Sunday, July 31, 2016

I Think Hinduism is mother of all Religions

I Think Hinduism is mother of all Religions and has millions of gods.

As one good Indian friends once said.

“We have over one billion in India and over one billion gods. That is why I like Buddhism which is without any gods”

This is a reproduction and ideas are not mine!

10 Common Misconceptions About Hinduism

Hindus Worship Idols

It’s Called Hinduism

The terms “Hindu” and “Hinduism” are anachronistic and do not refer to any ancient texts of Hinduism. The term refers to the people of the Indus River region of India. “Hindu” and “Hinduism” likely came from the Persians who invaded the Indian subcontinent and who may have referred to the people of the river valley using the word “Hindu,” which means “river.”
The common name for Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma (“eternal duty of God”), which is not widely known in the Western world. Followers are called Dharmis, which means “followers of Dharma.” The use of the words “Hindu” and “Hinduism” are primarily used in Western cultures, though many modern Indians have adopted them.
Other dharmic traditions akin to Hinduism are Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Hindus Are All Vegetarians

It is true that many Hindu people practice vegetarianism, but this is not the case for the majority of followers. Some Hindus believe that all animals are sentient beings, so they do not eat meat. But many others eat pretty much whatever they please.
Only 30–35 percent of Hindus are vegetarians due to the spiritual belief of ahimsa, which is a principle of nonviolence against all living things. That minority of Hindu vegetarians makes up the vast majority of vegetarians worldwide, who total over 300 million people.
Most spiritual leaders (swamis, sadhus, and gurus) are vegetarians while lay Hindus are more likely to eat meat. Ahimsa prescribes negative karma on a variety of levels for the slaughter and consumption of meat products, but not all Hindus follow this—just as not every follower of Judaism keeps kosher.

Hinduism Is An Organized Religion

The reasons that religions become organized are diverse, but it often has to do with spreading both the religious teachings and the political influence of the primary nation. Christianity spread via the Romans/Byzantines, and Islam spread through the Muslim campaigns in Asia and Europe.
But Hinduism was never organized and did not spread very much until recently.
There is no particular leader of the faith, and it has never been powered by any sort of empire.
So the religion has evolved into a list of teachings and guiding principles without the political influence seen in the other two majority faiths. There is no founder of Hinduism and no specific origin date. The Hindu synthesis began to develop between 500–300 BC as various forms of Hindu study coalesced into the practices we see today.

Hinduism Has A Discriminatory Caste System

Because Hinduism is so often related to India, it is a common misconception that the religion itself follows a caste system. The so-called “untouchables” in Indian society fall outside this system, but this is related to Indian culture and has nothing to do directly with the teachings and practices of Hinduism.
The Indian caste system reflects a person’s group assigned at birth but has nothing to do with personality. Meanwhile, the Hindu term varna describes the social order as a framework of moral duties relating to a person’s characteristics regardless of birth.
Although the two systems have become intertwined, Hinduism does not feature the same system of castes outside of India. The Indian caste system affects Hindus and divides them into Brahmins (priests and teachers), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaishyas (farmers and merchants), and Shudras (laborers). Those who fall outside the system are Dalits (outcasts/untouchables).

Hindus Worship Idols

Many people believe that Hindus worship idols. Because the rest of the world’s majority follows Islam and Christianity, both of which forbid idolatry, this seems odd and antireligious to many. However, Hindus don’t consider it the worship of idols but instead see God in everything.
All objects are an arca (“living embodiment”) of God such that life is seen as poured into every image or “idol” one might find a Hindu worshiping. Hindus call the practice murthi puja (“image worship”), and it refers to the belief that the entirety of creation is a form of God so that his form is in everything.
Hindus do not see this as worshiping an idol because Hinduism describes it as a direct worship of God (who is in everything) instead of the worship of a representation of God. This directly conflicts with the Abrahamic traditions of idol worship as outlined in the Ten Commandments, which makes it difficult for Westerners to separate the Hindu practice of murthi puja from what they know as idolatry.

