Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

The Truth about the leaving mortal coil of Swami Vivekanda: Stop propagating nonsense against him!

August 1, 2017

The Truth about the leaving mortal coil of Swami Vivekanda: Stop propagating nonsense against him!

Did Vivekanda die for controlling sex- Rekha Padmanabhan

Propaganda against Swami Vivekananda: July 4th happened to be the “Sraddhanjali Day” of Swami Vivekananda, but, this year 2017, I missed it, because of preoccupation with personal problems and conferences.  The Christian propaganda was there, ever since, he dominated the West with his Vedantic influence. That propaganda continues even today by the Christian missionaries and anti-Hindu propagandists with their fantastic stories spun and spread from time to time. I wanted to prepare a note on his “departure from this world,” as some people started misinterpreting his end with their own imaginative suggestions, concocted suppositions and ill-motivated ideas, turning into hypotheses. Ironically, some people have started doing under the guise of “motivational speaker” and so on[1]. Some other give their own of explanation[2]. Thus, I have been compelled to prepare this note hurriedly with the materials available in the internet.

If anybody attacks me, simply ignore his existence-Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda stood against all odds: Swami Vivekananda suffered heavily due to his restriction of food and ill-health. Slowly, he agreed to wear the warm cloths to protect himself from the climate in USA and European counties. Of course, writers too, used contribute their mite in 20th and 21st centuries with their “scientific” and “rational” interpretations. Thus, the  story Hindustan Times goes in this way: “In a life-span of only 39 years, Swami Vivekananda, who spread the message of India’s spiritual heritage across the world, battled several health problems all along and no less than 31 diseases and ailments[3]. ‘The Monk as Man’ by renowned Bengali writer Shankar lists insomnia, liver and kidney diseases, malaria, migraine, diabetes and heart ailments as some of the 31 health problems that the Swami faced in the course of his life[4]. Shankar describes Swami Vivekananda’s health problems using a Sanskrit quote ‘shariram byadhimandiram’ — the body is the temple of diseases”. How he suffered (from dysentery and fever) during the Paris “World Conference of Religion” was also well known. Yet, he fought battle, many times singularly.

Swami Vivekananda foresees about his health

‘Better to play football than read the Gita’: Yes, Swamiji wanted Indian youth to be assertive and strong to fight, but, the “Hindustan Times” goes to say, “Ironically, Vivekananda used to emphasise greatly on physical strength and is known for the shocking statement ‘Better to play football than read the Gita’. One of the perennial problems that Vivekananda lived with was chronic insomnia and in a letter to Shashi Bhushan Ghosh dated May 29, 1897, he confided “I never in my life could sleep as soon as I got into bed.” The previous year, Vivekananda seemed to have written to his ‘dhira mata’ (Sara Bull) from New York complaining about his lack of sleep. “My health has nearly broken down. I have not slept even one night soundly in New York since I came … I wish I could go to the bottom of the sea and have a good, long sleep.” He knew about his body and mind the strength of them. Therefore, now one need not comment that, “Ironically, Vivekananda used to emphasise greatly on physical strength and is known for the shocking statement ‘Better to play football than read the Gita’, as one has to understand the meaning. He did not say that you should not read Gita, but, play football!

Swami Vivekananda knew when he would die

Swamiji was suffering from diabetes: It is also known that Vivekananda used to suffer from diabetes like his father and at that time suitable drugs were unavailable. Shankar writes that Vivekananda had tried different modes of treatment ranging from allopathic, homoeopathic to ayurvedic and had also taken advice from all kinds of quasi-medical experts from various countries. He narrates that in the summer of 1887, Vivekananda (whose real name was Narendranath Dutta) had fallen very ill due to overstrain and lack of food. During this period, he also suffered from gallstones, and acute diarrhoea. Later, during the same summer, he came down with typhoid and problems in the urinary tract. “Narendranath’s abdominal pains were a source of great anxiety,” Shankar says. Shankar wonderfully chronicles the various medical problems Swami Vivekananda faced during his stint as a wandering monk in the country and across the world, and why he cut short his journey in Cairo, Egypt, to return to India. It was to French operatic soprano Rosa Emma Calvet that Vivekandanda had declared in Egypt that he would die on July 4, 1902. “Swami Vivekananda’s eyes filled with tears. He said he wanted to return to his country to die, to be with his gurubhais,” Shankar wrote. The fateful evening of July 4, 1902, Vivekananda passed away in Belur following a third heart attack, completing 39 years, five months and 24 days.

Narasingha Prosad Sil, Swami Vivekananda-A Reassessment, Selingrove- Susquehana University Press, USA, p.141.

The rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death[5]: There is no mystery surrounding the fact that Swami Vivekananda died in the year 1902. But not all of us know the real reason(s) behind his demise. Let’s explore the various theories related to Swami Vivekanda’s death as well as some unknown aspects of his life…Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863. On 4 July 1902 (the day of his death) Vivekananda awoke early, went to the chapel at Belur Math and meditated for three hours. He taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Sanskrit grammar and the philosophy of yoga to pupils. Later, along with several colleagues, he planned Vedic college in the Ramakrishna Math. It is stated that on the day of his sad demise, in the evening, around 7 p.m, Vivekananda went to his room, asking not to be disturbed. He died the same night at 9:10 p.m. while meditating. According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi; the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death. His disciples believed that the rupture was due to his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) being pierced when he attained Mahasamadhi[6]. Vivekananda fulfilled his prophecy that he would not live for forty years. He was cremated on a sandalwood funeral pyre on the bank of the Ganges in Belur, opposite where Ramakrishna was cremated sixteen years earlier. Swami Vivekananda, left his physical body on July 4th, 1902, when he was just 39 years old. Many people have wondered – what caused an evolved soul like Swami Vivekananda to die at such a young age? Aren’t yogi’s able to extend their own life-span and live for very long periods of time? As this was written in 2015, obviously, it was written based on “cardiac arrest ” hypothesis floated .

Narasingha Prosad Sil, Swami Vivekananda-A Reassessment, Selingrove- Susquehana University Press, USA, p.141-2

How Swamiji predicted his death!: Swami Vivekananda wrote this in a letter to Sister Nivedita in March 1900, as noted by Anshul Chaturvedi, in his blog. In my fraying, massively underlined and marked copy of Letters Of Swami Vivekananda, I’d circled the words “I know the time and place” the very first time I read and pondered over it, over a decade back, and made a small note against it: ‘of death, obviously.’ I could find no other explanation. It was, after all, just over two years after writing that letter that Vivekanda died, on July 4, 1902, preceded by detailed study of the almanac in the preceding days, the specific pointing out of the spot of his cremation three days before his demise, and instructions to brother-disciples on the future of the Ramakrishna Math on the day itself[7]. Earlier in that year, Romain Rolland has noted that Vivekananda began to decline to express his opinion on the questions of the day with the response, “I can no more enter into outside affairs; I am already on the way.” The man who had said “I shall not live to be forty years old” and moved on at 39 was clearly no stranger to his physical end and approached it with a sense of anticipation, if not familiarity[8].

Swami Vivekananda knew about his death- letter to Nivedita

Sex stories floated picked up Kundalini, yoga and so on: Our people do not want read carefully or going into facts by reading at least the “Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”. According to his disciples, “Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi; the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death. His disciples believed that the rupture was due to his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) being pierced when he attained Mahasamadhi”. But, the fact is Swamiji opposed the “Tantric” practices, particularly, involving Vamachara. “This form of practice must never even be mentioned in the Math. Ruin shall seize the wicked man, both here and hereafter, who would introduce vile Vamachara into His fold”- thus, Swami Vivekananda warned the members of Alambazar Math, 27 April 1896. But, now, people without any sense write, he died because he could not control sex, masturbate………………….and so on.

Narasingha Prosad Sil, Swami Vivekananda- on sex, marriage

Swamiji had been very clear about it: Hence the swami makes it clear that left-hand Tantra is absolutely forbidden for the monks of the Ramakrishna mission; indeed, they are explicitly warned not even to speak of such horrible rites, on threat of expulsion from the order[9]: “The Vamachara form of practice . . . should on no account be practised at the Math. Anyone demuring to this must step out of this Order. This form of practice must never even be mentioned in the Math. Ruin shall seize the wicked man, both here and hereafter, who would introduce vile Vamachara into His fold”. Only by purging this demoralizing parasite can India recover its virile, masculine power: “Just look to your own province and see how this Vamachara (immoral practices) of the Tantras has entered into your very marrow. Even modern Vaishnavism . . . is saturated with Vamachara! We must stem the tide of this Vamachara which is contrary to the spirit of the Vedas[10].

