Tehelka like operations on the anti-Sikh riots and Naxalite violence : SRI SRI

15 11 2007

“If what they have revealed is true, it is extremely shocking because Hindus are not known for such acts. It is not in the character of Hindu society to kill and burn others,” the spiritual guru told reporters during his visit to Maharashtra’s Vidarbha district, an area affected by a large number of suicides by distressed farmers.

“I congratulate the reporter (of Tehelka magazine) who has done this (the sting operation in which the perpetrators of the violence have been caught on camera admitting to the killings) and would like him to undertake similar operations on the anti-Sikh riots (of 1984) and Naxalite violence in the country,” Sri Sri said.

Describing the Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as the biggest threat to the country’s internal security, Sri Sri urged the media to address the serious problem.
“I would appeal to the media to insist on the introduction of moral and spiritual instruction in the school curriculum as that would ennoble the young, impressionable minds,” he said, attributing violent tendencies to the disappearance of spiritual content from instruction at homes and schools.
“This is particularly true of the Hindu society today, which is why you will generally find Hindu youths among Naxal cadres,” Sri Sri said, pointing to the presence of Maoist rebels in Nepal but their absence in Bangladesh.





Indifference to Terrorism Leads to More Violence: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

15 11 2007

The Times of India

Non-violence does not mean passive acceptance of terrorism. Rather than reacting with violence to acts of terrorism, precautionary measures have to be taken to nip violence in the bud.

Every small crime and instance of violence has the potential to explode into bigger acts of terrorism. Whenever there is an act of terrorism, one points fingers at neighbouring countries, thereby absolving oneself of all responsibility.

When 400 serial bomb blasts occurred in Bangladesh, fingers were pointed at India, denying the existence of terrorism on their own soil. Same with us. When it happens here, we point fingers elsewhere.

There have been acts of terror in Coimbatore, Mumbai and other places where the persons involved were not from across the border.

Ideologies and crime are not confined by borders, so we cannot say that only a particular nation is responsible. When these are linked to religion or belief system it is even more dangerous.
Terrorists need not be from outside; they can be home-grown. When you accuse others, you fail to take steps to correct the problem at home. Recognise this first and then do something about it.

We need stringent laws and enforcement. When you are angry and full of hate, you lose control and powers of reasoning. Then values are lost. Respect for life is the basis of all values.
Terrorists have no respect for life. They have no religion, no nationality, and no philosophy. They are blind to reason. But we should not give up on them. They can definitely be reformed.
This can happen in prisons and through people in the prisons who have connections with the outside world. Lack of spirituality gives rise to domestic and societal violence and suicidal tendencies.

When a person is frustrated, angry or hateful, you can’t expect brotherhood and non-violence to prevail. Your sense of brotherhood depends on how you are oriented to the ideology of non-violence.

If the programming of non-violence is strong enough, no frustration or disappointment can overthrow it. We need to attend to the smaller incidences of violence before it is too late.
Often, peace-loving people are inactive and those who are proactive have no peace in them. Moreover, when through media, idols of society are demolished, a society becomes bankrupt of values and morality and turns corrupt, insecure and depressed.

A combination of peace and dynamism is needed. This may seem idealistic, but with education and orientation it can be possible.

Religious community leaders should stop being rigid; they should rethink on how they can reduce extremist tendencies in their communities, and learn why terrorism is prevalent.
They should throw open their doors to other schools of thought and inculcate a broader perspective in children. One way could be to provide mandatory multi-religious education.
Indifference to terrorism is another problem. We don’t care till it hurts us personally. We carry on with life as usual. Though some call it bravery, in reality, it may be just indifference.

Either we are complacent and do not react or we turn reactionary and violent. Tread a middle path, rise above politics and personal gains. Stand up and speak up for non-violence.





FACT Presentation and Dara Shikoh

10 11 2007

FACT Presentation Video

Dara Shikoh
A Forgotten Hero of Indian Cultural Synthesis
Need of Dara’s Spirit in contemporary world against terrorism

Dara Shikoh was born on 20 March 1615A.D. at Sagartal near Ajmer. It is said that his father, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, visited the tomb of the great Chishti saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti and had prayed there with folded hands and down knees for a son since all his earlier children had been daughters.The prayer brought fruits and the child born had the influence of the teachings of the Sufi saint.

