Bhavan Australia 75 by yaofenji


									VAS U D H A I VA KU T U M B A K A M   - ‘ Th e   w h o l e w o r l d i s b u t o n e f a m i l y’

                                                         Mount Everest, Tibet, 2007
                                                         Photo: David Breashears
                                                         Courtesy GRIP
                                                                                                      7.5 November 2009

 World Peace
                International Students’ Day
        he 17th of November is the International
        Students’ Day, an international observance of
        student activism. The date commemorates the
anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the University
of Prague after demonstrations against the killing of
Jan Opletal and the occupation of Czechoslovakia,
and the execution of nine student leaders, over 1200
students sent to concentration camps, and the closing         November. Due to this the date of 17th November has
of all Czech universities and colleges.                       been chosen to be the International Students’ Day.
The day was first marked in 1941 in London by
the International Students’ Council (which had
                                                              Another Bloody 17th of November—
many refugee members) in accord with the Allies,              Greece
and the tradition has been kept up by the successor
                                                              In November 1973 students of the Athens Polytechnic
International Union of Students, which has been
                                                              went on strike. They were protesting against the
pressing with National Unions of Students in Europe
                                                              Regime of Colonels that was in power at the time.
and other groups to make the day an official United
                                                              Their struggle began on the 14th of November. After
Nations observance.
                                                              barricading themselves and constructing a radio station
The Athens Polytechnic uprising against the Greek             from the equipment that they found in the laboratories
military junta of 1973 came to a climax on November           they started broadcasting to the entire city of Athens.
17, with a violent crackdown and a tank crushing              Their broadcasts were pro-democratic, against the
the gates of the university. The Day of the Greek             junta that was in power. They were soon joined by
Students is today among the official student holidays         thousands of their compatriots. However they did
in Greece. The 1989 Prague demonstrations for                 not achieve their objectives. In the early hours of
International Students Day helped spark the Velvet            17th November an AMX 30 tank crashed through the
Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Struggle for Freedom            blocked gate of the Polytechnic. What followed after
and Democracy Day is today marked among both the              was captured on a film by a hidden Dutch journalist:
official holidays in the Czech Republic (since 2000,          passing of a tank through the main entrance of the
thanks to the efforts of the Czech Student Chamber of         polytechnic as well as the transmission of a student,
the Council of Higher Education Institutions) and the         coming from the radio, pleading the attackers not
holidays in Slovakia.                                         to fight the protesters. According to the contested
                                                              official investigation, no students were killed at the
Background                                                    Polytechnic, however several were injured severely,
                                                              and their injuries left a permanent mark on them. The
During late 1939 the Nazi occupants of the
                                                              records of the trials held after the fall of the junta do
Czechoslovakia (at that time it was called the
                                                              document the civilian deaths. It is possible that the
protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), in Prague,
                                                              official numbers are inaccurate. But this issue has not
suppressed a demonstration held by students of the
                                                              been brought to a conclusion, yet.
Medical Faculty of the Charles University. The
demonstration was held to commemorate the creation
of an independent Czechoslovak Republic.
This demonstration resulted in Jan Opletal’s death.
15th November is the date when he was meant to be
transported from Prague back to his home in Moravia.
His funeral procession consisted of thousands of
students, who turned this event to yet another anti-
Nazi demonstration. This however resulted in drastic
measures being taken by the Nazi’s. All Czech higher
education institutions were closed down; more then
1200 students were taken and sent to concentration
camps; and the most hideous crime of all: nine students
/ professors were executed without trial on the 17th of

                                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

The Velvet Revolution—Prague
In 1989 independent student leaders together with
the Socialist Union of Youth (SSM/SZM) organised a
mass demonstration to commemorate the International
Students Day. This 50th Anniversary event gave
students an opportunity to voice their displeasures
with the communist party of Czechoslovakia. What
began as a peaceful commemorative event turned into
a violent one, by the nightfall, with many participants
being brutally beaten by riot police, red barrettes
and other members of the law enforcement agencies.
There were about 15 000 people taking part in this
demonstration. The only person to be left lying down
where the beatings took place was an alleged body of
                                                                  the country was in crisis students took the opportunity
a student who in actual fact was an undercover agent.
                                                                  to demonstrate their opinions, even the one that
The rumour of a fellow student who passed away
                                                                  went against the current regime’s values and beliefs.
due to the police brutality triggered events that most
                                                                  Unfortunately these actions took place only when
probably the secret police were not envisaging. That
                                                                  there was crisis, or unbearable suppression of human
same night, students together with actors from theatres
                                                                  rights. What about today? Students need to have their
agreed to go on strike. The following events that took
                                                                  voices and opinions heard! They have an obligation
place brought about the downfall of the communist
                                                                  if not towards themselves, towards the others who
regime in Czechoslovakia.
                                                                  will follow them, to teach them what the previous
As it can be seen, students have always been on the               generations have left us.
forefront of the movement of change. Always when

                             Mahatma Gandhi and Students
   In one of the motivational essays written by Gandhi Ji, he says though
   expansion, self assertion and competition are the hallmark of our
   system, yet our quality of life doesn’t figure in these value systems.
   His message to the students conveys the need to seek education with
   a basic intention of uplifting oneself as an individual who will later
   be an instrument for social change. His contributions to the modern
   civilization emphasizes on releasing oneself from the feeling of
   “unworthiness and oppression” and thereby realizing one’s power
   to undertake a bold and abiding action by adopting Satyagraha.
   Additionally, Gandhi Ji tells all young and energetic individuals to
   maintain their dignity and become fully developed members of the
   society. At the end, he says:

      “What shall I avail a man if he gains the whole world and loses
     his soul”

       Compiled by: Pooja Kohli, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and information taken from
        J.S. Mathur, Ailing World: Gandhian Alternatives, Bhavan’s Book University

                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

                                                 Editorial Page
          Publisher & General Editor:                                   Board of Directors of
                       Gambhir Watts
                        Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia
                  Editorial Committee:
                       J Rao Palagummi            Office Bearers:
                         Parveen Dahiya
                                                  President                       Gambhir Watts
                                                                                  Surendralal Mehta
                        Designing Team:           Chairman Emeritus
                                                                                  President, Bhavan Worldwide
                            Utkarsh Doshi
                         J Rao Palagummi          Company Secretary               Sridhar Kumar Kondepudi

               Other Directors:
        Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia         Abbas Raza Alvi,
            Suite 100 / 515 Kent Street,         Catherine Knox,
                      Sydney NSW 2000
                                                 Sridhar Kumar Kondepudi,
     * The views of contributors to Bhavan
    Australia are not necessarily the views of   Moksha Watts,
              Bhavan Australia or the Editor.
                                                 Homi Navroji Dastur, Executive Secretary and Director General
      *Bhavan Australia reserves the right
      to edit any contributed articles and       Jagannathan Veeraraghavan, Executive Director, Delhi
        letters submitted for publication.
                                                 Mathoor Krishnamurti, Executive Director, Bangaluru
         Copyright: all advertisements and
     original editorial material appearing       Palladam Narayana Sathanagopal, Joint Director, Mumbai
          remain the property of Bhavan
    Australia and may not be reproduced
      except with the written consent of         Patron: Her Excellency Mrs Sujatha Singh
              the owner of the copyright.                High Commissioner of India in Australia
      Bhavan Australia: - ISSN 1449 – 3551
                                                 Honorary Life Patron: His Excellency M Ganapathi, Currently
                                                                       Ambassador to Mauritius
                                                 (Founder Member/Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia)

                              Articles & Focus Themes
From Kyoto to Copenhagen                                  6        Vedanta in the West                                37

Samsø Energy Island (Denmark)                             9        Art and Architecture in the Hindu Vision           39

Guru Nanak: A True World Teacher                          17       Why America will lead the “Asian Century”          43

Call of the Himalayas                                     20       Hindi and Urdu The Twin Sisters                    45

International Day of People with Disability               24       Melbourne Cup Day 2009                             47

Science, Spirituality and Religion                        25       Science and Literature                             48

White Ribbon Day                                          29       Celebrating Children’s Day                         50

The Enigma of Bayon                                       34

                                                                                                  7.5 November 2009

                                 President’s Page
From Kyoto to Copenhagen: Confronting Global Warming and Achieving Energy Security
I attended the Global Editors’ Forum co-sponsored by the Government of Denmark
and Project Syndicate held in Copenhagen 9–11 October 2009. The theme of the
high profile conference was most appropriately and timely chosen by the Project
Syndicate to be Confronting Global Warming and Achieving Energy Security. This
was a harbinger to the countdown for Copenhagen negotiations in an affirmative and
big way. I have written a brief report on the conference which appears in this issue.
After the conference I joined a group of a few selected conference participants to
visit Samso Energy Island, courtesy of the Danish Government. It was a long trip
of 5 hours one way by bus and ferry. The whole trip experience was exhilarating,
a wonderful experience in the arms of the Mother Nature. The Samso Island itself
reminded me of Mahatma Gandhi and his thoughts on the environment and natural
way of lifestyle.
I had earlier in the conference during the plenary session on The Science and Ethics of Global Warming had
suggested that in addition to the Macro level measures being discussed at a micro level the adoption of lifestyle
based on Gandhian thoughts and philosophy in relation to the environment and Mother Nature should also be
promoted as it is every person’s individual and collective responsibility to contribute towards reduction of
carbon emission by cutting down wasteful consumption of energy.
The people at the Samso Island have demonstrated, whether consciously or not, how Gandhian philosophy and
thoughts can be put to practice in a western society with respect for the Mother Nature. A separate article on the
Samso Island appears in this issue.

