Category Archives: Religion

My comments are restricted to a section of Hindusim, especially our minority, albeit successful, GSB community.

Rising Cattle Theft Creating Tensions

Despite police claims of vigil, cattle rustling incidents are increasing, leading to violence at some places.

2.Activists taking out a protest march from Shri Mahalingheswara temple in Parkala near Manipal on Sunday, 5 July 2015 to condemn the rising incidents of cattle theft from the temple and surrounding areas.

2. Activists taking out a protest march from Shri Mahalingheswara temple in Parkala near Manipal on Sunday, 5 July 2015 to condemn the rising incidents of cattle theft from the temple and surrounding areas.

Communal tensions have been arising in various parts of the country following growing incidents of cattle rustling and slaughter. Several such incidents take place every week almost all over India, but most of these are reported only in local, vernacular media with the national media being surprisingly quiet.

For example, on Sunday, 5 July 2015 several shops belonging mainly to Muslims were set afire by alleged Hindutva activists at Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh Jhansi’s district.

According to report in Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, Hindutva activists tried to enforce a protest bandh after a calf was found slaughtered apparently by a knife. Some shopkeepers refused to down shutters and the enraged activists then set them afire.

In West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, at least seven policemen, including Dhupguri police station in-charge, were injured during a clash with locals last Wednesday.

Irate locals clashed with the police following a cattle theft in the area, The Statesman reported, quoting police sources.

1.Shops belonging to Muslims that were set afire at Mahoba in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, 5 July 2015. (Photo: Dainik Bhaskar).

1. Shops belonging to Muslims that were set afire at Mahoba in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, 5 July 2015. (Photo: Dainik Bhaskar).

During the clash, seven policemen, including the Dhupguri police station IC, Jugal Chandra Biswas, were injured while the locals set ablaze two vehicles. To control the situation, police fired ten rounds in the area to disburse them.

Later the locals, alleging inaction on the part of police following frequent cattle theft cases, blocked National Highway 31 for three hours.

After a spurt in cases of cattle theft, especially buffaloes, police in Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi have directed cattle owners to submit details of the cattle like height, shape and length of horn, type of teeth and special mark if any, along with owner’s name, address and phone number with local police stations for the purpose of record, The Times of India reported last week.

Protests like these by predominantly pro-cow social and Hindutva organizations are also becoming commonplace at several places in Mangalore and Udupi districts of coastal Karnataka and northern Kerala.

On Sunday, 5 July, 2015, scores of people held a rally at Gandhi Maidan in Parkala near Manipal after a series of cattle thefts from the local over 1000-year-old Mahalingeshwara temple.

Police in the coastal districts have cracked down on rustlers and have seized several vehicles over the years, some with the aid of Hindutva activists.

Yet, people are convinced that police and politicians are hand-in-glove with the rustlers as cattle theft is a big, booming business.

The latest cattle theft took place from inside an ancient temple’s premises that was caught on security cameras. A first information report (FIR) was filed at the nearby Manipal Police Station against “unidentified persons”. Though the theft at the 1000-year-old Shri Mahalingeshwara temple took place more than two-three weeks ago, no headway has been made in the case.

Mr Srinivas Upadhya, the temple’s managing trustee and a popular local social worker, told this writer that scores of cows have been donated to the temple by devotees, yet over the years many instances of theft have taken place.

The security cameras were put in place upon the advice of police a little over four months ago. Yet, despite the incident being caught on camera, “nothing has been done by the police”, Mr Upadhya said.

On Sunday, 5 July 2015, scores of pro-cow activists took out a protest rally from the temple to the nearby Gandhi Maidan. Though the rally was supposed to go to Manipal Police Station to submit a memorandum to the Udupi district police chief, it culminated in a public meeting.

3.Mr Srinivas Upadhya addressing the anti-cow theft protestors protestors at Gandhi Maidan in Parkala near Manipal on Sunday, 5 July 2015.

3. Mr Srinivas Upadhya addressing the anti-cow theft protestors protestors at Gandhi Maidan in Parkala near Manipal on Sunday, 5 July 2015.

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The significance of Diwali

The Holy Cow

The Holy Cow

Diwali means celebrating Deepotsava. This is when winter starts setting in and nights kick in earlier. During this period, we light oil lamps so that darkness is dispelled.
Also, there are a lot of insects around this time — during the end of the rainy season and the onset of winter — which get attracted to the flames of the deepas and are consumed by its flames. This is a natural way of controlling such insects.
During this period, go-pooja or worship of the holy cow, is also important, it is a “must and should”, according to Shringeri Sudhakar Bhat. “We consider the cow as God and it our duty to protect her. We worship her as “Surabhi Vaishnavi Mata”. The Kamadhenu has given all our Gods a place to reside in her body.
According to our Puranas, all the three crore Hindu Gods are given positions in Kamadhenu’s body, including in gomutra, horns, ears, milk, and so on. After all these places were distributed, arrived Lord Shri Lakshmi. Kamadhenu was in a dilemma, but offered Her a place in gomaya (cowdung), which Shri Lakshmi graciously accepted.
“It is for this reason that we are supposed to spread cowdung and gomutra on the floors of our house. Thus, Shri Lakshmi resides in all four corners of our house or our house is filled by Shri Lakshmi,” says Sudhakar Bhat.
“It is strange that now we are afraid of even touching the pavitra gomaya or cowdung,” he adds, tongue-in-cheek.
During Diwali, when we are filling a pot of water from the well, we also bring cowdung, offer it garika or a particular type of grass, apply haldi kumkum (turmeric and vermillion) and remember Lord Ganapati. However, we do not offer coconut and banana. We call it Peda-Ganapati. This is then set aflame so that its smoke purifies the house and incidentally also gets rid of insects like mosquitoes! If we do it every evening, it is all the more helpful to lead a healthy life. Try it and see the improvement in every one’s health.
During this period, Lakshmi Pooja is an important ritual. This is done only at night, not at any other time. Why? Because Lakshmi supposed comes in the night. “Thus we should go towards light.” (Asatoma Sadgamaya, Tamsoma Jyoritgamaya). The principle is where a lot of money comes, automatically darkness follows. Also, Lakshmi travels on an owl, which cannot see at night. So when a lot of wealth is made, people are blinded by material things and cannot see anything related to spiritual knowledge. That’s why we decorate and put up a lot of lamps to light up the place, hence the festival is known as Deepavali, when darkness or ignorance is dispelled.
We pray to Lord Lakshmi thus: “Mother, you should come to my house not as darkness, come as deepak jyoti. You should take me away from whatever sins I have committed, away from the darkness of ignorance, and towards light.”
During Deepavali, another important ritual is the taking of oil bath. This is known as thailaabhyangasnanam. Water itself is God, which occurs because of God’s grace. The surroundings near our well should be cleaned. Then the well should be decorated after applying a coat of fresh lime paint.
Well water should be drawn regularly, because only if done so then it remains clean and the spring in the well gets refreshed.
The water has to be drawn by the gruhini (housewife) herself. The pulley should be oiled before that. This has significance to our lives. Just as the wheel of the pulley turns when the vessel is lowered, filled with water and pulled back, thus the life cycle goes on. It is to be remembered that the rope should be strong.
When the rope is strung across the neck of the vessel, it indicates that brotherhood is struck. The rope is made up of many tiny strings, which indicates the gruhini’s control/management of our lives.
The gruhini’s love and affection is charged by the well water, she should then put the water into the bhana (vessel used to heating the water).
It is imperative that ghruhini — wife or mother — bathe the man after applying oil, reflecting the relationship of love and affection.

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