Dara’s was a unique and marvelous personality among the Mughal royal family. He was entirely distinct in all respects from other princes of the entire Mughal house since the establishment of the Mughal rule in 1526 till its ultimate extinction in 1764 or 1857. He had no likings for luxuries and sensual pleasures but had developed refined tastes in his life. In fact, he had combined in himself the qualities of his two great ancestors Humayun and Akbar. The habit of passing more and more time in the Library to acquire knowledge was inherites by him from Humayun who had lost his life while descending from the stairs of the royal Library, while the interest in comparative religions, universal brotherhood, humanism and peace came from the great emperor Akbar. These influences played a notable role in shaping his mind. His great mission in life was the promotion of peace and concord between the followers of Hinduism and Islam. It is true to say that at this moment when the unity of India, depends on the mutual comprehension of the two spiritual elements (Hinduism and Islam), attention can legitimately be paid to the figure of Dara Shikoh who attempted in the 17th century what Kabir and Akbar had done before him in the 15th and 16th century respectively, or what Raja Ram Mohan Roy did in the nineteenth (K.R. Qanungo).

Early Education: Formative Period of Dara:


Dara’s initiation into early education was not an exception and put like other Prices he was under the guidance of the royal teachers who taught him the Quran, Persian poetry and history. The credit goes to one tutor named Mulla Abdul Latif Saharanpuri who inculcated in him the habit of reading and unquenchable thirst for knowledge. The Sufi leanings of his tutor had great influence over young Dara. Besides this, the influence of contemporary Sufi saints had played a significant role in shaping young Dara’s mind.

Initiation in the Qadiri order and its Influence:

The prince witnessed change in his life after the initiation in the Qadiri order in 1640 A.D. and his close association with Mian Mir, Mulla Badakhashi and other saints. This was a remarkable phase of his life when he spent his major time in the royal Library busy in intensive studies in mysticism, the philosophy and the principles of the Qadiri order. This resulted in the publication of his major works on Sufism namely, the Safinat-ul-Auliya (1640 A.D.), the Sakinat-ul-Auliya ( 1643A.D.) the Risala’i Haq Numa (1647 A.D.), the Tariqat-ul-Haqiqat and the Hasanat-ul-Arifin (1653 A.D.). The first two books are biographical dictionaries of the Sufi saints and the last three contain his exposition of some of the Sufi fundamental doctrines. This was in fact a period of intellectual pursuits for Dara.

Another phase is marked by Dara’s quest for understanding of the Hindu religious systems. For this he spent many years in the study of Sanskrit and employed a large number of Pandits from Benaras. His patronage to the language brought applaud from the contemporary scholars. Prominent among them were Jaganath Mishra, Pandit Kavindracharya and Banwali Das. Jaganath Mishra even wrote a book named Jagatsimha in praise of Dara.

In his continuous search for the truth, his meeting with Baba Lal Das Bairagi proved quite enlightening. The diologues with this Hindu mendicant demonstrate his growing interest in comparative religion. Dara had compiled a summary of these teachings in Makalama Baba Lal Wa Dara Shikoh, which consists of seven long conversations between the Baba and the Prince held in 1653 A.D. This text focuses particularly on certain similarities in the teachings of Hindu and Muslim mystics.

Similarly, he found some common elements in the Qadiri ashghal and the yogic meditational exercises of the Hindus which made him translate the Yoga Vasistha into Persian in 1650 A.D. In the same vein to understand Indian philosophical thought he also translated the Bhagwatgita in the same year.

Dara’s sustained researches in comparative religions came out in the form of an extremely remarkable book known as Majma-ul Bahrain or the mingling of the two oceans. Here he employees the term ‘two oceans’ for Sufism and Hinduism. This book came to light in 1656, just three years prior to his execution. In fact it was a pioneering attempt to find out the commonalities between Sufism and Hindu monotheism. He describes this book as ‘a collection of truth and wisdom of two truth-knowing groups’. This book shows Dara Shikoh’s belief in the unity of all religions.

