Buddhist – Hellven http://hellven.org/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 07:22:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://hellven.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/cropped-icon-2-32x32.png Buddhist – Hellven http://hellven.org/ 32 32 ‘We want justice, not fuel’: Sri Lankan Tamils ​​on the North-South divide | Sri Lanka https://hellven.org/we-want-justice-not-fuel-sri-lankan-tamils-on-the-north-south-divide-sri-lanka/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 07:22:00 +0000 https://hellven.org/we-want-justice-not-fuel-sri-lankan-tamils-on-the-north-south-divide-sri-lanka/ For months now, protests and anger have echoed through Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city. Every day along the Galle Face seafront promenade, tens of thousands of people gathered to rage against the government which has plunged the country into the worst financial crisis in modern history. But 200 miles to the north, in the Mullaitivu […]]]>

For months now, protests and anger have echoed through Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city. Every day along the Galle Face seafront promenade, tens of thousands of people gathered to rage against the government which has plunged the country into the worst financial crisis in modern history.

But 200 miles to the north, in the Mullaitivu district, the streets are silent. The economic crisis has hit Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, concentrated in the northern and eastern provinces, as hard as those in the south; the fishermen here say they are already starving. But they will also tell you that protesting is a privilege in Sri Lanka – a privilege that has never been granted to them.

“If we staged a protest here like they do at Galle Face, they would kill us,” said Ravikaran Thurairajah, 58, a former Mullaitivu councilor who has been arrested 14 times for his involvement in local peaceful protests. “We respect their struggle, but we don’t see our struggles represented there.”

13 years ago, three decades of civil war in Sri Lanka between the Tamil separatist militant group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) commonly known as the Tamil Tigers – and the Sri Lankan army came to a bloody end in this district. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the defeat of the LTTE and up to 100,000 people, mostly Tamils, were abducted by the Sri Lankan armed forces and were never seen again.

Since then, many residents of Mullaitivu have been demanding justice, accountability and political representation for Tamils. Among them is Mariasuresh Eswari, 49, whose husband, Mariyadas, a fisherman, was arrested by the navy in March 2009 as he went to collect his catch. He never came back.

In a protest that has lasted more than 3,000 days, dozens of wives and mothers have sat in a camp outside local administrative offices, demanding the return of their loved ones or answers about their whereabouts. But the price these women pay is heavy.

“Every time we protest, they issue court orders to arrest us,” Eswari said. “We were harassed, groped and beaten by the police. They use indecent language against us, and I had to be hospitalized recently after the police used force against us. Military intelligence puts us under constant surveillance.

With tears in her eyes, she pointed to the picture of her husband on the wall, yellowed and mottled with age. All around this makeshift office, the missing of Mullaitivu stare from the walls: frowning old men, stiff girls in school uniforms with bows in their hair, and awkwardly photoshopped teenagers against tropical backdrops.

Mariasuresh Eswari points to the photo of her husband, one of thousands missing in Mullaitivu during the war Photograph: Rubatheesan Sandran/The Guardian

“Where were the protests in the south when the military killed and took our families? asked Eswari, as she recounted climbing over corpses with her children in her arms as they tried to flee to safety at the end of the war. “It’s easy for them to protest there, it’s not the same here. When I see the demonstrations in Colombo, all I see is discrimination.

While those in Mullaitivu support calls in Colombo for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is part of Sri Lanka’s most powerful political family, there is also frustration. The Rajapaksa dynasty has historically played on Sri Lanka’s ethnic tensions to win majority Sinhalese votes, and has almost no support among Tamils.

“We already rejected the Rajapaksas and their racist majority politics a long time ago,” said Thurairajah, the former adviser. “Unlike those people in Colombo who are protesting now, we never voted for them in 2019. We always said that this family would destroy this country.”

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president, was in power and Gotabaya Rajapaksa led the armed forces during the final and brutal phase of the war, when most of the deaths occurred in the north. Since Gotabaya Rakapaksa became president, all progress towards war crimes tribunals and accountability mechanisms for wartime atrocities has stalled.

It was feared that by joining the economic protests, other problems inflicted on Tamils ​​in the north, especially around the land, would be drowned out. The loss of Tamil land to military and government agencies is seen by many as a concerted effort to change the demographics of the region. Several local Hindu temples where Tamils ​​have worshiped for hundreds of years have recently been seized by the Department of Archeology for excavation, and new Buddhist temples are being built in their place.

In Mullaitivu, dozens of farmers have spent more than a decade trying unsuccessfully to reclaim their land, which they say has been illegally occupied by the army and where the Gotabaya naval base, named after Of the president.

“There have been invitations from the south for us to join them in protest, but there is a clear distinction between what they want and what we want,” said Prabhakaran Ranjana, 55, whose son is missing since May 2009. “We don’t want fuel and economic aid from the government, we want answers. We want justice for our people, we want our land back.

Although the widespread anti-government protests in Colombo have been largely dominated by the majority Sinhalese-Buddhist – with Muslims and Christians also taking part – there have been significant attempts to include Tamils. An event took place where the national anthem was sung in Tamil, a very rare event. And for the first time, memorials for those who died at the end of the war in Mullaitivu and a commemoration of the burning of the library in the Tamil city of Jaffna – considered one of the worst cultural atrocities perpetrated by the Sri Lankan army during the war – took place on 18 May.

Nevertheless, these efforts have all run into problems exposing the island’s continued ethnic segregation. A Buddhist monk said on stage that the national anthem should only be sung in Sinhalese, and attempts were made to stop the Mullaitivu memorial on the grounds that it glorified Tamil tigers. Disputes over the language used in the memorial were particularly thorny; in the south May 18 is celebrated as Victory Day, but in the north it is known as the anniversary of the Mullaitivu Genocide.

Unlike the south, which has benefited from decades of investment and development, residents of Mullaitivu said the difficult economic situation was not new to them. During the war they had no access to sugar, milk or soap, and many survived on boiled rice porridge, with the adults drinking the starchy water and giving the cereal to the children. “It feels like those war days again,” Ranjana said.

Growing economic deprivation, however, pushed one group of Mullaitvu to breaking point. Fishermen said they were on the brink of starvation because without paraffin to fuel their boats, they could no longer go fishing. Usually 1,600 boats would go out a day, supporting around 12,000 jobs, but now they are lucky if they can send any at all.

Fishermen like Alagarasa Rasarathina face starvation as lack of fuel prevents them from getting their boats out
Fishermen like Alagarasa Rasarathina face starvation as lack of fuel prevents them from getting their boats out Photograph: Rubatheesan Sandran/The Guardian

“The future is bleak for us if we don’t get fuel for the boats,” said Alagarasa Rasarathina, 53, who has been a fisherman all his life. “If we want to eat, we have to go to sea.” The fishermen said they were pooling their resources to buy paraffin from the hidden market for seven times the usual price, but even that was hard to come by and would not have supported the community.

“It’s very difficult to share this small catch among all the fishermen – it’s not enough to feed all the families,” Rasarathina said. “People are already hungry, they will soon start dying.”

