View Full Version : Religious harmony
19 July 2007, 12:47 AM
Hindus, Muslims Pull Chariot Together In Orissa
BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, July 18, 2007: There are no religious barriers between Hindu and Muslim residents in Orissa's port town of Paradeep, where members of both communities came together to celebrate the famous Rath Yatra (chariot festival). In Paradeep, about 70 km from here, Hindus and Muslims joined hands Monday to pull the chariots of the Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. "This communal harmony comes at a time when good news and goodwill have both become rare commodities and violence, hatred and indifference to the dignity of human life have made people cynical," said religion researcher Prasanta Kumar Padhi.
Since time immemorial, this practice has been followed in the tiny village of Deulisahi, on the outskirts of Paradeep. Out of about 2,500 residents of the village, nearly 800 are Muslims. "Both Hindus and Muslims are active members of the Ratha Yatra committee. The Muslim members cleaned the village road for the smooth arrival of the chariots and they also dragged the sacred ropes of the chariots from the Jagannath temple," 43-year-old Mustaq Khan, a villager, told IANS. Hindus in the village also participate in festivals observed by Muslims. "Since time immemorial, both the communities have been living peacefully in this village. As per Hindu traditions, Muslims are not entitled to enter temples. Bu here we allow the entry of any person irrespective of caste, creed and religion," said Damodar Panda, the chief priest of the Praraeep Jagannath temple.
Hindu Press International
19 July 2007, 01:51 AM
Thank you for the post, satay.
As Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism has stated, "There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim."
Yes, harmony and mutual respect is the only way that different religious communities can live together side by side in peace and avoid negative karma.
24 July 2007, 12:58 AM
In Paradeep, about 70 km from here, Hindus and Muslims joined hands Monday to pull the chariots of the Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.
I must say I'm surprised to hear that Muslims would participate in such a thing which runs so contrary to their faith. I'm glad to hear of the goodwill between the two communities though.
12 August 2007, 08:48 PM
Another case of religious harmony.
30 Muslim Kanwarias offered holy water at Ujjain temple
By Rajni Khaitan
Indore, Aug 12: As lakhs of Kanwarias, Lord Shiva devotees, offered the holy water of River Ganges at Shiva temples in their hometowns in North India, a group of Muslims in Madhya Pradesh also offered the holy water at the Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple.
The group comprising 30 Muslims covered a distance of 80 kilometres from Sirpur to the Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple, on foot. They were accompanied by 1,200 other Hindu devotees carrying Kanwars or, the pots balancing on a bamboo pole to the temple. Clad in saffron dresses, just like other Hindu brethrens, these devotees known as Kanwarias or, the carriers of Kanwars, kept singing hymns and shouting Bol Bam in the praise of Lord Shiva.
Everyone stayed on a vegetarian diet and followed strict religious guidelines through out their pilgrimage.
Abdul Ismail Chishti, a Muslim devotee, said: "This Kanwar pilgrimage has been going out of this city for the last ten years. There are about 30 to 35 Muslims who participate in this annual pilgrimage. Nobody can differentiate (between the Hindus and the Muslims) since everyone participates with equal religious fervour. All of them greet the pilgrimage with brotherhood and peace,"
The gesture of Muslim devotees of Lord Shiva on Saturday fascinated a lot of attention of other pilgrims in the State.
Hindus in the city say the pilgrimage proved a good occasion to strengthen communal harmony here.
Bholu Agnihotri, the organiser of a camp set up for the Kanwarias' stopover, said: "People from all religions participate in this pilgrimage in some way or the other. Whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs or Christians- they all serve with equal fervour."
Many Muslims in other parts of the country are known for making Kanwars for the Shiva devotees who carry them on shoulders, travelling long stretches to offer holy water at Shiva temples during the auspicious monsoon month as per Hindu calendar.
About eight lakh Kanwarias take on the pilgrimage during Shravan month.
25 August 2007, 12:21 AM
Christians in this Indian village still frequent Hindu temples
By Armstrong Vaz
Does conversion to a new religion change caste equations in India? Do social customs and traditions change with religious conversion? Or do Indians continue with their Hindu customs and traditions despite conversions?