International Students
November is one of the most important months with respect to the human rights issues and charities. In this
issue we have included information on some of the significant events taking place in November. 14 November
is observed as the Children’s Day in India, being the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru. As recommended by
the United Nations General Assembly 20 November (since 1954) is observed as the Universal Children’s Day to
be observed as a day of world wide fraternity and understanding between children. 17 November is remembered
as the International Students’ Day, an international observance of student activism. The date commemorates the
anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague after demonstrations against the killing of
Jan Opletal and the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and the execution of nine student leaders, over 1200 students
sent to concentration camps, and the closing of all Czech universities and colleges. We have dedicated our
regular page on World Peace to this event.
This day has assumed much greater significance in Australia, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne where tens
of thousands International students throw themselves without knowing what they are getting into and ready to
be exploited in the hands of unscrupulous private education providers, ethnic small business people and others
facilitated by the unwary, unprepared State and Local Governments and the hapless Federal Government.
I would like to appeal all the students to come out on 17 November and express their protest against the
appalling condition of the vulnerable and helpless international students and pressurise the governments to look
after the international students, like a special disadvantaged and underprivileged community.

Gambhir Watts
President, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia

                                                                                                 7.5 November 2009

    From Kyoto to Copenhagen: Confronting Global
      Warming and Achieving Energy Security
     attended the Global Editors’ Forum co-sponsored by the Government
     of Denmark and Project Syndicate held in Copenhagen 9–11 October
     2009. The conference was no doubt a great success. The theme of the
conference was most appropriate and timely for which I must congratulate
the Project Syndicate leadership and the team. The countdown for
Copenhagen negotiations have begun in an affirmative and big way with
this conference.
                                          Some of the highlights included:
                                          •    Friday night’s reception
                                          at the Royal Opera House, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Prime
                                          where former UN Secretary Minster Of Denmark
                                          General Kofi Annan, European
                                          Commission President José
                                          Manuel Barroso, and Danish
                                          Prime Minister Lars Løkke
                                          Rasmussen, who hosted the
                                          dinner, addressed the gathering;
      Confronting Global Warming •         Indian Minister of State
      And Achieving Energy Security for Environment and Forests
      Editor’s Conference Put On By Jairam     Ramesh’s    opening
      Project Syndicate
                                        remarks on Saturday morning
                                        at the Falconer Conference Jose Manuel Barroso, President
     Center at which he affirmed India’s position with regard to target Of The European Commision
     for reduction of carbon emission and India’s plans for tackling the
     climate change issues.
•    Plenary session on The Science and Ethics of Global Warming, chaired
     by Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Director
     of Earth Institute, Columbia University, and Special Advisor to the UN
     Secretary General. The eminent panellists included: Jean Pascal van
     Yperseele, Vice Chair of the International Panel on Climate Change;
     Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor, Postdam Institute for Climate Impact
     Research, Germany; Katherine Richardson, Professor, University
     of Copenhagen, Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of 2009
     Copenhagen Scientific Congress on Climate Change; Peter Singer,            Kofi Annan, Former Secretary
     Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University and Honorary (Laureate)      General Of The United Nations
     Professor, University of Melbourne; Nicolas Stern, Chairman,

    Jairam Ramesh, Minister Of State Connie   Hedegaard,    Danish            Ernesto     Zedillo,   Director,
      For Environment And Forests, Minister For Climate And Energy            Yale Center For The Study Of
          Government Of India                                                 Globalization, Former President
                                                                              Of Mexico
                                                                                                  7.5 November 2009

    Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
    and IG Patel Professor, London School of Economics and Political
•   Some of the other notable speakers and presenters on Saturday
    and Sunday included: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Professor
    of Economics, Columbia University; Former President of Mexico,
    Ernest Zedillo, Director Yale Center for the Study of Globalization;
    Peter Sutherland, Chairman of British petroleum, former Director
    General of GATT and the WTO, former EU Commissioner; Connie
    Hedegaard, Danish Minister for Climate and Energy; Shlomo Ben-            Pan Jiahua, Executive Director
    Ami, former Israeli foreign Minister; Prof. Keneth Rogoff, Harvard,       Cass (Chinese Academy Of
    former Chief Economist IMF; Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, European              Social Sciences) Research Center
    Climate Foundation; David Yarnold, Executive Vice President,              On Sustainable Development,
    Environment Defense Fund; Joscka Fischer, former German Foreign           Member Of China’s Expert Panel
                                                                              On Climate Change
    Minister and leader of Green party.
•   George Soros’ momentous pledge on Saturday evening reception
    hosted by the Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard at the Copenhagen Town
    Hall to invest $1 billion in alternative energy and donate $100 million
    to establish the Climate Policy Initiative;
•   Project Syndicate Editors’ Breakfast on Sunday chaired by Andrez
    Rapacyznski, Director and Editor, Project Syndicate who along with
    Nicolas Chatara-Morse, CEO, project Syndicate discussed the various
    issues with the editors from all over the world. Guest Speaker Ulrik
    Haagerup, Editor in Chief, DR News presented an interesting concept
                                                                         Niels Thygesen, Chair, Danish
    CONSTRUCTIVE NEWS.                                                   Organizing    Committee,    and
• More than 300 editors of Project Syndicate member newspapers from      Chair For Panel One, Jeffrey
                                                                         Sachs, Professor Of Sustainable
    119 countries travelled to Copenhagen.
                                                                         Development     And     Director
A brief report prepared by my younger colleague Pooja Kohli follows. We Of Earth Institute, Columbia
will publish more articles emanating from the conference in this and the University, And Special Advisor
                                                                         To The United Nations Secretary
next issues.- Gambhir Watts, President Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia General

       he discussion on climate change has already started taking
       place and knowledgeable representatives from different parts
       of the world have started collecting information on this matter.
Embracing and closely discussing the alarming issues were 300 media
representatives from over 119 different countries in Copenhagen from
9th to 11th October, 2009. The conference was indeed a global gathering
of people addressing the science, the business and the politics of Climate
The Global Editors’ Forum in association with Project Syndicate was
attended by elite ministers and editors and news correspondents who
mainly focusing on constructing Post Kyoto agreement which is not just          Kenneth S. Rogoff, Harvard,
                                                                                  Former Chief Economist,
the responsibility of the politicians but also holds equal accountability       International Monetary Fund
for the common man. Many influential speeches were delivered by ace
national leaders and top notch government officials.
The three day conference was distinctly divided into different sessions
with the first day being the Reception at the Copenhagen Opera House.
While the 10th October session was at the Copenhagen Town Hall which
mainly had panel discussions on topics relating to Science and Ethics
of Global Warming. The Panel was chaired by Jeffrey Sachs, Professor
of Sustainable Development and Director of Earth Institute, Colombia
University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General.
During the second day program, a key note speech was delivered by Jairam
Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Government of
India. While the last day of the conference, raised discussions on Politics    Itlev Engel, Ceo, Vestas Energy
                                                                                      Systems, Denmark
                                                                                                7.5 November 2009

of Climate Change and Energy Security followed by closing remarks by
Andrzej Rapaczynski, Director and Editor Project Syndicate.
Among many distinct speeches, the one by Kofi Annan ignited spark
of trust among those present. His take on the issue of climate change
started by commenting on livelihoods of people getting lost with the most
vulnerable paying the highest price. Mr. Annan doesn’t deny the enormous
outcomes of climate change on countries but feels pity for the poorest
countries and small nations who have least resources to protect themselves.
Furthermore, the forum gave enough liberty to come forward and express
views on the issue of climate change. For this purpose, citizens of every
                                                                              Ndrzej Rapaczynski, Director
country have the autonomy to pressurise their political leaders to address
                                                                              And Editor And Roman Frydman,
the summit in Copenhagen in December. The negotiators preparing for           Director And Editor At Project
the climate change deal were advised to work in close connection with         Syndicate,
their communities.
To this President Obama says, “The science if beyond dispute and facts are
clear and that delay is no longer an option”. Undoubtedly, United States
has a huge responsibility at the forthcoming Copenhagen Conference as it
can lead the world to a new era of global cooperation on climate change.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission starts with
the importance of the upcoming Copenhagen conference due in December.
He emphasized the need to base climate change negotiations on facts of
science which limits the average Global Warming to no less than 2 degrees
Celsius. Additionally, he expressed his deepest concerns over collapsing
ice bergs or deforestation. Mr. Barroso also acknowledged the recent efforts Joschka Fischer, Former German
taken in New York, Pittsburg and Bangkok but remains worried about the Foreign Minister And Leader Of
prospects at the stage of the negotiations. Also, he wished to give a new The Green Party
perspective to the issue of climate change. So far the only people who
report the case of climate change are the environment correspondents.
However, this issue can even be reported by business correspondents and
political reporters who too have an equal responsibility in tackling the
issue of climate change.
The clear message which José Manuel wanted to convey was that the green
growth is not a pipe dream but a reality. We can do it, and in concrete
terms we are doing it, now, in Europe. Our emissions per capita are now
less than half those of the US at the same level of output. This means
our economy is already moving to a new paradigm. Further on, Denmark
Prime Minister                                                           Yuriko Koike, Member Of The
                                                                         Japanese Parliament For The Lhp-
Lars Lokke Rasmussen addressed the conference by encouraging Party, Former Minister For The
worldwide representatives about the right direction on which we are Environment And Minister Of
moving. He says, “The world has reached a long way and by now many Defense
countries have developed far reaching national emission reduction
policies. They are implementing low carbon development plans and realize that the green agenda is vital to
combat global warming and can be considered as a solution to the current economic crisis”.
Mr. Gambhir Watts, President Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan felt privileged to be a part this conference as it discussed
about the impending dangers of climate change which have now been widely recognized in our societies. The
meeting was a reminder for all of us to understand that the Copenhagen agreement is more of people’s opinion
rather than imposition of acts and policies. Additionally, Editors and Opinion Editors from Sydney Morning
Herald and The Australian were present at the 3 day international summit.
Lastly, it will be fruitful to focus on individual behavior rather than play the blame game. Becoming mindful
of our own actions towards the environment can lead to a big change in the world. As Kofi Annan says, “The
countdown for Copenhagen negotiations have begun and it is not the end but a necessary beginning of the
changes we need to see”.