Things were even more difficult for the workers who depend on odd jobs to repair and clean the fishing nets in exchange for a share of the catch. Now they have nothing at all. Vaithaijah Mariyai, 59, who lost five children in the war and relied on odd jobs on the boats, lives on donations, the last scraps of fish and a few vegetables she picked on the side of the road. “I don’t know how I’m going to survive after this,” she said.

Fishermen recently staged protests outside district offices, accusing the government of abandoning them to death, but the fuel has still not arrived. “Take a picture of us,” said a fisherman, Thiyakarasa Thiyagalingam, 42, as he sat looking sadly at all the beached fishing boats. “I don’t know how long we will stay here.”

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Where do the paths of Buddhism and yoga intersect? Words of a “Bendy Buddhist” – Buddhistdoor Global https://hellven.org/where-do-the-paths-of-buddhism-and-yoga-intersect-words-of-a-bendy-buddhist-buddhistdoor-global/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 03:48:48 +0000 https://hellven.org/where-do-the-paths-of-buddhism-and-yoga-intersect-words-of-a-bendy-buddhist-buddhistdoor-global/ “Bendy Buddhist” is how Ellen Johannesen jokingly describes herself. And “flexible Buddhism” is a wonderful metaphor for the intersection between Buddhism and yoga. Ellen was born in Norway and has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. She discovered Ashtanga yoga in 1994 and has been practicing ever since. In 2002 Ellen co-founded Ashtanga’s first […]]]>

“Bendy Buddhist” is how Ellen Johannesen jokingly describes herself. And “flexible Buddhism” is a wonderful metaphor for the intersection between Buddhism and yoga.

Ellen was born in Norway and has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. She discovered Ashtanga yoga in 1994 and has been practicing ever since. In 2002 Ellen co-founded Ashtanga’s first studio in Oslo, Ashtanga Yoga Oslo, where she was the lead teacher responsible for the Mysore program.

Ellen’s interest in Buddhism first brought her to Bylakuppe in southern India, where she spent three years in a Tibetan monastery. She then moved to Kathmandu, where, after training as a Tibetan translator, she obtained a master’s degree in Buddhist studies and Himalayan languages ​​from the University of Kathmandu.

BDG had the privilege of interviewing Ellen and talking about her experiences with Buddhism and yoga.

BDG: Where is the intersection between Ashtanga yoga and the Buddhist way in your personal practice?

Ellen Johannsen: I have worked with the body all my life: I have practiced Ashtanga for over 27 years and before that I was a professional dancer. At first, this work was about discipline. I didn’t dance or practice yoga because I liked it, but because I needed some sense of centering and alignment in what was for me a chaotic world.

I went from a rather harsh and authoritative ballet/modern dance training in London to studying more conceptual and somatic dance techniques in the Netherlands. This last approach concerns access to the body without imposing aesthetic models. You want to work with the forces that move the body: gravity, lightness, speed and momentum. This often took the form of an improvised dance, which is a bit like high-speed meditation: you not only have to feel inside, but also make choices about when react and move with impulses, and when not to. In this way, it teaches your mind to separate awareness and content.

As movement was my path to consciousness, I initially rejected Buddhism as a method. I thought, like many people, that Buddhism was about sitting in meditation, while yoga was about moving.

Then, one year, I met an American Buddhist nun in Mysore and started studying Sutra of the Diamond Cutter with her. I immediately felt that it corresponded so well to my way of perceiving the world. Moreover, Buddhism has so many practical methods to offer: it seems to work on the heart and the emotions, offering very direct pathways to cut through our habitual likes and dislikes. I loved that Buddhism was so ‘radical’ – almost like an artistic endeavor: having a view of the world where you act out of selflessness and not selfishness was really like swimming upstream and acting against the norm .

This made me want to go and live at Namdroling Monastery* for three years. It meant experiencing what life could be like when an entire group of people live by the vision of Buddhism and choose to engage in its practices. The most memorable experience, in my opinion, was the death of the monastery’s abbot, Penor Rinpoche.** For almost a week, he sat in deep meditation, without any physical vital signs. There was an incredible atmosphere that permeated the whole monastery.

After beginning the academic study of Buddhism, I began to wonder why Buddhism and yoga were traditionally considered separate traditions when they clearly had so much in common: yoga in the philosophical sense darshanawhich holds Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (5th century) as a founding text, is interested in the methods of training the mind. It has many borrowings (or shared notions) from Buddhism Abhidharma of the same period, speaking of dhyana (meditation), and various stages of realization. The characteristic of both systems is that insight comes direct perception through the cultivation of our senses.

Yoga in the sense of Hatha yoga/tantra (from the eighth century) takes the body into account, using the winds and channels of the subtle body to transcend mundane experience. This is widely practiced in Tantric Buddhism as it is found in the Tibetan tradition.

The techniques of Patanjali yoga and Hatha yoga are both shared between Buddhist and Hindu traditions. One researcher has described “yoga” as “free software” that has been shared between many traditions: Buddhist, Brahmanic, Muslim and Jain. The difference lies in how and for what purpose these schools engage in these practices. In Buddhism, this was done with the intention of freeing all beings from suffering. There can be no Tantric Buddhist practice without bodhicitta*** as a foundation.

BDG: Which Buddhist teachers have had the strongest influence on your spiritual path?

I : The Buddhist teachers with whom I feel most closely connected are those who emphasize the subtle body and also dare to criticize their own tradition: Dhammadipa, who has always practiced several Buddhist paths – Theravada, Yogacara and Zen – also emphasizes the importance of cultivating body awareness, admitting that excessive sitting was harmful to one’s body. He therefore teaches qi gong and yoga during his retreats. It represents for me a key to understand several traditions, but also to go beyond them. My other teacher is Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche, who although a brilliant scholar, is very interested in Indian Hatha yoga and pranayama, which he also teaches in his retreats. I recently connected with researcher-practitioner Ian Baker, who is also a faculty member of my in-depth course. Her great contribution to my course is her ability to cut through the cultural and hierarchical scaffolding of Tibetan Buddhist practices, which can make them seem alien to us, and present them as effective ways to transform our bodies and minds.

BDG: Can you tell us a bit about your in-depth background and the place of Buddhist practice within it?

I : In my two-year in-depth course, I try to “bridge the gap” between Buddhism and yoga. I think it’s time to see yoga in a broader sense as an ever-evolving transnational tradition. These days, more yoga teachers than I include Buddhist practices in their teaching as they have been shown to be effective and beneficial. One of the core practices of my course is sustainable compassion meditation. In this practice we build a foundation for meditation by seeing ourselves as relational beings surrounded by our network of care and support (friends, family, pets, mentors, etc.). This visualization calms the nervous system, allows us to be comfortable in our body and at ease with our mind, before trying to “meditate”.

BDG: What is the most important message you want to convey to your students?

I : What I want my students to understand is that we become who we are through processes, consciously or unconsciously. Most of the time, we develop unconscious patterns through cultural and social conditioning. Yoga is precisely the way to overcome this conditioning, mental and physical: it teaches you to direct your process of becoming towards the most optimal goal. For this we need a deep understanding of the potential of our body-mind and the practices with which to actualize them!

* Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery (“Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargye Ling”) is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. It is located in Bylakuppe, Mysuru district, in the Indian state of Karnataka.

** Kyabje Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche (1932–2009), was the 11th throne holder of the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma school.

