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Hindus ask Australian museums re-examine procurement process of Hindu collections

Colombo-temple hindu

Colombo-temple hindu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus are asking all the museums and art galleries of Australia to exhaustively re-examine the procurement process and the provenance of their Hindu art collections, and if proved stolen, return to Hindu temples these originally belonged.

Rajan Zed, who is based in Nevada (USA), welcomed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s gesture of returning back to India on September five about 900-years-old bronze Shiva Nataraja and granulite Ardhanarishvara statues stolen from temples in India, which were worth millions of dollars.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that when acquiring new Hindu artifacts in the future, Australian art institutions should make sure that these were not looted from Hindu religious centers and should follow strict due diligence procedures and have transparent provenance. Pillaging of Hindu temples and archeological sites for mercantile greed was not okay, Zed argued.

Rajan Zed pointed out that Australian art institutions should adhere to the principles of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import and Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The panels conducting the examinations of existing collections should include internal and external art specialists. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly assist if needed, Zed added.

Zed further said that devotees had been worshipping these images of Hindu deities for centuries and, if confirmed as stolen, the world should respect their feelings by making arrangements to respectfully return to the religious institutions these plundered antiquities rightfully belonged to before being stolen.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.


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Misconceptions about the Tarot cards

Tarot of the Forest: The Moon

Tarot of the Forest: The Moon (Photo credit: queercatkitten)

Introduction

When I was a grad student in India, I had a Rider-Waite Tarot deck and did “the cards” almost every day. Well, for a few months anyhow. I also threw the I Ching on near-daily basis.

After a while I realized I was just reading into the cards and hexagrams, hoping that what I wanted would appear in the results, or seeing what I wanted in them. I really enjoyed the archetypal patterns. But after a while when my youthful hopes and dreams didn’t really manifest, I got bored and moved on. I still own that Rider Tarot deck and my personal library contains several interpretations of the I Ching. But I rarely look at divinatory material today.

However, the Tarot and I Ching were a part of my spiritual journey and, as such, I respect them. And that’s why I’m posting this article. It might not be the best written article but I think that’s probably due to language barriers. I might not agree with everything this article says. But if you just scan thru the sometimes wooly sentences you might find a few good points that we should all keep in mind.

Remember, Earthpages is about dialogue. And I’m not really interested in ambitious pundits who babble on and backslap in a tight circle of internet talk shows. Nope. Earthpages is an alternative to all that. And that means publishing stuff by unknowns, even by folks whose English language skills are not quite up to scratch. As long as the article is understandable, and IMO has some merit, it’ll probably appear here sooner or later. After all, language should be used to communicate, not to oppress or exclude.

So, with that unsolicited introduction, here’s the article.

 —MC

Page of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Page of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Misconceptions about the Tarot cards

By Toyajwmt

Although many people have started to believe in the efficiency of tarot cards, but there are still some who still doubt his ability. Like a lot of misconceptions develop as a result of people still think that these cards are a form of magic. As a result, they are not even willing to touch these cards because they think the magic of these cards will affect them negatively. Moreover, symbols, colors or numbers present on these cards have nothing to do with magic, but they only convey some meaning.

These tarot cards are actually thousands of years of human experience that is embedded in these shaped cards symbols, numbers or colors. They do not make accurate predictions of future events, but they can only show us some of the probable or give us some guidance for decision making opportunities.

Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is also a misconception about the tarot cards these cards are evil as symbols present in them, are images or signs of poor people and people who are involved with these Tarot Reading have powers of darkness. Actually, this myth originated in the middle Ages, when the pagans Christians eradicated because the pagans were their main competitors at the time. Tarot at the time was associated with pagans. The anti-Christian pagans they still consider tarot cards as evil without understanding the reason and importance of tarot cards are still. Tarot cards are actually associated or related to any religion they only speak the universal language of symbols to make some predictions likely to happen.

There are also people who think that the origin of tarot cards is China, India and ancient Egypt but according to the evidence found are believed to have originated in Italy. Tarot is considered fraud business to make money for some, but in all professions there are dishonest people who without knowing it are just making their own fortunes. Tarot is actually more susceptible to these types of people cheat. They sometimes regarded as soothsayers. Has been observed that people consider these tarot readers as witches or demons. But the tarot has no connection with any religion or something. Different readers of different religions to choose different cards to suit the images present in them according to their religion deck. This is only for the tarot to a particular religion is nothing more than that.