His spiritual quest for monotheistic strands in Hindu philosophy was a continuous process. This led him to study the Upnishads and with the help of some scholars of Benaras he translated 50 Upnishads from Sanskrit to Persian. The text he prepared, the Sirr-i-Akbar, ‘the Great Secret’ was completed in 1657. He was of the firm opinion that the ‘Great Secret’ of the Upnishads is the monotheistic message, which is identical to that on which the Quran is based.

The aim behind the translation of these Hindu religious works was to search common elements in Hinduism and Islam and he draws remarkable parallels between the concepts described in the holy Quran and the Upnishads with respect to tauhid or unity of God. The comparison led him to reach on the conclusion that the Quran and the Upnishads represented two different facts of God. In the introduction of this book he states with full boldness his speculatve hypothesis that the work referred to in the Quran as the “Kitab-al-Maknum” or the hidden book is none other than the ital. This annoyed the orthodox mullas who issued a fatwa (decree) against him. These statements were exploited by his political opponents also and provided them an execute to execute him with utmost cruelity in 1659. Though his search for the truth cost him his life, his was a pioneering effort at religious synthesis or syncretism.

The Diwan and the Quatraims of Dara:

The prince was a great poet in the eyes of his contemporary intellectuals. His Diwan known as the Iksir-i-Azam is extant which is described as “incomparable and heart-pleasing” by his spiritual guide Mulla Shah.The author of Khazinat-ul-Asfiyat remarks about his poetry that “his poetry is like the ocean of unitarianism, flowing out of his pearl scattering tongue; or like the sun of Monotheism, rising from the horizon in the manner of his luminous opening verse (matla’)”. He has expressed his Sufistic views in quatrains and ghazals. Besides his poetic accomplishments, he seems to have been very well-read in classical Persian literature.

Dara’s genius is also reflected in other fields such as fine arts, music and dancing. He patronized these artistic pursuits. His interest was also reflected in paintings. He demonstrated his genius by drawing many paintings which could be compared with those by a professional artists of his time. His album which he presented to his wife, Nadira Bano, was later deposited in the royal library.

The above description demonstrates that Dara was a gentle and pious Sufi intellectual and a true and perhaps the greatest representative of Indian cultural synthesis. It can be easily imagined as to how different India would have been had he emerged successful against his orthodox brother Aurangzeb. The defeat of Dara was in a sense, the defeat of liberal Indian ideas.





A Diwali for ALL Indians: Francois Gautier

8 11 2007

A Diwali for ALL Indians

Francois Gautier

(Reproduced from Rediff.com)
Source: http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/nov/07francois.htm

November 07, 2007

Diwali is the Festival of Lights. This Light is symbolic of the spread of Knowledge. What is this Knowledge that is still alive in this wonderful country which we call India?

Firstly and foremost: ‘I accept you; I accept that you may be White or Black, Red or Yellow, Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim. I accept that God may manifest at different times, under different names, using different scriptures. Thus God is Krishna, but also Jesus Christ, Buddha or Mohammad.’ This is an extraordinary statement and a marvellous instrument towards world peace, at a time where terrorism is striking everywhere in the world in the name of One God.
It is also a Knowledge that only the body dies, but not the soul, which is born and reborn again till it achieves perfection. A Knowledge that whatever you do bears consequences in this life or another. A Knowledge that all human beings are made out of Love, even beneath the hate and the killings.

And also: ‘I have inherited from my ancestors the tools to become a better man, whatever my religion, ethnicity and profession: a better Christian, a better Hindu, a better Muslim.’
What are these tools?

Hatha yoga, India’s gift to the world, which has been copied and imitated everywhere.

Meditation, this extraordinary technique of coming back to one’s Self, of settling the mind and the body, which is today practised by millions around the world — another bequest of India to humanity.

Pranayama, the science of respiration, perfected by Indians for three millenniums.

“Does the breath have any religion,” asks His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living movement, which has spread today in 140 countries. “Is the air we breathe around us Muslim, Christian, or Hindu?”

This knowledge thus does not only belong to Hindus, but also to the Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Muslims of India.

Once upon a time, the Syrian Christians of Kerala [Images], though they remained faithful to the word of Jesus Christ, had incorporated some basic tenets of Hinduism such as reincarnation and karma.

Once upon a time, great Sufis such as Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan’s eldest and preferred son (who should have become emperor instead of Aurangzeb), while remaining true Muslims (and not apostate ones), could translate the Upanishads and step into a temple without thinking they were committing a mortal sin.

