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Showing posts from February 17, 2007

On Dalits in India

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living, writes in the Hindustan Times on Dalits and the Caste System in India. He welcomes the movements that led to the entry of Dalits in Bhilwara and JagannathTemple. He agrees that laws and religious leaders have failed to stop the oppression against Dalits in India. He then talks about the activities of some past spiritual leaders in helping Dalits. Then he gives example of Dalit rishis and Dalits in Hindu scriptures. All this we get to read in any article written by Indian spiritual leaders.But Sri Sri Ravi Shankar makes two observations that are noteworthy. First, he talks about a people’s movement.Unlike other religions, Hinduism is inherently anarchic. In the absence of a single command at the top, reforms in Hinduism cannot come from the top. It has to start at the bottom, as a people’s movement.Second, he writes about violence against upper castes. The vicious cycle of hatred and revenge is being promoted for political gains. There ha…

The Spelling of Shivaratri

What is the exact spelling for Shivaratri? There are nearly a dozen English spelling of Shivaratri in vogue on the internet and in print media. Shivaratri
Shivratri
Sivaratri (this spelling has a macron on top of S)
Mahashivaratri
Mahashivratri
Mahasivratri
Maha Shivaratri
Maha Shivratri
Maha SivratriSome more spelling variations are there but they are not relevant as they appear rarely in online newspapers and websites and are mostly typos.
Many are the path that leads to Brahman. Similarly, all these spelling ultimately lead to information on Shivaratri.

On Sex in Hindu Way of Life

Sudhir Kakar, a psychoanalyst and writer from Goa, discusses sex in Hindu way of life in his short article in On Faith of Washingtonpost.Some excerpts:..many wonder that if the sexual act in Hindu religious tradition does not lie outside but within the holiness of life, then why are contemporary Indians so embarrassed by Khajuraho’s sculptures and feel the need to explain them away in convoluted religious metaphors and symbols or to dismiss them as a product of a ‘degenerate’ era?The answer is that since centuries Hinduism has also set a high value on the ascetic ideal and the virtues of celibacy. There is a whole mythology around semen, shared by Hindu saint and sinner alike, which sees its emission as enervating, a debilitating waste of vitality and essential energy. In the Hindu theory of sublimation, if semen is retained, it can be transformed into a source of creativity and spiritual power.

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