Tag Archives: sri sri ravi shankar

@SRISRI, OPINIONS & @BJP4U

There is a wonderful aphorism of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: “Don’t be a football of other people’s opinions”
The problem with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – this Govt and the one of Vajpayee, is that it always wants to justify itself, primarily in the eyes of the Media, Indian and foreign. Problem is: Media and intellectuals (and JNU students) still hate as much the guts of the BJP & Narendra Modi! Arun Jaitley is a brilliant speaker and lawyer, but does he understand that Dharma is also ruthlessness towards the enemy ?
So why not just govern, for the good of Mother India, without caring for the opinion of others??? This is the ver crux of the question at the moment and the very reason why BJP might again lose the next elections and the Indian National Congress, which got wiped out in last elections, come back to power.
if that does happen, the fault will be ENTIRELY with the BJP leadership and not by any merit of the Congress, which is using every dirty trick, every kind of blackmail , treachery, foolhardy, without giving a damn about the good and the progress of India.

O Hindus, I love you so much, but why do you keep repeating again and again the same mistakes? This time such a great chance was given to you by the Divine Grace to imprint your wonderful, universal, all encompassing way of life on India, TO LIFT HER TOWARDS AN ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SUPREMACY NEEDED FOR HER SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP TO POUR ONTO THE WORLD, but you seeM to be bent on wasting that chance. FG

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UPDATE SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM, PUNE

Dear friends, As some of you may know, we have completed and inaugurated the 2d phase of the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of India History, Pune, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 28th July. see the film at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Dc5x6oDj1g
You can see some of the Media coverage at: http://factindiablog.blogspot.in/
and also Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s message: http://factmuseum.blogspot.in/

We have already 5 buildings and have recently installed our latest exhibition: http://dara-shikoh.blogspot.in/

I am about to start a series of exhibitions on the Vedas in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Vedas, under the direction of Dr Kireet Joshi, who was Chairman Council of Philosophical research, Secretary Education Gujarat and is now retired in Pondichery. Would you be able to help? I need appr 5 lakhs per exhibition. Attached is the first page of the brief. We have tax exemption and can honor our big donors by naming one of the buildings after them.. Here are our trust bank account for electronic transfer: Name of account: Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT)
Account No: 04071450000237. IFCS code: HDFC0000407
Bank Address: HDFC Bank Ltd., T S No.6, 100 Feet Road
Ellaipillaichavadi, Pondicherry-605 005. Telephone: 0413 2206044

If you do so, send me a mail at fgautier@rediffmail.com
Best wishes
François Gautier/ Trustee FACT
Trustee FACT

Message of HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

In the 17th century, when the oldest and the most tolerant civilization was threatened, a light emerged in Maharashtra in the form of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the right combination of perfection in politics and the epitome of spiritual values. Tolerance, broad vision, and good governance were his gift to the people of India. Once again today, India is in such a place where it needs leaders like Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,  with commitment to its people and a long term vision for the country.  On this occasion, I congratulate Francois and Namrata Gautier for rekindling the spirit of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This museum that Francois has established with so much effort will  inspire generations to come. Among the many good works that Francois has to his credit, from showcasing the sacrifice of sikh Gurus to Ahilya-bai’s less known adventures and now establishing a museum to commemorate the invaluable contributions of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is indeed a great achievement. May Francois’s hard work and sincere efforts be rewarded in the form of good honest citizens and inspire good governance in our country.

SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM OF (TRUE) INDIAN HISTORY, PUNE

Dear friends,

As you may know, I was a journalist and a reporter for many years (francoisgautier.com) and I felt that this was not enough. Hence I started writing books about India, such as “A New History of India” (Har Anand, New Delhi). This particular book attempts to rewrite Indian History as it happened – and not as it has been written by western historians & later adopted blindly by Indian historians. There is no doubt, for instance, that the Aryan Invasion theory, which is the foundation stone of all History books on India, western and Indian -never happened. All recent archeological, linguistic and even spatial discoveries, point in that direction. There is no doubt also that the genocide of Hindus at the hands of invaders for 1200 years has been swept under the carpet by historians (for good and bad reasons. Hence I attempted to set the record straight, however politically incorrect its is. 

