A PROUD SYMBOL OF TIBETAN IDENTITY AND ASPIRATION FOR FREEDOM
SOUTH AFRICA – A PUPPET CONTROLLED BY COMMUNIST CHINA
South Africa is selected as the host of 2010 Soccer World Cup Games. The Soccer Organizing Committee has planned to host a Conference on March 27, 2009 to discuss ways of using soccer to fight racism and xenophobia. Nobel Peace Laureates Nelson Mandela, Archibishop Desmond Tutu, and F W de Klerk had invited H.H. Dalai Lama, a Noble Peace Laureate to join them in this Peace Conference. Communist China which is a big investor and trade partner of South Africa has openly opposed H.H. Dalai Lama’s trips to other countries. Beijing claimed that “We resolutely oppose any country’s government having official contact with the Dalai Lama….”. Succumbing to intense pressure from Communist China, South Africa has denied a visa to H.H. Dalai Lama and consequently the Peace Conference is indefinitely postponed. South Africa has failed to act as an independent, and sovereign nation. In yielding to Chinese pressure and refusing to issue a visa to H.H. Dalai Lama, South Africa has tainted its democratic credentials and like a puppet it acted in a subservient manner.
FIFTY YEARS IN EXILE – UNDYING QUEST FOR FREEDOM
Tibetans, young and old, including monks, nuns,, and children are planning to celebrate five decades of exiled life in 35 Tibetan settlements located in different parts of India. I had visited the LugSam Tibetan settlement at BYLAKUPPE in the KARNATAKA State of India. I had personally spoken to hundreds of Tibetan boys and had interviewed them individually. I spent nearly a month and lived at the BYLAKUPPE Tibetan settlement. The boys cherished a strong sense of Tibetan identity and had a remarkable passion to seek their freedom and regain their LAND. Tashi Wangdu of Bylakuppe has stated that Tibetans would present glimpses of the TIBET experience to people across India. Tibetan identity, culture, religion, language, songs, and folk dances will be showcased at year-long ‘THANK YOU INDIA’ Thanksgiving functions and Tibetans are hosting a four day festival from March 26. H.H. Dalai Lama is hosting an Thanksgiving function at New Delhi on March 31.
Sonam Dorjee, a 70-year old Tibetan who crossed over to India with H.H. Dalai Lama in 1959 has recalled his undying spirit in the following words : “Vicissitudes of life not withstanding, we have been able to bond together spanning two generations owing to our determination to keep the hope for a free and independent Tibet alive and carry on the struggle for returning to the homeland one day or other”.
Tibetans firmly believe that they belong to an ancient race, have unique identity, language, and traditions and they wish to pass this identity to future generations whatever be the price.
Sun God, Lord Suryanarayana, Vyomanatha, Lord of Sky and Water, Savita – The Cosmic Father.
- Life and Death – a Changing World and Unchanging Reality (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
HOLY TRINITY-FATHER,SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT-GODS OF MONOTHEISM
THE GODS OF MONOTHEISM
Monotheism is a term that was introduced in an effort to study religions. It is described as a religious belief that only one God exists. This belief in a single, and transcendent God contrasts particularly with Polytheism which is described as a belief in many gods. Such oversimplification may conceal the true identity of the Gods of Monotheism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the principal Monotheistic religions. The demarcation between these faiths is very easy to determine and it is not so easy to establish their common ground. Dogmatic differences, or differences in articles of faith must be explicitly recognized. The identity of the Divine is not represented merely by the philosophical speculations about God’s essence but by the God whom men worship in all the acts of piety which comprise the rituals of religion. If you consider the dogmas of religion; the articles of religious faith-based solely on divine revelation, you would conclude that the Gods of Monotheism live in different Heavens. There is no chance that the God of children of Israel, The Holy Trinity(Father, Jesus, the Holy Ghost/Spirit), and the God of Ishmael could coexist in the same transcendent or immanent realm. The doctrinal differences are too many. There are very serious differences on matters such as salvation, the nature and mission of the synagogue/church/masjid, the places of their worship, its rituals and sacraments. The Monotheist concept of religious belief has not nurtured the concept of a shared humanity that is united in religious brotherhood. The desire to assert the dominion of the one and only true God has often lead to violence and intolerance. Historically, Monotheists have killed to gain theological as well as political dominance. The Gods of Monotheism have caused far more wars and conflicts than the many gods of Polytheism. The adherence to an ABSOLUTIST thesis that only my God is God has resulted in a strict demand for intolerance of others holding different creeds. The Israelites practiced the worship of one God without denying the existence of other gods and the Torah also instructs them to act decently toward one another. The trinitarian creed of Christianity sets it apart from other religions. The Islamic interpretation of Monotheism is more literal and uncompromising than that of any other religion in the world. ‘TAWHID’ or oneness of God is the foremost article of the Muslim faith. Muslim belief is based upon the unity of Allah and the prophet hood of Muhammad. To bestow Allah’s indivisible reality upon another god is considered by Muslims to be a lie, and stands as the only sin which Allah will not forgive. The Holy Book of Quran mentions that to attribute divinity to a created entity is the only unpardonable sin. The only point of agreement amongst Monotheistic religions is that of their hatred of idols. Polytheism is not an acceptable choice and it is considered as a form of Atheism. Idolatry ranks as perhaps the most common topic in the Bible and Quran. The people of India are ridiculed and are scoffed at because of their conceptions of god as anthropomorphic. Indians are verbally assaulted every day by Christian Evangelists for worshiping inanimate objects and historically, Indians were punished for being patrons of idolatry. In an effort to wipe out idolatry from India, numerous temples were destroyed and about 60 to 80 million people were killed between 1000 and 1525 CE. Psalm 115, from The Old Testament Book of Psalms illustrates the hatred of idols :
“But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear,
noses but they cannot smell;
they have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but they cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them…”
THE INDIAN CONCEPT OF GOD WORSHIP
The Vedic Scripture of Shukla Yajurveda in its final chapter of ‘ISA UPANISHAD’, verses 12-14 recommend the worship of the Divine in its immanent(manifest, visible phenomenal forms) and its transcendent( unmanifest, invisible, Absolute) forms.