Practitioners Worship Cows

Hindus do not worship cows. This common misconception is due to the manner in which Hindus treat the cow, an animal that gives more than it takes, is symbolic of all other animals, and represents life and the sustenance of life. Taking only grain, grass, and water, a cow provides milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, butter, and fertilizer for the fields—thus giving more than it takes.
Cows are also respected for their gentle nature and are seen as maternal caretakers. Because of how venerated cows are in Hinduism and Indian society, it appears to outsiders that they are worshiped. But Hindus see it as honoring and respecting the animals instead

Women With Bindis Are All Married

A bindi (red dot on the forehead) is worn by millions of women and young girls throughout the world, especially in India. Bindis have a spiritual role in Hindu culture, though this has lessened in modern times.
Traditionally, a woman would wear a red bindi made with vermilion powder above and between her eyes to signify marriage denoting love and prosperity. The location relates to the “third eye,” where one loses their ahamkara (“ego”). In modern times, this has mostly lost its meaning and women can wear whatever color bindi they choose.
A black bindi signifies loss and may be worn by a widow to signify the loss of her husband. Men would sometimes wear a type of bindi called a tilak, which is a series of lines worn on the forehead, sometimes with a dot. Various colors would denote different classes or castes, but this is mostly a cultural tradition that only the strictest practitioners still follow.

Hinduism Is About As Old As Judaism

Many cultural traditions and religions sprouted in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years before finally coming together to form modern Hinduism in AD 1800. It is a common misconception that Hinduism began around the time of Judaism, the first Abrahamic religion that also spawned Christianity and Islam.
While Judaism is an old faith that originated around 1500 BC, the earliest forms of Hinduism arose from prehistoric faiths dating back tens of thousands of years. But the true beginnings of the faith began around 4000 BC with the combined practices of several tribal religions, which makes it the oldest still-practiced religion in the world.

The Hindu Bible Is The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most recognized Hindu texts in the Western world, but it is not a Hindu Bible. The Gita teaches many tenets of Hinduism through a narrative dialogue between Pandava Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna.
The Hindu sacred texts are divided into Sruti (“What Is Heard”) and Smriti (“What Is Remembered”). The Sruti are considered to be divinely inspired while the Smriti are derived from great sages.
The Gita is considered by many to be an allegory for a person’s ethical and moral struggles, and it is used as a guide. Mohandas Gandhi cited the Gita as his “spiritual dictionary” and used its teachings to help him during the Indian independence movement.

Hinduism Is Polytheistic With 330 Million Gods

Monotheism is the belief that there is one God while polytheism is the belief in many gods. Judaism was the first monotheistic religion with one God compared to the pantheons of Greece and Rome

Cruelty to Elephants, our Gentle Giants

Cruelty to Elephants, our Gentle Giants
The idea of this piece was in my mind for sometime but deliberately delayed it, so that I could devote much time and effort on the final outcome. 
The idea was to have an overview of the human thinking over the last 3000 years based on written or oral material of the East and West. 
How science shaped and developed my way of thinking is altogether a different kettle of fish.

I must say, I had the luxury of free thinking from my childhood and nobody tried to modify it.

In other words, I did not have a mentor.

Except for the sports master, in my simple village school who instilled in my mind, the golden rule in sports “It is participation, not winning that matters” under the Olympics banner and the late Professor Senaka Bible in my undergraduate days, there were only a few personalities that I admired.

Only other exception to that rule was Sir John Kotalawala whom I used to see as a tiny tot. He was famous for his uttering   “ It is better fox  hunting in England than doing politics in Ceylon". 

Shooting foxes was a sport in UK then, I joined the cavalcade, vigorously opposing it, as a sport, in early eighties, on the lines of animals rights, while working there.
We won our campaign and it was abolished on the grounds of preventing cruelty to animals

Unfortunately in this country we still cause untold cruelty to our “Gentle Giant”, a political symbol of major party in the name of traditional Buddhist practice of parading them in procession. 

Some cruel monks of our tradition are the exponent of this “cruelty sport” while illegally hunting the baby elephants in the wild joining hand with Ganja (hashish) growers.