Ten of Cups from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Ten of Cups from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dominant there is also a myth that reading tarot cards over and over again or reading your own tarot cards can bring bad luck to a person considered to be fully false by professionals. This may have arisen from the fact that the tarot card readers do not read their own cards. This is not because they can not do that, but yes, it is difficult to do so. The reason behind this is that reading Tarot Reader in Pune requires questioning, and it becomes quite difficult for a person even becoming reader and asks the same time. Nor is sometimes believed that psychic ability is required for read or interprets these tarot cards are trying to say, but this is not true. You just need to have a thorough knowledge of the symbols on the cards and gifts all you need is to decipher its meaning. These meanings have been developed over the years through the human experience. The person should be relaxed and calm during the tarot reading, because it is the subconscious mind which is working at that time rather than any psychic ability of a person to make a prediction. Tarot are sometimes believed to affect the lives of others which is completely opposite of the function of the tarot cards. They can not be used to do things or make things happen but they are only used to predict things or interpret situations. Finally, we must understand tarot cards are useful because it is a kind of knowledge preserved collected over the years.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/tarot-articles/misconceptions-about-the-tarot-cards-6990246.html

About the Author

Instead, with the help of these cards can guide people in difficult situations with their amazing abilities and powers.

 


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The Near Death Experience and the Universal Connectivity – An Esoteric Revelation

Image via Tumblr

By TC Gopalakrishnan

Among the many important messages from near death experiences (NDEs), the one thing that stands out is the sensing of the Universal Connectivity between all manifestations.  This is in contrast to the individuation which currently drives the human psychology on this planet.   In the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung (Ref. 1), individuation is defined as the process by which the self is formed by integrating elements of the conscious and the unconscious mind.

This identification is a result of two things: 1. Limited awareness and 2. the Instinct of self-preservation in living beings.  When awareness expands, we sense the source of this limited self and talk about the Universal Self.  In Sanatana Dharma, the ancient philosophy of India, this Universal Self is called the Purusha – the source of all manifestations in the universe.  Purusha is like a primordial fire from which many sparks leave, get embroiled with the nature and, at the culmination of their awareness, rejoin the flame to complete the cycle.

Carl Sagan, the noted astrophysicist, writes in his book ‘Cosmos’ that only a cyclic process can be eternal.

In the early stages of development, human beings must have thought that the moon is self-luminant and that moonlight emanates from it.  With widening awareness, they understood that it is actually the sunlight reflected by the moon.  This metaphor can be used to explain the relationship between the limited self (the moon) and the Universal Self (the sun).  During the NDE, the human being is temporarily thrown into the Universal Consciousness and, hence, feels the source of all things.  That is the basis for sensing the connectivity between all beings during the expansive awareness.  In the next paragraph, we see the expression of an NDEer (Lori, E; nderf.org) about this connectivity.

‘We are all made of the same light, the same energy Being so connected, and seeing the similarities in myself and others has made it extremely easy for me to communicate with people and to support their journeys here on earth.  I am able to tell people with complete certainty that we are all connected, that we are all one. I know there is absolutely nothing to fear about death; it is just a transition away from the physical.’

Another NDEer, Victor Solow, has given an interesting account of his NDE in the October 1974 issue of the Reader’s Digest.  The following lines appear in it:

‘A recurrent nostalgia remains for that other reality, that condition of indescribable stillness and quiet where the ‘I’ is part of a harmonious whole.  The memory softens the old drives for possession, approval and success.’

The above perceptions are a far cry from that of the habitual neurology in which the present humanity is caught.  The very fact that sectarian practices are thriving and creating serious conflicts among the various groups indicates that the connectivity mentioned above is expressly denied by them. What is needed is a revolution in the outlook of people which is currently being guided by individuation – both in pampering the ego at the level of a person and, at the level of groups, in being at logger heads with each other through identification with a nation, belief system etc.  Many Enlightened Masters – like Krishna, Buddha, Jesus Christ, to name a few – have come and gone but, as of now, the universal connectivity is sensed only by a very small part of the human population.  In that respect, the current research on near death experiences has been playing a supportive role to that of the Masters.