Kundalini-Swami Vivekananda

Swamiji pointed out how historically, the practices were degenerated: Swamiji explained, “Give up this filthy Vamachara that is killing your country…. When I  see how much the Vamachara has entered into our society, I find it a most disgraceful place with all its boast of culture. These Vamachara secrets are honeycombing our society in Bengal. . . . The Bengali Shastras are the Vamachara shastras. They are published by the cartload and you poison the minds of your children with them. . . . Fathers of Calcutta, do you not feel ashamed that such horrible stuff as these Vamachara Tantras . . . should be put into the hands of your boys and girls, and their minds poisoned, and that they should be brought up with the idea that these are the Shastras of the Hindus? If you are ashamed, take them away from your children and let them read the true Shastras, the Vedas, the Gita and the Upanishads[11]. The original spirit essentially valid Hindu scriptures that were only later corrupted by degenerate Buddhism and the obscene rites of the left-hand (Vàmàcàra) path: “I denounced only the present corrupted form of Vamachara of the Tantras. I did not denounce the Mother worship of the Tantras. . . . The purport of the Tantras is to worship women in a spirit of Divinity. During the downfall of Buddhism, the Vamachara became very much corrupted, and that corrupted form obtains to the present. . . . I denounced only these corrupt…practices”[12].

Kundalini-Swami Vivekananda warns against Vamachara

Leave Swami Vivekananda: Nowadays, it has become a fashion to pretend that all could be solved, just by talking. Some have started claiming that “Do not take medicine…..You do this, you can be free from all diseases”.  Yet another claim, “I solve all your personal, family ……problems, just by talking”, that is, just listen to what I talk, that is enough! Here, they need not resort to denigrate others for theor promotion. For “sex” control etc., Swami Vivenananda need not be dragged into. Therefore, Indians on any capacity or pretext need not misinterpret Swami Vivekananda, without reading him. One should at least read the “Complete works”, before commenting or talking about Swami Vivekananda. For one’s propagation of name, fame or business, he need not be brought to trivial issues.

© Vedaprakash

01-08-2017

The man who predicted his death and died accordingly

[1]I have gone through the audio carefully listening to her [Rekha Padmanabhan] speech:  https://www.facebook.com/rekha.padmanaban.5/videos/1777911698903713/; https://youtu.be/2KJmedH4ZhU; https://youtu.be/5ve0j9AIQ_I

[2] Why Did Swami Vivekananda Die So Young?, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ve0j9AIQ_I. Obviously, Rekha Padmanabhan has used this without acknowledging the source.

[3] The Hindustan times, Swami Vivekananda suffered from 31 ailments , Updated: Jan 06, 2013 10:49 IST.

[4] http://www.hindustantimes.com/kolkata/swami-vivekananda-suffered-from-31-ailments/story-AzNd0vIynJOGkO5MJzW9AK.html

[5] Speaking Tree, The unknown reason behind the death of Swami Vivekananda, PRATEEK PATHAK, MAR 06, 2015 10:16PM

[6] http://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/how-swami-vivekananda-died/257218

[7] Anshul Chaturvedi, Why the death of Vivekananda defines his life, July 11, 2012, 2:08 PM IST.

[8] http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/clicklit/why-the-death-of-vivekananda-defines-his-life/

[9] Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, vol. 7, p.494.

[10] Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, vol. 7, p. 174

[11]  Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, vol. 3, p. 340.

[12]  Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, vol. 7, pp. 215–16

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Idol-theft case, where the Idol-wing Police themselves involved- the accused DSP absconding and the current IGP transferred!

July 2, 2017

Idol-theft case, where the Idol-wing Police themselves involved- the accused DSP absconding and the current IGP transferred!

TN Govt Idol wing- officers.contact nos

In 1980, there was sudden increase in theft of Panchaliga idols – Idol Wing Police – History[1]: Idol theft cases were investigated by a small team of officials in CB-CID till the year 1980. During the year 1980 there was a sudden increase in thefts of Panchaloga idols. The thefts of such idols from the temples affected the sentiments of the local people. A proposal was initiated by the Director-General of Police to re-organize the strength allotted for investigating the idol theft cases. The Government accepted the proposal, constituted Idol Wing CID Vide G.O.Ms.No.2098 Home (Police IV) Dept Dt. 7.10.1983, with 1 SP, 1 DSP, 5 Inspectors, 3 SIs, 4 HCs, 3 Gr.I PCs and 13 Gr.II PCs. The unit functions from the Head Quarters, Chennai.  In the year 2000, CB-CID was bifurcated and Idol Wing was brought under the control of Economic Offences Wing in accordance with the order issued in the Chief Office Proceedings Rc.No.RAI (2)/273552/98 dt.30.12.1999. At present Idol Wing CID is headed by DIG-Idol Wing and assisted by one DSP and 5 Inspectors of Police.