*** In Mahayana Buddhism, bodhicitta (Skt. bodhisattva) is the compassionate aspiration to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, and the quality of a bodhisattva.

BDG Related Features

Book Review: Tatiana Elle Yoga for women: 45 postures for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being
Tibetan Yoga, the hidden treasure of Tibetan Buddhism: interview with Ian A. Baker
Demystifying Bliss Yoga: An Interview with Dr. Nida Chenagtsang, Part One

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The Four-Day Work Week and the Buddhist Work Ethic – Buddhistdoor Global https://hellven.org/the-four-day-work-week-and-the-buddhist-work-ethic-buddhistdoor-global/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 02:55:59 +0000 https://hellven.org/the-four-day-work-week-and-the-buddhist-work-ethic-buddhistdoor-global/ Sociologist Max Weber (1869-1920) first proposed the idea of ​​a Protestant work ethic in his 1905 book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. According to Weber, Protestant Christians had made work an integral part of a person’s development and, ultimately, of his salvation. To work hard is to be holy. This wisdom is […]]]>

Sociologist Max Weber (1869-1920) first proposed the idea of ​​a Protestant work ethic in his 1905 book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. According to Weber, Protestant Christians had made work an integral part of a person’s development and, ultimately, of his salvation. To work hard is to be holy. This wisdom is being challenged to some extent by a new movement to reduce the standard working week to four days in developed economies. While programs scattered around the world have shown varying degrees of success in implementing a four-day working week, a new large-scale experiment in Britain will include more than 3,300 workers in 70 companies. in a wide range of fields.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier of competition is quality of life, and that short-time, performance-driven work is the way to give them an edge. competitive,” said Joe O’. Connor, CEO of 4-Day Week Global. (NPR)

In Buddhist thought, there does not seem to be a broad theology of work. For most Buddhists throughout history, work has simply been necessary to survive. Insofar as the Buddha thought about it, he suggested that it was just part of what might constitute a virtuous life. In the Sigālovāda Sutta (DN 31), the Buddha advised the head of the Sigala household five ways of caring for workers that we can think of today. Slightly adapted to fit the modern world, these were:

(i) assigning them work according to their abilities,

(ii) by paying them a salary,

(iii) provide sick leave,

(iv) share with them the rewards of business growth,

(v) giving them reasonable time off.

Accordingly, there are five ways in which workers should discharge their duties for the benefit of their employer:

(i) they get up before their boss,

(ii) they fall asleep after him,

(iii) they only take what is given,

(iv) they perform their duties well,

(v) they maintain a good reputation.

In this way, says the text, the employer shows compassion towards the employees and vice versa. The text offers relatively straightforward guidance, a sort of framework within which employers and workers would be free to determine specific details.

However, little has been written about putting this advice into practice over the past 2,500 years. Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), an American network aimed at advancing workers’ rights based on religious commitments, offers only the Sigālovāda Sutta on its Buddhism page alongside a short passage from the 13th Dalai Lama and a piece from the Venerable Sevan Ross, an American Zen teacher.

The 13th Dalai Lama’s advice reiterates the ideals of providing a “reasonable life” and an attitude of bringing benefits rather than seeking big profits. Meanwhile, Roshi Ross teaches interdependence leading to “mutually productive work, everyone being treated fairly, everyone being treated right”. (Interfaith Workers’ Justice)

In the West, the Triratna Buddhist community, formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, has given much thought to creating workplaces that reflect Buddhist values. Saddharaja, a member of the order and head of staff welfare at Windhorse:evolution, Triratna’s largest workplace, wrote in 2011:

We have a body of experiences and teachings of righteous livelihoods within us, but I feel they are not communicated and presented in a coherent way. Valuable lessons, but not easily accessible. In Triratna we have the Perfect Livelihood chapter of Sangharakshita in “Vision and Transformation”. There are also other texts and teachings in our Movement, but no primary source.

So it’s 2011 and society continues to change rapidly. Some of the traditional (and Triratna) approaches to righteous livelihoods, while entirely valid, may seem a bit outdated to me – they do not reflect the way we live and work now.

(Triratna Buddhist Community News)

Given these limited statements and the acknowledged lack of a clear document on creating a workplace with Buddhist values, one might wonder what a Buddhist employer should do. Enter that, the recent changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing movement to create a four-day work week.

For decades, some schools and workplaces have implemented a four-day week, often out of necessity due to understaffing or special needs in their communities. But it’s only in recent years that companies around the world have woken up to changing working hours as an opportunity to improve productivity, attract and retain key talent, and significantly reduce stress and related conditions, such as worker absenteeism.

In a recent TED talk, Juliet Schor, an economist and professor of sociology at Boston College, said that experiments with shorter workweeks have yielded extraordinarily positive results. A company that had seen its employees resign in large numbers due to burnout moved to the four-day work week and quickly noticed a turnaround in retention. More than that, the company’s revenue has increased, along with customer satisfaction. Schor noted that workers have developed a number of ingenious ways to fit five days of productivity into just four, from shorter meetings to cutting out chatter and social media browsing.

Schor also noted that countries with already shorter working weeks, such as Norway and Denmark, which only work an average of 1,380 hours per year, the equivalent of just 34.5 40-hour weeks, have in fact higher productivity than neighboring countries such as the UK and Italy, which traditionally have longer working weeks and fewer vacation days. Meanwhile, Japan, a country known for its overworked employees, ranked 20th out of 35 countries in a recent survey of worker productivity.

From tofugu.com

However, warn academics Emma Russell, Caroline Murphy and Esme Terry, the move to a shorter week can also be embraced incorrectly. They cite a study from New Zealand’s experience with a four-day working week, where managerial pressures and performance measures increased, piling additional stress on workers and management. Russell, Murphy and Terry recommend that reduced hours also mean reduced workloads and an eye to reducing work intensity. In part, they conclude, “Taking a long-term, holistic approach to workforce well-being is the best path to happiness and prosperity. (harvard business review)

To highlight the possibility of reducing even a 28-hour working week made up of four seven-hour days, Scottish recruitment agency Change Recruitment notes that during the time of Max Weber’s work, manufacturing employees in the United States worked an average of 100 hours. per week. After several decades and often contentious battles, the 40-hour work week has become more common.

A Buddhist case for recommending the four-day workweek might draw on another ancient Buddhist text, the Soṇa Sutta (AN 6.55). In this discourse, the Buddha teaches a middle way between excessive effort and laziness. Applied to the lives of workers today, we could see that much of life, at work and beyond, has become much more complicated than it was 50, 20 or even 10 years ago. year. To keep up, the average person has to put in more and more effort. The benevolent Buddhist employer, seeing this, might find reasons to reduce working hours and workload, thereby restoring balance to the lives of employees.

A final consideration is climate impact. Last year, a study suggested that widespread adoption of the four-day work week could reduce individual carbon footprints by up to 20% as commuting decreases and offices and other businesses reduce hours and energy consumption. In a society that has been driven by growth and consumption, it will take work for the idea of ​​a shorter working week to gain widespread acceptance. But as we see, even without this, the overall benefits of reduced work hours – and potentially workload as well – far outweigh the risks.