Once upon a time, Sikhism was born out of Dharma, to defend the Hindu Dharma and neither Sikh nor Hindu saw any difference between themselves. Once upon a time, Buddha, although he did strike against ritualism and hereditary Brahmanism, did not found a religion, but a path that led to the same Ananda he came from.

This knowledge is unique to India. For the West has lost the truth. We have lost the Great Sense, the meaning of our evolution, of why so much suffering, why dying, why getting born, why this earth, who are we, what is the soul, what is reincarnation, where is the ultimate truth about the universe. And this will be India’s gift to this planet during this century: To restore to the world its true sense; to recharge humanity with the real meaning and spirit of life.

Thus, if you are an Indian settled abroad, whatever your religion, you should carry that identity in your actions and your aura, that you may shine without words, for it is a great privilege and responsibility to be born an Indian. Yet, too often, Indians in the US or Canada [Images], or even the UK for that matter, hide their identities and try to merge into the mainstream culture, becoming more American than Americans, more British than the British.

Sometimes Indians are even ashamed to say that they are Indians and it is a tragedy to themselves and to their children, who lose the connection with one of the most ancient cultures in the world, which is not a religion but the last living spirituality on this planet.

You should also know that today this Knowledge is under attack from all sides. Foremost, from the Globalisation and Westernisation which is taking place at the moment in India at a frantic pace. Television channels and advertisements must be the biggest culprits.

Is white the most beautiful colour, does having a white skin make you so hep? Do a cell phone, a suit or a fancy car really make you a man? This is what millions of innocent villagers or lower middle class viewers are enticed to believe.

There is also a rapid Christianisation of many villages in India, whether in Tamil Nadu post-tsunami, or in the North-East where innocent tribals are converted with the help of million of dollars.

What about the radicalism that seems to grip some Muslim youth? Nowhere but in India do they have so much freedom to practise their faith. And we know that the Pakistani or Bangladeshi bombers in Hyderabad or Mumbai could never function without the active participation of some Indian Muslims.

Lastly Hindu renegades, those intellectuals who want to cut off India at any cost from her past and make a copy — however brilliant — of a Marxism which has died everywhere else, or of the United States of America, where violence, divorce and depression are affecting three persons out of five, are extremely active at the moment, thanks to a government who chooses to close its eyes while this is going on.

Yet, it is for this Precious Knowledge that all Indians, be they Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Sikh, should retain their dharmic identity, while being faithful to their Creed or Supreme God. This Diwali thus should symbolise for all Indians, the rekindling of this Light in their hearts.
Let Mother India protect shine in them and rekindle their common indentity beyond their religions.

A Happy And True Diwali to ALL Indians.

Francois Gautier





Reviewing paintings : Shivaji Exhibition

7 11 2007

79Q70155, originally uploaded by vee4ru.

Reviewing Shivaji Exhibition Paintings. Here in the picture is Mr francois gautier reviewing the painting of Mr. Kanhayya lal.





Shivaji paintings

7 11 2007

79Q70151, originally uploaded by vee4ru.

Francois gautier with Dr. sumeendhra painter, he worked on Aurangazeb exhibitions n now is working on Shivaji exhibition.





History and Art scholars with FACT INDIA

7 11 2007

Here are a sample of our scholars helping out with the enormous work going on in FACT India. Prof. V S Bhatnagar (Retd) (Rajastan Univ), Prof BL Bhadani Aligarh Muslim University (Area of specialisation: Medieval Economic History of Rajasthan), Dr Sumeendhra.

Prof. Dr. V.S.Bhatnagar

Prof. of History (Retd.)

Deptt. of History
University of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

Former Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla.

Main Published work:

1 Life & Times of Sawai Jai Singh ( Impex India New Delhi 1974)
2. Padmanabha’s Kanhadade Prabandha (wr.1455 A.D ) ,

Translated,Annotated and Introduced by V.S.Bhatanagar (Aditya Prakashan, Delhi,1991)
The Historians and Sources of the History of Rajasthan Ed. G.N.Sharma and V.S.Bhatnagar, Jaipur, 1991

Due for publication Natha Sampradaya (I.I.A.S. Shimla,2007)

Awards

Maharana Kumbha Award (1989-90) conferred by Maharana Mewar Foundation, Udaipur ;
Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh Award, Jaipur 2000;
General President, Rajasthan History Congress 1995 etc.