Primary functions of the Idol Wing CID

  • To investigate cases of theft of idols and antiques exceeding value of Rs.5 Lakhs.
  • To investigate idol theft cases referred to it by the State Government.
  • To co-ordinate in the investigation of important idol theft cases handled by the District Police
  • Collection of intelligence on nefarious activities of antique dealers and art collectors.

 However, the idol teft in Tamilnadu has been going on obviously with the connivance of the persons involved at temple, idol-wing police, atheist politicians and others.

TN Govt Idol wing- officer- Khader bhatcha

2008 case dragged up to 2017[2]:  In May 2008, idols recovered by Arociaraj was attempted to be sold to somebody through his accomplicw Subburaj. At that time Khader Batcha intervened and brought them to Chennai. Later he sold to some agent. According to Rajendran, he found a cover kept under his car wiper on April 12 last, which stated that one Arockiaraj of Aladipatty in Aruppukottai taluk found two panchaloha idols — Sivagamy Amman and Siva Parvathy -on a pedestal. Instead of handing them over to the police, they tried to sell the same to a foreigner in collusion with one Santhanam of the same village. However, two cops caught them red-handed and handed them over to police inspector Kader Batcha. The accused sub inspector Subburaj, 54, currently serving in Koyambedu police station, was serving as a head constable in 2008 in the Idol Wing when he, along with inspector Kader Batcha, is said to have obtained the antique idols from the farmer and sold them to another smuggler Deenadayalan, who is currently facing many idol smuggling cases, for Rs.15 lakh.

Pon Manickavel, IG (Idol Wing)

In January 2017, a case was registered against Kader Batcha, Subburaj and a few others[3]: The incident surfaced only in January 2017, when the idol wing registered a case against Kader Batcha, Subburaj and a few others. The case did not see much progress and in the course of years Kader Batcha was promoted as Deputy Superintendent of Police and is now serving in Tiruvallur district. Subburaj was promoted as a sub inspector of police and was serving in Koyambedu police station. While Subburaj was arrested on Monday 26-06-2017, the Idol Wing officers said Kader Batcha was absconding. A case has been filed under IPC provisions for alleged offences including robbery, or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt, said Inspector-General of Police A G Ponn Manickavel. On Tuesday 27-06-2017, the petitioner informed the court that the case is now handled by an Inspector, who cannot effectively handle the same as the accused Kader Batcha is a DSP. Contending that it was a case of fence grazing the crop, the petitioner prayed the court to transfer the case to CBCID. A police sub inspector, one of the accused in an idol smuggling case, was arrested by Idol wing of the Economic Offences Wing on 26-06-2017 Monday. The arrest was made a day before the Madras High Court heard a petition seeking transfer of the case from the Idol Wing to CBCID. Justice R Mahadevan, before whom the petition from advocate ‘elephant’ G Rajendran came up for hearing on 27-06-2017, Tuesday, orally directed the Inspector-General of Police, Idol Wing Pon Manickavel to appear before him with all records of the case, on June 29.

Deenadayalan idol snuggler
Madras High Court questioned as to why the tainted DSP was not arrrsted?
: A day after the Madras High Court questioned the top brass of the state idol wing police as to why police personnel of their own wing involved in illegal sale of ancient panchaloha idols for several crores of rupees have not yet been arrested, the state government told the court that it had placed deputy superintendent of police Khader Batcha under suspension[4]. The judge orally asked the APP, “Why you have not arrested them. Don’t you know their whereabouts?”  The APP, Emilias said it will take some time to know their whereabouts[5]. The judge also asked Pon Manickavel what was the strength of the Idol Wing department. After Pon Manickavel explained the details, the judge asked him to file an affidavit as to what was the requirement and how many staff he requires. The judge posted to June 30, further hearing of the case. The judge also adjourned to July 21, 2017, the hearing on another petition filed by Rajendran, which sought a direction to the authorities to provide police protection to him and to his family[6]. In his petition, Rajendran alleged that he received information on Thursday that a high ranking police officer made a comment on him stating that “He always gives trouble to the government by filing petitions, harassed real estate persons, now he filed a petition against police. I will teach a lesson to him”. He sought to transfer the investigation of idol theft case to CB-CID.