 But I felt that writing books was not enough. Hence, when I got an award of journalism, I used the funds to start a foundation, FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) & mounted an exhibition on the genocide & exodus of Hindus in Kashmir, which I witnessed firsthand, being a reporter for Le Figaro at that time: http://refugees-in-their-own-country.blogspot.in/. We showed this exhibition to the US Congress in Washington in 2008.

 Then I mounted another exhibition on the plight of minorities in Bangladesh, having also been there often:http://portrait-of-covert-genocide.blogspot.in/ 

Later, because in the process of researching for my books, I had seen how much Aurangzeb is portrayed as a stern but just ruler, we got hold of his firmans, which are still preserved in the Bikaner archives, hired a retired professor of history, V.S. Bhatnagar of the Rajasthan university, to translate them, engaged miniature painters in Jaipur and mounted a remarkable exhibition on Aurangzeb, as he was ACCORDING TO HIS OWN RECORDS:http://www.aurangzeb.info/

 And then and then, kept making exhibitions, till we have fifteen today, including one on Sikhism: http://defenders-of-dharma.blogspot.in/ Or one on Hindu genocide, which we called “HINDU TOLERANCE THROUGHOUT THE AGES:http://hindu-tolerance.blogspot.in/

 But this was not enough, I felt. Thus, 2 years ago, I started building a Museum of (TRUE) Indian history on 5 acres of land donated to FACT by HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We have inaugurated the first phase one year ago. See the film at:http://www.youtube.com/user/FACTindia/feed

We built a small shrine dedicated to Mata Bhavani and Shivaji Maharaj at entrance of Museum (photo) and opened a beautiful permanent exhibition on the great Shivaji Maharaj, whom we elevated as a national Hero for the whole of India and a Vibhuti: http://hero-for-modern-india.blogspot.in/ 

 We then built a hall to put-up permanently our Aurangzeb exhibition. Photos: http://factmuseum.blogspot.in/

We have also built a video room where FACT’s films, such as “Brahmins have become the Dalits of India:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7Xgc4ljHKM , Or a film on the testimonies of survivors of the terror attacks in Mumbai of 26/11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McjeQAUxz9Y can be screened

 & we have just completed a fourth building, which will house a remarkable exhibition on the genocide of Tibetans at the hands of Chinese, and which the Dalai-lama, whom I know well, for having interviewed him seven times, will inaugurate on 28th July. 

The Museum , whose address is: Ahead of Marathwada Institute. Vadgaon Shinde road. Wadgaon. Pune 4, is OPEN every day from 9am to 6pm and entrance is FREE. Please tell your friends about it. we have daily aarti in the temple in the morning at 9.30am

 This is a noble, but VERY difficult project, for many reasons. One, there is no tradition of private museums in Indian as there is in the West. Two, as soon as you touch at Indian history, it becomes very sensitive and tricky; and three, most philanthropists in India donate to education and health care, but recoil as soon as you mention the subject of Indian History. 

 But this is a Museum for ALL Indians, particularly dedicated to the Knowledge that stands behind Hinduism & which is the foundation of Indian culture and spirituality. My wife is preparing with Dr Kireet Joshi a series of exhibitions on the Vedas, which will be the foundation of our Museum.

 

However I need YOUR help. I am building this Museum on a shoestring budget and bills keep pouring in, while donations are very scant. 

 FACT is a registered Trust with Indian & UK, US tax exemption. If you would like to help, you could make a donation to: FACT, Account No: 04071450000237, IFCS code: HDFC0000407. We will mail you back your tax exemption certificate and we will honor all our donors.