References

Kelly, John, Sawyer, Sue and Yareham, Victoria, trans. 2013. “Sigalovada Sutta: The Buddha’s Guidance to Sigalaka” (DN 31). Access to Insight (BCBS edition).

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans. 2013. “Sona Sutta: About Sona” (AN 6.55). Access to Insight (BCBS edition).

See more

A big test of the 32-hour work week is underway. Proponents think it could help productivity (NPR)
In Britain, a new test of an old dream: the 4-day working week (The New York Times)
Buddhism (Interfaith Workers’ Justice)
Six New Lectures on Livelihood Buddhist Practice: New Windhorse Lecture Series: Evolution Now Available (Triratna Buddhist Community News)
The case of a 4-day workweek (TED)
The Pros and Cons of a 4 Day Work Week (Recruitment Change)
What leaders need to know before trying a 4-day work week (harvard business review)

BDG Related Features

The future of work
Education against the factory of employment
tomorrow
Metta Peeling
Buddhist door view: The Dharma of Unemployment
View of the Buddhist door: COVID-19 – Preparing for the end and beyond
View of the Buddhist Gate: Finding the Right Balance with Social Justice Causes

BDG Special Issue 2022

Buddhism in a Divided World

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There is no “religious point of view” on abortion https://hellven.org/there-is-no-religious-point-of-view-on-abortion/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 18:31:03 +0000 https://hellven.org/there-is-no-religious-point-of-view-on-abortion/ This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. The official line of the Catholic Church on abortion, and indeed on any artificial birth control, is well known: don’t do it. Surveys of how American Catholics live their lives, however, tell a different story. The vast majority of […]]]>

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The official line of the Catholic Church on abortion, and indeed on any artificial birth control, is well known: don’t do it.

Surveys of how American Catholics live their lives, however, tell a different story.

The vast majority of Catholic women used contraceptives, despite the church‘s ban. Fifty-six percent of American Catholics think abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, whether or not they believe they would ever seek it. One in four Americans who have had an abortion is Catholic, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which advocates for reproductive health.

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It is a clear reminder of the complex relationship between the teachings of any religious tradition and how people actually live out their beliefs. As the United States Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that protects the right to abortion nationwide, religious attitudes toward a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy are in the spotlight. But even within the same religion, there is no single religious position with regard to reproductive rights – let alone between different religions.

Christianity and Conscience

As a gender and religion scholar, I research how religious traditions shape people’s understanding of contraception and abortion.

With regard to official positions on abortion, the positions of religions are linked to different approaches to certain key theological concepts. For example, for several religions, a key issue in abortion rights is “the soul”, when the soul is thought to enter the body, that is, when a fetus becomes human.

The catch is that traditions place the soul at different times and give it varying degrees of importance. Catholic theologians place the soul at the time of conception, which is why the official position of the Catholic Church is that abortion is never permitted. From the moment the sperm meets the egg, in Catholic theology, a human exists, and you cannot kill a human, no matter how they came into existence. You also cannot choose between two human lives, which is why the church opposes the abortion of a fetus to save the life of the pregnant person.

As with any religion, not all Catholics feel obligated to follow the teachings of the church in all cases. And no matter if someone thinks they would ever seek an abortion, they may think it should be a legal right. Fifty-seven percent of American Catholics say abortion is morally wrong, but 68% still support Roe v. Wade, while only 14% think abortion should never be legal.

Protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court on December 1, 2021. The justices are hearing arguments in a Mississippi case seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

Some Catholics advocate for access to abortion not in spite of but because of their devotion to Catholic teachings. The organization Catholics for Choice describes his work as being rooted in Catholicism’s emphasis on “social justice, human dignity and the rule of conscience” – people making their own decisions out of deep moral conviction.

Other Christians also say faith shapes their support for reproductive rights. Protestant clergy, along with their Jewish colleagues, were instrumental in helping women obtain abortions before Roe, through a network called the Clergy Counseling Service. These pro-choice clergy were motivated by a range of concerns, including the despair they saw in the women of their congregations and theological commitments to social justice. Today, the organization still exists as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

There are a myriad of Protestant views on abortion. The most conservative liken it to murder, and therefore oppose any derogation. The most liberal Protestant voices argue for a broad platform of reproductive justice, calling on believers to “trust women”.

What is a “person”?

Muslim scholars and clerics also have a range of positions on abortion. Some believe abortion is never allowed, and many allow it until sleep onset, which is often placed at 120 days of gestation, just before 18 weeks. In general, many Muslim rulers allow abortion to save the life of the mother, since classical Islamic law considers legal personality to begin at birth – although many Muslims may ask their religious leaders for guidance or advice. help for abortion, many do not.

Jewish tradition has much debate about when the soul occurs: various rabbinical texts place it at conception or even before, and many place it at birth, but soul is not as essential as status legal status of the fetus according to Jewish law. Generally, he is not considered a person. For example, the Talmud – the main source of Jewish law – refers to the fetus as part of the mother’s body. The biblical book of Exodus notes that if a pregnant woman is attacked and then miscarries, the attacker owes a fine but is not guilty of murder.

In other words, Jewish law protects a fetus as a “potential person”, but does not consider it to hold the same full personality as its mother. Jewish clergy generally agree that abortion is not only permitted, but compulsory, to save the life of the mother, since potential life must be sacrificed to save existing life – even during labor, as long as the head has not not emerged from the birth canal.

Where Jewish abortion law gets complicated is when the mother’s life is not in danger. For example, contemporary Jewish leaders debate whether abortion is permitted if the mother’s mental health is damaged, if genetic testing shows evidence of a non-fatal disability, or if there are other compelling concerns, such as the fact that the family’s resources would be stretched too thinly to take care of it. for their current children.

People gathered at the Colorado Capitol for the ‘Bans Our Bodies’ rally in support of abortion rights on May 14, 2022. (Andrew Fraieli for Colorado Newsline)

American Jews have generally supported legal abortion with very few restrictions, seeing it as a matter of religious freedom – and a matter of life versus potential life. Eighty-three percent support a woman’s right to an abortion, and while many might turn to their clergy for help in seeking an abortion, many would not see it. need.

Another view of life

As much diversity as exists in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, there is likely even more in Hinduism, which has a range of texts, deities, and worldviews. Many scholars argue that the fact that so many different traditions are all lumped together under the umbrella term “Hinduism” has more to do with British colonialism than anything else.

Most Hindus believe in reincarnation, which means that although one can enter a body with birth and leave with death, life itself does not precisely begin or end. Rather, any given moment in a human body is seen as part of an endless cycle of life – which makes the question of the beginning of life very different from that of the Abrahamic religions.

Some bioethicists view Hinduism as essentially “pro-life”, only allowing abortion to save the life of the mother. Looking at what people do, however, rather than what the scriptures of a tradition say, abortion is common in Hindu-majority India, especially for female fetuses.

In the United States, there are immigrant Hindu communities, Asian American Hindu communities, and people who have converted to Hinduism who bring this diversity to their approaches to abortion. Overall, however, 68% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Compassionate Choices

Buddhists also have varying views on abortion. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice notes, “Buddhism, like other world religions, grapples with the fact that abortion can sometimes be the best decision and a true moral choice. That’s not to say there’s nothing troubling about abortion, but it does mean that Buddhists can understand that reproductive decisions are part of the moral complexity of life.

