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Posts Tagged ‘traditions’

The beautiful temples of Bali

Posted by Admin on May 27, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos–the-beautiful-temples-of-bali.html?page=all

The beautiful temples of Bali

The Indonesian island of Bali is home to the majority of the country’s Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is characterized by the worship of the supreme god Acintya, along with the trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The art and ritual of the Balinese Hindus trace back to influences from the 4th century when Hinduism reached the island’s shores. Balinese temples are ornate, beautiful and situated in visually stunning locales. LAKSHMI SHARATH traipses through Bali and returns with these breathtaking picture postcards.

Note from the Admin : – Please include Bali and Thailand as well to the glorious era of the Hindu Empire with strikingly similar architecture across the landmass as well as extremely similar mythological stories and lore of the same group of Gods who were worshiped and revered across the region as well, during the yesteryears of old.

By Lakshmi Sharath | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Tue 24 Jan, 2012 2:16 PM IST

A roadside temple in Bali

Roadside Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

If you think India has many shrines, think again. In Bali, Indonesia’s Hindu island, there are temples everywhere – in streets, atop mountains, clinging to cliffs, on the seashore, and in the courtyard of every home.

Devotees at the Mother Besakih temple

Balinese Hindus at the Mother Besakih Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The Mother Besakih temple is one of the most important temples in Bali. It is located atop Mount Agung. It is not just one shrine but a cluster of 20 temples overlooking the villages and the green slopes of the mountain. Balinese believe that the good spirits along with their deities reside here and the shrines resemble houses built for them.

Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Goa, I learned, is pronounced “Guha” as in many Indian languages. It refers to a 1,000-year-old cave excavated here that houses the Hindu trinity of gods and Ganesha, whom the Balinese know as “Gajah” (as in elephant). The 11th century site, called Lwa Gajah, was not discovered until the 1950s and was believed to be a sanctuary of a Buddhist monk. Carved images of the Buddha and smaller shrines and a step-well dot the green landscape here.

Uluwatu

Pura Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most spectacular temples © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Bali’s shrines are often located in the most exotic landscapes. This is Pura Uluwatu right atop the cliff. The scenery is breathtaking as you climb uphill through a small forested area patrolled by boisterous monkeys.

Bali’s royal shrine

Royal shrine in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Pura Taman Ayun, literally “beautiful garden”, is the shrine of the royalty in Bali. Built in the 17th century, this temple in Mengwi, south Bali, is believed to house the ancestors of the royal dynasty and their family deities.

Puppets galore

Puppets in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The sounds of performances fill the air as you walk into any of these temples. Wayang or shadow puppetry, the Kecak or fire-dance, and various other local dances like Barong, Legong and Pendet are some of the art forms to experience while you visit these shrines.

Sunset at Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

No trip is complete without a glimpse of the spectacular sunset in Tanah Lot temple, a tourist magnet located on a rocky oceanic island. The 15th century shrine, dedicated to the sea spirits, was built under the direction of a priest and is believed to be guarded by snakes.

Lakshmi Sharath is a media professional, traveler, travel-writer, photographer and blogger.

Are you a passionate traveler? Yahoo! India Travel offers you the perfect soapbox to tell your travel tales. Submit your travelogues with photos to travelindiasubmissions@yahoo.in

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Hollow Earth Theory and the Aryan Invasion Revised

Posted by Admin on March 23, 2010

Hollow Earth Theory and the Aryan Invasion Revised

The Aryan invasion theory has been a basis and justification of Western interpretation upon the civilization and history of India. Although many Indologists within India have been influenced by such thought, the theory has not met majority acceptance within India and is even coming under attack in the West. David Frawley, one Sanskrit scholar recognized both inside as well as outside of India has assessed the current situation of the Aryan invasion theory thusly:

“ One of the main ideas used to interpret – and generally devalue – the ancient history of India is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500-100 BC, who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture … This idea- totally foreign to the history of India, whether North or South, has become an almost unquestioned truth in the interpretation of ancient history today. Today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it into question.” ( David Frawley, “ The Myth of the Aryan Invasion” )

One main reason that the theory has been called into question is that there is no primary evidence. No monuments to any heros of such invasions have been excavated, no related cemeteries unearthed, no battle fields identified in relation to the theory, no forts, in short- nothing in the way of physical evidence. There is a host of other incongruencies, but this is the general idea.