                                                                                                    7.5 November 2009

         Samsø Energy Island (Denmark):
            Going the Gandhian Way
Samsø Island in Denmark, is now an example for the world for becoming self-sufficient in Renewable Energy
Resources by using local nature based resources. Gambhir Watts, President, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia
visited the Samsø Energy Island in Denmark and was very impressed by their Energy Project using local resources.
The most fascinating fact was that the principles followed by people of the island in becoming a Renewable Energy
Island reflected the thoughts and ideas preached by Mahatma Gandhi. They followed the ideal thoughts of Mahatma
Gandhi that we must take care of nature and preserve it to the maximum and give it to our coming generations in most
protected way. The nature’s offerings are loans on us and we must maintain, preserve and save these for our Children.

      n      today’s      world,
      environmental challenge
      is a growing concern,
leading to a global crisis.
Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts are
becoming increasingly relevant
in the area of ecology. In a way
Gandhi was the modern world’s
early       environmentalist—in
vision and in practice. Mahatma
Gandhi said “The earth, the
air, the land and the water are
not an inheritance from our
fore fathers but on loan from
our children. So we have to
handover to them at least as it
was handed over to us.”
A small island in Denmark is
following the noble thoughts of
Gandhiji. They are determined
to    hand    over    a    better
environment to their children.
They started with producing
their own energy and now they
are exporting it. They started an
experiment a decade ago and
now are reaping the benefits of
the successful experiment. The
energy in Samsø is ‘truly local’
ie, ‘Swadeshi’.
Samsø is a 114 square kilometer
windswept island. It is about 26
km long and about 7 km wide
at its maximum width with
a population of around 4000
people. For years the island’s
inhabitants and their ancestors have benefitted from the       With the natural resources like wind turbines, wood,
sea’s moist breezes and the rich soil, which provides          straw and rapeseed oil, the residents of Samsø have
some of the best cultivation conditions in Denmark.            created history. They have successfully carried out
Ten years ago a competition altered the course of the          and lived an experiment of using renewable energy
Island and today Samsø has a very different story to           for a self-sufficient lifestyle.

                                                                                                      7.5 November 2009

The Starting Point                                              organizing, financing and owning the proposed RE
                                                                projects. Finally, the master plan was to describe
In 1997, the Danish Ministry of Environment and                 how the winner project would address the status as
Energy arranged a competition for the most realistic            a demonstration and ‘display window’ for Danish RE
and realizable plan for 100% transition to self-                technology for the rest of the world.
sufficiency with renewable energy. The Danish Energy
Authority made some funds available to elaborate the            Samsø won the competition in October 1997. The
quite detailed plans for these transitions. Four islands        Samsø master plan was the best and the plan most
and a peninsula participated in the competition: Læsø,          likely to succeed according to the Danish Energy
Samsø, Ærø, Møn and Thyholm.                                    Authority. PlanEnergi, a small local consultancy firm,
                                                                prepared a proposal for Samsø, based on the island’s
The reason for the ministry’s initiative was a report           resources of wind, sun, straw and wood chips. The
called Energy 21, which recommended a Renewable                 aim was to make Samsø self-sufficient with renewable
Energy (RE) percent coverage of 35% in the year                 energy and reduce CO 2 emissions to zero over a period
2030 for the country as a whole. With the described             of just ten years.
competition, the objective was to highlight RE and
study how high a percentage of RE in a well-defined             How they did What they did
area could be achieved using available technology,
and (almost) without extraordinary grants. The                  Samsø has lead way for an unlikely social movement.
Ministry of Environment and Energy wanted to speed              Most people in Samsø heated their houses with oil,
up a number of local initiatives towards improving the          which was brought in on tankers. They used electricity
ideas on Renewable Energy.                                      imported from the mainland via cable, much of which
                                                                was generated by burning coal. As a result, every
The competing master plans were to describe the                 household put nearly 11 tons of carbon dioxide into
available resources and how the transition could                the atmosphere, annually.
be made, with both technical and organisational
explanations and descriptions. An essential criterion           When the islanders first learned that Samsø had been
in the ministry’s competition was high priority for             selected to be Denmark’s “renewable energy island”
reduced energy consumption in all sectors, ie, heating,         many were skeptical. A change this big wouldn’t
electricity and transportation. Another top priority            have been possible without the combined efforts of
for the project was the degree of local participation.          the government and the community. The proposal to
The technical solutions in the master plan were to              build a centralized district heating plant that would
draw primarily on available technology, but the                 provide heat and hot water to hundreds of homes was
master plan was expected to envisage new ways of                approved after several meetings. As the years passed,

                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

                                                                Learning from         Samsø
                                                                Samsø is a tourist island. There are about 500,000
                                                                overnight bookings and this figure is increasing.
                                                                Everyday tourism is based on summer cottage rentals,
                                                                camping sites, pleasure craft, and hotels/bed and
                                                                breakfast, etc. Tourists mention Samsø’s nature and
                                                                island culture as the main reason for their visit. Since
                                                                becoming the “Renewable Energy Island,” Samsø
                                                                has increasingly found itself an object of study. More
                                                                recently, a new trend is developing: an educational or
                                                                vocational tourism. Many island guests come to visit
                                                                the Renewable Energy Island project.
the islanders embraced renewable energy and made it
into a business opportunity, a brand, something like            Researchers often travel great distances to get there.
a sport.                                                        The project has attracted great overseas interest:
                                                                ambassadors representing foreign countries in
They formed energy cooperatives and organized                   Denmark, students, political visitors and contacts
seminars on wind power. They removed their furnaces             would like to understand how the Danish energy
and replaced them with heat pumps. By 2001, fossil-             policies have been implemented in a local context.
fuel use on Samsø had been cut in half. By 2003, instead
of importing electricity, the island was exporting it,          The RE-island project is a socioeconomic development
and by 2005 it was producing from renewable sources             project construed as an exhibit window for the use of
more energy than it was using. Pensioners insulated             renewable energy in a local community. As a direct
their homes. Teachers installed solar systems.                  consequence of these functions, the general objective
                                                                to establish a central home for the energy island project
Søren Hermansen, director of the Samsø Energy                   took hold. The Energy Academy is a community hall
Academy and leader of the 10-year effort to achieve             for energy concerns, a meeting place for energy and
carbon neutrality, visits many countries and shares             local development.
the story of this successful venture. “We wanted to
develop an energy democracy. We wanted people to                Going the Gandhian Way—Nature Based Lifestyle
participate, and have a say in decision-making,” said           The initiators have truly followed the Gandhian
Hermansen.                                                      concept of simple nature based lifestyle. They have
Initially, 11 wind turbines were to be installed on the         really shown a natural way to protect their natural
island. They would collectively cover the island’s              resources and using the most efficient ways to
electricity needs. At the same time, four thermal plants        produce energy using renewable resources. They used
powered by straw, wood chips and solar panels were              to their maximum the offerings of the nature which
planned. The investments had to be raised locally, so           can be recycled and used without minimum damage
it was imperative that Samsø’s inhabitants supported            to the nature and environment. They have followed
the plans.                                                      cooperative ways and working, helping each other in
                                                                the community to serve the purpose of all. They have
The Islanders gained a strong sense
of ownership by financing much of
the clean energy installations on
the island over the 10-year project.
Of the $75 million spent to build
wind turbines and heating district
systems, island residents paid for
$65 million, tapping European
Union and Danish government
grants for the remaining $10
Today there are 300 private heating
plants powered by solar panels
and energy-saving wood-burning
stoves. Together with the island’s
four heating plants, they ensure
that 70 per cent of all heating on
Samsø is CO 2 neutral.