The Sanskrit word ‘Athma’ is usually translated as ‘Soul’ in English. However, there is a lot of difference between the content of those words.  While ‘Athma’ is considered a spark of the Divine and so is the same in all beings, the ‘Soul’ is meant to mean a separate entity identified with each person.  For the ‘Soul’ the individuation applies.  That is how they can talk about a particular ‘Soul’ going to eternal heaven or hell maintaining its separate identity.  In contrast, the ‘Athma’ has no separate identity.  At nirvana or liberation, the spark rejoins the flame whence it came.  It is like the space in a pot merging with the expansive space outside when the pot is broken; the inner space has always been of the same nature as the outer space but the pot, by its shape, gave it an illusory identity.  Thus, the ancient philosophy of Sanatana Dhrama has emphasized the connectivity between all beings through the quality of oneness at their essence.

Truth has to be universal and cannot be the exclusive property of any sectarian group.  Connectivity also being universal, it can chime in with Truth.  Reflections on this matter of connectivity and the associated oneness can lift us to higher levels of esoteric perception.  That would make us look at all beings with respect and dignity, leading to global unity and a caring humanity.  The joy of global cooperation and international camaraderie would become a day-to-day reality.  Harmony and joy would then reign on this wonderful planet.

Related matters are covered in the author’s website.

Ref. 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individuation

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/the-near-death-experience-and-the-universal-connectivity-an-esoteric-revelation-6849435.html

About the Author

The Author: T.C. Gopalakrishnan was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled ‘In Quest of the Deeper Self’ is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA.  Functions as a freelance counselor for peaceful living.  He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family.  Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.

Website:  http://spirituality.yolasite.com      Blog: http://nde-thedeeperself.blogspot.com


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Zed asks India to free its 14-million slaves

CH 41 Slave Village - Now Free!

CH 41 Slave Village – Now Free! (Photo credit: Made By Survivors)

Special to Earthpages.org

It was shocking and dismaying to learn that India had the highest number of people enslaved in the world, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed stated in Nevada (USA) today.

According to first “Global Slavery Index 2013” recently produced by the Australia based Walk Free Foundation and its partners, India has the highest number of people enslaved in absolute terms, with approximately 14 million people in modern slavery – almost half of the total number worldwide.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that this incidence of slavery was a scar on India, which claimed to be on track to become a global power. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.

Rajan Zed further said that instead of pretending that slavery did not exist, India should show a strong political will and root out slavery completely.

Zed also appealed to India’s billionaires/millionaires, who had enormously benefited from India’s economic growth, to come to the aid of the slavery victims.


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Indian Festivals

English: Pongal Festival

Pongal Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Arya Gupta

India is regularly alluded as the place where there is the celebration. Through out the year different celebrations are praised everywhere throughout the nation. Diverse sorts of individuals dependent upon the religious, station and social foundation exist in the nation. Despite the fact that there is such a large amount of differences, these individuals live in complete amicable way. Being a mainstream nation, India offers its natives opportunity of honing any religion and society unless it makes common disharmony. Celebrations are one event which carries best out of Indians. Throughout celebrations they disregard all hatreds and open their arms to each guests. These celebrations are praised in the company of much ballyhoo and on most event individuals from diverse group go along with one another in their minute of satisfaction.

Individuals in India have part of appreciation for every others religion. The animated association in the festival of every others celebrations carry solidarity around the overall public and has expedited the progression of its common certification. There are shifted purposes behind the festivals of festivals in India. Some of them are praised to welcome new season, the downpours or the full moon. Others are commended on religious events, birthday of religious holy persons, masters and otherworldly guides. The greater part of these celebrations are normally celebrated in all aspects of India however with an alternate name. The festivals are as accepted ceremonies or supplications to God, looking for gift, trading of kinship, improving the house, wearing new dress, moving and devouring.

Significant Festivals of India

Home to a portion of the major religions of planet like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and so on, individuals of India commend each celebrations sincerely and euphorically. Every area and religion have something to celebrate over the year. These celebrations sort of reflect the life styles of individuals of this nation. Colourful society, customs and celebration dependably keep individuals on their feet. Add this to blissful festival as feet tapping moves, trading of endowments and so on, celebrations are without a doubt an event to fortune in India.

