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Racism in India, the land of “spirituality”

I’m a strawberry blond “white “(actually light pink, just as “black” is some shade of coffee to deep brown color) skinned guy.

When studying in India in the late 80s I noticed that, depending on the circumstances, my skin color alternately gave me social advantages or disadvantages. These are really too numerous and complex to explain here. And this kind of reaction to my skin color was a fairly unique situation in that I was from the West, a confounding variable in the Indian racism question.

Image via Tumblr – click for original article source

The article tweeted and snipped above points to an issue within India, among some indigenous Indians. And, unless things have changed considerably since I was there, it’s no overstatement. I witnessed incredible racism within a land that some claim is “the guru of the world.”

Don’t get me wrong. I really liked the Indian people on the whole. They seemed, for the most part, gentle, fun, generous and civil. But this issue did stand out. And I’m glad that Quartz India is addressing it. Ignoring never solves problems.

Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of the holy man Ramakrishna, made a similar observation in the late 19th century. And, of course, Mahatma Gandhi followed suit in the early 20th century. But it seems their words were largely forgotten.


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India wants to maintain wealth gap?

After reading this article I got the sneaking suspicion that some major players in India did some cool calculations indicating that it was more profitable for them to keep things the way they are.

While a student in India, it seemed that some of the so-called elite didn’t give a hoot about the poverty around them. There were noble exceptions from some truly exceptional people, but many take the Hindu religion to say that poverty is mostly due to karma. The poor did something bad in a past life so “deserve” their fate. At least, that is the explanation I often got from those apathetic about social justice.

The country is, for the most part, in dire need of development and it’s choices like this that will probably keep it that way.

80s_6

Me at the Canada Dam, a Canadian funded dam in India.


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Caring for the world ecology

Evan Leeson via Flickr

By goyal.ishaa

BOTH THE developed and the developing countries are between the devil and the deep sea. The developed countries do not wish to cut green house gas emissions as it would slow down their progress and enable competing countries to take over. The developing countries including China, a surprise entrant, take the plea that they have to reach the level of the developed countries and for that cutting the green house-gas emissions would be like committing Harakiri.

Be that as it may, numerous conferences on promoting ecology and checking environmental pollution have turned out to be mere discussions in a debating club. Be it Kyoto, or Latin America or now Copenhagen in December 2009, the talking shops did not produce any positive results. Many hundred reams of paper, secretarial work, a lot of wining and dining and track two diplomacy failed to produce any positive results. Time and energy went down the drain.

Now some light can be seen at the end of the tunnel. On Sunday, November 15, 2009, at Singapore at the session of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, President Obama of the United States and other opinion makers and shapers arrived at an agreement ahead of the Copenhagen Summit on Ecology to tone down criticism of the advanced nations.

A deal was struck by agreeing to tone down the target and also to renew efforts to achieve positive results.The Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Lokke Rasmussen put forth the compromise formula and called it one agreement two steps that would be legally binding as a treaty by 2010.

Indeed, the developed nations may be happy but it is a compromise that would not reduce the global warming substantially. In another 11 years, China will account for 50 per cent of the global emissions. Maldives and parts of Mumbai and London may bid adieu to the earth and become a part of the surging waters of the sea.

Let us hope and pray that the Gangotri, source of our Ganges river does not melt as it would spell disaster for the plains of India. We must keep on convincing those who are not affected now by global warming and climate change to listen to the suffering humanity.

About the Author:

Hi, I am Ishaa Goyal from India, by profession i am a journalist. Recently i m covering news on Global Warming and China News. I have written number of climate related articles.

Article Source: Caring for the world ecology


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Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela in Ancient and Recent Times
Kumbh Mela 2015 Nasik

The Kumbh Mela of 2015 is just around the corner. It starts from July 14 at Trimbakeshwar in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. 80 million people are expected to visit Nasik this year as per government estimates.

There will be hordes of people coming to Nasik. Such is the devotion of the masses that they arrive in overcrowded buses and trains which sometimes carry five times more people than their allotted capacity. Then there are those who come by ox-drawn carts, horse backs and camels from far off places. Some ardent devotees come by foot with their bed rolls and puja items stacked on their heads. The Kumbh Mela instills such a deep feeling of reverence and adulation that people forget about their comfort and convenience just to take a dip in the sacred waters and achieve moksha or liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

Kumbh mela is celebrated once every 3 years alternately at four different locations: Allahabad, Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar. Due to the colossal gathering of people and its management, Kumbh Melas have become renowned as the “largest peaceful gathering for faith”.

Importance of Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela is an important aspect in the spirituality of India and its significance should be understood. The devotees believe that taking a bath sacred river liberates them from their past sins or karma and escapes the cycle of birth and defeat. Those looking forward to taking a dip in the sacred Godavari River in Nasik in 2015 must understand that by merely taking a dip in the waters does not guarantee absolution. After the shahi snaan (or bathing in the sacred river) one must amend his or her lifestyle choices and lead a path of purity to avoid any karmic reaction. To bathe in the holy river at an auspicious time and thereby achieve moksha, the pilgrims or the devotees travel from far off places enduring physical discomforts (such as harsh climate or sleeping in cramped open spaces etc.).

Although the international interest in Kumbh Mela has risen in recent years, this spectacle of faith had intrigued foreign travelers since the 7th century. Chinese traveler Hsuan Tsang is accounted as the first person to document the event during the Magha month of the Hindu calendar (January-February). He witnessed the gathering of almost half a million people on the banks of the river Ganga in Allahabad. The celebration continued for 75 days and the participants includes sages, scholars and the King as well as his ministers.

Later on the renowned saint Shankara popularized the concept of Kumbh mela amongst the masses and soon the attendance of the common people saw a huge rise. Shankara preached about the significance of associating oneself with learned people or sages during the event and this practice is still followed today when people folk around rishis and munis to hear them speak about Vedas and puranas. Other events during this event include discussions on religious doctrines, devotional singing and in particular charity and feeding holy men and women and the needy.

About the Author

Suhita – Rajnish Nair is a content writer working with Rudra Centre, a reputed firm that specializes in spiritual products such as Rudraksha beads…


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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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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.