Japanese Buddhism in particular can be seen as offering a “middle way” between pro-choice and pro-life positions. While many Buddhists view life as beginning at conception, abortion is common and addressed through rituals involving Jizo, one of the enlightened figures Buddhists call bodhisattvas, who are believed to care for aborted and miscarried fetuses. .

Ultimately, the Buddhist approach to abortion emphasizes that abortion is a complex moral decision that must be made with compassion in mind.

We tend to think of the religious response to abortion as opposition, but the reality is much more complicated. Formal religious teachings on abortion are complex and divided — and official positions aside, the data shows that time and time again, the majority of Americans, religious or not, support abortion.The conversation

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Symbol of hatred or Buddhist emblem? Hidden Villa cancels summer camps for 1,000 children after staff resign over swastika tiles | New https://hellven.org/symbol-of-hatred-or-buddhist-emblem-hidden-villa-cancels-summer-camps-for-1000-children-after-staff-resign-over-swastika-tiles-new/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 21:57:46 +0000 https://hellven.org/symbol-of-hatred-or-buddhist-emblem-hidden-villa-cancels-summer-camps-for-1000-children-after-staff-resign-over-swastika-tiles-new/ Hidden Villa, a Los Altos Hills nonprofit known for its pastoral landscape and educational programs, announced June 8 that all summer camp sessions this year are canceled due to the “abrupt departure” of camp staff members, disrupting the summer plans of nearly 1,000 children. . But some former staffers say the situation was anything but […]]]>

Hidden Villa, a Los Altos Hills nonprofit known for its pastoral landscape and educational programs, announced June 8 that all summer camp sessions this year are canceled due to the “abrupt departure” of camp staff members, disrupting the summer plans of nearly 1,000 children. .

But some former staffers say the situation was anything but brutal: Their resignations came after months of slow-building conflict that boiled over – in particular, the handling of pre-Nazi swastika tiles that were encrusted in the exterior of a camp building for nearly a century until they were removed on June 7.

“Over the past weekend, four camp staff, including the summer camp director, have tendered their resignations effective immediately,” Hidden Villa said in its June 8 announcement to the community.

Part of what prompted the massive resignation, according to the announcement, “was an ongoing process to discuss the symbols on the historic Duveneck House,” a focal point of the property. “The house, built in 1929, had three tiles, approximately 12 inches by 12 inches, with Buddhist swastikas and a lotus embedded in the architecture.”

The camp’s founders, Frank and Josephine Duveneck, purchased the tiles in 1913, years before the ancient Buddhist emblem was co-opted by the Nazis into the symbol of hatred it is known today.

Summer camp director Philip James, who resigned on June 5, said he was first told about the swastika tiles last summer when a camper told him reported. He immediately told his superiors about it.

“I kept bringing it up in conversation and talking about how we (should) do something about it, before it got to the point where it is now,” James said in an interview. . “And I was always told that Hidden Villa wasn’t ready to have those kinds of conversations.”

James said at one point he was asked to write a letter about the issue to Villa Voice, a newsletter sent to camp staff.

“So I wrote a letter explaining my experience with the motorhome and exactly what happened. At the end I said, ‘What are some other ways we can think of how to ensure safety of people in this space?” James said. “Management didn’t like it at all. I was reprimanded. wasn’t fair that they weren’t there to defend themselves…. I think for me, honestly, that was probably the biggest turning point.

Hidden Villa’s interim executive director Philip Arca took over in January, so the ongoing conversation about how to approach tiles “was new to me,” Arca said in a June 9 interview. . Arca resigned, citing health reasons, the day after his interview with The Voice, according to a June 11 letter sent to Hidden Villa staff by Hidden Villa Board Chairman Peter Hartzell.

Arca said he and other camp leaders have started a conversation about adding educational signage to contextualize the tiles, “because there are a variety of views on this.”

“Initially, we thought signage was an option,” Arca said. “Expectations, from my perspective at least, have turned into, they have to be dropped.”

“I think we tried to design a process (for removing tiles) that was as thoughtful and inclusive as possible,” Arca continued. “…I think for those involved, maybe they felt it was taking too long, or there could have been different ways to do it, so I respect that different perspective.”

From James’ perspective, it wasn’t just that the process was taking too long: He said he felt his voice as a black person was being pushed aside while the voices of others, especially white members staff, were what ultimately tipped the needle to get the tiles removed.

Hidden Villa hires two types of staff: year-round team members like James’ post, and seasonal camp staff who only work for the duration of the summer camp program. Staff for this year’s summer camp had just been recruited when they learned about the tiles, James said. Some summer camp staff organized themselves and wrote a letter which they delivered to the board and management of Hidden Villa on June 3, he said.

“We are not comfortable educating children near this symbol of hate,” the letter reads, a copy of which was given to the Voice by James. “In his presence, we cannot claim to provide a safe or affirmative environment. If you do not agree to meet these stated demands, the majority of the undersigned are currently prepared to terminate our employment.”

Two days later, on June 5, Hidden Villa associate director Lynn Rivas held a meeting with the camp staff members who wrote the letter to discuss the situation, James said. He had a meeting scheduled with Rivas right after, which James says quickly heated up, and he quit soon after. Hidden Villa removed the tiles two days later.

“It took over nine months from the time (this) came to their attention, fast-forwarding to that Sunday when it all fell apart – it took them less than 48 hours to eliminate them, after a group of mostly white kids got together and expressed how they felt,” said former camp deputy director Mimi Elias, who also quit. “Versus (James), who calmly and kindly tried to talk to them in meeting after meeting, but they just wouldn’t listen.”

Arca said the camp leadership had accepted the resignations and was trying “to move forward and focus on the families”. The camp closure will affect nearly 1,000 campers, he said.

“As we didn’t have enough staff and couldn’t serve the children, we try to support the rest of the staff,” Arca said. “The focus has really been on the families and the loss of that opportunity for all of those families.”

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A delegation led by Rijiju will transport Buddhist relics to Mongolia https://hellven.org/a-delegation-led-by-rijiju-will-transport-buddhist-relics-to-mongolia/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 14:11:58 +0000 https://hellven.org/a-delegation-led-by-rijiju-will-transport-buddhist-relics-to-mongolia/ In a gesture of cultural diplomacy with Mongolia, India is sending a 25-person delegation led by Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, with sacred Buddhist relics. The delegation will travel to neighboring China on June 12 ahead of Mongolia’s Buddha Purnima on June 14. The delegation will be in Mongolia for an 11-day exhibition, and the four […]]]>

In a gesture of cultural diplomacy with Mongolia, India is sending a 25-person delegation led by Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, with sacred Buddhist relics. The delegation will travel to neighboring China on June 12 ahead of Mongolia’s Buddha Purnima on June 14.

The delegation will be in Mongolia for an 11-day exhibition, and the four relics will be displayed at the Batsagaan Temple of Gandan Monastery located in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

The relics are currently kept in the National Museum and were first discovered in 1898 in the ancient city of Kapilavastu in Bihar. Rijiju said the relics, known as the “Relics of Kapilvastu”, have never been moved since.