Or you could donate via FACT USA

Please pass this plea on to your friends

Francois & Namrita Gautier/Trustees FACT

European Cartesianism and Hinduism

“Only believe what you experience on yourself”, said the Buddha 2500 years ago. Indian philosophy and spiritual thought was thus always very down to earth and attempted to define scientifically and logically the different means and ways to reach the goal: “If you do this, this is what will happen; if you breathe in this way, this is what may result; if you practice this particular posture, these are the results you will gain”…

Yet the West is today wary of anything which has a Hindu flavor and is quick to label as “sects” everything that does not spring from the larger conventional family of Christianity. It is true that gurus teaching in  the West can be a mixed lot, and some of them might have brought a bad name to Hinduism, but the ordinary Indian meditating every morning, or doing his pujas, practicing his asanas, chanting bhajans, or doing pranayama,  does not feel he is doing anything out of the ordinary. There is no sectarism here, no fake mysticism, no pagan obscure rites.

 To understand India and Hinduism, one then has to go beyond the clichés of paganism and the accusations of sects that have been applied to Hindus, particularly after the coming of Christian missionaries to India who had a vested motive to show Hinduism in  a bad light. It is true that Hindus adore Gods made out of stone or cast in brass. But is it less rational or Cartesian to think, as the Catholics do, that Mary conceived a child while remaining a virgin, or that Christ came back from the dead and ascended physically to heaven (and not in his subtle body, which is more likely)? Muslim invaders were also immensely shocked by this worshipping of images and gods and set upon destroying hundreds of thousand of temples and idols. But Alexandra David-Neel, the remarkable French explorer, writer and mystic, had noticed that the role that Gods play in India is unique “because the images or statues are like a battery which is charged over the ages by the adoration of the devotees, who in turn can draw energy, inspiration, or grace from these statues”. She goes on: “As a battery, the energy in the statue will not get discharged, as long as the faithful continue worship it by their cult and adoration”. And she concludes: “Gods are thus created by the energy given out by the faith in their existence”.

 At any rate, Hindus are great rationalists: they have discovered for instance that the sound Aum, “Amen” for the Christians, possesses very strong vibrations which take you to the deepest level and that the Creator is the Original Verb: Shabda Brahman; that the ragas, these few notes of music on which one can improve indefinitely, have also a strong inner power; or that the breath is the physical conduit to the Divine, which they have codified into  pranayama, the Indian science of breathing. Sri Sri ravi Shankar has today shown that breath has no religion and can be practiced by anybody. But nothing, without any doubt, is more scientific, more logical, more Cartesian, more noble and prophetic than the Vedas, the most ancient and sacred Scriptures of Hinduism, which are nearly totally ignored in the West and misunderstood in India. (To be continued)

THE POWER OF THE RAIN

Berlin, 2. 6. 11. It was to be the biggest yoga camp ever. The place: Berlin, Germany, in the majestic Olympic stadium that can sit 70.000 people and which saw the fabulous Jesse Owens break 4 world records in a few hours, under the furious eyes of Adolf Hitler. The occasion: the 3O years celebrations of the Art of Living Foundation, led by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, one of India’s 5 most influential people, according to Forbes magazine.

For months, volunteers of the Art of Living Foundation worked hard day and night, to produce a flawless show, involving hundreds of performers. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny all this while. On D Day, 2d July 2011, everything was ready.

But this was counting without the vagaries of Nature: that morning, the temperature dropped by 15° and it started to rain, hard and steady.

25.000 disciples of the Art of Living prayed silently to their Master so that the rain stopped before the performance. But a totally different miracle happened.

First 50 Indian singers smiled though the rain while reciting ancient Sanskrit Slokas. Then, 500 Polish dancers hopped, skipped and bowed in the water puddles. Next, 2000 Bulgarians had the stadium enthralled with a perfect display of folk dancing, which was like a challenge to the weather, a triumphant cry of joy. Later, the ancient Indian science of yoga came indeed alive with hundreds of adepts going harmoniously through asanas.

Mysteriously, all the Art of Living performers seemed oblivious of the weather: standing for a long time in flimsy clothing, by 13° centigrade, under sheets of rains, while quietly waiting for their turn.

The sheer joy, energy, enthusiasm, of not only the performers, but also of the nearly 40.000 spectators who had braved the rain, was something to behold. Nobody, even amongst the ministers, presidents and MP’s who sat with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the dais, could remain indifferent.