Having said that, I did not understand the deeper meaning of Buddhism (till later years in my life), but its principle practices have  had a lot of influence in my thinking. It teaches us of Simplicity and despise grandiosity and Avihinsa (non violence) the guiding principles which are antithesis to our grandiose high priests.
For a starter, I did not believe in creation of the world by a single god. 

That meant I did not believe in existence of any form of god dead or live. 
Advent of the Russian exploration of space when I was a tiny tot, not only made deeper meaning and admiration of its people without a religion.
For my luck, I was born with scientific outlook and learning science was a pleasure (language and religion were not) and a pastime.
To add to that there was emergence of lot of reading material including local papers and scientific journals at the British Council Library. English language or literature (I hated Shakespeare but made a point to visit his birth place when I was  working in UK) was not my forte but that did not deter me from grasping scientific terminology.
In other words, the outside world contributed a lot in my formative years. 

The fact, that I was born to a independent free nation was a feather on my cap. 
There was no indoctrination and freedom to think and act were bonuses.
How, I went up the ladder was a shear chance occurrence with no prior programming.
The rationalist Abram Kovoor was making his presence felt and I had the audacity to pose probing question to him (but no need to record those flimsy occurrences, here). 

I never followed his line of thinking but had admired him all the same.
Abraham Thomas Kovoor (April 10, 1898 – September 18, 1978) was an Indian professor and rationalist who gained prominence after retirement for his campaign to expose as frauds various Indian and Sri Lankan "god-men" and so-called paranormal phenomena. His direct, trenchant criticism of spiritual frauds and organized religions was enthusiastically received by audiences, initiating a new dynamism in the Rationalist movement, especially in Sri Lanka and India.
Professor Carlo Fonseka was active somewhat later in  time to Kovoor but he did not make an impact on me.
But I loved his orations and style.
It was revelation at that time.
All these petered out and we went into a shell and old sort of dogma crept into the system with Swabahasha steamrolling, the English education.

Emails are Can of Worms

Emails are Can of Worms

Well, WikiLeaks has become the rebel library of Alexandria. It is the single most significant collection of information that doesn’t exist elsewhere, in a searchable, accessible, citable form, about how modern institutions actually behave. And it’s gone on to set people free from prison, where documents have been used in their court cases; hold the CIA accountable for renditions programs; feed into election cycles, which have resulted in the termination of, in some case—or contributed to the termination of governments, in some cases, taken the heads of intelligence agencies, ministers of defense and so on. So, you know, our civilization can only be as good as our knowledge of what our civilization is. We can’t possibly hope to reform that which we do not understand.
So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates. 
So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into Jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails. 
There’s more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection, that we have released, just about Libya alone.

The Democratic National Convention is opening today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid massive party turmoil. Democratic National Committee chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned following the release of nearly 20,000 emails revealing how the Democratic Party favored Hillary Clinton and worked behind the scenes to discredit and defeat Bernie Sanders. The emails were released Friday by WikiLeaks.
In one email, DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall suggested someone ask Sanders about his religion ahead of the Kentucky and West Virginia contests. Brad Marshall wrote, quote, "It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. 
Does he believe in a God. 
He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage
I think I read he is an atheist. 
This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist," unquote. In another email, Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver a, quote, "Damn liar."
A third email shows National Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach writing, quote, "Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess," unquote. Multiple emails show the DNC complaining about MSNBC coverage of the party and of Communications Director Luis Miranda once writing, quote, "F***ing Joe claiming the system is rigged, party against him, we need to complain to their producer," unquote, referring to Joe Scarborough. Other emails suggest the DNC was gathering information on Sanders’ events and that a super PAC was paying people to counter Sanders supporters online.
On Sunday, Bernie Sanders reacted to the emails during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
I told you a long time ago that the—that the DNC was not running a fair operation, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton. So what I suggested to be true six months ago turns out, in fact, to be true. I’m not shocked, but I am disappointed. ...

What I also said many months ago is that, for a variety of reasons, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should not be chair of the DNC.

