Silence is not golden…

Silence is not golden by the ruling leadership when it is strategically used to carry an evil agenda in running the affairs of a country. Especially, when the motive is to impose an ideology of both political and religious nature with dictatorial objectives.

Trudeau Establishes New Political Etiquettes

By Promod Puri

When he said, the word “mankind” should be changed to “peoplekind,” there was something which seemed eccentric to many folks in prime minister Justin Trudeau.

But his idiosyncrasy reflects his style which is not normal for most world politicians or public figures. Otherwise, which prime minister or president visiting a foreign country on an official visit would act, dance and dress the way Trudeau did along with his adorable family during their recent trip to India.

It was most informal or casual style which defied the existing standards or protocols expected from a visiting head of state.

In his Indian ethnic attire which looked like as he was either attending a marriage party or he himself a “Gora” bridegroom, Trudeau freely and comfortably attended and actively participated in most of the events in India.

He did bhangra performances, and with the dedicated spirit of langar “seva,” rolled rotis at the Golden Temple kitchen. Has any invited world political dignitary dared or humble enough to do these deeds publicly while visiting India?

Trudeau belongs to a new generation of politicians for whom the world is smaller, closer, and sharing the contemporary thinking of oneness.

With his roots of growing in a multicultural Canadian society, which his late father officially declared as the country’s composite culture, the young Trudeau must have felt that he was going to a land to which he was most familiar with in its culture.

In his outlandish kurta-pajama outfits, he felt comfortable during his India trip, but that caused discomfort to those who would remain embedded in precedents expected from a visiting dignitary.

Trudeau has established new political etiquettes which perhaps will take time for people to accept and adjust to, while the critical media find some fodder to chew on till its ability to learn the changing norms.

AMID FUROR TRUDEAU CREATES NEW POLITICAL ETIQUETTES:

By Promod Puri
Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s recent week-long India trip has been dubbed by most of the Canadian media as a disaster for no reasons on his part.
It began the moment he landed in a country known for its traditional warm hospitality. But for Trudeau and his family, it was the most cold-shouldered welcome at the Delhi airport being received by a junior cabinet minister instead of prime minister Modi who seems to be selective in the choice of whom to personally welcome at the airport.
This lukewarm reception might have produced some resentment among those in the Trudeau entourage. But the issue was overshadowed by the Punjab Chief Minister’s continued bickering that Canada was and still is the hub of pro-Khalistan outfits and that the Trudeau government was supportive of their activities in the name of freedom of speech.
However, the moment Khalistan controversy receded after Trudeau meeting the Punjab CM, the sudden explosion of the news that a pro-Khalistan and convicted attempted murder individual by the name of Jaspal Atwal was among the invited Canadian citizen to a reception hosted by the Canadain High Commissioner in India.
And that was the most damaging part of the Trudeau trip.
The story had his origin way back over 30 years ago at the height of the Khalistan movement in Punjab as well as abroad where most of the Sikh diaspora is settled. Atwal was a young firebrand Khalistan activist in Vancouver, Canada, who got involved in an attempt to kill a moderate visiting Punjab politician. But the attack failed. However, Atwal was charged with attempted murder and sentenced to few years in jail as well as he was blacklisted by the Vancouver Indian consulate office in getting a visa for India.
The visa restriction stayed till recently when it was removed by the Indian government thru the advice of its intelligence services. And he made his controversial entry into India coinciding with the Trudeau visit.
The news is being circulated here in Canada that Atwal got his Indian visa thru the help of a local member of Parliament who had some friendly relationship with the Consulate officials in Vancouver. Was there bribery involved too to clear Atwal’s India visit? The suspicion is there.
Over the years Atwal, in order to clear himself off from the blacklist, started developing ties with the local political leaders as well. And that included Liberal Member of Parliament young Randeep Singh Sarai in his 30s, who was naively behind the invitation to the High Commionser reception.
The sudden eruption of the news of Atwal being invited to the party along with several widely-circulated photographs of him posing with Trudeau’s wife and other Indian members of the entourage, has been taken by the Indo-Canadian press in Vancouver as some sort of conspiracy to discredit the Canadian Sikh community by the Trudeau’s political foes with the help of “corrupt” Indian officials responsible for issuing the visa .
Was that whole episode planned? Well, that is the question which is being talked about within the Indo-Canadian community with the expectation that the Canadian Intelligence would investigate the matter so that both the Trudeau government and the Sikh population are not marred for being their alleged support to the non-existing movement of Khalistan.
While the Khalistan conspirational controversy took center stage of Trudeau official holidays in India, on the sidelines, the Indian media also generated the issue the way he and his family dressed in outlandish ethnic Indian outfits. And this is where we get a glimpse of his personality which does not reflect the typical image of most seasoned politicians.
When he said, the word “mankind” should be changed to “peoplekind,” there was something which seemed eccentric to many folks in Justin Trudeau.
But his idiosyncrasy reflects his style which is not normal for most world politicians or public figures. Otherwise, which prime minister or president visiting a foreign country on an official visit would act, dance, and dress the way Trudeau did along with his adorable family during their India visits.
It was most informal or casual style which defied the existing standards or protocols expected from a visiting head of state.
In his Indian ethnic attire which looked like as he was either attending a marriage party or he himself a “Gora” bridegroom, Trudeau freely and comfortably attended and actively participated in most of the events in India.
He did bhangra performances, and with the dedicated spirit of langar “seva,” rolled rotis at the Golden Temple kitchen. Has any invited world political dignitary dared or humble enough to do these deeds publicly while visiting India?
Trudeau belongs to a new generation of politicians for whom the world is smaller, closer, and sharing the contemporary thinking of oneness.
With his roots of growing in a multicultural Canadian society, which his late father officially declared as the country’s composite culture, the young Trudeau must have felt that he was going to a land to which he was most familiar with in its culture.
In his gaudy kurta-pajama outfits, he felt comfortable during his India trip, but that caused discomfort to those who would remain embedded in precedents expected from a visiting dignitary.
Trudeau has established new political etiquettes which perhaps will take time for people to accept and adjust to, while the critical Indian media find some fodder to chew on till its ability to learn the changing norms.
(Promod Puri is a Vancouver-based journalist, and author of “Hinduism beyond rituals, customs, and traditions.” He is also a frequent writer on topics related to Hinduism, politics, and human interest. Websites: promodpuri.com, </a>progressivehindudialogue.com, promodpuri.blogspot.com)

