Did You Get The Message?


“If we have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever that language is.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Read these posts first:-

(I have said this before and I will say it again – all you need is mutual respect on each others beliefs, culture and religion and we can get along just fine no matter what happens. Image source: http://www.ausgamers.com)

Read this:-

The 25-year old youth is being probed under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act and Section 298 (a) of the Penal Code for deliberately making statements to hurt the religious sentiments of another. Gopinath was alleged to have insulted Islam last week, which prompted several social media users to create the ‘Kami Benci Gopinath Jayaratnam’ page. The page currently has 5,529 followers.

Yesterday, Gopinath’s home in Taman Klang Jaya was attacked by several men, who destroyed furnitures and damaged his car. No one was injured in the attack as Gopinath and his family was not at home.

A group calling itself Jemaah Fisabilillah Klang said it masterminded the attack and even posted on the Kami Benci Gopinath Jayaratnam’s page that they would track down Gopinath’s family.

(Source)

And missing from the police’s list was this:-

A few years back, Shah Kirit was caught when his video came out in the public. In the video, he was speaking in a closed forum ridiculously explaining and insulting Hindu religion to the core and making sexual remarks about Hindu gods.

When the video came out, Shah Kirit apologized to the public, and despite numerous police reports against him, he was never caught. Tell me my Muslim brothers, if someone is to insult your religion like in this video, will you ever forgive him?

(Source)

It is claimed that there are about 4,200 different religion in this world.

When it comes to religion, some people sometimes (some all the time) do not keep in mind that the issue itself is very sensitive and in the history of mankind, minor sparks (cartoons included) have caused violent demonstrations, major conflicts and tragedies. And it sometimes creeps into absurdity too – no, not the religion itself but on how weak some a##holes conduct themselves with the religious issues (the fact that it is creeping to the young minds seems to be worse of the worse). Just imagine if each followers of the 4,200 religion start to hurl damaging statements at each other.

(Eddie Griffin’s simple and yet powerful message when it comes to religion – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Think about it for a second. Does it make a lot of sense than some religious zealots shouting that my God is better than your God? )

The law concerning religion hatred and slurs no doubt has to be fair and need to be enforced fairly on all who insult any religion but at the same time, let’s ask a more serious personal question – how will one attacking another’s faith & beliefs makes one own religion look and sound better?

Does your own religion (any religion) or your karma get cookies points whenever you “score” an insult on another’s religion? Absolutely not! Your religion (or faith or belief, whichever you want to name it) or your karma scores cookies points (if any) when you talk well about your own religion and do not make any cross reference to others and in the end, walk the talk. Do goodness to others, do charity to the well-deserving, do sincere kindness to all regardless of race & culture and at the end be humble.

But once you start to insult others (no matter was the excuse is), the situation can quickly escalate to worse and before you know it, it will be a tit for a tat. One insult another’s religion, the person insults back (without thinking much) and others gets angry (often in high emotion) and goes to do more damages and this goes on and on. When does this madness stop? What happens when there is no else to be insulted?

After all, what is religion and what is the underlying message?

To many it means many things but the underlying message has to be something positive, laced with love for fellow human and mutual respect and I know that no religion in this world will profess its followers to say anything and act in bad faith or bad intention. No religion in this world had professed that you need to kill or harm others in order for you to spread the religion. Whatever you say or do is between you and God and not to be manipulated to be imposed on others.

This is one of the reasons I don’t usually go to temples – the only time I am “forced” to go is when my wife wants to go too (or when I know I can get good parking spots). My reason of going to temples is simple – I am going to have my moment with God in an atmosphere that is calm, peaceful and conducive. I want to have a heart to heart talk with Him. If I am going to a place that is crowded with people, the queue (in front of the altar) is long & you have wait your turn, waiting hours (for prayers) are long due to the crowd, impression that my prayers becomes “invalid” because I don’t say or do something prescribed by the priests or the priests are more interested on how much collection that is coming for the day (usually during the “special” prayers), forget about it – I rather stay and pray at home. I know God can hear me even though I don’t say anything or I don’t chant anything that sounds exotic. At the end of the day, it is just between me and Him.