                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

                                                                poor people who together will make a strong union
                                                                and be able to compete on the market against the
                                                                private companies.
                                                                Samsø Island has several cooperatives for windmills
                                                                and district heating plants. It is one key to success for
                                                                Samsø. They have tried to incorporate new meeting
                                                                form like holistic thinking and process work where
                                                                they try to lead people by their own will and wishes but
                                                                in a way that will lead them to a deeper understanding
                                                                of why they should go that way ie truly Gandhian way.

                                                                The project started by Samsø is an eye opener to the
                                                                entire world. The primary objective of 100% self-
                                                                sufficiency with renewable energies attained using
                                                                local resources, at the same time totally removing
                                                                the emission of the greenhouse gas CO 2 and other air
                                                                pollutants has been achieved in a span of 10 years.
                                                                One of the main reasons for this success is the local
                                                                people of Samsø and their adoption of the project.
                                                                The island succeeded in transforming its energy
                                                                systems within a decade, showing the rest of the world
                                                                an effective way to deal with the carbon problem.
                                                                They have proved that with cooperation and efforts
                                                                in the right direction one can ever achieve what was
                                                                once considered impractical.
talked, discussed with each other with single idea, the         Gandhiji’s way of rural self-sufficiency, village
benefit of all community person and maximum regard              republic, economic growth based on sustainable
for the nature. Necessity and cooperation have been             agricultural practices and agro-based industrialization,
taken due care of against the individual needs. This            basic education system, recycling-based rural
truly reflects the Gandhian philosophy that nature is           sanitation have been marginalized but looking at the
for all. For the last 150 years they have built a number        current crisis they would prove to be very useful in
of cooperative companies for farm products, milk,               saving what we are losing slowly. Gandhi showed
cheese, butter and foodstock and also cooperative               how it could be done. His option has been rejected
grocery shops and so on. The ideology is based on

                                                                                                           7.5 November 2009

consciously despite the fact that Gandhi is relevant      
even today, in a globalized world, as his model of
                                                                4. Travel Blog – for pictures – http://www.travelblog.
development is sustainable. Gandhij had said, “The
earth has enough resources for our need, but not for
our greed.” This is such a meaningful message which,            5. High Country News – Article by Randy Udall –
if put to use can save this earth from the environmental 
disaster? Sams ø Island has successfully demonstrated           6. Reuters –
to the Western world how the Gandhian concept and
philosophy on environment and climate based on the              7. Clean energy Economy – An article by Søren
respect and reverence for the nature can lead us to                Hermansen –
save our climate, natural resources and simple our              8. Blog by Edgar on Alternative Energies – http://
own earth. We hope the message spreads to many.          
References:                                                     9. Gandhiji’s Thoughts –
1. Samsø – a Renewable Energy-Island – 10 years of              This report has been prepared by Veena Sashikumar* in
   development & Evaluation – A report                          consultation with Gambhir Watts, President, Bharatiya Vidya
2. Official Website of Denmark – http://www.                    Bhavan Australia.                                                   *Veena Sashikumar is a migrant from India. She has a
3. Samsø Energy Academy – http://www.                           background in Events, Journalism and Public Relations.

                            Mahatma Gandhi and Swaraj (Self Rule)
   Interpreting Gandhi Ji’s analysis of Swaraj
   prominently speaks out its relevance in today’s
   world. In a letter to Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, he firm-
   ly says that without truth and non-violence, there
   will be nothing but destruction of humanity. It is
   therefore, crucial to protect India since through
   India the entire world can be saved from such
   a doom. Also, his view on the spinning wheel
   is closely linked to this contemporary world. In
   an interview with Andrew Freeman, an Ameri-
   can correspondent he clearly gave the message
   for the whole world, “The world is spinning in
   the wrong direction and it must reverse itself and
   spin its own thread and yarn to produce handi-
   crafts at home and thereby repudiate the machine by which mankind can destroy itself”. The Charkha
   (or Spinning Wheel) is truly a symbol of technology and conveys a message of simplicity, faith and
   service to mankind. Swaraj is all about finding peace from within but mistakenly today we find peace
   by organizing big conferences, but now it is time that peace comes from the People.

                               Source: J.S Mathur, Ailing World: Gandhian Alternatives, Bhavan’s Book University, pp. 9–14

                                            7.5 November 2009

          Pictures from the Photo Exhibition
at the Global Editors Forum at Copenhagen, Denmark

                                                                          Courtesy of Royal Geographical Society
                                             Photo: George H.L. Mallory

                                                                                                                   Year: 1921

                                    7.5 November 2009

                     Box Detail Shown below
                     Photo: David Breashears
                         Courtesy of GRIP
                              Year: 2008

The Climber at upper right gives scale to the
 ice pinnacles of the Main Rongbuk Glacier.
             Photo: Jimmy Chin
                 Year: 2008

     Glacier ice looks deceptively like rock and solid land   Where the ice once resided a lake has now formed.

                      Elevation: 17,600 ft                                Photo: David Breashears

                  Photo: Major E.O. Wheeler                                  Elevation: 17,600 ft

           Courtesy of Royal Geographical Society                             Courtesy of GRIP

                          Year: 1921                                             Year: 2009
                                                                                                                  7.5 November 2009
                                                                                                      7.5 November 2009

     Guru Nanak: A True World Teacher
                                                                                  -Kulbir Singh Malhotra*

     ndia is a land of spiritual Avatars, Saints, Gurus        age. In childhood, he revolted against ritualism,
     who arrived on this land at the crucial time              caste system, prejudices, hypocrisy and rejected idol
     when religious leaders and rulers were misusing           worship. He was a true world teacher who reformed
religion for their own interests. It is not only the           the teachers. His grand mission was clear from His
land of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama, but also of the            very infancy. He had started preaching the mystic
Saints, Gurus and spiritual leaders like Siddhartha            knowledge and the universal truths as an infant. He
Gautama Buddha, Mahavira Jain, Sri Ramakrishna                 had incarnated to reform the teachers, the spiritual
Paramahansa, Guru Nanak, Sant Tukaram, Meera Bai               giants. He had come to dispel clouds of darkness,
and the list continues.                                        clouds of ignorance, and clouds of superstition.
                                                               His aim of true education and knowledge was character
 यदा यदा िह धमर्ःय ग्लािनभर्वित भारत                           building. It was to raise a person from animal instinct

 अिभउथानमधमर्ःय तदात्मानम ् ॐजाम्यहम ्
                                                               to a fine human being, from a human being to a fine
                                                               spiritual being, and from a true spiritual being to
                                                               ultimate divinity.
  In Bhagwat Gita, Bhagwan ji says; “Yada
  Yada Hee Dharmasya Glanir Bhavati Bharata                    Three Golden Rules for Truthful Living
  Abhyutthanam       Adharmasya        Tadatmanam              1. He gave three golden principles to the people for
  Srjamy     Aha”—meaning—Whenever              and               truthful living:
  wherever there is a decline in religious practice,           2. Kirt Karna (Earn your livelihood through honest
  and a predominant rise of irreligion—O                          labour),
  descendants of Bharata (Indians), at that time I             3. Wand Chhakna (Share earnings with needy and
  descend Myself in the form of a Saint, Guru or                  sick),
                                                               4. Naam Japna (Meditate on the Name of God).
Probably, this line of Bhagwat
Geeta explains why India is the
cradle of half the world’s major
faiths. Guru Nanak, with whom
the Sikh religion originated, was
born in 1469 (full moon night of
Kartik month which falls on 2
Nov 09) at Talwandi, Western
Punjab, now in Pakistan. That
was the time when religious
leaders in connivance with the
rulers were in full control of
the personal lives of the general
public, treating them like slaves.
The poor and downtrodden had
no voice at all.

Reforms and Teachings of
Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak was a mystic,
spiritual guide, social reformer,
poet and much much more. He                Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj With Bahi Bala And Mardana Ji
was also a family man, (he was
married and had two sons), who
rejected the idea of renouncing the
world or leading an ascetic life.
Guru Nanak mastered Punjabi,
Sanskrit and Persian at an early