One major platform that Western scholars have relied upon to substantiate the theory is etymology. They trace linguistic patterns, encompassing East and West, and then by implication pinpoint a central geographic area which then serves as a common point of origin of the Indo-European language and race. This point, being basically the Caucasians and mountainous regions of Persia, is of course, outside of India, such that the existence of the Aryan race in Northern India is attributed to an invasion, and such is the explanation they offer for the Caucasian presence in India.

It has often been pointed out that few other principal theories have ever been accepted based on such indirect, flimsy evidence. When something ends up being so rigidly imposed with such little basis, a reasonable mind will look for other motives. Again we may rely on the broad understanding of David Frawley. ” It is important to examine the social and political implications of the Aryan invasion idea:

First, it served to divide India into a northern Aryan and southern Dravidian culture which were made hostile to each other. This kept the Hindus divided and is still a source of social tension.

Second, it gave the British an excuse in their conquest of India. They could claim to be doing only what the Aryan ancestors of the Hindus had previously done millennia ago.

Third, it served to make Vedic culture later than and possibly derived from Middle Eastern cultures. With the proximity and relationship of the latter with the Bible and Christianity, this kept the Hindu religion as a sidelight to the development of religion and civilization to the West.

Fourth, it allowed the sciences of India to be given a Greek basis, as any Vedic basis was largely disqualified by the primitive nature of the Vedic culture.

This discredited not only the ‘Vedas’ but the genealogies of the ‘Puranas’ and their long list of the kings before the Buddha or Krishna were left without any historical basis. The Mahabharata, instead of a civil war in which all the main kings of India participated as it is described, became a local skirmish among petty princes that was later exaggerated by poets. In short, it discredited the most of the Hindu tradition and almost all its ancient literature. It turned its scriptures and sages into fantasies and exaggerations.

This served a social, political and economical purpose of domination, proving the superiority of Western culture and religion. It made the Hindus feel that their culture was not the great thing that their sages and ancestors had said it was. It made Hindus feel ashamed of their culture – that its basis was neither historical nor scientific. It made them feel that the main line of civilization was developed first in the Middle East and then in Europe and that the culture of India was peripheral and secondary to the real development of world culture.

Such a view is not good scholarship or archeology but merely cultural imperialism. The Western Vedic scholars did in the intellectual sphere what the British army did in the political realm – discredit, divide and conquer the Hindus.

In short, the compelling reasons for the Aryan invasion theory were neither literary nor archeological but political and religious – that is to say, not scholarship but prejudice. Such prejudice may not have been intentional but deep-seated political and religious views easily cloud and blur our thinking.”

What impact does the Hollow Earth understanding have on this issue? The impact that it has may be found in one of the best places to hide anything- right under  our noses, in the Puranas themselves! The Puranas tell us that at the end of the Kali Yuga, Vedic culture becomes regenerated from the interior of the Earth, after the Kalki Avatar brings the Kali Yuga to a close. This is not the only reference to the hollow earth in the Puranas, but it is the one which indicates the origin of the  Aryans ( Caucasian race ) on the surface of the Earth.

The Caucasian race can easily be seen to stretch from Northern India to Scandanavia and to European Russia. How far would it be from the Artic coast of the Siberian and European side of the polar basin to the opening suggested by several hollow Earth researchers, which is offset from the North Pole just above the New Siberian Islands? ( See the oval on the map in Chapter Seven ) A hop, skip and a jump- no more than a few hundred miles. So how difficult would it be for the Caucasian and, of course, other human races to re-introduce themselves to the surface of the planet from this particular opening at the end of every Kali Yuga? It does not seem that it would be so difficult at all.

