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Showing posts from September 23, 2006

Navratri, Dussera, Durga Puja, Navratras, Bommai Kolu – confused?

Starting from today, you will hear about these festivals and many more like Ayudha Pooja, Vijayadashami, Saraswathi Pooja, Simollanghan and Durgashtami. Some people might get confused. There is nothing to get confused; all these festivals symbolize the victory of good over evil.
But, why so many different names? Why the variations in celebration? It must be remembered here that Hinduism is not a religion and it is a way of life. The characteristics of the region, environment and Nature play a key role in Hindu celebrations. There is no written code for the festivals. The festivals are adjusted to suit the needs of the people of the particular region.
Remember the words of Gandhiji in the article ‘Why I am a Hindu’ – “its freedom from dogma makes a forcible appeal to me inasmuch as it gives the votary the largest scope of self-expression.” So many different names and forms of celebration of a single festival indicate the freedom that Hinduism gives to its followers.
It does not matter h…

Hindu links for 9/23/2006

Hindu NewsKushwant Singh writes about religious convertsI am a rationalist, an agnostic, not an atheist. There is a world of difference between agnosticism and atheism. One confesses to doubt about the existence of God; the other rejects its existence. I do not believe that anyone has the right to dictate what religion a person should follow. That is why I believe that state governments which have passed laws forbidding conversions are in the wrong: it is not their business to interfere in such matters except when people are coerced to change from one religion to another.Corporator caught practicing occult science to further his political career.Cops find NCP corporator Suryakant Bhoir ‘practicing black magic’ near a Thane lake in the dead of night; he says he was performing puja to win over enemies and for prosperity.Indian community in US marks victory of goddessOne of the major Indian festivals kicks off today with various organizations celebrating in their own way — depending on w…