And I think these emails reiterate that reason why she should not be chair. I think she should resign, period. And I think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a very different direction.
WikiLeaks has not revealed the source of the leaked emails, although in June a hacker using the name Guccifer 2.0 claimed responsibility for the hacking into the DNC’s computer network. 
On Sunday, however, Clinton’s campaign manager claimed the emails were leaked, quote, "by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump," unquote.
We go now to London for an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy for more than four years. 
He was granted political asylum by Ecuador, but he fears if he attempts to go to Ecuador, if he attempts to step foot outside the Ecuadorean Embassy, that he will be arrested by British police and ultimately extradited to the United States to face, well, it’s believed, possibly treason charges for the documents WikiLeaks has released.
Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, welcome to Democracy Now! 
Can you talk about this email—these emails, these 20,000 emails you have released?
Yeah, it’s quite remarkable what has happened the last few days. I think this is a quite a classical release, showing the benefit of producing pristine data sets, presenting them before the public, where there’s equal access to all journalists and to interested members of the public to mine through them and have them in a citable form where they can then be used to prop up certain criticisms or political arguments. 
Often it’s the case that we have to do a lot of exploration and marketing of the material we publish ourselves to get a big political impact for it. But in this case, we knew, because of the pending DNC, because of the degree of interest in the U.S. election, we didn’t need to establish partnerships with The New York Times or The Washington Post. In fact, that might be counterproductive, because they are partisans of one group or another. Rather, we took the data set, analyzed it, verified it, made it in a presentable, searchable form, presented it for all journalists and the public to mine. And that’s exactly what has happened.
And, Julian, your reaction to the announced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz shortly after the release of these emails?
Well, I mean, that’s interesting. We have seen that with a lot of other publications. I guess there’s a question: 
What does that mean for the U.S. Democratic Party? 
It is important for there to be examples of accountability. The resignation was an example of that. Now, of course, Hillary Clinton has tried to immediately produce a counter-example by putting out a statement, within hours, saying that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a great friend, and she’s incorporating her into her campaign, she’s going to be pushing for her re-election to the Congress.
So that’s a very interesting signaling by Hillary Clinton that 
if you act in a corrupt way that benefits Hillary Clinton, you will be taken care of. 
Why does she need to put that out? Certainly, it’s not a signal that helps with the public at all. It’s not a signal that helps with unity at the DNC, at the convention. It’s a signal to Hillary Clinton partisans to keep on going on, you’ll be taken care of. But it’s a very destructive signal for a future presidency, because it’s—effectively, it’s expanding the Overton window of corruption. It doesn’t really matter what you do, how you behave; as long as that is going to benefit Hillary Clinton, you’ll be protected.
I mean, it’s very interesting, because Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine appeared together, as Mike Pence and Donald Trump did the week before, on 60 Minutes. And Hillary Clinton distanced herself from all these emails and the DNC, saying, "These people didn’t work for me." And yet immediately upon the forced resignation of Deborah Wasserman Schultz, she said she’s a good friend, and immediately hired her. But, Julian, I was wondering if you can say, from your point of view, what do you think are the most significant emails that have been released, that you have released?
Well, actually, I think the most significant ones haven’t been reported on, although The Washington Post late last night and McClatchy did a first initial stab at it. 
And this is the spreadsheets that we released covering the financial affairs of the DNC. 
Those are very rich documents. There’s one spreadsheet called "Spreadsheet of All Things," and it includes all the major U.S.—all the major DNC donors, where the donations were brought in, who they are, identifiers, the total amounts they’ve donated, how much at a noted or particular event, whether that event was being pushed by the president or by someone else. 
That effectively maps out the influence structure in the United States for the Democratic Party, but more broadly, because the—with few exceptions, billionaires in the United States make sure they donate to both parties. 