Let’s not escalate the seeds of disunity in the country further with attacks on each others religion & faith (we do not add this to the on-going delicate racial issue). Don’t be dumb, don’t be naive too – the world is not made of one race or one religion. There are millions of people in this world who practice a different faith from you and for them, their religion is true and well. If you don’t agree with this, well it is just too bad. Spending time and resources to claim the other religions are false and untrue is pointless and a gross waste of time. The sooner you appreciate the situation, the sooner we put aside the difference and be true to our own faith.

Remember, the underlying message of the day is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and not “my religion is better than yours”.

Holy Man Encounters


(Sathya Sai Baba, one of India’s most influential spiritual leaders, breathed his last at a hospital funded by his organisation in his home town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh on last Sunday. He was 85. Image source: http://www.kevinrdshepherd.info)

To many around the world, the Great Guru is dead but here’s the troubling news that often associated with modern day, highly commercialized but dead holy men:-

A scramble has broken out for control of the $12-billion empire of an Indian guru with a worldwide following who died Sunday. Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees included actress Goldie Hawn, the Duchess of York and Isaac Tigrett, the founder of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, Pratibha Patil, India’s president, and Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, attended his last birthday celebrations.

As his health deteriorated in recent months, politicians discussed whether the state should seize his fortune. His nephew, R.J. Ratnakar, and Satyajit, a devotee, who cared for him, are among those reported to be jostling for control over the Sathya Sai organization.

Court documents allege that Sai Baba owned many cars, including Mercedes limousines and a Jaguar, and that the roof of his temple was lined with gold.

(Source)

To be frank, I am not really a devotee of Sai Baba or someone who closely followed his teachings (to an extent I thought that he was already dead many, many years ago) but the name is something I have been hearing since I was still small, often reminded of his name and image by some relatives in the family who consider him as the “Guru”. And who can forget the famous hair-do?

In recent times, other than Rajini’s movie “Baba”, the other “Guru” that made news in recent news was Swami Nithyananda and despite the denial by the Swami, the video evidence was rather overwhelming.

I still recall a long time ago when we were still living in Old Klang Road, my parents would make a short trip to a house situated on a hill along Jalan Morib, just across our housing area (these days things have changed a lot – there is a condominium on the same place now). We kids dreaded the place – not because it was scary but rather it was damn boring. We will walk to the house situated on the house – we loved the walk – the scenery along the road to the house is so tempting. There would be some people waiting at the front of the house, chit-chatting whilst waiting for the Guru (an elderly man with white hair) to be ready.

The Guru would start the session with some words of wisdom which was not so bad but once done, he will get us started on a long mantra session. This is the most boring part for us kids. Whilst the adult comfortably sit down in the hall, lights darken down a bit and everyone then starts the chanting of the mantra – over and over again, we kids would be edging to go out and breathe in some fresh air. We felt like we were drowning in all that chanting. We fought hard to keep ourselves awake – it was not really hard, our parents were by our side to knock us whenever they sense we were falling asleep. And somehow they always know the difference – we falling asleep and we closing our eyes and really chanting.

When the session is finally over, a small meal would be served, some chit-chats among the adults and finally we can walk back home. Thank God!

These days, the closest encounters with holy men would be at the temples and even this is kept to a distance. If one starts talking about religion in a rather passionately way, it merely signals the time to take our leave. Everyone have their sense of commitment when it comes to religion.

Kojak Time


It is T minus 2 days…

(Still remember this show from the 80’s? Back then, we used to call anyone who is bald, Kojak! Image source: http://savalas.tv)

There are some prayers over the weekend for my son and we suppose to get him shave his head as a sign of “renewal” (or as a means of going through a purification ritual, so they say).

This should have been done when he was still a baby but somehow we have been procrastinating until now (ya, we hate to see sharp razor “sliding” on his head). Aware of his good looks, he initially refused to get his head shaved clean until my wife informed that I will shave my head as well (it happened so fast, I had time to react). My son who like to act and talk like me at certain times liked the idea of two of us going bald at the same time – he asked me and I decided “why not?”

