Sunday, April 4, 2010

HINDUISM ....!!!

Cash Grant to ‘Varsity Students

As a part of its social service, All Ceylon Hindu Congress arranged to give cash grants to Jaffna University students who were released from IDP camps. In the picture, the Head of the Nallur Aathenam is seen handing over token payment to an undergraduate in the presence of A. Thevasagayam, Trustee of London Kanaga Durai Amman Kovil, who assisted ACHC in this noble task. Pic: ACHC
Monday, 5 April 2010

Linking Kovil with History
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

Two weeks ago (March 20, 2010) the “KodiEattam” (The flag hoisting ceremony) of the Hindu temple in Kochchikade, Colombo took place in connection with the “Maha Utchava” of Sri Ponnambala Vaneswarar temple. Recorder of religious festivals, Chelvathamby Maniccavasagar relates the link between the temple and our religious history.

In the Lankan history of Hinduism, 19th century was a significant era. Constructional activities were going on in an unprecedented scale.

A large number of Hindu temples were either restored or newly constructed in some parts of the country where Hindus were settled in substantial numbers. A large number of Hindu Temples were restored in the Jaffna peninsula, Trincomalee and in the District of Batticaloa. The most notable among the newly constructed temple was Sri Ponnambalavaneswarar Temple in Colombo 13.

Commanding influence
In fact, a substantial number of people in Colombo were Hindus. Among them entrepreneurs in the Business profession had a commanding influence. Despite their diverse origins they were drawn together by religious sentiment and a deep attachment to traditional Hindu values.

Those who were articulated and motivated with a deep sense of commitment for the cause of preserving and fostering Hindu culture assumed positions of leadership in mobilizing support for the establishment of Hindu Institutions some of which have become exemplary, and among the Arunasalam Ponnambalam was the most outstanding pioneer.

His father-in-Law, Coomaraswamy Mudaliyar, who belonged to the first generation of Jaffna Tamils settled in Colombo and was the first Tamil Representative in the Legislative Council was responsible for establishing two Hindu Temples in Colombo: the Kathiresan Temple at Gintupitiya and Muttuvinayakar Temple at Chetty Street.

Sri Ponnambala Mudaliyar who had a deep attachment towards Saivism, the religion of his ancestors, found that there was no temple dedicated for the worship of Shiva in Colombo, where worship could be conducted according to Hindu Custom. He initiated measures for mobilising support for the establishment of such a temple and the response from the Merchant Community was most favourable.

The leading merchants of the Chettiyar Community, who were always in the forefront in extending generous support for promoting the cause of Hinduism, were a source of inspiration to him. A large sum of money was collected and from a portion of that amount a plot of land at Sea Street, which was formerly the property of Captain John Foulstone, was bought on 5th July 1856.

Soon, the process of constructing the temple began and architects were brought from South India for that purpose. In 1857, the buildings which were of bricks and in an advanced state of construction, were found to be expensive. An agreement in the form of indenture was made on the October 11, 1857 spelling out the details of the administration.

The signatories to the agreement were Sir Arunasalam Ponnambalam and several other Chettiars. The temple and its properties were to be administered under the provisions of this agreement for a period of 110 years since its adoption.

The parties to this agreement had resolved unanimously that the temple that was under construction should be dedicated for the worship of Lord Shiva and called Ponnambalavaneswaram. It was also decided by the parties concerned that it should be opened for the public worship according to the forms and ceremonies of the Hindu religion.

Furthermore, the Hindu Temples are intended to instruct men in the art of removing the veil of attachment that cover their hearts. Thus the renowned Poet Thiagarajah cried at the temple of Thirupathi” remove the veil, remove the veil within me, the veil of pride and hate.

Indeed, temples are centres of discipline where the aspirant is guided step by step to attain the vision of the Truth. They are schools for the training of the spirit, academies for the promotion of Sastric Studies, they are Institutes of Super Science, they are laboratories for the testing of the values of life and to awaken the Divinity in humanity inducing men to believe that the physical frame in which he lives is itself the House of God.

God is in our hearts like the lantern in the hand. If only we control our senses and our hearts and tread the path of virtue and devotion to the supreme being, we need nothing else. If we are ever in doubt and without faith, like a vessel without captain, we shall be tossed on the turbulent waters of life buffeted by the minds of fate and circumstances unable to stand the stresses and strains, hope deferred and desire unfulfilled. If we seek the God’s Trace, we shall succeed in keeping our senses in check.