That’s going to provide a scaffold for future investigative journalism about influence within the United States, in general.
Julian, on that issue, clearly, a lot of the emails talk about the actual amounts of money that were being offered to donors for the opportunity to—I mean, asked of donors for the opportunity to sit at different events next to President Obama, especially, the use of President Obama as a fundraiser. Now, most people in the political world will consider this business as usual, but the actual mechanics of how this operates and the degree to which the DNC coordinates with the president, his marketability, is—I don’t think has ever been revealed in this detail. Would you agree?
That’s right. And it’s not just that the president holds fundraisers. That’s nothing new. But rather, what you get for each donation of a particular sort. There’s even a phrase used in one of the emails of, quote, "pay to play.
So, yeah, I think it’s extremely interesting. There’s emails back and forth also between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. So, you see quite elaborate structures of money being funneled to state Democratic Party officers and then teleported back, seemingly to get up certain stats, maybe to evade certain campaign funding restrictions.
In relation to what has become the most significant political discussion as a result of the publication, which is that the DNC higher-ups, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were clearly against Bernie Sanders and trying to subvert his campaign in a whole raft of ways, that’s true. That’s the—the atmosphere that is revealed by hundreds of emails is that it’s perfectly acceptable to produce trenchant internal criticisms of Bernie Sanders and discuss ways to undermine his campaign. So, whether that’s calling up the president of MSNBC—Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the president of MSNBC to haul Morning Joe into line, which it subsequently has done. I noticed this morning, Morning Joe actually discussed it themselves, trying to shore up their own presentation of, you know, a TV program that can’t be pushed around. But, in fact, they did not mention the call to the president. That was something that is still unspeakable. And it was a 180-degree flip in that coverage.
And you see other, you know, quite naked conspiracies against Bernie Sanders. While there’s been some discussion, for example, about—that there was a plan to use—to expose Bernie Sanders as an atheist, as opposed to being a religious Jew, and to use that against him in the South to undermine his support there. There was an instruction by the head of communications, Luis Miranda, to take an anti-Bernie Sanders story, that had appeared in the press, and spread that around without attribution, not leaving their fingerprints on it. And that was an instruction made to staff. So, it wasn’t just, you know, a plan that may or may not have been carried out. This was an instruction that was pushed to DNC staff to covertly get out into the media anti-Bernie Sanders stories. Another thing that—
On Sunday, Hillary—
Another aspect that is—
On Sunday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, cited experts saying that the DNC emails were leaked by the Russians in an attempt to help Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Mook was speaking to CNN. 
This is what he said.
What’s disturbing to us is that we—experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying that they are—the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump. I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails were released on the eve our convention here. We also saw last week at the Republican convention that Trump and his allies made changes to the Republican platform to make it more pro-Russian. And we saw him talking about how NATO shouldn’t intervene to defend—necessarily should intervene to defend our Eastern European allies if they’re attacked by Russia. So, I think when you put all this together, it’s a disturbing picture.
So, that was Robby Mook citing experts saying the DNC emails were leaked by the Russians. You were the one who released these 20,000 emails, Julian Assange. Where did you get them?
Well, what’s not in that clip there by Robby is that, just afterwards, he was asked by Jake Tapper, "Who are these experts? Can you name them?" The answer was no, a refusal to name the experts. But we have seen one of the experts, so-called experts, that the Democratic Party is trying to base its incredible conspiracy theory on about WikiLeaks. 
And that is this—what we jokingly refer to as the NSA dick pic guy. 
He’s a former National Security Agency agent who started to produce conspiracy theories about us in 2013, when we were involved in the Edward Snowden rescue, as a means to try and undermine the Snowden publications, subsequently embroiled in some amateur pornography scandal. That’s why they don’t want to name their experts, because they are people like this.
In relation to sourcing, I can say some things. 
A, we never reveal our sources, obviously. That’s what we pride ourselves on. And we won’t in this case, either. 
But no one knows who our source is. It’s simply speculation. It’s, I think, interesting and acceptable to speculate who our sources are. But if we’re talking about the DNC, there’s lots of consultants that have access, lots of programmers. 
And the DNC has been hacked dozens and dozens of times. 
Even according to its own reports, it had been hacked extensively over the last few years. 
And the dates of the emails that we published are significantly after all, or all but one—it’s not clear—of the hacking allegations that the DNC says have occurred.