These are some of the questions my foreign friends pose to me when the topic of religious conversions comes up. I say, Indians certainly do follow their Hindu customs and traditions despite conversions.
In fact, in the western Indian state of Goa, Christians continue to follow the age-old Hindu practices and traditions of their forefathers, who converted to Christianity in the 16th century, and take part in Hindu rituals and festivals.
Fathom this: Tony Fernandes' forefathers converted to Christianity in the 16th century but the 48-year-old Fernandes still carries on the practice of visiting the Hindu temples and seeking blessings from his village Deity -- Shri Shantadurga Kunkolkarin. The practice is in conflict with the Catholic Church, which comes down heavily on idol worship and demands loyalty to only one god.
Fernandes is not alone. Hundreds of his fellow villagers, following the customs of their forefathers, regularly visit the Hindu temples to evoke the blessing of their village Deity -- despite conversions.
But there is a broader spectrum to Fernandes and his fellow villagers' fling with Hindu beliefs.
Fernandes hails from a village that boasts a unique history. Tales of bravery and the valor of the people of Cuncolim, a small village in Goa, are recounted many times when the state experiences injustice.
The residents of Cuncolim tried to ward off Portuguese missionaries who were propagating forceful conversion to Christianity in 1583.
Shri Shantadurga temple at Fatorpa
The efforts of the Portuguese to force mass conversion on the residents and to desecrate the temples resulted in the shifting of the village Deity from Cuncolim to Fatorpa.
One of the traditions that the Christian converts from the village take part in together with their Hindu brothers is the festival of umbrellas (locally called Gulalustav -- festival of colors), also known as the Sontreo (umbrella) procession. It is a pompous occasion with great significance for the local residents.
The festival falls on Panchami day in the month of Phalguna on the Hindu calendar, which usually comes in the month of March. This day has an added meaning to the devotees, who commemorate the return of the deity from Fatorpa to Cuncolim in a festival spirit. The Deity is brought back along the same route it was moved to Fatorpa.
Young men of the village brave the heat to complete the five-kilometer procession in the company of the deity. The procession consists mostly of men who wear traditional headgear and color their bodies with dye and whatnot. The procession begins at noon and reaches Cuncolim at around 3 p.m.
The colorful and ceremonious procession makes its way to Cuncolim to the beat of traditional music accompanied by 12 silken umbrellas, one of which is completely red in color.
Once in Cuncolim, young people dance with the umbrellas to music while devotees take Prasad blessings from the deity, which is doled out by Hindu priests. The umbrellas are propelled to a height of 10 meters (11 yards) by bamboo sticks.
The dancing ends around 5:30 p.m., when the deity is taken back to Fatorpa along a different route. The 12 umbrellas represent the 12 clans or patrons of the temple at Cuncolim.
"The umbrellas are strong symbols of the common history and kinship of the villages, continued common devotion to a powerful Goddess and the existence of a common Goan culture that has existed for centuries, wrote Paul Newman, in a paper titled "Konkani Mai Ascends the Throne."
The traditional procession was forbidden by the Portuguese government at the request of then-patriarch Antonio Sebastiao Valent of the Roman Catholic Church. The ban was subsequently lifted in 1910 after the Portuguese republic was set up.
26 August 2007, 04:49 PM
Thank you for the posts everyone. It is nice to hear of religious harmony every once in a while. Be well my friends.
28 August 2007, 12:28 PM
Rakhi sisters visit Muslim brothers in Gujarat
By Suresh Soni
Rajkot, Aug.28: Communal harmony was on show during the festival of Rakshabandhan on Tuesday in Gujarat, as many Hindu girls tied the sacred sibling thread on Muslims whom they accept as brothers.
Iliyas Khan, a Muslim, said: "This is just a thread, but the happiness that a brother and sister get in celebrating this festival is immense and cannot be described."
Rajal Shah, who is the adopted sister of Khan, said: "I have two brothers. I never thought of having just one brother. On every Raksha Bandhan, I tie Rakhis to both of my brothers at Iliyas' home so that he doesn't feel that I cannot tie the rakhi at his place. I bring my brother along with me to his place and then tie Rakhis to both."