Supreme Power
In the Shivan Temple, the Lord Shiva as the Supreme power, performs five fold functions namely creation, maintenance, destruction, purification and release. He is said to be performing these functions while dancing. In fact, these separately considered are activities of the deities - Brahma Vishnu, Rudra, Maheswara and Sadasiva. This cosmic activity is the central motive of the dance.

During the Chariot festival of Sri Ponnambalavaneswarar Temple, the statue of Lord Shiva is decorated and illuminated and taken along the compound of the temple followed by poojas and Bhajans. The chariot is pulled by massive ropes by thousands of devotees wherein the rich and the poor mingle shoulder to shoulder in pulling the body politic of the Divine state.

In Hindu literature, the Chariot represents our body which is yoked to four horses (the sense organs) wherein the individuals sits, dejected and despondent, driven by the intellect which, with the mind fuide the horses.

These horses represent human passions and the reins symbolise the necessity of restraining and guiding the passions.

The journey of the chariot is an emblem of the progress of life and the lesson is that throughout his life one should control the passions.


A simple note on Cosmic Ray and Ray of Relativity
K.S. Sivakumaran

In Tamil such terms as Sivamayam, Anbumayam, Arivymayam, Inbamayam, Gnanamayam, Sarvamayam, Sarvathathuvam and Sarvaviyabhagam all refer to the Cosmic Ray and Law of relativity in Saivaism, one may go to ponder. We have three vital terms called Pathi, Pasu and Paasam in Tamil.

Pathi relates to something that rules or that is omnipresent. Pathi is also equal to Para Aathma (Soul).

It is both positive and negative. It changes accordingly. Pasu means that is governed. It is a living soul.

It deviates from Sivam and due to desire it has a separate existence.

Paasam is also known as Mummalam - Aanavam, Maayai, Kanmam.

I am at a loss to find the exact word in English for the above words. What all these say is that sin of commission equates the cause for existence.

We hope erudite scholars in Hinduism (Saivaaism) elect to explain to our readers as simple as possible these intricate concepts.


Where lies Divinity in Humans?

Thilaka V. Wijeratnam

Where lies Divinity in humans? This is an eternal search of the humans. It would be interesting to know about a few stories that are prevalent on the subject.

Here is one such story - Brahma the creator after creating living beings was entrusted with the task of keeping Divinity in some location where the humans would not look for or find it. He pondered a lot where to keep it safe from the human beings. If a man aspiring to be a superman and empowered like the saints and sages of Bharat, then it might result in chaos.

Some said this and some said that. But Brahma was not satisfied. Some celestial beings suggested hiding it in the bowels of the earth. “No” said Brahma - “man can easily find it.” “At the ocean floor!” suggested another. “He would find the means to go there too,” said Brahma. Another suggested taking it to the highest peak. Brahma had a vision of two men reaching it.

The Quest
“No hopes,” said Brahma. “What about space?” asked an intelligent celestial intellect. He can’t think of coming towards our habitat?”

“Those destined to be scientists would overcome that obstacle too,” said Brahma. The last century proved him right. All the celestial beings gave up and went their way. Brahma sat in deep meditation.

Then it struck him like a flash of lightning. Hide it in the humans themselves. That’s the only place the humans would not look for. So Divinity in fact lies smugly in the deep recesses of humans’ hearts enjoying this game of hide and seek with the humans. Man is there on top of rocks and hills meditating.

He sits under water meditating. He joins a group of organized meditations - but to no avail - He couldn’t find Divinity. He didn’t look within him - Humans are out eternally searching for this prized possession.

Sri Aurobindo
But the chosen few were successful, said Sri Aurobindo, “the basis and fulfilment of a divine life are found in the experience of unity by which man identifies himself with the cosmic and transcendal self and is identified in the self, but with an entire freedom from grief, and illusions, with all its becoming.”

Says the Holy Koran,” He who beareth his home in search of knowledge, walketh in the path of Allah.” Saint Thinimodar has this to say, “I am soaked in worldly thoughts. May I change over to the divine consciousness and thus save myself.”

Rivers have their source in hills so do all beings have Divinity as their source.

How many of us look for Divinity within us?

What are the qualities of Divinity -

* Generosity is a Divine trait.

* Bear with an enemy even when he hurts you.

A couplet in “Thirukural” (no. 151) says it briefly.

Even as the earth bears and supports the very man who digs deep into her, so do the great show forbearance towards those who hurt them.