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

Message of Equality
Guru Nanak was ahead of his times in preaching
equality of all people. He challenged inequalities and
any form of hierarchy within the society; especially
that based on, gender, social status, caste, class and
religion. He regarded Hindus and Muslims as equals
and referred to himself as neither a Hindu nor a
Muslim but as a brother to all those who believed in
God and truth.
The society in which he lived divided people into high
and low castes. He challenged this system by saying
all people are equal; none are high or low.
Women were considered inferior and not allowed to
be educated or even to worship publicly in those days.                               Nanak Jhira
Guru Nanak taught that women were equal to men,
and that they and their abilities should be respected.
In the India of Guru Nanak’s time, the followers of             Mecca, Medina and Baghdad.
different religions often battled each other. Guru              At Mecca, Guru Nanak was found sleeping with his
Nanak taught his followers that they should respect             feet towards the Kaaba. Qazi Rukan-ud-din, who
other religions, just as they would want theirs to be           observed this, angrily objected. Guru Nanak replied
respected. Guru Nanak institutionalized the common              with a request to turn his feet in a direction in which
kitchen called “Guru Ka Langar” in Sikhism. Here,               God or the House of God is not. The Qazi understood
all can sit together and share a common meal, whether           the meaning of what the Guru was saying; “God is
they were kings or beggars. It is a sheer spectacle to          everywhere”. The Qazi was struck with wonder. He
see eminent people eating with the street hawkers and           then recognised the glory of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak
even serving food to them.                                      visited Karnataka during his second odyssey and
                                                                stayed outside the town of Bidar. There used to be
Nanak as Spokesperson of Working Class                          acute shortage of drinking water in Bidar. All efforts
As Nanak travelled through Punjab and north India,              of the people to dig wells were of no avail. Even
he rapidly began to acquire disciples or shishya, from          when wells produced water that was found to be unfit
which the word ‘Sikh’ was ultimately derived. Nanak             for drinking. The Guru was greatly moved by the
spoke of the dignity of labour, and one of the first            miserable condition of the people. With divine name
stories that began to circulate about him concerned             on his lips and the mercy in his heart, he touched the
his interaction with Malik Bhago, the zamindar of               hillside with his toe and removed some rubble from
Saidpur village. Nanak refused the hospitality of his           the place. To the utter surprise of all, a fountain of
opulent home, and when asked to explain his conduct,            sweet, cool water gushed out of the hillside. The place
it is said that he took out a dry crust of bread from           soon came to be known as ‘Nanak-Jhira’. ..
his pocket that he had brought from the lowly Lalo’s
home. When he squeezed the sweets that Bhago had                Guru Nanak and the Bhakti Movement
placed before him, it is said that drops of blood fell          Guru Nanak’s teachings are best understood against
from the sweets; but when he squeezed the piece of              the backdrop of Bhakti, the devotional movement that
dry bread, drops of milk fell forth. From this event            was then sweeping north and western India, and in the
we can view Guru Nanak as an early spokesperson of              context of the ossification of both Hinduism and Islam
working class people, and to view the revolt he lead            into religious faiths, which inculcated blind beliefs in
not only as a form of dissent against the oppressions           their followers. The Bhakti movement was an anti-
of caste and religion, but as a form of class awakening.        establishment shift in the psyche of the native Indian
                                                                people, mirrored by the Sufi movement amongst the
Odyssey (Udassies) of Guru Nanak                                Muslim population. Far from being an ideology, the
For over twenty years beginning about 1497, Guru                tone was set by a number of remarkable religious
Nanak journeyed on foot throughout India and many               personalities from all manner of backgrounds and
other parts of Asia. He travelled as far East as Assam          religious dispositions whose teachings became
and Burma. To the South he went as far as Sri Lanka             known far and wide. The emphasis was on devotion
(Ceylon). To the North, he ventured even to places              over and above philosophy, and God over and above
outside India like Tibet and China. He also went                thought and circumstances. Guru Nanak is understood
towards the West into Arabia and Persia; visiting               outside of Sikhism mainly in this framework. His near

                                                                                                           7.5 November 2009

                                                               he never faltered in his faith in Guru Nanak. Guru
                                                               Nanak proclaimed Lehna as the successor Guru,
                                                               renaming him Angad, meaning ‘limb’ or ‘part of
                                                               oneself’. This successorhood was not a mere gesture.
                                                               Via a transformation, compared in Sikh tradition as
                                                               the passing of a flame from one candle to another,
                                                               the Guru-aspect of Nanak descended upon Angad.
                                                               Angad became Nanak. In the Guru Granth Sahib, this
                                                               is described as having even a physical manifestation
                                                               whereby Angad in person suddenly appeared to
                                                               look like Nanak. (To Sikhs, although there were ten
                                                               separate Gurus in physical form, there was actually
                                                               only one single Guru whose metamorphosised light
                                                               moved from one successor or vessel to the next,
                                                               granting a kind of rebirth to those personalities on
                                                               their initiation. Hence, they all held the original
                                                               name of Nanak.) Shortly after proclaiming Lehna as
   Guru Angad being bestowned by Guru Nanak ji
                                                               the next Guru, Nanak announced that his death had
contemporaries in northern India were personalities            arrived, and retreated to a tree whereby he sat in the
like Kabir, Ravidas, and Naamdev. Yet one way                  lotus position and the praan (life-force) was guided
in which Nanak stands out is his extensive travels             upwards and outwards from his body.
throughout India and beyond. However, Sikhs do not
view Nanak as a Bhagat. To them, he is a manifestation         Baba Nanak—Hindu’s Guru and Muslim’s
of God; hence, he is revered as a “Guru”. This explains        Peer
his odyssey as stated in the previous paragraph. He            There is another story related to the end of Guru
moved from place to place in order to seek out the             Nanak. Feeling his end was near, the Hindus said we
devoted, in answer to their religious yearning. In             will cremate you, the Muslims said we will bury you.
order to spread his message, Nanak actively involved           Guru Nanak said; “You place flowers on either side,
himself in the culture and religious tradition of the          Hindus on my right, Muslims on my left. Those whose
various territories he visited - amongst the Shivaites         flowers remain fresh tomorrow will have their way.”
in the south he became like a Shivaite, amongst the            He then asked them to pray and lay down covering
Muslims in the west he seemed like a Muslim holy               himself with a sheet. Next morning, when the followers
man. In this way, he was able to offer new perspectives        lifted the sheet they found nothing except the flowers
on their ancient traditions and insights into religious        which were all fresh. The Hindus took theirs and
and theological truths, which had previously eluded            cremated them, while the Muslims took their flowers
them.                                                          and buried them. Thus on September 22, 1539 in the
Relevance of       Nanak’s Concepts in 21st                    early hours of the morning, Guru Nanak merged with
Century                                                        the eternal light of the Creator. Thus having spread the
                                                               words of reform throughout his lifetime, Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak’s message was that of love—of                       successfully challenged and questioned the existing
unconditional love for the Creator and for all his             religious tenants and laid the foundations of Sikhism.
Creation. The modern 21 st century concepts of
‘universal brotherhood of man’, ‘global village’,              * This article has been written by Kulbir Singh
‘conservation of environment’ were all espoused by             Malhotra, Sikh Kirtanprachar Mission Australia
Nanak, back in the 15 th century, demonstrated by              assisted by his wife Manjeet and daughter Jasmeen
shabads like “Na ko baeri, nahi begana” (there are             Kaur inspired by Manpreet Singh, Executive Producer
no enemies or strange people in this world, since we           SBS Punjabi Radio Programme.
are all one) and “Pawan guru paani pita, mata dhart            References:
mahat” (the wind is the guru, water is the father and          1. Sikh Council on Religion and Education; 27 Oct 2009;
the earth is our mother—so, we should respect it).   
                                                               2. Sikh Missionary Society U.K.;
Last Years of Guru Nanak
                                                               3. Manas; India and its Neighbourhood; http://www.sscnet.ucla.
As his end approached, Guru Nanak would frequently             edu/southasia/index.html
test the devotion of his sons, nearest followers, and          4. About Sikhism;
in doing so demonstrate their state of mind to one             5. Eternal Glory of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib; www.
another. There were numerous such occasions and one  
particular devotee, Lehna, rose to eminence because

                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

                          Call of the Himalayas
                                                                                        -Mandip Singh Soin*
Serene and peaceful, the mountain ranges in the north of the country, provide wonderful
opportunities for trekkers, experienced or otherwise. A lover of peaks and an expert
trekker, Mandip Singh Soin believes that one can begin by going on a ‘baby trek’.
“...Because it is there”, said George Mallory when he           and experience trekking and more serious climbing.
was asked why he wanted to climb the Mount Everest              Trekking essentially does not require professional
in 1924. These four words became the most famous                training and thus involves lighter climbing, less
ever in the history of mountaineering.                          technical knowledge and could stretch across many
                                                                days as climbing expeditions do. One can choose from
Ranging up to a height of about 29,000 feet and home
                                                                beginners or ‘baby treks’ in the lower Himalayas or
to Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, the
                                                                the treks in the upper mountains.
Himalayas, have the most challenging terrain that
excites mountaineers, climbers and trekkers. Being              The Himalayan range is classically divided into
the tallest among mountains, an area which has a                two regions: the western Himalayas and the eastern
completely unique culture or sometimes so remote                Himalayas. The mountain range in the states of Jammu
that one believes that they must be the first to have           and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand
travelled there along with the beautiful flora and              belong to the western ranges while those in Sikkim
fauna, all these combine to make the Himalayas full             and Arunachal Pradesh fall in the eastern range.
of grandeur and magic. And who would not want to
                                                                Home to the unique landscape comprising Ladakh and
explore such a place?
                                                                the Zanskar and the beautiful Kashmir Valleys, Jammu
The variety of terrain that exists through the Himalayan        and Kashmir remains one of the most fascinating
ranges provides a chance to all to make attempts                destinations for trekkers. There are several treks in the

