru Bardawaj was Wasdat’s Guru and Swami was Bardawaj’s Guru. Hindus believe water was Swami’s father and Bhanwar was his mother.

Introduction to Katasraj Mandir (Punjab-Pakistan)

Lahore, Nov 25 (ANI): A delegation of around 112 Hindus has reportedly arrived in Lahore to celebrate the birth anniversary of Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva, at Katas Raj temples.

Katas Raj, a group of temples, is one of important worship places for Hindus in Pakistan. A pond at Katas Raj came into being because of tears of Lord Shiva on the death of his wife Satti.
According to Hindu mythology, Kartikeya was created from Shivas third eyes six sparks. Shiva created him to destroy a demon called Soorapadma.

Kartikeya rides on a divine peacock and carries a divine spear as a weapon.
Krishna Temple General Secretary Sunny Kumar, who welcomed the Hindu pilgrims on behalf of all Pakistani Hindus, said: Kartikeya is also known as Kartik. He is considered the most handsome among all the deities, an eternal bachelor, destroyer of all ills and the commander-in-chief of the gods army. He is said to have killed the demon Tarakasura and saved the universe from eternal darkness.

Kartik is worshipped individually during Kartik Puja. Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganesh are worshiped in addition to him during Durga Puja, the Daily Times quoted Kumar as saying.

Katasraj Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Chakwal. Most of the temples located within 40 km from Chakwal were built during the reign of Hindu kings. These temples were built around 900 years ago. During 2006-07, Pakistan decided to place idols of Hindu gods in the seven temples and restore them to their original state to attract Hindu visitors.

The Hindu pilgrims would return to Lahore on November 27 and gather at Dera Sahib Gurdwara. They would return to India on December 3. (ANI)

Katasraj Mandir (Punjab-Pakistan)

Katasraj Mandir (Punjabi: کٹاس راج مندر (Shahmukhi), कटासराज मन्दिर (Devanagari)) is a Hindu mandir situated in Katas village in the Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. The Pakistan Government is considering nominating the temple complex for World Heritage Site status. It also proposes to spend about Rs 20 million in three phases for the restoration of the complex.


Most of the temples, located some 40 km from the modern city of Chakwal in the Potohar region of northern Punjab in Pakistan, were built during the reign of Hindu kings. These several temples were built around 900 years ago or more, although the earliest of the Katasraj temples dates back to the latter half of the 6th century A.D . Scholars believe that most of the temples were actually constructed when the Shahi kingdom, driven from Afghanistan when their ethnic cousin Mahmud of Ghanavi came to power, fled to the region and set up base there.
The mandir was abandoned by local Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage for people of various faiths. Even nowadays, worshippers from all faiths perform pilgrimages to the mandir every year and bathe in the sacred pool around which Katasraj is built.

After Independence

The two semi-ruined temples of the Hindushahiya period (650-950 AD) have been frequently photographed by newspapers and history journals. The holy pond was littered with garbage, while the murals inside the temples disappeared due to the ravages of time and the neglect of the authorities.

Renovation by the Government of Pakistan

In 2006-07, Pakistan decided to place murtis of Hindu gods in the seven mandirs and restore them to their original state to attract visitors.The budget allocated for the project was Rs. 51.06 million. The temple was visited by India's former deputy prime minister Lal Krishna Advani in 2005 . The government decided to import idols of Hindu gods from various monuments in India to Pakistan for the restoration. A three-member archaeological team visited neighbouring India, Sri Lanka and Nepal to collect idols of Hindu gods.


The Katasraj mandirs are located 40 kilometres from Chakwal District. It takes a little effort to reach Katasraj by road - one has to go off the M2 motorway - (Islamabad - Lahore) at the KallarKhar interchange. Then follow the road to Choa Saiden Shah for 24 km. just past the cement factory the road passes through the temple complex, with the major temple complex and the pond on the right. It is a picturesque sight.


General view of Katas village, with old temples in foreground, 1875.
The Katas site houses the Satgraha, a group of seven ancient temples, remains of a Buddhist stupa, a few medieval temples, havelis and some recently constructed temples, scattered around a pond considered holy by Hindus. The temples at Katas are mostly constructed on square platforms. The elevation of the sub shrines seems to form a series of cornices with small rows of pillars, crowned by a ribbed dome.
The Ramachandra Mandir is situated to the east of the Hari Singh Haveli and is closed from all sides except for an entrance on the east. The double-storied structure has eight rooms of various dimensions on the ground floor and a staircase at the south leading to the first floor. The mandir has two jharokas (balconies) that have been severely damaged.