“Into deep darkness fall those who follow the immanent. Into deeper darkness fall those who follow the transcendent. By the worship of the Manifested, one end is attained; by the worship of the Unmanifested, another. Thus we have heard from the wise men who taught us this. He who knows at the same time both the Unmanifested and the Manifested, he crosses over death through knowledge of the manifested and attains immortality through the knowledge of the First Cause.”
A HYMN FOR INVOCATION OF PEACE
“OM ! Poornamadah, Poornamidam, Poornaat Poorna mudachyate,
Poornasya Poorna maadaaya, Poorna mevaa vasishyate.”
OM! SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI HI.
THAT( the invisible ABSOLUTE) is WHOLE, WHOLE is THIS(the Immanent); what has come out of WHOLE(the Invisible) is also WHOLE( the Visible).When the WHOLE is taken out of the WHOLE, the WHOLE remains WHOLE(it remains unaltered).
OM! PEACE, PEACE, LET PEACE ALONE PREVAIL.
Please review a related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian Identity – Listen to the Heart’
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April,1970.
JACOB’S PILLOW-PILLAR STONE MARKS THE SITE AS ‘BETHEL’, THE HOUSE OF GOD
JACOB’S DREAM AT BETHEL
The story of Jacob is described in the Book of Genesis, the first Book of Old Testament. He was the son of Issac, the grandson of Abraham, and the twin brother of Esau.He was named Jacob as he came out with his hand grasping his older twin brother Esau’s heel(Genesis 25:26). Jacob was the father of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob was given the name of Israel after he withstood a spiritual struggle at Jabbok(Genesis 32:22-30).Jacob had literally wrestled with God who came down in the form of a man. The name Israel is derived from the words ‘SARA’ meaning TO STRUGGLE, WRESTLE, and ‘EL’ meaning God. El is one short form of ‘ELOHIM’, the name used for God. Jacob received his older brother’s blessing from his father and then flees to Laban in Haran to escape from his brother’s anger. His dream at Bethel is narrated in Genesis, chapter 24, verses 10-17 :
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and He said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Issac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying….” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called the place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. He had further taken a vow stating that the stone he had set up as a pillar would be God’s house.
THE HOUSE OF GOD AT MOUNT MORIAH
In Judaism, Mount Moriah is also known as the ‘TEMPLE MOUNT’, and is the most venerated as the holiest spot on Earth. After liberating Jews from a life of slavery in Egypt, at Mount Sinai, God enters into a ‘New Covenant’ and He had appeared in the form of fire before Moses and other elders. The Book of EXODUS, chapter 25, verses 8-9, God had asked the Jews: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make the Tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you…” The Ark of the Covenant was where God manifested His presence on earth and the Ark went ahead of the Israelites wherever they traveled. The Ark was only housed in a tent for many long years and King David could only erect an altar for God(Book of 2 Samuel, chapter 24:25). The opportunity to build a House for God in His Name was given to Solomon, the son of King David. Book of 1 KINGS, chapter 8, verse 13, Solomon declares: “I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” The site selected by God for the establishment of the Holy Temple in His Name also is considered to be the spot where creation of world began, and Adam the first man was created here. Abraham brought his son Issac for sacrifice at this place. The Jewish tradition known as ‘Midrash’ also claimed that Jacob had a dream and had erected a monument and declared it as the House of Holy One. God had pushed that rock with His right foot and the rock had become the ‘Foundation Stone’, the ‘Corner Stone’, and is also known as the ‘Key Stone’ of Solomon’s First Temple. The Temple of God stands over a stone identified by Jacob as the ‘gate of heaven’. When Solomon dedicated this Temple to God in 957 B.C., God had entered His House in the form of a cloud.
GOD OF ISRAEL’S DWELLING PLACE
Psalm 115, song 2 says :
Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God? “
Our God is in heaven;
He does whatever pleases Him.
The God of Israel had promised to dwell among the children of Israel, and today He has no house in His Name upon this earth. A synagogue is only a place to bring people together, it is an assembly of Jews for worship and religious studies and hence cannot be identified as a House of God. When no Masjid or Mosque had existed in Jerusalem, the Holy Book of Quran had identified Temple Mount in Jerusalem as the “the farthest Mosque” in Surah 17, al Isra , verse 1. Similarly, in verse 7, it described the House of God as a Masjid or a place of prostration in worship of God. Around the year 620 CE, the Islamic tradition of Isra and Miraj was established and the Temple Mount site became the site of Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven. Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab Caliphate army in 637 CE. An Islamic Sanctuary known as Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary was built in 691 CE over the ruins of the Second Temple at the Temple Mount. The Jewish Temple was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The place is very sacred to the Jews and they even avoided walking over the ruins as they were not aware of the exact location of the Holy of Holies in that destroyed monument. Jerusalem was captured by the State of Israel after defeating Jordan in the 1967 War. Temple Mount is a captured territory and the State of Israel has yet to legally occupy it. The Jews dream about building their Third Temple and would like to provide the God of Israel a House in His name. This dream would be realized if the status of Jerusalem is decided and when The Temple Mount is recognized as a Jewish Heritage Site.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, A.P., India.,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.