Khader Bhatcha case - Indian Express 28-06-2017

The police assured that effective steps were being taken to arrest him (absconding DSP): When Justice R Mahadevan took up the matter for hearing on Friday [30-06-2017], special government pleader M. Maharaja and additional public prosecutor C. Emilias submitted that the DSP, Khader Batcha, suspected to have been involved in the idol theft and sale case, was placed under suspension with effect from June 29, 2017[7]. A sub-inspector, who was an associate of Batcha, has already been arrested. Though Batcha is absconding, there were rumours on Friday [30-06-2017] that he had been arrested near Andhra Pradesh border. The two law officers also furnished a copy of the suspension order before the court. They told Justice Mahadevan that effective steps were being taken to arrest him and that police would proceed with further investigation including recovery of idols in the case. The HR & CE department will cooperate with the police in the investigation, they said. As for Justice Mahadevan’s queries with regard to the staff strength at the idol wing police and vacancies dogging it, the law officers produced a circular issued by the DGP, allotting 20 police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, an inspector and a sub-inspector to the idol wing[8]. The judge then reserved his orders on the PIL, filed by advocate and activist Elephant G Rajendran[9].

TN Govt Idol wing- officer- Khader bhatcha-2

Absconding DSP suspected to be hiding in Kerala[10]: CB-CID Idol Wing officers have intensified their search to nab Deputy Superintendent of Police Kadher Batcha, who has been suspended on for his alleged involvement in the illegal export of antique idols in 2008[11]. The news reports say that he was in Kerala or Andhra border hiding in a Ayurvedic clinic or resort. A.G. Ponn Manickavel, Inspector General of Police, Idol Wing CID, appeared before the Madras High Court and explained the details of the case to Justice R. Mahadevan who heard the plea moved by an advocate seeking transfer of the probe into a multi-crore idol theft case registered against two officials of the Idol Wing to the CB-CID[12]. Recording the appearance of IG, Justice Mahadevan orally instructed the prosecutor’s office to get instructions from the jurisdictional Superintendent of Police, Tiruvallur, as to why the police official involved in the crime was not yet arrested and file a report.

Subash Kapoor

Case background as reported in “The Hindu”[13]: Manickavel told The Hindu, “We have zeroed in on the probable whereabouts of Batcha and teams have been sent to Kerala following inputs that he might be hiding there.” In 2008, Sundaramoorthy, a professional photographer, who was running a studio in South Mada Street in Madurai and was involved in selling antique idols, had displayed photos of antique idols. Batcha, who was an Inspector at the time, and Subburaj, then a head constable in the Idol Wing, quizzed Sundaramoorthy about the photos displayed. Following information given by him, the officers apprehended Arokiaraj, a resident of Aladipatti of Aruppukottai Taluk in Virudhunagar, who was trying sell some idols recovered from his agricultural land to a foreign national. Police sources said Arokiaraj and Sundaramoorthy were interrogated at a guest house in Virudhunagar but they escaped from there. The idols were in the custody of Mr. Batcha who, along with Mr. Subburaj, tried to sell them to Deenadayalan, an international antique dealer, for Rs. 50 lakh. As Deenadayalan was reluctant to buy the idols, they reportedly forced him to buy the idols for Rs. 25 lakh. The idols found their way to Manhattan gallery owner Subhash Kapoor, who is in Puzhal Prison.

© Vedaprakash

30-06-2017

Deenadayalan, Subhash Kapoor, Khader Batcha

[1] http://www.tneow.gov.in/IDOL/IW_history.html

[2] Indian Express, Plea to shift theft case from idol wing to CBCID; SI held, DSP on the run, By Express News Service  |   Published: 28th June 2017 01:50 AM  |  Last Updated: 28th June 2017 07:54 AM.

[3] http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2017/jun/28/plea-to-shift-theft-case-from-idol-wing-to-cbcid-si-held-dsp-on-the-run-1621673.html

[4] Times of India, DSP tainted by idol theft charge suspended: Tamil Nadu, TNN | Updated: Jul 1, 2017, 12.35 PM IST.

[5] Deccan Herald, Why cops in idol theft case not held, Madras HC asks govt, PublishedJun 30, 2017, 1:49 am IST; UpdatedJun 30, 2017, 4:26 am IST

[6] http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/300617/why-cops-in-idol-theft-case-not-held-madras-hc-asks-govt.html

[7]  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/dsp-tainted-by-idol-theft-charge-suspended-tn/articleshow/59393078.cms

[8] Business Standard, DySP accused in idol case suspended: TN govt informs HC, Press Trust of India  |  Chennai June 30, 2017 Last Updated at 19:15 IST.

[9] http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/dysp-accused-in-idol-case-suspended-tn-govt-informs-hc-117063000966_1.html

[10] The Hindu, Absconding DSP suspected to be hiding in Kerala,, Chennai, June 30, 2017 00:00 IST; Updated: JUNE 30, 2017 04:49 IST.

[11] Bureaucracy Today, Suspended accused DSP: TN govt to HC, PTI/Agencies, Chennai , Saturday July 1 2017 18:52:44.