I had my hair cut to the minimum length before but a complete shave of the head is something new. As it is for a good cause and for my son, I will do anything, so losing a couple of hair from the head is small thing.

Read Also

Time for a shave

Almost Haircut

Kali Mints


(This is certainly insensitive to the Hindus around the world but in the western world, where there is freedom of expression and speech, being insensitive is not that too surprising)

From the website:-

Kali is a Hindu goddess that represents death, destruction, time and change. And what food comes to mind when you think of death, destruction, time and change? Curry! These exotic spice mints are great on their own or as an accompaniment to basmati rice and garlic naan. Each 2-1/4″ round tin contains one hundred mints.

Will we be seeing the same kind of protest that the Muslims took on the Danish Cartoons controversies? Or we are going to be more tolerant and call for boycott of the products & create awareness?

Read here for more story

2012 & 4 Yugas


(Image source: http://www.world-mysteries.com)

In my earlier post on 2012, it was stated that the Hindus believed that there will be a golden year within Kali Yuga. But what is Kali Yuga anyway.

From About Hinduism:-

According to Hindu scriptures, all mortal beings are destined to pass through four great epochs in every cycle of creation and destruction.

The four great epochs in Hinduism are: Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. Satya Yug or the Age of Truth is said to last for four thousand divine years, Treta Yuga for three thousand, Dwapara Yug for two thousand and Kali Yuga will last for one thousand divine Years that equals to 432,000 earthly years.

Throughout these four yugas, Lord Vishnu is said to incarnate ten times in ten different avatars. During the Age of Truth (Satya Yuga), human beings were spiritually most advanced and had great psychic powers. In the Treta Yuga people still remained righteous and adhered to moral ways of life. Lord Rama of the fabled Ramayana lived in Treta Yuga.

In the Dwapara Yuga, men had lost all knowledge of the intelligence and bliss bodies. Lord Krishna was born in this age. The present Kali Yuga is the most degenerated of the Hindu epochs.

Another theory explains these epochs of time on the basis of the degree of loss of righteousness in the world. It says, during Satya Yuga only truth prevailed (Sanskrit Satya = truth), Treta lost ¼ truth, Dwapar lost ½ truth and Kali is left with only ¼ truth. Evil and dishonesty has replaced truth in the last three ages or yugs.

Wikipedia on the other hand reports:-

Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga.

According to the Surya Siddhanta, an astronomical treatise that forms the basis of all Hindu and Buddhist calendars, Kali Yuga began at midnight (00:00) on 18 February 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian calendar, or 23 January 3102 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar

Veda Online explains in details what happens during Kali Yuga:-

Hindu astrologers have calculated this to have been 2:27 a.m. on February 18, 3102 BC. This took place some 36 years after Lord Krsna spoke Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna.

The scriptures like SB 12.2 teach that during the 432,000 year age of Kali, humanity deteriorates and falls into barbarism. Humans begin to kill animals for food. They fall under the spell of intoxication. They lose all sexual restraint. Families break up. Women and children are abused and abandoned.

The saints and sages of ancient India describe the people of this age as greedy, ill-behaved, and merciless. In this age, says Srimad-Bhagavatam, merely possessing wealth is considered a sign of good birth, proper behaviour, and fine qualities. Law and justice are determined by one’s prestige and power

Severe droughts and plagues are everywhere. Slovenliness, illness, hunger and fear spread. Nations are continually at war with one another.

The men of Kali-yuga seek only money. Only the richest have power. People without money are their slaves.

Now the question arises – when does Kali Yuga ends? There seems to be many different interpretation of the end on different websites. Wikipedia simply mentions it as “When flowers will be begot within flowers, and fruits within fruits, then will the Yuga come to an end. And the clouds will pour rain unseasonably when the end of the Yuga approaches”

Interestingly it is also mentioned that “since only 5,000 years is past from the beginning of Kali-yuga, there is still 427,000 left for the end of Kali yuga. Even the Kali-yuga is not the end. After the end of Kali-yuga, again Satya yuga starts”

The last statement is interesting since we take into account the predicted golden years that may start in 2012, then it may be true that there is another 427,000 years to go before the end of Kali Yuga. And the golden years within Kali Yuga is expected to last for 10,000 years.