In addition, the fact that the Caucasian race is so light skinned in Northern Europe is indicative of a top-down migration. This is because in the Middle East and India, the race has a light tan complexion. It is easier to go from a light complexion to a darker complexion, while is is harder to believe that darker skinned Caucasians migrated Northwards, then became sun bleached to their present blond haired, blue eyed state- the genes which generate fair complexions and blue eyes are passive. Therefore, we can surmise that the Caucasians are not Caucasian in origin but rather, that their surface migration began in Northern Europe, along the Artic basin, from the Polar opening to the hollow Earth.

The reader may keep in mind that in millennia past, these areas were not as cold as they are now. As an example, we’ll note that Viking graves from 1,000 years ago have been opened up in Greenland, and it was found that roots, at that time, had penetrated the coffins. Now the graves lie under permafrost. This means that, previously, vegetation existed in the area and that there was a different climate.

In addition to the large, polar openings there are said to be tunnels which connect the surface of the planet with the hollow portion. Nicholas Roerich, for example, in his book “ Shamballa,” wrote of his travels through Tibet in the 1920s, through the Karakorum Pass in the Altai Mountains. He was shown caves closed up by boulders, and he wrote of passing over what seemed to be hollow areas by the echos from the horses’ hooves, and wrote of a current recollection of the hollow Earth in the collective minds of the Tibetan people.

Therefore, any cyclical reappearance of Vedic civilization and the Caucasian race could manifest from at least two points which span the length of the Aryan presence on our Earth, from top to bottom. The Caucasian presence in Northern  Europe could be explained by migration from the polar opening,  situated above the New Siberian Islands in the Arctic basin, while openings and tunnels in the Tibetan region could account for Caucasian presence also, even down as far as the Indian subcontinent.

India and The Hollow Earth

India and The Hollow Earth

No Caucasian migration into India is necessarily indicative of an introduction of Vedic culture. Aryan insertion into any given area, India included, could have simply reinforced already existent Vedic culture without having been an introduction. It is not a matter, really, of accounting for the Aryan presence in the Indian subcontinent. Rather, it is a matter of accounting for human presence on the surface of the planet after the end of every chatur yuga, and the Hollow Earth Theory explains this admirably well in conjuction with the appearance of the Kalki Avatar and regeneration of the surface population from Shambhalla and the hollow earth.

The hollow Earth theory certainly strengthens the Puranic account of a cyclical, re-population of the surface of our planet from the madhyatah, the hollow portion, including its chief city Shambhalla, and suggests that what is past will one day be prologue.

In this way, the hollow Earth theory offers an intriguing alternative to previous interpretations of the Caucasian presence in India, otherwise known as the Aryan Invasion Theory.

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The Iron Pillar from Delhi

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

The Iron Pillar from Delhi

Standing at the center of the Quwwatul Mosque the Iron Pillar is one of Delhi’s most curious structures. Dating back to 4th century A.D., the pillar bears an inscription which states that it was erected as a flagstaff in honour of the Hindu god, Vishnu, and in the memory of the Gupta King Chandragupta II (375-413). How the pillar moved to its present location remains a mystery. The pillar also highlights ancient India’s achievements in metallurgy. The pillar is made of 98 per cent wrought iron and has stood 1,600 years without rusting or decomposing.

The Iron Pillar from Delhi
7.3 m tall, with one meter below the ground; the diameter is 48 centimeters at the foot, tapering to 29 cm at the top, just below the base of the wonderfully crafted capital; it weighs approximately 6.5 tones, and was manufactured by forged welding.