Padmaavat Glorifies Immolation Custom & Stereotypes Muslims

By Promod Puri

Hyped, and promoted by the controversy, I got induced to view Padmaavat on the big screen. Besides, seeking some entertainment, my scrutiny was also aiming at any scene, dialogues or actions which could support all the reported fuss and anger in India about Padmaavat extravaganza.

Does the movie devalue Rajputs or covet to insult them in whatsoever manner? No, not at all.

Contrarily, it has overstepped in glorifying Rajputs’ identity. Their ethical character, besides as a warrior community, has been intently prioritized in the overall Padmaavat film melodrama.

In his rhetoric cinematic and dialogue delivery which boast the Rajput pride in their customs and traditions, the controversial director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has in fact glorified the inhuman and evil custom of Jauhar as well as the related practice of Sati.

Dubbed as “supreme sacrifice,” the institution of Sati, live burning of widow immediately after the death of husband, which of course was banned more than a century ago by the British Raj in India, became a part of the Rajput heritage. The word ‘sati’ means true and loyal in Sanskrit.

Whereas Sati involved self-immolation in the pyre of the dead husband, Jauhar was more specific to widows of their dead husbands killed in the war to save themselves from being taken away by the victorious enemies. And to uphold their honor, self-immolation was the choice for them. Jauhar was mass immolation by women of a defeated army. Although it is claimed Jauhar was committed by the women on their own will, that is debatable.

In the movie, Bhansali gave the ritual a royal treatment of the Jauhar scene in slow motion for prolong viewing to create a sense of pride in this Rajput tradition. In fact, both the customs of Sati and Jauhar were most barbarian acts against a woman when she was psychologically pushed to immolate herself alive with the Brahminical declaration of becoming a goddess after the so-called supreme sacrifice.

If the Jauhar scene is the highlight of the movie, then it is disgusting as well.

The movie Padmaavat also reinforces the mindset attitudes portrayed by Ranveer Singh in the role of Allauddin Khilji as a stereotypical evil Muslim king, and Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) as the righteous Hindu king.

Padmaavat does offer entertainment in its visuals as well as the superb performances by the three lead actors, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor. The two separate dance numbers lead by Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh are terrific feats of their talents, especially when watching on the big screen.

Enjoy the movie. But if you miss it, no big deal.

(Promod Puri is the author of “Hinduism beyond rituals, customs, and traditions.” He is also a frequent writer on topics related to Hinduism, politics, and human interest. Websites: promodpuri.com, progressivehindudialogue.com, promodpuri.blogspot.com)

Temple Hinduism, Meditation And Karma

via Temple Hinduism, Meditation And Karma

Temple Hinduism, Meditation And Karma

By Promod Puri

“Temple-Hinduism” is an expression introduced by Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion, University of Florida. The terminology is not an academic phrasing, nor does it reflect a new sect in Hinduism. It is an interpretation of Hinduism related to the devotional practices of rituals and prayers in temple’s iconological environment.