Long experience of guiding Research Students–16 Doctorates
More than 55 Research Papers,Review Articles in various Research Journals
Working on some Natha Texts, and records & works on Aurangzeb & Shivaji





Dara shikoh A life sketch in brief

5 11 2007

Darashikoh:

Picture : Dara Shikoh Cured

Source: allaboutsikhs.com

Source from “A daydream By Khurram Ali Shafique. DAWN:
The Review, March 15-21, 2001″

Dara was born on 20 March, 1615. He was the eldest son of Prince Khurram (later Shahjehan), the heir apparent of the emperor Jehangir.

He was, however, about twelve years old when along with Aurangzeb (three years younger) he was sent as a hostage to his grandfather after the failure of Shahjehan’s revolt.

When Shahjehan took over the throne in 1628, he made no secret of his desire for Dara to inherit the throne from him.

he got married in 1637, he immediately developed an obsession for his wife that was to last till her death shortly before his own.

He was formally initiated in to Qadiriyya ?ufi silsila by Mulla Shah into the Qadiriyya silsila sometime in 1639 or 1640.

In 1640 he initiated formally into the Qadiri Order of Sufism, and the same year he came up with his first book, Sakinatul Auliya. It was a collection of biographical sketches of notable Muslim saints.

Dara’s intellectual pursuits took a steep turn upon his meeting Baba Lal Bairagi, a Hindu Gnostic. Dara has recorded his conversations with Baba Lal in a short book titled, Mukalama Bab Lal wa Dara Shikoh.

FAiled attempt invasion of Qandahar in 1655, where Shahjehan finally agreed to allow Dara to lead an army.

in 1657, Dara Shikoh came out with his greatest masterpiece: Sirr-e-Akbar (The great secret), a translation of the Upanishads into Persian. Completed in 1657 with the help of several pandits from Veranasi Dara Shikoh’s translation of Upanishads is usually regarded in high esteem by the scholars in that field. It is also suggested by some historians that the Persian translation of Upanishad probably made it most accessible to the Europeans of the time as they were more familiar with the Persian language than they were with Sanskrit.

In 1657, Dara Shikoh was 43, Shah Shuja 41, Aurangzeb 39 and Murad 33. All of them were governors of various provinces: Dara was the governor of Punjab, Murad of Gujarat, Aurangzeb of the Deccan and Shah Shuja of Bengal. Two of them emerged as clear frontrunners in the race: Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb.

In 1658, Shahjehan fell ill and Dara took over as the acting emperor, just as was expected of him. Aurangzeb quickly made a coalition with Murad and defeated Dara Shikoh at the famous Battle of Samogarh.

Once, Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan), came to Guru Har Rai asking for help in the war of succession with his brother the Murderous Aurangzeb. The Guru had promised his grandfather to use the Sikh Cavalry only in defense. He, never the less,helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzeb’s armed forces by having his Sikh warriors hide all the ferry boats at the river crossing used by Dara Shikoh in his escape.

Two months after his coronation in June 1659, Aurangzeb enacted a speedy trial of Dara Shikoh where the judges declared him a heretic and the unfortunate prince was condemned to death in August 1659.

It is said that when Dara saw his executioners approaching him he declared that a prince must never die without putting up a brave fight. A kitchen knife was all he could lay his hands on, and he went ahead fighting the swords of his aggressors with this pitful weapon. He was eventually assassinated and it is said that the city of Delhi was shrouded in official mourning when the body of Dara Shikoh was displayed in its streets. He was later laid at rest, quite aptly, inside the premises of Humayun mausoleum.

the elder son of Emperor Shãhjahan( r. 1627-1658 AD.) fell ill. Inspite of the best efforts of Hakims. he could not be cured. The rare medicine needed for his ailment was nowhere available. Information reached the Royal Hakim that required medicine was available with Guru Har Râi (1630-1661 A.D.). He came personally to the Guru Sahib and requestcd for the medicine. Guru Sahib gave him the rare medicine required for the treatment and also sent a pearl which was to be ground into fine powder and taken with the medicine.





Vedic Science

2 11 2007

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