Sheer number of celebrations commended everywhere throughout the nation makes it very intense to keep a tap on every last one of them. The agenda of the celebrations celebrated in Indian might continue forever. A percentage of the major celebrations praised are Deepawali, Holi, Dussehra, Navratri, Raksha Bandhan, Christmas, Buddha Purnima, Ramadan, Eid, Baisakhi, Mahavir Jayanti, and so on. There are some local base celebrations like Pongal, Onam, Bihu and so forth. Separated from them autonomy days, Gandhi Jayanti and republic day are significant national celebrations. They are commended in just as bombastic path as others.

Dussehra @ Delhi

Dussehra @ Delhi (Photo credit: kaniths)

Sorts of Festivals

Individuals in India celebrate distinctive assortment of celebrations. Each of these celebrations are as essential as others.

With the globalization celebrations too have gotten globalized. Numerous universal celebrations like Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentine day, and so on too are commended in prominently. There are numerous other national and neighborhood level celebrations celebrated in India. All these celebrations have turned into the key part of the nation’s everyday life.

Universal celebrations: People in India additionally join planet group in commending major global celebrations. Being worldwide resident they pride in commending these celebrations. A portion of the major worldwide celebrations commended are Christmas, Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentine days, Daughter’s day, and so on.

National Festivals:

There are a few celebrations which are concurrently celebrated through out the nation. Despite the fact that they may be named specially in a few areas. A percentage of the paramount national celebrations praised however out the nation are Deepawali, Holi, Dussehra, Christmas, Eid, Rakshabandhan, Independence day, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti, and so forth. Dussehra which is an extremely well known celebration is commended around then with distinctive name through out the nation. In a few parts of nation like Bengal and Assam it is praised as Durga Puja. Deepawali is maybe the most mainstream celebration of India. Consistent with the legend, this celebration of light is praised in honour of the reappearance of ruler Rama to Ayodhya 14 years later of outcast.

In spite of the fact that it is fundamentally Hindu celebration, throughout Deepawali individuals from each religion join in the festival.

Nearby or Regional celebrations:

In India each district have their own particular neighborhood or territorial celebrations. These celebrations are an imperative event for neighborhood holding. Truth be told these celebrations are praised in as excellent undertakings as others. A portion of the essential local celebrations are Pongal, Onam, Bihu, Lohri, Baisakhi, and so forth. Pongal is an essential territorial celebration of Tamil Nadu. It is a standout amongst the most vital Tamilian celebrations and commended each year on the fourteenth January.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/indian-festivals-6788901.html

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Article from Indian Festivals


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Hindus express concern at trivialization of goddesses in ad campaign

Rajan Zed pic3

Rajan Zed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus have expressed serious concern at the trivialization of their highly revered goddesses in an ad campaign highlighting domestic violence which showed them battered and bruised.

Rajan Zed, based in Nevada, said that there was no denying the fact that domestic violence in India was endemic and widespread but there was no need to mis-portray Hindu goddesses whom Hindus worshipped regularly. This denigration was hurtful for the devotees, Zed added.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that they strongly condemned domestic violence. But domestic violence was a worldwide phenomenon and was prevalent among followers of all religions and it was unfair to just point fingers only at Hinduism as this campaign was depicting only Hindu goddesses.

London headquartered charity Save the Children, one of whose units reportedly commissioned this ad campaign, aims to “build partnerships”. Is this the Save the Children way to “build partnerships” with a billion-strong religion by denigrating their goddesses? Rajan Zed asked.

Zed noted that it was appalling and total misrepresentation to show images of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati apparently as battered and scarred victims of domestic abuse with bloody lips, cuts on faces and black eyes. Accompanying text stated: Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.

Rajan Zed urged Board Chair Charles Perrin and CEO Jasmine Whitbread of Save the Children to apologize for this trivialization of Hindu goddesses.

Zed further said that world, including India, needed to do serious soul searching on the treatment of women as the recent World Health Organization (WHO) report stated that violence affected over one third of all women globally. The world needs to provide a safer non-violent environment for women to go about their daily lives.

Society should look inward and address the factors which condoned violence against women. Men and women were equal in the eyes of God and they should be equal partners in the human society also, Rajan Zed noted. We all, men and women, deserved a violence-free life, Zed said.

Quoting scriptures, Zed pointed out that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.” Number of Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of mankind) hymns were said to be composed by women, and Aditi, who was sometimes referred as “mother of the gods”, found mention in Rig-Veda as a goddess.


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A ‘Lost’ Tribe of Israel Returns Home

Bnei Menashe in Adloyada of Purim in Carmiel, ...