[12] http://bureaucracytoday.com/judiciary_watch_news.aspx?id=82274

[13]http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/dsp-wanted-in-idols-smuggling-case-suspected-to-be-hiding-in-kerala/article19182589.ece

Hindu Temples of Tamilnadu under systematic destruction!

June 19, 2011

Hindu Temples of Tamilnadu under systematic destruction!

T. S. Subramanian has pointed out the deteriorating condition of murals in temples many times[1]. He should be congratulated to bring out such facts with concerned feelings expressed in his writings. However, the concerned and connected people have not taken any action to annul such vandalizing processes going on in the name of renovation, administration and other actions. The recent article “Targets of destruction” has been provoking, but we have to wait and see the response of the authorities.

Target of destruction: He starts with the appropriate beginning[2]: “Art, in more than 50 temples and three palaces in Tamil Nadu, is being mutilated” and explains the condition as follows: “Temples in Tamil Nadu are repositories of history, with inscriptions, sculptures, murals, bronzes, carvings, architecture and so on. The inscriptions provide valuable insights into the history of the period during which the temples were built, the village administration that prevailed, elections conducted for its assemblies, taxes collected, boards set up for the maintenance of lakes, ponds and canals, donation of land for Brahmin settlements, gifting gold for temple maintenance, etc.  There are more than 50 temples and three palaces in Tamil Nadu with murals. The palaces are Ramalinga Vilasam in Ramanathapuram and those at Bodinayakanur near Madurai and Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district. While just four or five temples have murals dating back to the Pallava period (seventh to ninth century CE) and the Chola period (10th and 11th century CE), the majority of the murals belong to the Vijayanagar and the Nayak periods (14th to 17th century CE). The Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur have murals belonging to the Chola, the Nayak and the Maratha reigns.

Visual archivesThe mural masterpieces are visual archives on the history of the period, coronation rituals, the dress or the jewellery that men and women of those days wore, their hairstyle, musical instruments, the battles that they fought, the weapons used and so on. There are several Jain temples that have wonderful murals based on the Jain traditions, the Tirthankaras and the Yakshis. A favourite subject of many of the artists of those times was episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and some of the artists even took care to write the labels for the episodes (captions) in Tamil or Telugu. Unfortunately in Tamil Nadu, the murals, the inscriptions, the sculptures and carvings have become targets of destruction and vandalism. The officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, who administers the temples, are to be blamed for this state. Most often, these officials fail to appreciate and preserve these splendid works due to lack of knowledge of history.

How Meenakshi Temple was targeted? In the famous Meenakshi temple, Madurai, several historic mandapams have become shopping complexes. The Pudhu mandapam, the Ashta Sakti mandapam, Veera Vasantharayar mandapam and Meenakshi Nayakar mandapam teem with hundreds of shops, obstructing from view pillars with incredibly beautiful sculptures. A scholar on the history of the Meenakshi temple was displeased that its 1,000-pillared mandapam, with superb sculptures, has become ‘a studio’ now, with an incongruously gleaming granite floor, skewed focus lights and a big sculpture of Nataraja painted in black! Several years ago, the earthen bed of the temple’s famous ‘Golden Lotus’ tank (Pottramarai Kulam) was cemented up, with the result that no water stays in the tank now and it looks barren now. The HR and CE officials of the temple also whitewashed hundreds of beautiful murals, painted on the walls of the northern corridor of the Golden Lotus tank, portraying the ‘Tiruvilaiyadal,’ in the first quarter of 1996.

In a state of disrepair: While sculptures and carvings can survive for centuries because they have been chiselled out of granite, murals are vulnerable to nature. Since these murals were painted with natural dyes on mandapam walls or ceiling, they easily lend themselves to vandalism from devotees. Besides, they are exposed to sun or seepage of water from rain. Gaps between the granite slabs that form the roof of the mandapams lead to seepage of water due to rain and the sidewalls begin to ‘sweat.’ The lime plaster which forms the base for the murals has a tendency to absorb the water. When rain water falls on the murals painted on the ceiling or walls, fungus develops and the murals start peeling off. Smoke from the camphor (lit by the devotees) and from the oil lamps damage the paintings. Besides, they suffer from desecration at the hands of the HR and CE officials and devotees. Officials have fixed scores of metres of electric wires on the murals on the walls of the mandapams, installed switch boxes and tube lights on them, as it has happened in several places on the splendid murals in the Devaraja Swamy temple at Kanchipuram, portraying the 108 Divya Desam murals.