“The relics had been given ‘AA status’ and were not moved out of the National Museum. But, at the special request of the Mongolian government, we decided to send them to the exhibition,” Rijiju said. Initially, they were to be displayed for a week, but at the request of the Mongolian government, the display time was extended to 11 days.

A statement from the Ministry of Culture said the last time the relics were taken out of the country was in 2012 when they were taken to Sri Lanka and displayed at several locations across the island nation. “However, subsequent guidelines were issued and the holy relics were placed in the ‘AA’ category of antiquities and art treasures which should not normally be taken out of the country for display, given their delicate nature” , the statement said.

Rijiju added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia in 2015 was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Mongolia, and bringing the relics to Mongolia will help rekindle diplomatic relations with Mongolia. he called a cultural neighbor. During his visit in 2015, Modi visited Gandan Monastery and also presented a young Bodhi tree to Hamba Lama.

An advance team from the Center has been sent to Mongolia to examine the arrangements there, and the relics will be transported in the same climate-controlled case that is currently housed in the National Museum. They will also be granted state guest status and the Indian Air Force has sent the C-17 Globe Master to transport them, the culture ministry said. “Two bulletproof envelopes along with two ceremonial coffins are being carried by the Indian delegation for the two relics,” the ministry said.

The relics will be received in Mongolia by their Minister of Culture; adviser to the President of Mongolia and a large number of monks among other dignitaries.

Besides the exhibition, to strengthen diplomatic relations, the government has pursued cultural activities in Mongolia, in the face of geopolitical rivalry with China. The Ministry of Culture said India has printed 75 copies of 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur for the Mongolian government and is now digitizing the Kanjur manuscripts. Besides that, 500 Mongolian monks are studying in different monasteries and institutions here, and India has facilitated their travel and visas.

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A journey beyond a destination https://hellven.org/a-journey-beyond-a-destination/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 05:19:46 +0000 https://hellven.org/a-journey-beyond-a-destination/ A senior Indian Revenue Service officer, Deepankar Aron was posted to Hong Kong as consul in 2012. It was by chance that he noticed a 35-meter tall Tian Tan Buddha statue right next to the Hong Kong airport that put it”In the Footsteps of Buddha: A Journey to the East”. Aron writes of two Japanese […]]]>

A senior Indian Revenue Service officer, Deepankar Aron was posted to Hong Kong as consul in 2012. It was by chance that he noticed a 35-meter tall Tian Tan Buddha statue right next to the Hong Kong airport that put it”In the Footsteps of Buddha: A Journey to the East”.

Aron writes of two Japanese pilgrims in their eighties who had stood with folded hands before an ancient, dilapidated structure that looked like a temple’s sanctum sanctorum. “It was somewhat surprising that they had traveled thousands of miles as pilgrims to an indescribable corner of China called Karakhoja. Even more surprising was the fact that one was a Buddhist priest and the other a worshiper of Lord Krishna – the Hindu Lord whose sacred message forms the essence of the Bhagavad Gita,” he adds.

“It is the story of these two unlikely Japanese pilgrims that sums up the theme of this book – to explore the richness, depth and breadth of the spiritual, philosophical and cultural ties that bind India to the civilizations of East Asia. ‘Eastern China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia.’” writes Aron.

The book traverses various regions of East Asia, from Kashgar in Xinjiang in the West to Koyasan in Japan in the East; from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to the north and from Kaohsiung in Taiwan to the south. It is as much about discovering a tremendous unity in diversity as it is about jumping between different time zones separated by 2000 years of history.

In the footsteps of Buddha is divided into six chapters for easy navigation. The first covers the ancient cities along China’s Silk Road which were largely responsible for the spread of Buddhism from India, not only to China but also to much of East Asia. The second covers the North-South trade axis linking China to Mongolia. The third moves from Sichuan in southwest China to primordial Kailash Parvat or Kang Rinpoche and the lake, Mansarovar or Mapham Yumtso in Tibet. The fourth moves to the southeast coast of China and Taiwan from Hong Kong to Shanghai, touching Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing. It then moves from Taipei to Kaohsiung via the city of Tainan, dotted with temples.

It is perhaps one of the most prosperous regions in China with many modern cities. It is therefore not surprising that most of the grandest and tallest Buddha statues have appeared there in the recent past. The fifth chapter winds through quiet Korea, and last but not least, comes the Land of the Rising Sun.

A place where history, tradition, religion and culture are best preserved. The author also highlights five to 10 representative cities in each of these regions.

Writing a book of such magnitude was no easy task. Aron faced many challenges such as language, distances, permissions, lack of time and resources of course, but luckily all of them were resolved.

Interestingly, these journeys were undertaken in all modes of transport – animal and mechanized – by camel, mule and horseback; walking and trekking, especially in Tibet. The most exciting mode of travel for Deepankar was high-speed trains in Japan, China and Taiwan.

In the footsteps of Buddha: A Journey to the East takes the reader on a slow train rather than a high-speed train. The author chronicled the spread of Buddhism, as it is preserved in the traditions of these countries, linking them to India. Although a bit smaller than the standard coffee table book, In the footsteps of Buddha with its 308 pages illustrated with numerous photographs revealing Deepankar’s expertise with the camera and printed on art paper offers easy reading.

Title: In the Footsteps of BUDDHA: A Journey to the East
Author: Deepankar Aron
Pages: 308
Publisher: NIYOGI BOOKS
Cover price: Rs. 1995
Raj Kanwar is a 92-year-old veteran journalist and author based in Dehradun.

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Muslim nations protest ‘insulting’ comments from Indian party leaders https://hellven.org/muslim-nations-protest-insulting-comments-from-indian-party-leaders/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:58:11 +0000 https://hellven.org/muslim-nations-protest-insulting-comments-from-indian-party-leaders/ Several Muslim-majority countries protested comments made by senior officials of India’s ruling party. They accused party officials of making insulting remarks about Islam and Prophet Mohammed. At least five Arab nations have officially protested to Indian diplomats. Neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan also reacted strongly to remarks made by two officials of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s […]]]>

Several Muslim-majority countries protested comments made by senior officials of India’s ruling party. They accused party officials of making insulting remarks about Islam and Prophet Mohammed.

At least five Arab nations have officially protested to Indian diplomats. Neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan also reacted strongly to remarks made by two officials of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

On social networks, some Muslims have called for a boycott of Indian products. And in parts of India, it has also led to protests against Modi’s ruling party.

Increase in violence against Muslims

Over the years, Indian Muslims have often been targeted for things like their food, clothing, and interfaith marriages. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have warned that attacks on Indian Muslims could increase.

Rights groups have also accused Modi’s ruling party of ignoring and sometimes allowing hate speech against Muslims.

Modi’s party denies the charges, but Indian Muslims say attacks on them and their religion have risen sharply.

Anger has been growing since last week after the two BJP officials made comments that were seen as an insult to Islam’s prophet Muhammad and his wife Aisha.

Modi’s party took no action against those responsible until Sunday. It was then that several Arab nations, starting with Qatar and Kuwait, called on their Indian ambassadors to protest. Saudi Arabia and Iran also added their voices to the protest.