                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

Ladakh-Zanskar Valley region that beginners can take           terrain that trekkers can experience during short, long,
and more difficult ones that climbers often attempt.           simple and difficult treks.
The Frozen River trek in the Zanskar Valley in the             Any trek allows a whole variety: the lower mountains,
winters is the most famous that takes trekkers on a            higher passes, straight treks, very high altitude
trek across the frozen Zanskar river. It is one of the         passes—virtually offers everything that challenges a
most challenging and exciting experiences ever. One            trekker.
of the ways to travel through the mountains is to
                                                               Among the other western mountain ranges in Himachal
take a jeep safari from Manali to Leh, which helps in
                                                               Pradesh are the Kullu Valley, Kinnaur and Spiti and
acclimatisation and prepares the trekker to deal better
                                                               Lahaul. These areas offer lush alpine forests, rugged
with the changing altitude and climate. The area that
                                                               terrain; high passes with treks to Chandratal Lake, Pin
is most preferred by trekkers is the Kishtawar and
                                                               Parvati and the Kinner Kailash circuit. The home-stay
Phalagam sector in the Kashmir Valley but is not
                                                               scheme involving local people is doing well, and is an
conducive for treks currently. The Markha Valley
                                                               encouraging factor for anyone interested in visiting
trek is one the most popular treks which is a ten-day
                                                               the area.
circular trek beginning and ending in Leh. There are
also short treks for two to three days that are less           Housing the maximum number of open peaks in the
taxing.                                                        Himalayan ranges (those not in any national park or
                                                               similar outfits), Uttarakhand has the Garhwal Valley
The Kashmir Valley is becoming more accessible
                                                               which has a few high peaks, flower-filled and thick
because of increasing air connectivity from the
                                                               green forest area. The terrain is a huge pull for trekkers
gateway of Delhi. There are also various eco tourism
                                                               with the treks to the Stopanth and Trishul peaks being
initiatives in the area for conservation and protection
                                                               the most popular.
by the World Wildlife Fund, the Snow Leopard
Conservancy and the State Tourism Board.                       The area beyond Ranikhet and Munsiyari are best for
                                                               treks along with the well-known one to the mouth of
One of the major reasons why doing the Himalayas
                                                               the River Ganges. Meru, the mountain (according to
is an ultimate experience is simply the variety of the
                                                               Hindu mythology, the Meru mountain is considered

                                                                                                    7.5 November 2009

to be the centre of the Universe) and Shivling attract        government is working to improve and build essential
about 10 to 12 expeditions in a year. The Kumaon              infrastructure. It has made the process of obtaining
region has treks of the famous Nanda Devi mountain            a permit easier by shortening the time taken from
and Panchuli ranges. The famous treks, the Lord               three months to about three weeks. Efforts to usher
Curzon Trek, the Shiton Tillman Trek and others               in eco tourism, building infrastructure, protection of
take you from lower to the upper mountains offering           the forests, opening up newer trails are the current
a staggering view of the highest ranges. The state            initiatives for the state. The state tourism authority

                                                                                                          7.5 November 2009

has declared adventure tourism as the current focus             continuous increase in the number of trekkers coming
and is working towards it. Offering a sense of                  into India, the Ministry of Tourism, the State Tourism
remoteness and walks through the dense rain forests             bodies, tour operators in the organized sector and the
describes the treks of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh             unorganized sector have started to work together to
in the north-east of the country. The gateway city to           ensure easy access to these areas while maintaining
the eastern ranges is Kolkata in West Bengal. Sikkim            the highest standards in service. As all these areas
is fascinating and, famous for the Goechala Trek that           are ecologically sensitive, it is essential to follow
takes trekkers quite close to the base of the world’s           conservation guidelines and best practices.
highest mountain, Kanchenjunga. Arunachal Pradesh
                                                                *The writer is a mountaineer, an explorer, eco tourism
offers short treks through its dense rain forests with
                                                                and adventure tourism specialist and has been
a variety of flora and fauna. The forests also house
                                                                awarded the Ness Award by the Royal Geographical
tribes who now have started to welcome trekkers.
                                                                Society, UK, for mountaineering and polar expeditions
To undertake treks one needs to devote time. It is not a        and encouragement of youth exploration.
quick job. To understand and cherish the experience, a
                                                                                 Source: India Perspectives, April–June 2009,
trekker needs to commit his time and most importantly
                                                                                                     Pictures: Ashok Dilwali
explore the areas in an organized fashion. With a

                                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

         International Day of People with
     nternational Day of People with Disability                   Approximately 20 million women acquire disabilities
    (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that               as a result of complications during pregnancy or
    aims to promote an understanding of people with               childbirth. This continued marginalization against
disability and encourage support for their dignity,               persons with disabilities highlights the need for all
rights and well-being. IDPwD also seeks to increase               nations to come together and take immediate steps.
awareness of the benefits of the integration of people
with disability in every aspect of political, social,             How the Day may be Observed
economic and cultural life.
                                                                  Involve: Observance of the Day provides opportunities
IDPwD brings together people with disability,                     for participation by all interested communities—
community organisations, businesses, individuals                  governmental, non-governmental and the private
and all levels of government. IDPwD unites people                 sector—to focus upon catalytic and innovative
around the world in celebrating and acknowledging                 measures to further implement international norms
the contributions, skills and achievements of people              and standards related to persons with disabilities.
with disability.                                                  Schools, universities and similar institutions can make
                                                                  particular contributions with regard to promoting
In 1992, at the conclusion of the United Nations
                                                                  greater interest and awareness among interested
Decade of Disabled Persons (1983–1992), the General
                                                                  parties of the social, cultural, economic, civil and
Assembly proclaimed 3 December as the International
                                                                  political rights of persons with disabilities.
Day of Disabled Persons. Governments of nations
across the world provide funds to promote                                     Organize:      Hold      forums,    public
and raise awareness of IDPwD.                                                  discussions and information campaigns in
                                                                               support of the Day focusing on disability
Around 10 per cent of the world’s
                                                                               issues and trends and ways and means
population, or 650 million people, live
                                                                               by which persons with disabilities and
with disabilities. We need to promote and
                                                                               their families are pursuing independent
protect the human rights of persons with
                                                                               life styles, sustainable livelihoods and
disabilities in civil, cultural, economic,
                                                                  financial security.
political, and social life. However, all over the world,
persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to            Celebrate: Plan and organize performances everywhere
their participation in society and are often forced to            to showcase—and celebrate—the contributions by
live on the margins of society. They are routinely                persons with disabilities to the societies in which they
denied basic rights such as to equal recognition before           live and convene exchanges and dialogues focusing
the law and legal capacity, freedom of expression                 on the rich and varied skills, interests and aspirations
and opinion, and the right to participate in political            of persons with disabilities.
and public life, such as voting. Many persons with
                                                                  Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical
disabilities are forced into institutions, a direct breach
                                                                  action to further implement international norms
of the rights to freedom of movement and to live in
                                                                  and standards concerning persons with disabilities
the community.
                                                                  and to further their participation in social life and
Eighty per cent of persons with disabilities—more                 development on the basis of equality. The media have
than 400 million people—live in poor countries and                especially important contributions to make in support
there is a strong link between disability and poverty.            of the observance of the Day—and throughout the
For example, the statistics on employment for persons             year—regarding appropriate presentation of progress
with disabilities are staggering. In developing                   and obstacles implementing disability-sensitive
countries, 80 per cent to 90 per cent of persons with             policies, programmes and projects and to promote
disabilities of working age are unemployed and in                 public awareness of the contributions by persons with
industrialized countries it is estimated to be between            disabilities.
50 per cent and 70 per cent. The rights to education
                                                                  Let’s ensure that all our activities include persons
and health are also routinely denied. Ninety per cent
                                                                  with disabilities.
of children with disabilities in developing countries
do not attend school, says United Nations Educational,                          Source:,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

                                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

        Science, Spirituality and Religion:
            A Vedantic Point of View
                                                                                          -Raju Chidambaram*
Spirituality has been associated with religion since              happen to be areas of great interest to modern science.
the dawn of civilisation; it is still customary to speak          Here the traditional religious views tend to be at odds
of the two as though they are one and the same. In                with the results of scientific observations.
fact, it is possible to make the case that spirituality
                                                                  Similarly, some personal and social customs mandated
is a science in its own right and should be taught as a
                                                                  by religions (dietary restrictions, for example) may
science in schools to youth everywhere irrespective of
                                                                  be contraindicated by scientific principles. Religious
gender, nationality and religious background.
                                                                  dogmatism is often blamed by scientists for the
That is one of the objectives for placing spirituality            continuation of the controversy in the face of what
between science and religion and this will clearly                they consider as objective evidence. But science itself
define the role each of these three traditions has to             has been blamed as being dogmatic for its view that
play in human affairs, using often Vedanta as the basis.          basic questions of concern to religion, such as God
                                                                  or life after death, are not worthy of discussion since
Science Vs. Religion                                              anything we say regarding these cannot be verified by
Much has been said about the constrained relationship             direct observation. One may rightly despair whether
between our scientific and religious institutions. Both           this stand-off between science and religion can ever
are great, vital institutions that have served mankind            get resolved. The resolution, I believe, is possible
well. Science has been generally a constructive force             provided we have a right understanding of science and
bringing with it many blessings to the modern man.                religion and also of the mediating role of spirituality.
But it has also been misused quite frequently as a
destructive power.
                                                                  Spirituality vs. Religion
                                                                  Spirituality does not conflict with religion; on the
Similarly, there is no doubt that the great religions
                                                                  other hand, as mentioned earlier, it is often considered
of the world have succeeded in providing peace and
                                                                  inseparable from religion. This does not mean that the
comfort to their faithful followers from the stress and
                                                                  two are the same. It is true that for a religion to be
strain of worldly life; but they have also been misused
                                                                  effective, it must include core spiritual truths.
to incite intense animosities between groups of people
resulting in much suffering. Well documented too are              The spiritual nature and spiritual development are the
the many instances where science and religion have                same in all human beings regardless of time, space,
clashed. Both science and religion seek to be on the              gender, race, nationality, etc. Therefore, the various
side of truth. Confrontation occurs when what religion            religions that have come into vogue at different
holds as true is not acceptable to science, or vice versa.        epochs in different cultures, even though looking very
                                                                  different, must necessarily incorporate many similar,
The approach taken by science to seek and assert truth
                                                                  if not identical, core beliefs about spirituality. Thus,
is quite different from that used by religions. Science
                                                                  all major religions:
accepts as truth only that which can be verified by
any observer at anytime by appropriate objective                  1. Place great emphasis on controlling the mind and
observations. Consistent with this view, science                     living a disciplined, virtuous life;
generally preoccupies itself with questions that can
                                                                  2. Believe in the existence of a higher power
be verified through human observation.
                                                                     whose Will dictates the events of the world and
Religions, on the other hand, deal with many questions               experiences of the individuals;
which, by their very nature, are beyond the capability
                                                                  3. Preach love and selfless service and require
of direct observation. They rely on scriptural authority
                                                                     surrender of personal will to the higher Will;
to assert their views on these questions. To the extent
the issues of respective interest to science and religion         4. Discount the importance of the perishable body in
are not overlapping, confrontation between the two                   deference to the imperishable indwelling “soul”
can be avoided.                                                      within each individual;
There is some overlap, however, and clashes do occur.             5. Hold that spiritual practices bring peace and
For example, religions do have views on the origin of                happiness to daily life; and,
universe and the genesis of human beings which also               6. Recognise the potential of all souls to reach