Other examples of vandalism: Extremely rare murals painted on wood in the Tirukkutraleeswarar temple at Tirukkutrala Chitra Sabha in Tirunelveli district have been vandalised. At the Siva temple at Patteeswaram, paintings were sandblasted in 1998 in the name of cleaning the surfaces on which they were painted. The paintings portrayed Lord Siva presenting a palanquin studded with pearls to the Saivite saint Tirugnana Sambandar because he could not bear to see his devotee walking in the sun. Temple officials sandblasted another row of paintings narrating the life of a mythical king who had no child but was blessed with a child after praying to Siva at Patteeswaram. Officials of the Lakshminarasimhar temple at Sevilimedu, near Kanchipuram, whitewashed them. They do not exist today.  Tales of destruction and desecration of these invaluable murals in temples in Tamil Nadu do not end with this list. What happened to the paintings at the Meenakshi temple at Madurai, the Trilokyanatha Jaina temple at Tiruparuttikunram near Kanchipuram, another Jaina temple at Karanthai near Kanchipuram and the Ramalinga Vilasam Palace in Ramanathapuram town take the cake.

Why this targested vattcks of vandalism? What the Mohammedan and the Europeans rulers could have done during their reigns is carried on in India, that too, after “independence” by the Indians by themselves. Ironically, “Hindu Religious & Endowment Board” under the control of proclaimed atheist, rationalist and particularly anti-Hindu ideologists for the last 70 years. The staff and officers entering into the department of HR&CE have been ideologists of all sorts of such category and some non-Hindus have also been there. And this vandalism is not done on one day, but carried on systematically. Whenever any official function comes, they carry out such destruction easily under the guise of celebration. The moment the temple comes under the control of HR&CE, any official comes into a temple, an office is constructed inside temple, that office is converted into some sort of lodge and then star-type accommodation, the temples start losing their sanctity. Perhaps, God is leaving the place. Under such circumstances, these modern day vandals, ideologists and rulers start their destruction.


“Religion, Tradition and Ideology: Pre-colonial South India” by Champakalakshmi: A Marxist interpretation!

April 7, 2011

“Religion, Tradition and Ideology: Pre-colonial South India” by Champakalakshmi: A Marxist interpretation!


South India‘s cultural past not confined to one religion: Prof. Champakalakshmi[1]: The Hindu reports, “The empirical pre-eminence in the study of history in inscription-rich Tamil Nadu and a modern outlook on historiography combine to provide a fresh understanding of the past in a book launched here on Tuesday (05-04-2011). Religion, Tradition and Ideology: Pre-colonial South India” (Oxford University Press) is a collection of essays by historian R. Champakalakshmi, discussing the origins and development of multiple religious traditions and their role in the evolution of a rich and complex socio-religious matrix in pre-colonial south India. Champakalakshmi, who retired as professor of the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has debunked the usual simplistic continuities between Vedic times and the present day that is the staple of the conventional historian’s approach, and attempted to show how conflicting, even irreconcilable beliefs and practices, were incorporated into the Sanskritic tradition”.

From “Indologist to historian and social scientist”: The report goes on to say, “As history is dying in schools and colleges, and he history teachers have been loosing their jobs, they have started crying wolf with changed roles. Thus, it is reported that “the work, which is the consummation of almost five decades of research during which the author “transformed from an Indologist to historian and social scientist,” sketches the emergence of Brahminism as a dominant tradition and the marginalisation of the “sramanic” religions — Jainism and Buddhism — in the socio-economic and political context”. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, launched the book by handing over the first copy to Iravatham Mahadevan, an expert on Indus and Tamil-Brahmi scripts. Describing the publication as “rich in its material and many-sided in its historical offerings,” Mr. Ram said one of the notable aspects was the nuanced treatment of the interaction between the Brahminical and “sramanic” religions. The author’s approach to caste and community was a breakthrough contribution in understanding caste and its changing dynamics with the community as was her bold treatment of the hegemony of one religion in an otherwise pluralistic tradition, Mr. Ram said”.

There existed no Vedic linkage to the term Hindu which first originated during the Vijayanagara period of the 14th century: The report goes on, “Mr. Mahadevan said the author in her role of historian was “a bridge between tradition and modernity,” a product of the University of Madras who held on to conservative values and yet blossomed to expand her perspective in the JNU milieu. Professor Champakalakshmi was someone who, while being rooted in tradition, brought to historiography the searchlight of modernity, he said. Professor. Champakalakshmi said her over 55 years of research and teaching had been “an eventful and fascinating journey” that took her through many untrodden avenues of India‘s historical past. Noting that south India’s cultural past was not confined to one religion — in fact, there existed no Vedic linkage to the term Hindu which first originated during the Vijayanagara period of the 14th century — Professor Champakalakshmi said she had studied counter-traditions (such as Jainism) to understand the historical processes that led to the dominance of Brahminism. Shashank Sinha, OUP senior commissioning manager, said the book was another illustration of south India‘s emergence as an important component of the publishing programme that ranges across performing arts, music and literature”.