The Hanuman Mandir is on the western extreme of a high rectangular enclosure with entrances on the south and the north. The temple's ceiling is undecorated, and lime-plastered. The Shiva temple is also built on a square platform. Its entrance is a recessed round arch with faint cusps and a rectangular opening to the north.
Katasraj temple complex is believed to date back to the Mahabharata era. There are stories about the Pandavas spending time there during their long exile. The lake in the complex is believed to have magical powers and supposed to be where Yudhisthira defeated the Yaksha with his wisdom to bring his brothers back to life.


Many legends are associated with the temples, some of them involving Shiva himself. Legend says that the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, stayed here for four out of the 14 years that they spent in exile.

Another legend involves the death of Shiva's wife Satti; the story goes that when she died he cried so much and for so long that his tears created two holy ponds - one at Pushkara in Ajmer and the other at Ketaksha, which literally means "raining eyes" in Sanskrit. It is from this name that the word Ketas is derived. Another version of the legend mentions the two pools at Katasraj and Nainital.

Another legend involves the death of Shiva's horse Katas; the story goes that when that horse died he cried so much and for so long that his tears created two holy ponds - one at Pushkara in Ajmer and the other at Ketaksha, which literally means "raining eyes" in Sanskrit. It is from this name that the word Ketas is derived. Another version of the legend mentions the two pools at Katasraj and Nainital.People bathe in that holy pond and seek forgiveness as Hindu belief holds that bathing in the pond (especially on certain occasions) causes the forgiveness of sins and helps attain salvation. Many people believe that this will come from bathing in the pond at any time. Depth of this holy pond is still a mystery.

Prehistoric tools and weapons

Prehistoric tools and weapons such as axes and knives made of granite, and artifacts like terracotta bangles and pottery have been unearthed at the Katasraj site. The latter have been found to be similar to those excavated in Harappa, but have not been dated for want of expert opinion from abroad. The fascinating Salt Ranges have a vast archaeological treasure still hidden underground. Exploratory work that could expose evidence of an ancient civilisation here needs to be undertaken.

The Salt Ranges have also been yielding prehistoric finds. While some local experts place the fossils discovered in the period between 6000 and 7000 BC, the fact remains that they have not yet been examined by trained palaeontologists from the West. A large number of bones of the limbs and vertebrae of giant animals resembling the extinct mammoth and dinosaur have been found at some sites. “An entire range of low mountains in the area appears to be fossilised, revealing to the naked eye layer upon layer of a variety of plants and soils,” says one writer.

Pakistan Hindu temple battles for existence with only one relic

From Theindian News

Katas Raj Temples, Chakwal, near Lahore, Punjab

Lahore , June 27 (ANI): The ancient Hindu temple at Katas Raj which is around 40 kilometers from Chakwal is battling for its existence after it was robbed of all of its relics except one dilapidated sculpture.

The sculpture, which has been defaced and marred over time, is part of a wall in the right balcony of the Ramachandra Temple , also known as the Temple of Snakes .

The statue shows Lord Shiva and his wife, the goddess Satti, sharing a moment of love with two servants standing beside them.

Pundit Javed Akram Kumar, who is also the chief of the Katas Raj Parbandh Committee, charged the Punjab Archaeology Department (PAD) with lack of interest and for not providing the temple with enough security.
The smugglers are powerful people, equipped with all kinds of modern tools, including stone cutters, diggers and metal detectors. They have already stolen all stone and wooden artefacts from the temple. Now, they have their eyes on this sculpture, which is evident by the fact that it has been chipped from all sides. I will not be surprised if it is plucked out soon, he said.

Kumar said the temple could have been a major tourist attraction, had the government paid attention to it and advertised it.

PAD Director General Shahbaz Khan told the Daily Times that he had seen the temple and that his department was mapping the site.

Claiming that the site had already been looted and destroyed and had nothing to offer to smugglers and relic thieves, he said he would be able to comment on the history and the details of the sculpture only after the mapping was complete.

Khan said his department was running a project to preserve the site and that the project would be completed by next year.

He admitted that the security at the site had been loose, but his department had recently put barbed wire around the temple and the department was hiring staff to take care of the temple.
We will not increase the number of idols in the temple since we are not preserving the site as a Hindu temple on religious grounds, but as a historical and cultural monument, the PAD DG said. (ANI)

Pakistani Hindus demand Commission to resolve their issues

From Hindu Jagruti News

Hindu temple in Punjab (Pakistan)
Lahore: Hindus living in Pakistan have demanded the setting up of a national commission to resolve issues related to the minority community and also that all temples in the country are opened for them.

They put forth the demand at a seminar 'Conditions of Hindus in Pakistan', which was held in Lahore last evening.

In the seminar organised by 'Hare Rama Foundation', 'Rahim Yar Khan', and 'Hindu Sudhar Sab Ke' in collaboration with the Action Aid Pakistan, Hindus from across the Punjab province participated and discussed challenges faced by them in the country.