                                                                                                            7.5 November 2009

    Perfection, though some religions suggest that                of religion, the truth embedded in the heart of every
    this potential is realised only for believers.                religion. Vedanta is the Godhead that makes every
                                                                  religion Divine.”
But religions do not stop with just acknowledging and
promoting these spiritual truths. They have found it              This Vedanta, as taught in the Upanishads and lived by
necessary and useful to surround the core truths with             the Hindu Sages, is simple, honest, and devoid of any
several layers of additional theories and practices. The          worldly embellishments. It recognises no institutions,
relevance of these additional layers is not universal             no rituals, stipulates no personality other than own
since they are the product of the particular time,                Self, as absolutely necessary for salvation.
space, and culture in which they are created. As such,
                                                                  The outer layers that distinguish one religion from
they do not have the same absolute validity as the core
                                                                  others are the products of the cultural milieu in which
spiritual truths do.
                                                                  that religion was founded. But the spiritual truths at
The anatomy of a religion can be represented as                   the core of every religion are invariant over time and
rings surrounding a central core of spiritual truths              space and have no cultural or historic connotations. In
The outmost ring consists of the institutions, the                this respect they are similar to scientific truths which
temples and churches, the clergy officiating in various           also must be invariant over time, space and culture.
positions, the social customs, dress and dietary habits,
religious festivals etc. This is the external face the            Religion vs. Religion
religion presents to the world.                                   Conflict among religions is an unfortunate fact of
                                                                  history, a fact that has repeated itself far too many
                                                                  times. What is the source of this conflict? At some
                                                                  risk of over simplification, we may say it is just plain
                                                                  Religions do subscribe to the same core truths
                                                                  but frame them in the context of the theology,
                                                                  personalities, institutions, etc that set them apart
                                                                  from other competing religions. In this process, the
                                                                  universal nature of the core truths is often significantly
                                                                  de-emphasised. What is common and unifying is
                                                                  sacrificed in the interest of promoting the brand image
                                                                  of own religion. Some religions are more aggressive
                                                                  than others in pursuing this competitive path.
                                                                  There can be no denial of the comfort and support
                                                                  religion provides in one’s day to day life. It is something
                                                                  to which many believers in every religion can bear
                                                                  testimony based on direct personal experience. Social
In the next layer inside are the various rituals and
                                                                  scientists and psychologists also agree on the role of
sacraments that the followers are expected to observe.
                                                                  religion in facing the problems of life.
Usually, this facet of a religion is not open to everyone,
but only to its adherents. The third layer is perhaps             The positive effect of religion and spirituality on health,
the most significant of all. It includes the legends and          and on ability to cope with life, has been documented
mythologies associated with the various prophets,                 in scientific studies in recent years. However, as far as
saints, and deities of the religion. The personalities,           this author knows, there has been no “head-to-head”
ideals and beliefs introduced in this layer often are             unbiased, scientific study in literature whose results
the factors determining the character of the religion.            could support a claim of uniform superior efficacy of
                                                                  any one religion over another. As long as the “key
In the next inner layer immediately surrounding the
                                                                  active ingredient” in all major religions is the same
core, is theology dealing with its beliefs regarding
                                                                  set of spiritual truths, such evidence is not likely to
God, origin of the world, soul, death, life after death
                                                                  emerge from future studies either. The conclusion to
etc. Typically, theology involves abstract concepts
                                                                  be drawn here is that the scientifically demonstrable
and theories which the average follower may not
                                                                  successes of religion are attributable to their common
totally relate to, but is expected to accept on faith.
                                                                  spiritual content and not to the different packaging.
In Figure, Vedanta has been identified with the core
spiritual truths. This is because it is the core spiritual        Science vs. Spirituality
truths that are of primary concern in Vedanta. Vedanta
has had many admirers around the world at all times.              A good deal of spirituality is concerned with practices
Mr. Paul Hourihan, who was one such admirer, put it               to ensure happiness here and now in this world rather
very effectively when he said, “Vedanta is the essence            than in some distant heaven after death. Yoga and

                                                                                                          7.5 November 2009

meditation, to name two of these practices, have gained         from all the five sheaths. (Translation by Swami
acceptance by scientists as having demonstrable                 Chinmayanandaji)
salutary benefits on the physical and mental well-
                                                                The three states refer to the awake, dream and sleep
being of the practitioners.
                                                                states; the five sheaths to the physical, physiological,
Scientists do not refute the existence of mind or the           mental, intellectual, and sub-conscious components
importance of inner happiness, even if they do not              of the personality. That “eternal something”, asserts
have a consensus among themselves as to what mind               Sankara, is the knower of all three states yet not part
really is.                                                      of any of the five sheaths. Vedanta holds that it is the
                                                                conscious mind which experiences and knows the
Modern science has come to accept uncertainty as
                                                                world and that consciousness is an entity distinct from
an inescapable and insurmountable feature of the
                                                                the brain or any other part of the physical or mental
universe, affecting the very fundamental particles
                                                                body. This experiencer, called jeeva, dwells in the
of which matter and energy are constituted. Science
                                                                body but does not die when the physical body dies. It
may not talk of God, but it does accept that there is
                                                                is the jeeva, or “soul”, which can possess knowledge
a “something else” that affects the affairs of things
                                                                and not the physical body.
and beings of the universe. Similarly, while science
does not talk of “soul”, there are many scientists who          The basic “natural sciences”, such as physics,
believe that not everything about a human being can be          chemistry and biology, deal with matter and energy
explained in terms of its material body. Of particular          and they seek to explain all natural phenomena in
relevance to this discussion are the advances being             terms of the known laws affecting matter and energy.
made in neurosciences and artificial intelligence.              But matter and energy is not all there is to this
It is true that modern brain imaging techniques are             universe. There is also knowledge.
revolutionising our understanding of the structure
                                                                While science is focused on matter and energy,
and processes of the brain and how they relate to our
                                                                spirituality is concerned with knowledge. One may
mental and physical functions. However, science is not
                                                                ask, “Knowledge of what?” The spiritual aspirant does
anywhere close to answering a fundamental question:
                                                                gain knowledge of how mind interacts with the world
A human being experiences the world and is aware of
                                                                to produce experiences and how that mind could be
its experiences. How do all the neuronal activities and
                                                                disciplined and made pure enough to acquire the most
processes inside the brain add up to a knowledge and
                                                                sublime knowledge.
vivid experience of a world outside? Neuroscientists
have no answer.                                                 Vedanta makes one of the highest statements in
                                                                metaphysics when it says that the spiritual aspirant
Computer scientists making great strides in artificial
                                                                finally seeks not knowledge of anything, but knowledge
intelligence have no insight to offer regarding this
                                                                itself. That is, spirituality is ultimately concerned
question. Computers play games and music, predict
                                                                with knowing the “knower” and “experiencer”, the
weather, and solve mathematical problems with great
                                                                source of all Knowledge, now parading as jeevas.
speed and versatility. But when playing chess, does
                                                                While science acknowledges the world and the
the computer know it is playing chess? When solving
                                                                myriad of experiences it offers, it cannot comprehend
a mathematical problem does it know what problem it
                                                                the purpose behind any of these. One must turn to
is solving or its significance? It does not. No computer
                                                                spirituality to find the purpose of life. It is by learning
scientist can categorically assert that computers
                                                                the intelligent way to meet all worldly experiences,
“know” or experience anything they are doing.
                                                                that a jeeva gradually gains knowledge, just as it is
Robots built by future computer scientists may look             by observation that scientists slowly build the edifice
and behave so very much like human beings that it               of science.
may be difficult to distinguish one from the other.
                                                                The knowledge of importance in spirituality is
But even then, the hardware and software of which
                                                                not any knowledge relating to matter and energy,
robots are made, cannot vest them with the quality of
                                                                but the knowledge of the knower that possesses all
knowing and experiencing. This is because knowing
                                                                knowledge—in other words, Knowledge of the Self.
and experiencing are not attributes of physical matter,
                                                                Attainment of this “Supreme Knowledge” is what is
but of “something else”.
                                                                called in spiritual traditions variously as “Salvation”
As Adi Sankara, the great Advaita Vedanta philosopher           or “Nirvaana” or “Enlightenment”.
of the 8th Century AD, says: “asti kascit swayam
                                                                Echoing this spiritual principle, all religions give less
nityam aham pratyayalambana:, avasthaa traya
                                                                importance to what we experience in life, pointing out
saakshi san panca kosa vilakshana:”
                                                                that how we meet those experiences is the key to a
Something there is, which is the Absolute Entity, the           successful spiritual life leading to salvation.
Eternal Substratum for the very awareness of the Ego.
It is the witness of the three states and it is distinct