There is a also beauty in the rain: the water spraying-up from the drums under the beating of the sticks; drops of rains, like tears of joys, dripping from the face of ecstatic performers; sheets of water, in the glare of spotlights, descending in a slanted manner on dancers in formations…

There were moments of extreme grace: the tango dancers, who slipped with their high heels on the wet podium and spontaneously hopped on the grass, giving probably one of their most acrobatic and inspired performances; the solo prima donna of the Swan Lake, who pirouetted, jumped, bended and tiptoed, transcending the rain and the cold; the Argentinian singers, who electrified the stadium with their modern rendering of ancient Indian devotional hymns…

And finally, that was what the miracle was about: not a cheap stunt of the rain stopping, by some power, or just a freak chance, which would have had many in religious ecstasy. But thousands of performers transcending adversity -which that day took the shape of unexpected cold and rain – through their devotion, faith and love of their Master, and in the process, attaining heights of perfection, which they might not have achieved in ideal conditions.

And in this union of their minds and bodies, not only were they sublime, but different people from different countries, religions, cultures, some of them even hostile to each other, sang, danced and blended naturally. And the message which this gathering was to give, went through effortlessly: that the whole world can come together, while celebrating harmony in diversity.

This is the miracle of love, this is the miracle of the rain. And even the skeptics rose as one man, as the laser show and tens of thousands of cheering spectators ended the celebrations of the Art of Living Foundation, which for 30 years has been selflessly serving humanity and will do so in the future.

francoisgautier26@gmail.com

RECIPROCITY & HINDU ANGER

RECIPROCITY & HINDU ANGER

This starts as a beautiful story. Once upon a time, there was a tiny village in South Arcot’s district of Tamil Nadu, called Kuilaplayam. Now Kuilapalayam is like hundreds of villages around Pondichery: it is peopled with Hindu Vanniars, a caste slightly higher than the untouchables, poor, living off agriculture, usually a few meagre fields of cashew nuts. But then Kuilapalayam just happened to be in the midst of Auroville, the international township, founded by the Mother of Pondichery, based upon the ideals of the great yogi and revolutionary, Sri Aurobindo.

Thus Kuilaplayam prospered: its inhabitants learned trades needed for the city: carpenters, masons, craftsmen, some of its children attended Auroville’s schools and were educated along with western kids and in time graduated and went into white collar jobs. From a few cycles 40 years ago, Kuilapalama has today motorcycles, tractors, cars, vans, cable TV, cell phones, etc. The main road of Kuilapalayam which used to boast only shady huts, became lined-up with fancy shops which sell everything, from vegetables to handicrafts.

And then the unavoidable happened: a Kashmiri Muslim from Chennai heard about Auroville and the prosperity of Kuilapalaym and understanding that he could make a packet with so many westerners passing though Auroville, he opened the usual shawls & carpets’ shop in the village. Now Kuilapalayam never counted a Muslim amongst its population in its 1200 years of recorded history; but in the true Hindu tradition, this one was welcomed and nobody raised an objection, although he was competition for some of the other shops. Our Kashmiri Muslim, seeing his success, called his cousin in Kolkata, who came and opened another shop; and that one phoned his friend in Mumbai, who also landed-up and opened a third shop. Still nobody found anything to say. Kashmiris are sociable fellows and they quickly made friends with Westerners, most of them blissfully unaware of the political situation in India, so business was booming, till they were seven or eight Kashmiri shops in Kuilapalayam. And again nobody complained, even when the fellows started doing their naamaz in their backyards. “Isn’t God everywhere and isn’t He Krishna, as well as Allah”, said one of the villagers?

Then Bhoumi, one of the young boys of Kuilapalayam, who had gone to study in Delhi, told his parents when he came back, about the fact that not only no Hindu were allowed to buy land or start a shop in the Valley of Kashmir, where the shopkeepers came from, but that four hundred thousand Hindus, were chased out of the Valley by terror, many of them having been murdered and that many were still living as refugees in camps in Jammu and Delhi. His parents started talking to their friends and there was the first hint of resentment against the newcomers.