2012 will be an interesting year if all the ancient predications falls in place.

Read Also

Year 2012

Why We Pray?

Timeless Code of Conduct


Here’s something for the start of the week, something that everyone can embrace to (without the need to change religion)…

(Image source: http://antiquatis.org)

Lies within the Vedas are the common-sense code of conduct recorded in the Upanishads, the final section of the Vedas. The code of conduct dictates 10 restraints, namely:-

The first restraint, Noninjury (ahimsa) – not injuring or harming others by thought, word, or deed

The second restraint, Truthfulness (Satya) – refraining from lying and betraying promises

The third restraint, Nonstealing (asteya) – neither stealing nor coveting nor entering into debt

The fourth restraint, Sexual Purity (brahmacharya) – divine conduct, controlling lust by remaining celibate when single leading to faithfulness in marriage

The fifth restraint, Patience (kshama) – restraining intolerance with people and impatience with circumstances

The sixth restraint, Steadfastness (dhriti) – overcoming non-perseverance, fear, indecision, inconstancy and changeableness

The seventh restraint, Compassion (daya) – conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings

The eighth restraint, Honesty (arjava) – straightforwardness, renouncing deception and wrongdoing

The ninth restraint, Moderate Diet (mitahara) – neither eating too much nor consuming meat, fish, fowl or eggs.

The tenth restraint, Purity (saucha) – avoiding impurity in body, mind and speech

Read here for more explanation and details

Vedas are at least 4,000 years old and known to be one of the oldest sacred texts and despite the age, the code of conduct laid in the Vedas is pretty much still relevant for today.

I guess it is because at end of the day, we are only humans. Similar code of conduct is also found in other religions – it is just a matter whether we want to understand and embrace them.

Year 2012


(This may happen in 2012 too – picture source: www.occultopedia.com)

If you are a Hindu or a Mayan, this should be good news…

According to an article by David Hedges titled “Golden Age in 2012”, the golden age is expected to start on 22nd December 2012. He said in his article:-

In the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana, Lord Krishna tells Ganga Devi that there will be a Golden Age within the Kali-yuga that will start 5,000 years after the beginning of the Kali Yuga. The Golden Age will last for 10,000 years according to Lord Krishna. The Kali Yuga calendar began at midnight on 18 February 3102 B.C. according to many sources.

The ancient Hindu’s mainly used lunar calendars but also used solar calendars. If an average lunar year equals 354.36 days, then this would be about 5270 lunar years from the time when the Kali Yuga started until 21 Dec 2012, the year that the Mayans predict rebirth of our planet; and it is also about 5113 solar years of 365.24 days per year.

David Hedges ended his post with the following statement:-

Now we have another ancient source, Hindu Scripture’s called the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana, predicting a new world about the same time that the Mayans predicted it to come! Historically, this is an amazing fact since these two ancient cultures didn’t have any contact.

Sounds interesting?

2012 is just another 5 years from now and based on the current state of the country, I don’t foresee any “golden age” in the future unless of course, if the current government loses miserably in the next general election and a more responsible government takes over. Will we then be able to see a politician who puts the interest of the people ahead of the interest of his political party? To think about it – it is not impossible.

Then again, there may be another way of us achieving the “golden age”.

In an entry at Wikipedia on the year 2012, it was stated that in a book titled “The Bible Code”, a meteor, asteroid or comet will collide with the Earth and again in another book titled “The Nostradamus Code” where there will be a series of natural disasters caused by a comet. In another book titled “The Orion Prophecy” it was claimed that the Earth’s magnetic field will reverse. Plenty of natural disasters may cause the death of many people and towns causing humans to rebuild their lives again? Yes, it is possible.

In the same entry in the Wikipedia, it was also mentioned that in 2012, aliens will contact humans. Probably akin to the event dramatized in the movie “Star Trek: The First Contact” (but in that movie, the “first” contact was made in year 2063). In the “Star Trek” world, the golden age indeed started after the first contact – humans became more interested in knowledge rather than on money.

The year 2012 seems interesting…

Read here for another take at year 2012

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2012 and 4 Yugas