They demanded that their following requirements must be fulfilled on war footing basis.

Hindus said a Hindu should be appointed the member of the prime minister's advisory council. They said seats in provincial and national assemblies should be reserved for Hindus. They said Hindus women should be given right to sit in the district and tehsil councils by making amendments in the Local Government Ordinance. "A national commission should be formed to resolve issues related to Hindus. All temples in Pakistan should be opened for Hindus," the Daily Times quoted one of the resolutions passed by the Hindus on the occasion as saying.

They also demanded that they should be granted official leave on occasions like Holi, Dewali and Shivratri, and that the quota for Hindu scheduled castes in Baitul Maal should be in accordance with the proportion of the population.

Speaking on the occasion, Manager of the "Action Aid Pakistan", Daud Saqlain said, "about 450,000 Hindus live in the Punjab."

MQI delegation participates in Diwali celebrations (Lahore ,Pakistan)

From Minhaj (MQI)

Sri Krishna Temple (Lahore-Pakistan)

A delegation of Directorate of Interfaith Relations of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, led by Director Sohail Ahmad Raza participated in the religious festival of the Hindu community. Evacuee Trust Board of Government of Pakistan had extended a special invitation to the delegation of MQI to participate in the festival which was held on October 17, 2009 in Sri Krishna Temple, Ravi Road, Lahore. Besides Sohail Ahmad Raza, the MQI delegation comprised Abdul Hafiz Chaudhry, Abdur Rahman Siddiqui, Sahibzada Iftikhar-ul-Hassan Chishti and Qazi Mahmood-ul-Islam. The Hindu families from across Lahore and its suburbs participated in the festival in a large number. The organizing committee of the ceremony consisted of Dr Munawar Chand, Suneil Kumar, Prof Ashok Kumar, Dr Rajaender Kumar and Jay Pal.

Kamran Michael, provincial minister for minorities, Azhar Sulehri, secretary Auqaf, Azhar Abbas, Saleem Sandhu and other delegations belonging to different walks of life also attended the ceremony. 


In his talk, Shohail Ahmad Raza, Director of Interfaith Relations of MQI, said that he was there to represent Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri who was working hard for promotion of interfaith dialogue, peace and harmony in the world. He said that MQI under the dynamic leadership of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri believed in multicultural inclusive society where minorities had constitutional guarantees for the protection of their rights in accordance with the principles of Islam. He said that Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri always condemned terrorism, extremism and violent tendencies at all levels and promoted the idea of engagement with people of all faiths and religions to remove mutual hatreds and misunderstandings. He urged the need of forging unity among followers of all religions to address the scourges of terrorism and extremism.

The organizers of the ceremony thanked the MQI delegation for its participation in the programme.

Hindus in Pakistan celebrate Balmiki Jayanti

From Thaindian News

Krishna Mandir on Ravi Road (Lahore-Pakistan)

A large number of Hindus from across the city celebrated the event at Krishna Mandir on Ravi Road.
However, smaller events also took place at Balmiki Mandir Nila Gumbad and Balmiki Mandir inside Taxali Gate.

The ceremony started with prayers. Worshipers performed their religious rites Kirtan and Bhajan. Pundit Bhagat Lal Khokhar gave Arti to the participants. Parsad and langar (charity meal) were also distributed among the participants.

In the end a red colour flag was hoisted and special prayers were held for the country’s solidarity.
Pundit Lal Khokhar while narrating the history of Swami Balmiki said Swami was a re-incarnation of Jagat Guru.

He said Swami was born around 60,000 years before Sri Ram Chander (a Hindu god).
Pundit Lal Khokhar Guru Wasdat was Ram’s Guru and Guru Bardawaj was Wasdat’s Guru and Swami was Bardawaj’s Guru.

“According to Hinduism, water is Swami’s father and Bhanwar is Swami’s mother,” the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.

Commenting on the problems faced by Hindus in Pakistan, he said nine years ago Hindus demanded the government to provide a Shamshan Bhoomi (a place to cremate bodies) and a separate colony for one hundred Hindu families, but to no avail.

Pundit Khokhar went on to say that before the Babri Masjid’s demolition, three marble statues of Guru Balmiki, Krishan and Shiva were in the Balmiki Mandir. But after the demolition incident people smashed the statues. He said now only pictures were being used, as there were no artists for crafting new statues of gods and goddesses.

Pointing out that people in India staged rallies with statues and celebrated the birthday, Pakistan Balmiki Sabha Dr Manoher Chand secretary general said in Pakistan, Hindus were restricted to celebrating their events and festivals indoors.

He said ‘influential squatters’ had occupied temples, and appealed to the authorities concerned for vacating such temples. (ANI)