Then some elders of Kuilapalayam hear that Mulsims of Kashmir rioted when the Government allotted some land in Amarnath, one of the most sacred and ancient Hindu pilgrimages, high in the Himalayas. Bhoumi’s father went to see a group of Kuilaplayam Kashmiris having tea and told them that Hindus never complained about their government giving billion of rupees in subsidies to Indian Muslims so that they can visit their most Holy place, the Mecca. “But when Hindus, he continued, need shelters, toilets and basic facilities at height of 15.000 feet to worship at one of the holiest places of Hinduism, why do you Kashmiri Muslims deny it to us” ? The Kashmiris looked a bit uneasy, then replied “that anyway the Amarnath ice lingam had been discovered by a Muslim shepherd and that Muslims have always welcomed their Hindu brothers to Armanath”. But this did not convince the Kuilapalayam man who had heard from his son that many grenade attacks had happened over the years against the Amarnath pilgrims. And anger started mounting in Kuilapalayam.

So it is all a question of reciprocity. Most Hindus are peace-loving people. The average Hindu that you meet in a million Indian villages, such as Kuilapalayam, is easy-going and accepts you and your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Parsi or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. He goes about his business and usually does not interfere in yours.

In fact Hindus take it a little further: they hate trouble and go out of their way to avoid it. Have you noticed how every time there is a possibility of a strike or trouble, Hindus stay home? Or how – forget about rioting – Hindus never speak-up, complain or protest in a united manner. Not only that, but everywhere in the world, Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Fiji where an elected democratic government was twice deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their hunger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book “Lalja”). In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorized by pro-Christian separatist groups, such as the Bodos or the Mizos, while local governments often turn a blind eye. Their temples are being taken over in many states like in Kerala or Karnataka, and the donations appropriated by the state governments.

Yet, in 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions. No, it has rather been through peaceful invasions that Hinduism has stormed the world, whether in the East, witness Angkor Vat, or in the West today, where the by-products of Hinduism, yoga, meditation, ayurveda, pranayama, spread by great gurus such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, have been adopted by millions.

Thus Hindus, who accept everybody, welcome all religions, allow Indians from other parts to trade next to them, as it happened in Kuilapalayam, do not receive in return any gratitude and the same respect. On the contrary, they get mocked at, bombs are planted in their markets, their trains; their temples, their five star hotels get attacked, they are chased out of their homelands; television and newspapers make fun of them, their own politicians ostracize them… Hindus recognize the fact that God may manifest at different times under different names, the concept of the avatar – Krishna, Buddha, Mohamed or Jesus Christ. Indeed, Hindus gave refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world from the Parsis, to the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted, or killed bar the recent attack on the Nariman house in Mumbai) to the Armenians and the Tibetans today.

The first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians was established in Kerala in the 1st century and Christians in this country always had freedom of worship and respect from Hindus. But how did Christians repay their Hindu brothers and sisters? When the Portuguese landed in India in the 16th century, their Jesuits started a reign of terror in Kerala and particularly in Goa, forcibly marrying young Hindu girls to their soldiers, razing hundreds of temples to build churches, crucifying Brahmins. Today, Indian missionaries are converting with unethical means innocent tribals and Dalits in states like Orissa with the million of dollars donated by Westerners thinking it is to alleviate poverty. I am a Westerner and born Christian, but I cannot condone conversion from one religion to another by using cash and other financial baits. Furthermore, the new converts are encouraged to look down on their own culture and it creates tensions and havoc in their society as seen recently in Kandhamal.

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, those who cringe in their houses at the least sign of riot, erupt in fury – uncontrolled fury. And it hurts. It hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu. It is happening in Orissa now. It may happen again elsewhere, as Hindus are reaching a boiling point.

Yes, one should condemn the pogroms that happened in Gujarat or in Orissa, but one should look also in the causes. It is not only the 36 innocent Hindu women and children who were burnt savagely in a train by a mob of criminals, worse than animals, or the fact that an 84 year old harmless swami and his Mataji were brutally murdered. It is also how much silent frustration and anger must have built over the years, decades, or centuries even, amongst Gujarati or Orya Hindus, that in one moment, normal Hindus, peaceful people, many of them Dalits, tribals, or even upper middle class, came out on the streets of Ahmedabad or the jungles of Khandamal with such fury.

François Gautier