Hinduism to become the dominant tradition and ideology after its development and reworking: Under “Description”, the publishers give the following[2]: “This book discusses the multiple facets, dominant characteristics, and historical trajectories of religious traditions in pre-colonial south India. It explores how Hinduism, primarily the Brahmanical tradition, developed and reworked itself in the context of challenges posed by Buddhism and Jainism to become the dominant tradition and ideology in south Indian society and polity. Examining the linkages between religion and politics, the volume also investigates alternative vernacular traditions, rituals and practices, temple architecture, iconography and other representational art forms that evolved as symbols of power. A detailed introduction weaves together the different aspects and introduces new questions for further research”.

Religion is for the believers, as the ideology is for the Marxist historians: 55 years journey cannot compel the 5500 years old believers with their established belief system, that has already been tested many-many times. The branding of “Bhrahmanical” religion is a myth, as such gabblers never talk about “Khastriya  religion”, “Vaisya religion”, and “Sudra religion”. In fact, they do not explain such “Varna system” existing in other religions. By interpreting the divisions of a society by caste, community by denomination, people by ethnos, or by any other expression the existing vertical or horizontal, social stratifications, or structural arrangements cannot be ignored or suppressed. Therefore, hegemonic interpretation alone cannot be used for such forced conclusion. Days, years, decades and even millenniums have been passing on and in such a milieu, the Hindu religion or the religion of Indians have been no doubt changing, but not ideologically. The question of ideological interpretation of Hindu religion, in the pre-colonial context, cannot take away the facts of underlying[3] the so-called “Shramanic religions”[4].  That Buddhism and Jainism to play crucial role during the Vijayanagara to Colonial period, they had to be resurrected and brought.

Conflicting, even irreconcilable beliefs and practices, were incorporated into the Sanskritic tradition: In religion, that too, followed by millions of people at time and place naturally exhibit differences. In performing rites, rituals, ceremonies, festivals, the regional variance would be there in physical forms depending upon the natural differences. Whenever, any material required for performing rites, rituals, ceremonies, festivals, etc., are not available, substitutes are taken. Such practices, might be opposed by the traditionalists and conservatives initially, but, slowly reconciled, understanding the practical difficulties. This is just like Siva having moustache and beard or without them, as depicted in pictures and sculptures. But, Parvati never claim any “immaculate conception” to have Subramanya / Karttikeya like Mary! Krishna might be in blacks and blues, but, devotees love and like him like Radha and Meera.  They would not preach ahimsa killing and eating animals like Buddhists. Even children or atheists know that “Ramarajya” is talked about by all ideologists and not about “Ravana rajya”! Even during the medieval and pre-colonial period, the other counter-traditions or anti-cultures had to thrive only on such “myths”, if at all, they disbelieve such “greater traditions and bigger heritages”.

Ideological historians never demythologize other religions to present facts: The ideological historians can very well demythologize non-Indian, non-Bharatiya, colonial, Semitic religions to present facts behind the fundamental tenets, as they interpret Hindu religion. Why the Mohamedans issued coins with “Rama” or the British incorporated “Ramrajya” would not be discussed by these historians.  Romila Thapar would not appear then and there and threaten with going on appeal against the Supreme Court judgments as in the case of Temple-mosque disputes.  That is why believers or common people remember Rama’s bridge without caring for the engineer or the college where such engineer studied. In other words, instead of Rama, the Mohammedan and colonial forces must have issued coins with Ravana. “Shramanic” unbelievers or anti-Vedic followers would not have incorporated Lakshmi and other Goddesses for their profits. However, they would discuss about Hindus believers to copy from the Mohammedans to learn Advaita; to adopt syncretism incorporating Mohammedan philosophy; and so on without any conflict, contradiction or reconcilable accommodation.

Vedaprakash

07-04-2011


[3] JG Jennings, The Vedantic Buddhism of the Buddha, A collection of historical texts translated from the original Pāli and edited by J. G. Jennings, Geoffrey Cumberlege,  Oxford University Press, 1947.

[4] Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Hinduism and Buddhism, Philosophical Library, New York, 1943. 2011 edition by Golden Eixir Press.