The BJP suspended the officials and said it “strongly denounces the insult of any religious figure”. Indian embassies in Qatar and Kuwait issued a statement saying that the views expressed about the Prophet Muhammad and Islam were not those of the Government of India and were made by “fringe elements.”

Qatar’s foreign ministry, however, said it expected a public apology from the Indian government. And Kuwait warned that if the comments went unpunished, India would see “an increase in extremism and hatred”.

The Grand Mufti of Oman called Modi’s party’s action against Islam a form of “war”. And Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque, the largest center of religious learning in the Sunni world, called the remarks “genuine terrorism (which) can dip the whole world in serious crises and deadly wars.

Modi’s party also faced the wrath of some of its own supporters, but that was for a different reason. Many Hindu nationalists wrote on social media that the government was bowing to international pressure.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement: “These insults come the context of the growing intensity of hatred and insults to Islam in India and the harassment of Muslims. »

The 57-member organization noted the banning of head coverings in classrooms in some Indian states and the destruction of Muslim property as examples of Indian government policy. unfair treatment of Muslims.

More recently, religious tensions have risen after Hindus went to court in the northern city of Varanasi to seek permission to pray at a 17th-century Muslim religious center. They argued that the mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple.

I am Dorothy Gundy.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learn English based on reports from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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words in this story

Prophet – nm member of certain religions who deliver messages supposed to come from God.

see – nm an opinion or way of thinking about something

fringe – nm a group with extreme views

dip -v. suddenly fall

the context – nm the situation in which something happens

harassment – nm act of repeatedly attacking or disturbing (someone)

mosque – nm a building used for Muslim religious services

temple – nm a Buddhist/Hindu/Jewish/Mormon building for worship

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Mathura again in the center of attention https://hellven.org/mathura-again-in-the-center-of-attention/ Sat, 04 Jun 2022 18:31:49 +0000 https://hellven.org/mathura-again-in-the-center-of-attention/ The land of Mathura, where the Shai Idgah and Krishna temple complex stand today, has a long history of conflict between Hindu and Muslim communities, writes Susan Mishra Mathura – the birthplace and abode of Shri Krishna and one of the Seven Sacred Cities (Sapta Mahapuris) holds immense significance and is of great religious eminence […]]]>

The land of Mathura, where the Shai Idgah and Krishna temple complex stand today, has a long history of conflict between Hindu and Muslim communities, writes Susan Mishra

Mathura – the birthplace and abode of Shri Krishna and one of the Seven Sacred Cities (Sapta Mahapuris) holds immense significance and is of great religious eminence to Hindus. This site of paramount religious importance has been embroiled in controversy centered on the Hindu Muslim contestation for the scared space. The land, where the Shai Idgah and Krishna temple complex stand today, has a long history of conflict between Hindu and Muslim communities. The history of the current 20th century temple dates back to the early 19th century when Mathura came under British rule. The series of events leading up to the construction of the current temple is fascinating. In 1815, the entire land of Katra Keshav Dev measuring 13.37 acres was auctioned off by the British authorities. Raja Patni Mal of Benares was the highest bidder. After his bid was accepted in the auction, he became the owner.

The objection raised by the Muslims against Raja Patni Mal’s ownership and possession of the land of Katra Keshav Dev was dismissed by the Court as well as the administration. More than six decrees were passed between 1875 and 1877 in favor of Rai Narsing Das, the heir of Raja Patni Mal, who owned the complex. Subsequently, a number of cases were filed by Muslims challenging the auction, ownership and possession of Raja Patni Mal, but all were dismissed. Rai Kishan Das brought a civil action in 1928 and the Honorable High Court on Second Appeal 1932 gave judgment on 2.12.1935 said Raja Patni Mal and his heirs as rightful owners of 13.37 acres of land in Katra Keshav Dev . Furthermore, the judgment declared that Muslims had no rights over any part of the said land.

Shri Jugal Kishore Birla had pledged to build a glorious temple at Katra Keshav Dev glorifying the birthplace of Lord Shree Krishna, and for this purpose he had purchased the land of Katra Keshav Dev in the name of the revered Hindu leader Pt. Mahana Mandan Mohan Malvia, Goswami Ganesh Duttji and Bhikhen Lalji Aattrey in 1944. He also decided to establish a trust for the development of the associated lands and the “Shree Krishna Janmbhoomi Trust” came into existence on 21.2.1951.

Mathura’s crucial location and historical and religious significance have invariably led to it being raided and looted on numerous occasions. These attacks also focused on the destruction of the temples of Mathura. The onslaught of the invading armies did not in any way hamper the spirit of the faithful. This sacred Hindu site has emerged victorious on several occasions – each time a temple was destroyed, the faithful worshipers of Shree Krishna built a new one.

The evidence for the first temple in Mathura comes from an inscription known as the Vasu Doorjamb inscription dated to the early 1st century CE. The Sanskrit inscription in Brahmi script was found on a red sandstone temple doorframe thrown into an ancient well in Mathura. The doorframe is approximately 8 feet long, 1.24 feet wide, and 8 inches thick. The inscription is dedicated to the deity Vasudeva clearly indicating Vaishnavite affiliation. The inscription reads, ‘A stone gateway and balustrade have been erected at…the great temple of Bhagavat Vasudeva. May Bhagavat Vasudeva, being pleased, promote (the dominion or life and strength) of svamin mahakshatrapa Sodasa)’. This piece of evidence is significant as it confirms that the tradition of building great temples was in vogue in the Mathura region in a very early period. Another inscription from Mora, 11 kilometers from Mathura, testifies to the early religious importance of the area for the devotees of Vishnu in and around the sacred land of Mathura. It records the construction of a stone temple for the installation of the Pancha Vrishni Viras, by a lady called To?a. This inscription is dated to the 1st century CE and these five heroes (Pancha Vrishni Viras) were identified by JN Bannerjea as Vasudeva, Sa?kar?a?a, Pradyumna, Samba and Aniruddha, who were descendants of the Vrishni family and closely related to each other. Furthermore, the discovery of more than two dozen images of four-armed Vasudeva Krishna from the Kushana period in the 1950s and joint images of Krishna, his brother Balarama and his sister Ekanamsa, all from Mathura between 1 and the 3rd century AD, leave no doubt about the sanctity of Mathura. in the ancient past.

Narratives relating to Shree Krishna’s life are described in the Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavad Gita and Harivamsha Purana, a later appendix to the Mahabharata with a detailed version of Krishna’s childhood and youth. It also finds mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad which has been dated to the 8th to 6th century BCE. The question that arises is whether there is any historical evidence regarding the existence of a settlement in Mathura at such an early date? In fact, the excavations carried out in Mathura seem to attest to the literary tradition, as evidenced by the presence of a particular pottery known as Painted Gray Ware (PGW). This pottery is dated between 1200 and 600 BCE and has been found in many sites mentioned in ancient texts – Hastinapur, Mathura, Kurukshetra and Indraprastha. The period roughly corresponds to the later Vedic and Upanishadic periods. The excavations were conducted by ASI in the 1950s with the test trench laid 500 feet north of the superimposed mosque of Aurangzeb. Excavations have revealed that the vast settlement of Mathura can be dated as far back as the 6th century BCE, if not earlier based on PGW finds. The site was occupied until the 2nd century BC. After a brief period of inactivity, it was again occupied from 100 CE to around 6th century CE. It is interesting to note that among the material remains were found a coppersmith’s oven and beads of crystal, agate, carnelian, lapis lazuli and jasper.

