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Showing posts from January 24, 2007

Nettipattam or Caparison Wall Hangings

Nettipattam is an important ornament worn by elephants during festivals in Kerala. Legend has it that the Nettipattam was designed by Lord Brahma. And Iravath, the white elephant of Lord Indra, was the first lucky elephant to wear it. The caparison, which is part of Hindu astrological art, represents the entire pantheon of gods in Hinduism.

Earlier, Nettipattam was only used during festivals. Today, it is available as wall hangings in different sizes. People believe that the caparison brings prosperity and peace as it represents the Hindu gods in entirety.

What does Aashutosh mean?

Aashutosh (Ashutosh) is one among the 108 names of Lord Shiva. It means one who fulfills the wishes of devotees without delay. It is believed that Lord Shiva is pleased with even the simplest of offering given with complete adulation.

Eunuchs in India

Indians are slowly accepting the existence of sexual minorities in its society. The recent discussion in India on homosexuality and the petitions filed to repeal the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code points to this fact. Sex education is soon going to be a part of curriculum in schools. But the sexual minorities in India are still a struggling lot. Especially the eunuchs or hijras or hijadas or Zenanas or transsexuals or transvestites. They are known by so many names but it all means that they are neither male nor females for the society and are a sexual minority. Mahabharata, one of the epics of Hinduism, talks about Shikandi, a eunuch. Shikandi was used as shield by Arjuna to defeat Bhisma. Bhisma had earlier taken a vow that he will not find a eunuch. Eunuchs find mention in several ancient Indian texts. They are also widely mentioned in Indian history, especially as keepers of harem. On close scrutiny of historical data, we find that the eunuchs were being used mostly as pros…

Hindu Temples in Trinidad

The two of the most important Hindu temples in Trinidad and Tobago are the KaryaSiddhiHanumanTemple and the Temple in the Sea or the Waterloo temple.KaryaSiddhiHanumanTempleThe 85-foot tall idol of Lord Hanuman is the center of attraction here. The temple light rose in color is built on Dravidian architectural lines. The Temple in the Sea or the Waterloo templeThis temple is the result of the unwavering dedication of Sewdass Sadhu – an indentured laborer – who was arrested and sent to prison for building a temple on the farmland in which he worked. Returning from the prison, Sewdass Sadhu decided to build the temple in the sea. Hinduism Today in its June 1997 issue wroteEvery day thereafter Sewdass Sadhu would pack a small leather bag with foundation blocks and journey to the seaside on a bicycle. He placed these in the ocean, and gradually built up the stones until a small island rose from the water. In time, Sewdass Sadhu built a cement structure above the ocean waters, which he f…