Bnei Menashe in Adloyada of Purim in Carmiel, Israel by Jusmine via Wikipedia

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Most people have heard of the ‘ten lost tribes of Israel’. In reality they were never lost; they were just submerged among the much larger non Jewish population in the places where they lived, or they moved to distant lands, and over the course of centuries became detached from the main body of the Jewish People; and were forgotten. The well known Marano Jews, who are the descendants of Jews forced to convert into the Catholic Church in 15th century Spain and Portugal, are a good example of a submerged Jewish population. The Jewish communities in India and China are a good example of remote Jewish communities, who in the 12th  and 13th century became detached from the body of Israel and were forgotten. Today the Jews of India and China are remembered primarily because, unlike Jews in Europe and the Middle East, the Jews in India and China never were subject to Anti-Semitism or any form of religious oppression.

Now, a new group of  ‘lost’ Indian Jews, who are descendants of the tribe of Menashe, one of the ten tribes exiled from the Land of Israel in 721 BCE by the conquering Assyrian Empire, are returning home. In March 2005, Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar officially backed the Bnei Menashe’s claim to be Jewish. That announcement led to a wave of immigration from India to Israel; and about 1,700 of the 7,200-strong Bnei Menashe community arrived in Israel. But the flow stopped in 2007, when Israel stopped giving visas to the Bnei Menashe due to objections from some ultra-Orthodox Rabbis.

Israel’s decision to reverse that policy now will pave the way for all the remaining Bnei Menashe members to migrate. A source close to the prime minister’s office gave two reasons for the change in Israeli policy.  Some of the donors to Shavei Israel, an organization that seeks to repatriate  ‘lost’ Jewish communities, are also donors to Netanyahu, and several fundamentalist Christian groups that support Netanyahu also pressured him strongly because they believe that the return of the remnants of the ten lost tribes is a necessary part of the coming Messianic Age.

The Bnei Menashe Indian Jewish community says it is one of the ten lost tribes of Israel who were exiled when Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom of Israel in the 8th century BCE. According to its oral tradition, the tribe travelled through Persia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China and on to India, where it eventually settled in the north-eastern states of Manipur and Mizoram.

When the new group of 53 Bnei Moshe landed in Tel Aviv there were emotional scenes at Ben Gurion airport as the newcomers were greeted by relatives who had moved to Israel during the first wave of immigration. Several hundred more Bnei Menashe members are due to arrive in the coming weeks, said Michael Freund, a spokesman for the Shavei Israel group which helped organize the journey for the Bnei Menashe members. “The members of this tribe have never forgotten where they came from. and we are excited to be able to help them come back,”

Freund, a passionate religious Zionist from New York, immigrated to Israel in 1995 and was employed as deputy communications director for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term. In 1997 Freund discovered one of the many letters sent by the Bnei Menashe on a desk in the prime minister’s office. “The letter, hand-written and in a faded orange envelope, looked like it had been through a washing machine. At first, I thought the whole thing was nuts,” he said. But he was intrigued enough to visit the tribe in India. “When I met them and saw the similarities between their customs and beliefs and the biblical Israelites, I was convinced that these are indeed descendants of the lost tribes” Freund said.

Ethiopian Jews are another remote community that returned to Israel a generation ago after a separation of over 2,000 years. The amazing 1991 rescue of 15,000 Ethiopian Jews in an airlift lasting less than 48 hours stirred and inspired people for several weeks. Subsequently, the difficult problems the newcomers faced (similar to those of the 900,000 Russian Jews who immigrated in the 1970’s and 1980’s) occupied the Jewish media. Now both are taken for granted. The miracle has become routine.

But if you had told the Jews of Ethiopia two generations ago that they would someday all fly to Israel in a giant silver bird, they could only conceive of this as a Messianic miracle.  If you had told Russian Jews a generation ago that the Soviet regime would collapse, and the Soviet Empire disintegrate; while hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews would emigrate to Israel, they would have conceived it only as a Messianic dream. In our own generation therefore we have seen the dramatic fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “I will bring your offspring from the East (India) and gather you from the (European) West. To the North (Russia) I will say ‘give them up’ and to the South (Ethiopia) ‘do not hold them’.  Bring my sons from far away, my daughters from the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5-6) Truly amazing things are happening in our generation if we would only open our eyes.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com

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