In Ramayana, Vibusana was Ravana’s brother. He left his brother and surrendered to Rama. Though Sri Rama’s supporters raised objections, Rama said. “Eventhough he is from the enemy rank, who harmed us, yet I would take unto my fold, he that surrenders.”

Of forbearance Thiruvalluvar says,

“Forbearance is characteristic of a Saint.

He does not return evil for evil”

These qualities of Divinity are found in Saints like Sri Ramakrishna Param Hamsar, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Swamy Vivekananda.

Holy Mother Sarada Devi, the Sithars mentioned in earlier articles and also in great souls like Mahatma Gandhi.

Though all men could not be Saints, they can still try to be by adhering to some noble qualities or by emulating such noble births. Next to generosity, kindness, compassion, respect for others’ faith, respect for the individual, a charitable mentality, self-control, selflessness, self-surrender, pure love for all beings, endurance, humility, righteousness are the stepping stones that lead man to discover Divinity tucked away in his heart.

Service to the mankind is known as Warayajna - “Beholding humanity as the manifestations of Divinity and serving it on right lines is verity Nara Yajna”, says Mahabharatha.

Almost all religions speak of this Divinity in Man.

The scholar monk Swamy Vivekananda said,

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.”

The Koran says, “I am in your own souls. Why see ye not? In every breath of yours am I, but ye are blind, without true eye and see me not.”

“The heavens beyond are great and wonderful but greater yet and more wonderful are the heavens within you.” Those are the words of another saintly son of Barath - Sri Arobindo.

Finally let me sum up this topic of divinity, quoting from the greatest disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsar, Swamy Vivekananda or Swamiji for devotees:

“Man is to become divine by realising the divine. Idols or temples or characters or books are only the supporters, the helps of his spiritual childhood, but on and on he must progress.”


Hinduism Page will appear on Mondays
Contributions from readers on all aspects of Hinduism are welcome.

Such articles should be to the point and help readers to understand the quintenance of Saivaism (Saiva Siddantham) and vedantic philosophy.

Religious institutions can inform us weeks ahead of their prospective functions. Address your articles and pictures to the Features Editor (Hinduism Page), ‘Daily News’ Lake House, Colombo-10 or e-mail:


Hindu Kovil Events

Chariot Festival in Vavuniya

Large number of devotees participated in the Chariot festival held at the Rambaikulam Karumari Amman Temple in Vavuniya recently. Picture by T. Vivekarasa, Vavuniya Spl Corr.

Flag Hoisting Ceremony Annual “Ther” (Chariot) Festival

Shri Muththumari Amman Shri Muniyandi Swami Aalayam, Glanie Street, Colombo 2 held its thirteenth anniversary flag hoisting ceremony recently. Here the procession the “Thear Bawani” with devotees at the street, is shown above. Picture by Ruaik Farook Several thousands of devotees participated at the Annual “Ther” (Chariot) festival of Sri Ponnambalvaneswaran Kovil at Kochchikade in Colombo 13 last week. Picture shows the colourfully decorated chariot being taken in procession from the Kovil premises around streets. Picture by A. Mathuraiveeran


1 comment:

Multisubj Yb TruthSeeker said...

Were Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Vivekananda really great souls? Or they just wearers of Kaashaayam.

To know the otherside of Vivekananda, with proof from his Complete Works, visit:

Swami Vivekananda liked Yankeeland very much and he would have settled there permanently, had his second trip US been successful. He could not get money and he returned empty handed, during the second trip.
Swamiji called INdia a rotten corpse and jelly fish.

He is the Margadarsi for the modern swamijis like Nityananda, Kalki Bhagavan, Satya sAi Baba, Ramavadhuta, Kaleswar.

You cannot imagine a kaashaaya wearing swami, searching for shad fish and turtles on the banks of the River Hooghly near Belur Math. You cannot imagine Vivekananda writing from Belur Math to a foreign girl to send her photos, so that he can check up how much fat she has built in one year! Proofs for these you can see in his Complete Works.

The funniest part and the saddest part is: Vivekananda insulted Alasinga. He did not help Nanjunda Rao in the South Indian Hinduism work. On the other hand he believed that South Indians owed him money. Though the residents of Madras mobilised subscriptions for his stay in USA, he ill-treated them. These things, you can see in his letters addressed to Alasinga, Nanjunda Rao and others. Vivekananda seems to have given the Paramahamsa title to Shri Ramakrishna. Vivekananda himself wore the Paramahamsa title for some years.

Hindus will be better HIndus, if the Kaashaya wearing persons are scrutinised in depth about their merits.