As we know Hinduism in its liberal and diverse traditions offers a range of options for worshipping and contemplation, temple-Hinduism is the dominant and popular choice of devout Hindus.

An accepted convention among Hindus is to have home shrines, but a temple aside from a place of worship offers visible embodiment of identity to the religion. The instinct vibe of the divine spirit in an idol itself is the prime invitation to the temple.

The overall mood in temple environs causes an ardent psychological conviction that this is the abode of God. It offers a dedicated and disciplined setting for ritual worship, prayers, and contemplation.

The tradition of humility and total submission by devotees further contribute to the consecration of temple environment. Taking off shoes before entering the sacred premises, bowing in front of sacred idols’ sanctum, sitting on the floor, observing silence, are some the very basic and observed customs of Hindu worship etiquettes.

In this spiritual abode the smell of incense, the sight of lighted Diya (clay oil lamp), the ring of the temple bell, the singing of prayers, the reciting and hum of mantras, all create an ambiance of divine feel and resonance to have moments with the divinity. The sanctity of the place is thus defined.

Temple-Hinduism involves routine visits to a temple for ritualistic, devotional, and contemplative purposes. But temple-Hinduism embodying these practices is not mandatory for a devout Hindu. Meditative Hinduism and spiritual yoga disciplines can also be the entitlements of the multi-disciplinary spiritual order of the religion.

In the diverse and secular fundamentals of Hinduism, meditation and yoga are the recognized and rife movements which appeal to both Hindus and non-Hindus.

Meditation in all its varied contemplations is a much-practiced Hindu tradition from ancient to the present times. Hindu meditation is both secular and spiritual in its nature and practice.

Seeking enlightenment is one reverent aspect of meditation which has its Vedic roots in Hindu spiritual traditions. However, the most favored and helpful feature of meditation in our day to day lives is to procreate a tranquil temperament amidst the ceaseless chaos of personal anxieties and worldly troubles.

Meditation basically is an exercise of steering the mind toward a focus during the entire meditative period. And the focus can be any chosen or guru-given mantra, a thought, some auditory sensation like breath, a sacred sound like Om, or even an object. Theoretically, it is a simple and focused discipline, and its practice leads to serenity.

A contemporary observation of Hinduism suggests meditation and yoga are on the same platform from the aspects of spirituality and praxis. The practicality of yoga in offering health benefits has achieved its own universal recognition and acceptance.

The word yoga is derived from its Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which means to join. The sanctioned concept is that the practice of yoga leads toward the union of Jiva-Atma and Parm-Atma, in other words between the self and the Supreme.

However, the fusion can also be interrupted as between spirituality and physical wellness within the yoga discipline. As such the yoga school of Hinduism offers a unique feature emphasizing that healthy mind and healthy body are complimentary as well as linked to each other through the discipline of yoga.

Despite their bonded identity with Hinduism, the contemporary trends in meditation and yoga “underplay or distance their connections with the word ‘Hindu,’ and some use labels such ‘spiritual’ to emphasize their ‘universal’ content, according to Prof. Narayanan.

In this expanse, the spirituality and exercise of the Hindu faith go beyond temple-Hinduism or the institutions of meditation and yoga.

Hinduism also belongs to those who neither go to temple on regular and ritualistic basis nor do they involve themselves in either meditation or yoga tradition as part of their spiritual pursuits or devotional routines.

Their Hinduism lies in an order often referred as “a way of life.” Here the Hindu theology is induced with divinity in thoughts, words, and deeds based on knowledge and rationality.

In this regime, which I would call Karma Hinduism, ethical and righteous thoughts and karmas guide the management of the self and its divinity. Nonetheless, temple visits,  meditation, and yoga remain complimentary to Karma Hinduism.

 

(Promod Puri is the author of “Hinduism beyond rituals, customs, and traditions.” He is also a frequent writer on topics related to Hinduism, politics and human interest.)

Websites:

progressivehindudialogue.com

promodpuri.com

promodpuri.blogspot.com

Introduction of Hinduism In America

The American public formally learned about Hinduism was through the World’s Parliament of Religions, a gathering of practitioners of different faith traditions, which took place in Chicago in 1893. It was at that time when the American public first saw and heard people from “Eastern” religions, including Hindus and Buddhists, on their own soil.

Vivekananda, a young monk representing Hinduism famously began his speech hailing his hosts as “brothers and sisters of America.” It was most unusual for an Indian monk to embrace the audience as a single family, at a time when societies were segregated and racial superiority was an accepted part of life. Vivekananda received a standing ovation. The appreciation continued as he journeyed through America after the talk.

By

Professor of Religion, University of Florida

The Conversation