Enigma of the Iron Pillar

B.N. Goswamy

The sight is so familiar: each time you are in the vicinity of the Qutab Minar in Delhi, you find groups of tourists gathered around a tall, sleekly tapering iron pillar in that complex, one person from the group standing with his or her back firmly against it, and trying to make the fingers of the two hands touch while holding the pillar in embrace. Very few succeed but, almost always, there is a feeling of merriment around, since terms are set within the group and each person is ‘tested’, as it were, for fidelity or truthfulness or loyalty, even longevity, it could be anything. When a person fails to make the contact between the fingers of the two hands wrapped around the pillar, squeals of delight go up. This has gone on for years, certainly ever since tourist guides came into being.

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Indian Rebellion of 1857

Posted by Admin on February 16, 2010

Indian Rebellion of 1857

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Indian Rebellion of 1857/8
1857 rebellion map.jpg
A 1912 map of ‘Northern India The Mutiny 1857-9’ showing the centres of rebellion including the principal ones: Meerut, Delhi, Cawnpore (Kanpur), Lucknow, Jhansi, and Gwalior.
Date 10 May 1857
Location India (cf. 1857)[1]
Result Rebellion Suppressed,
End of Company rule in India
Control taken by the British Crown
Territorial
changes
Indian Empire created out of former-East India Company territory, some land returned to native rulers, other land confiscated by the Crown.
Belligerents
Mughal Empire
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg East India Company Sepoys
7 Indian princely states

Oudh-flag.gif Deposed King of Oudh
Deposed ruler of the independent state of Jhansi
Some Indian civilians and converts to Islam.

United Kingdom British Army
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg East India Company‘s Sepoys
Native Irregulars
and EIC British regulars United Kingdom British civilian volunteers raised in Bengal presidency
21 Princely states

Pre 1962 Flag of Nepal.png Kingdom of Nepal
Other smaller states in region

Commanders
Mughal Empire Bahadur Shah II
Nana Sahib
Mughal Empire Mirza Mughal
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg Bakht Khan
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg Tantya Tope
Oudh-flag.gif Begum Hazrat Mahal
Commander-in-Chief, India:
United Kingdom George Anson (to May 1857)
United Kingdom Sir Patrick Grant
United Kingdom Sir Colin Campbell (from August 1857)
Pre 1962 Flag of Nepal.png Jang Bahadur[2]

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company‘s army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.[3] The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region,[4] and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858.[3] The rebellion is also known as India’s First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857 and the Sepoy Mutiny.

Other regions of Company controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, and the Madras Presidency—remained largely calm.[3] In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Company by providing both soldiers and support.[3] The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the states of Rajputana did not join the rebellion.[5] In some regions, such as Oudh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European presence.[6] Rebel leaders, such as the Rani of Jhansi, became folk heroes in the nationalist movement in India half a century later,[3] however, they themselves “generated no coherent ideology” for a new order.[7] The rebellion led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858, and forced the British to reorganize the army, the financial system, and the administration in India.[8] India was thereafter directly governed by the Crown in the new British Raj.[5]

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[edit] East India Company expansion in India

India in 1765 and 1805 showing East India Company Territories

India in 1837 and 1857 showing East India Company and other territories

Although the British East India Company had earlier administered the factory areas established for trading purposes, its victory in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 marked the beginning of its rule in India. The victory was consolidated in 1764 at the Battle of Buxar (in Bihar), when the defeated Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, granted control of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa to the Company. The Company soon expanded its territories around its bases in Bombay and Madras: the Anglo-Mysore Wars (1766–1799) and the Anglo-Maratha Wars (1772–1818) led to control of most of India south of the Narmada River.

After the turn of the 19th century, Governor-General Wellesley began what became two decades of accelerated expansion of Company territories.[9] This was achieved either by subsidiary alliances between the Company and local rulers or by direct military annexation. The subsidiary alliances created the Princely States (or Native States) of the Hindu maharajas and the Muslim nawabs. Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir were annexed after the Anglo-Sikh Wars in 1849; however, Kashmir was immediately sold under the Treaty of Amritsar (1850) to the Dogra Dynasty of Jammu and thereby became a princely state. In 1854, Berar was annexed, and the state of Oudh was added two years later.

[edit] Causes of the rebellion

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