Even though the festival is deeply rooted in ancient Indian traditions, the younger generation looks at it more as a time to get together and have fun.
Tradition has it the brother gives his sister either money or gifts.
Rakhi brothers or sisters are those who consider each other as brother and sister due to deep affection shared by them. They consider each other as family.
The festival is being celebrated for centuries and is related with erstwhile Queen Roopmati. Faced with a crisis following a war, Rani Roopmati sent a Rakhi to the Mughal ruler Humayun, seeking protection from the enemy.
King Humayun accepted the sacred thread and honoured her request. Since then, the tradition continues in families across the country.
22 September 2007, 02:22 AM
I appreciate the support provided by the leaders of Muslims and Christians in denouncing the arrogant talk of vicious politicians on Sri Rama:
Muslim, Christian leaders put Karunanidhi in the dock
Muslims are with their Hindu brothers in this crisis. We call upon everyone to respect the faith of Hindus.”
Mirwaiz Farooq, Hurriyat chief
Such provocative statements are uncalled for. Remarks like this polarise the country.”
Joseph Dias, Catholic Secular Forum
I don’t think such a thing should be said. It hurts the religious sentiments of the people.”
Javed Akhtar, script-writer
As far as religious icons (like Lord Ram) are concerned, we must discuss (them) with respect.”
Kamal Farooqui, MPLB member
Politicians have no right to make insulting statements on Ram’s existence.”
Rev Bernard Moras, archbishop of Bangalore,
Unbridled critique of a faith provides fodder for unscrupulous forces to exploit the situation.”
Babu Joseph, spokesman, CBCI
Jai Sri Ram, it's all your leela!
29 March 2008, 08:42 PM
From the Nitya Kalyan Yahoo Group
Secular Indian Govt. demolishing Ram Sethu!
Communist Chinese Govt. building Akshardham Temple!!
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Swaminarayan Trust Invited to Build Akshardham in China
DELHI, INDIA, October 6, 2007: It is one of the grandest Hindu temples in the capital and has been built with a lot of thought and precision. An architectural marvel, the Akshardham temple is the cynosure of all eyes. Soon a replica of it will be constructed, thousands of miles away in China. The first Hindu temple in communist China. The Chinese government has invited the Swaminarayan Trust that runs the Akshardham temples in Noida and in Gandhinagar, to build a similar temple. A huge piece of land has been earmarked in Fohsan state, which will not only house the temple but also an Indian cultural center. ''Initial thoughts are to have a cultural center also along with the temple, a traditional Indian music learning center and also various Indian language teaching centers including Hindi, on this temple premises,'' said Jagat Shah, Joint Secretary-General, Indo-China Trade Council.
The Swaminarayan Trust has welcomed the decision, saying there's much more to it than the religious angle. ''This decision taken by Chinese government, letting the Hindus build a temple in China is to be appreciated highly. Its not only question of spirituality but also in many other ways both the countries will benefit. ''There will also be cultural exchange between people living in these two countries and that outcome will help in spiritual and physical growth of citizens of India and China,'' said Jasraj Maharaj, religious teacher, Swaminarayan Sect.
A core team of the trust is busy preparing the final design plan. Members of the team and the Indo-China Trade Council are expected to visit the proposed temple site soon. A team of officials from one of China's prestigious construction companies that will execute the project is now in India to study the architecture of Swaminarayan temple. ''China is also very good at construction and specially our company actually focuses on various types of construction designs. I think this being a joint venture with Indian partner, design from India and construction from China, this temple will be the masterpiece, '' said Xiaojun Lee, Secretary of Board, Panzhihua Guanghua Group, PR China. The first Hindu temple in the land of dragons will not just be a temple but the hub of cultural exchange between India and China.
31 March 2008, 11:37 AM
yes, I'd like 2 kilos please. Thank you.
26 October 2008, 02:44 AM
yes, in deed. It's sounds so soothing to hear of religious harmony, especially after attacks, riots and terrorist attacks.
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