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Showing posts from September 14, 2006

It is Kurinji time in South India

The long 12-year wait is over. The Kurinji has started painting the shola grasslands in the Western Ghats in pale purple color. The individual Kurinji flower, mauve in color, has no fragrance and neither is it a delight to the eyes. But people are flocking to the major hill stations in South India to watch this ordinary shrub flower. The reason – it shows up only once in 12 years. Neelakurinji, as it is locally known, blooms once in 12 years. The plant lives for a year and then disappears and returns after 12 years. The flower and the plant have no known medicinal properties. The flowering cycle was first recorded in 1838 but the tribals of the area knew about it much before.The tourists are attracted to the mass flowering of Kurinji which transforms the hillsides into a mauve colored carpet. Most of the tourists are not aware that they are watching an endangered plant. Kurinji is mainly found in the shola grasslands of the Western Ghats at an altitude above 1500 meter. It is parti…

Origin of Hinduism - II

There is an ongoing controversy over the origin of Hinduism. The traditional view is that Hinduism originated around 3000 BCE. But various modern scholars have challenged the 3000 BCE origin story. They argue that Hindu religion originated somewhere between 3500 and 5000 BCE. The 5000 BCE origin story is backed by the findings from Indus Valley Civilization.I am not an historian. But I read what historians write in various newspapers and magazines. Although I did have my reservations on the 5000 BCE story, I too accepted it for academic purposes.
During my childhood I also took pride like other Hindus in the fact that our religion is the oldest in the world. There is no doubt that Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, especially for those people who think it in terms of religion.
But as I grew up, I understood the futility of the history of Hinduism. But I still read the various arguments that take place between the modern scholars regarding the origin of Hinduism.
Then one day I…

Hindu links for 9/14/2006

Doon Pundit: His Life and Times (1900-1958) by Deochand Hanooman Singh to be launched on September 19According to Deochand Hanooman Singh, the efforts of Doon Pandit and fellow pandits in the 1930s and 1940s in Trinidad contributed greatly to the re-kindling of pride in Sanatan Dharma (religious education) when Hindus were enjoying a very low social status in an alien and hostile social environment.
Hamtramck Hindus struggling for a place
A fire consumed the BangladeshHinduCulturalCenter and Temple in Hamtramck last month. Today, the Hindu community here is struggling to find a place to celebrate Durga Puja.
Hindu temples in Fiji under attack
Attacks on Hindu temples in Fiji have increased during the recent times.
When fate of gods is decided by politicians
Viswakarma Puja is being replaced with Loha Puja by the Gorkha community of Darjeeling.