This sacred site was plundered in medieval times and the temples were repeatedly desecrated, but each time the sanctity of the site was restored by the construction of a new temple. Mahmud of Ghazni raided and plundered Mahaban, and Al Utbi describes in his Tarikh-i-Yamini the nearby holy city which is identified as Mathura – “In the center of the city there was a huge and magnificent temple, which people believed being ‘t built by men, but by angels.The temples were burnt down, demolished and the idols of gold and silver and the riches plundered and carried away.A stone inscription in Sanskrit reports that in the 12th century , a person named Jajja built a Vishnu temple in Mathura which was described as being brilliantly white and touching the cloud.This temple too suffered destruction in the 16th century CE under Sikander Lodi and this is described by Abdullah in Tarikh- i-Daud. In 1636, with the lavish patronage of Vir Singh Bundela of Orccha, the Keshavaraya temple in Mathura was built in red sandstone and worship at the site was quickly restored. The temple received a Mughal grant in the farmer of Akbar from 159 8, and Prince Dara presented a stone balustrade to this temple in Mathura. The Keshavraya temple was destroyed by order of Aurangzeb. But this did not prevent the continued sanctity of the site as an important center of pilgrimage. Shri Braj Parikrama of Brajnath, suggests a revival of pilgrimage soon after the destruction of Aurangzeb sale. In addition to the highly contested Shahi Idgah, apparently another structure in place of an earlier temple is the Jama Mosque. A Muslim officer under Aurangzeb named Abdul Nabi had destroyed a temple and erected a mosque on its ruins in 1661. According to reports of late 19th century carvings found in a mound near the Gatasram temple in Mathura City, as well as others amply testify to the earlier presence of Vishnu and other temples and Hindu sacred landscape in Mathura.

The interest in tracing the past of Mathura attracted the attention of archaeologists as early as the late 19th century CE. Their exploration and excavations brought to light the presence of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu remains and the existence of the Mathura school of art. Dr Führer, while digging at the back of the Masjid, traced the plinth of an ancient brick substructure which, according to popular belief, marks the ground floor of the sanctuary of the imposing and famous temple. from Keshava visited and described by the French Voyageurs Tavernier (1650) and Bernier (1663). About 50 paces northwest of this bedrock, a test trench has been dug, in the hope of exposing the foundations and some of the carvings of this ancient Keshava temple. Dr Führer mentions that at a depth of 20 feet he came across part of the circular processional path leading around a stupa. On the pavement, consisting of large slabs of red sandstone, a short dedicatory inscription was discovered, according to which this stupa was repaired by King Kushana. In 1853, regular explorations were launched by General Cunningham on the Katra and continued in 1862. They yielded many sculptural remains; the most prominent of these is a 3-foot-tall inscribed standing Buddha image.

The Mathura region is the most heavily

associated with Krishna legend and worship, but between c. 200 BCE and 200 CE, its religious landscape was extremely diverse. Details of finds of carvings and inscriptions in the 19th and early 20th centuries allow us to identify the location of some of the shrines. For example, Katra Mound was the site of an early 2nd century CE Buddhist vihara, the Jamalpur/Jail Mound was the site of a Buddhist settlement, a Naga deity Dadhikarna shrine existed, and a Jaina settlement stood on the Kankali Tila of from the 2nd century BCE.

(The author is a researcher, worked as a project associate and a recipient of the Devangana Desai Senior Fellowship CSMVS Mumbai. She has also co-authored two books)

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Do you miss school trips? Now adults can also go on a “school trip” with a new plan at Nara Hotel https://hellven.org/do-you-miss-school-trips-now-adults-can-also-go-on-a-school-trip-with-a-new-plan-at-nara-hotel/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 05:06:17 +0000 https://hellven.org/do-you-miss-school-trips-now-adults-can-also-go-on-a-school-trip-with-a-new-plan-at-nara-hotel/ With lots of tour-like features and educational experiences, you’ll learn a lot and have fun too! You may already know that in Japan, schools hold a “shugaku ryokofor their students: a long-term trip to historic places like Kyoto or Nara. On these school trips, classes as a whole travel together, stay in hotels, and visit […]]]>

With lots of tour-like features and educational experiences, you’ll learn a lot and have fun too!

You may already know that in Japan, schools hold a “shugaku ryokofor their students: a long-term trip to historic places like Kyoto or Nara. On these school trips, classes as a whole travel together, stay in hotels, and visit local temples and monuments as part of their school curriculum.

School trips are a great opportunity for students to bond and create great memories, but unfortunately many of those memories don’t involve the actual visits they took. That’s why we’re delighted that Nara Hostel Waqoo Horyuji offers a new hotel plan called the “Adult School Trip Plan”which not only includes a stay just outside Horyuji Temple, one of Nara’s most famous temples and a place everyone should visit once before they die, but also a host of educational opportunities.

This plan is different from other tour packages in that it includes one of the inn’s famous storytellers who will guide you through Horyuji Temple, whose main hall is considered one of the oldest buildings in the world. Through stories like “The Battle of Minds Between Buddha and Humans” and “The Suffering of the Statue of Asura”, they can offer a whole new perspective on Nara and Buddhist history that you won’t find in a textbook or guidebook.

They can also point out places on the ground that you might normally miss. With a wealth of knowledge and stories about the Buddha and Buddhist statues as well as the sites within the temple grounds, the storytellers will provide you with a more interesting experience of Horyuji Temple that you may not be able to find on your own. -even – or that you might be able to remember your childhood.

Of course, the plan too includes a stay in one of Waqoo Horyuji’s rooms, which are luxurious spaces rooted in Japanese culture. With a blend of Japanese leisure and Western comfortthese rooms offer a pleasant place to relax, unwind and sleep away from exhaustion.

In the lobby there is also a nice Souvenir shop to browse which stores and displays local souvenirs as well as Buddhist statues.

The hostel itself also offers various activities. Included with your meals is a tasting of three kinds of local sakethat the chef carefully selects to accompany your meal.

Dinner also includes kaiseki ryoria Japanese-style multi-course meal, which gives you plenty of time to savor the alcohol.

Moreover, every night “debates” are organized in the bar of the gallery of the inn, where guests can learn about the history and culture of Nara while enjoying sake or other beverages.

Plus, the hostel’s prime location, just a 30-second walk from the Horyuji Temple gate, means you can step out to explore the temple anytime you want. If you’re lucky, you might be able to snap an Instagram-worthy shot of the temple pagoda at sunset!

Adult school trip plan is available now until July 15, and prices start at 25,200 yen (195 USD) per person for a double room. Reservations can be made on the official website of Waqoo Horyuji. Even if you’ve been to Nara before or remember everything you saw when you went there as a child, this trip offers a different perspective and new experiences, so why not book an adult school trip for you -same ? Plus, you’ll never get tired of the polite deer that roam the area!

Source, images: TV news
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[ Read in Japanese ]

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