                                                                                                            7.5 November 2009

Spirituality as a Science                                         nutrition necessary for the human body, so too many
                                                                  religions have developed to cater to the nutrition the
Science and spirituality deal with two different aspects
                                                                  spiritual body needs.
of reality and, therefore, there is no room for conflict
between the two. Spirituality is itself a science. The            The choice of food we eat is a matter of personal
same techniques used in science, including controlled             preference, largely determined by what we are
experiments and mathematical analysis, can be and                 accustomed to since childhood. As long as the method
have been used in understanding spirituality also.                of cooking does not diminish the nutritional value of
Spirituality can be studied as a distinct scientific              the ingredients, one cuisine is as good as another.
discipline. It should be possible to teach spirituality as
                                                                  Similarly, as long as religions preserve the basic
a science to young adults regardless of their cultural
                                                                  spiritual values while dressing them up with the
or religious background.
                                                                  outer layers of their theology, rituals etc, they will be
Religion: Spiritual Food Cooked to Cultural Taste                 equally efficient in providing the necessary spiritual
                                                                  nourishment. Religion, like food, is thus also a matter
One does not need the support of a religion to practise
                                                                  of choice largely determined by the culture in which
spirituality and enjoy all its benefits.
                                                                  we grow up.
Religions do have a very practical value. Spirituality
                                                                  In the modern “global village”, especially in cities,
without religion is too abstract or “cerebral” for many
                                                                  we see young people enjoying “ethnic” food from
of us. Consequently, it is a hard path to follow. In
                                                                  different parts of the world. It is dinner in a Chinese
Bhagavad Gita, the Lord explains it thus:
                                                                  restaurant one day, lunch from an Italian carry-out
  kleso adhikataras tesam avyaktasaktacetasam;                    stand the next day and snacking on falafel at a Middle
  avyakta hi gatir duhkham dehavadbhir avapyate                   East cafe yet another day. Their bodies tolerate all
                                                                  food equally well and are nourished equally well too.
        Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XII
                                                                  How wonderful it will be if our understanding and
  “Greater is their trouble whose minds are                       tolerance of religions grows to the extent that we can
  set on the Unmanifested; for the goal, the                      attend service in a church one day, pray in a mosque
  Unmanifested, is very hard for the embodied to                  on the next, and worship at a temple on the following
  reach.” (Translation by Swami Chinmayananda)                    day!
The Lord suggests that, for most of us, devotion to               The Indian mystic, Sri Ramakrishna, proved that this
a concrete representation of that Reality is the easier           can be done with all due sincerity and respect towards
path to follow. This in fact is what religions do.                all religions. The distinctions made today between
Religion, in this respect, is not unlike the food we              religions are mostly superficial and not meaningful
eat. To stay healthy one must partake the necessary               from a spiritual point of view. Like the infamous
nutrients, the proteins, carbohydrate, vitamins etc.              Berlin Wall, the barriers that exist between religions
Now, it is certainly possible to provide these nutrients          are artificial and unjustly divide people from people.
through a daily regimen of raw vegetables, grains,                Spirituality, on the contrary, unites us all.
fruits and nuts, etc. and supplemented by a handful
of vitamin pills. Indeed a few well-disciplined souls             Conclusion
may actually stick to such a spartan diet and manage              Science, spirituality and religion have each a
to stay healthy and happy.                                        complementary role to play in our lives and are by
Future space travellers may learn to survive on                   no means intrinsically incompatible. The material
pre-packaged food designed to provide just the                    science, with its focus on matter and energy, blesses
right amount of nutrients, but very little by way of              us by making our material life more comfortable.
variety and taste. But it is far easier for most of us            Spirituality, the science of life and knowledge, blesses
if the nutrients are made available in the form of                us individually with inner happiness and collectively
an appetising meal. Good cooking adds flavour and                 with communal harmony. Religions, at their best,
appeal to the food while preserving the nutrients the             serve the mankind by rendering spirituality more
body needs. Good cooks also are careful not to lose               readily comprehensible and accessible to the average
nutritional value by overcooking or by adding too                 person.
much fat and sugar to make the food taste better.
                                                                   *Trustee, Chinmaya Mission, Washington Regional
Each religion has its own style of adding sugar and                                         Centre, Washington DC
spices and serving spiritual truths in an appetizing
                                                                                   Source: Bhavan’s Journal, September 30 2009
way to satisfy the spiritual hunger that is in all of us.
Just as many different culinary styles have evolved
around the world, each capable of providing the

                                                                                                  7.5 November 2009

                             White Ribbon Day
                      International Day for the Elimination of
                      Violence Against Women —25 November

       he White Ribbon Day is celebrated with an aim to eliminate violence against women by promoting
       culture-change around the issue. The major strategies to achieve this are a national media campaign as
       well as education & male leadership programmes aimed at men and boys around many nations.
White Ribbon Day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man’s
massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon
Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women.
This 2009 onwards, men at Massachusetts White Ribbon Day pledge to be
a part of the solution in ending violence against women. If this remains
the worldwide approach among all people then the elimination of
violence will gain a better momentum.
In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November
25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against
Women (IDEVAW) and the White Ribbon has become the symbol for
the day.
From 2000, the Commonwealth Government Office for Women ran
awareness activities on the International Day, and, in 2003, the Australian
branch of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM,
began a partnership with men and men’s organisations to make this a
national campaign. Hundreds of thousands white ribbons are distributed
to mark the day.
Today hundreds of thousands of white ribbons are worn by men and
women across nations—men at work; men and women in all forces;
men in national and local sporting matches and organisations;
men in the media; men and women in politics; men in the
defence forces; men and women in capital cities and in rural
and regional areas.
The campaign continues to go from strength to strength
and now boasts more than thousands of White Ribbon
Ambassadors across the world. More and more events are held
across the world. The number of the organisations and individuals
participating year upon year is continuously increasing.
The White Ribbon Day in recent times has become more of a
challenge since it requires individuals, groups and communities to take collective actions against any kind of
injustices among women. The real change in the society is yet to be discovered and it will lead to be brighter
tomorrow only when people today raise their voices against injustices of women. The organizations that are
working towards eliminating violence against women encourage all men to never commit, excuse or, remain
silent about, violence against women.
This year too this day will add respect and reverence towards the women of the society who have today contributed
significantly in various dimensions of life. But will it lead towards bringing about any real change in the hearts
of those who commit violence against women?

                                                                                            7.5 November 2009

  Vegetarians & Vegan Elite of the World
Scientist Architects & Engineers

                        German theoretical                                      Indian-born American
                        physicist; 1921 Nobel                                   astrophysicist; 1983 Nobel
                        Laureate in Physics                                     Laureate in Physics

   Albert Einstein

                                                                                British physicist,
                                                                                mathematician, astronomer,
                        Indian physicist; 1930
                                                                                alchemist, inventor, and
                        Nobel Laureate in Physics
                                                                                natural philosopher;
                                                                                father of physics
   Sir C.V. Raman                                           Sir Isaac Newton

                        American quantum
                        chemist and biochemist;
                        1954 Nobel Laureate in
                                                                                British naturalist; father
                        Chemistry and 1962 Nobel
                                                                                of English natural history
                        Laureate in Peace for his
                        campaign against above-                 John Ray
   Linus Pauling        ground nuclear testing

                                                                                Italian Renaissance
                                                                                polymath: architect,
                        American biochemist; 1967                               anatomist, sculptor,
                        Nobel Laureate in Medicine                              engineer, inventor,
                                                                                geometer, musician,
                                                            Leonardo Da Vinci   and painter
    George Wald

                        Polish-born American
                                                                                American author,
                        Jewish writer of short
                                                                                journalist, scientist,
                        stories and novels; 1978
                                                                                inventor and statesman
                        Nobel Laureate in Literature
                                                            Benjamin Franklin
Isaac Bashevis Singer

                                                                                                7.5 November 2009

                      American inventor                                           Greek mathematician
                      and businessman                                             and philosopher

  Thomas Edison

                      Serbian-American                                            Former President of
                      inventor, physicist,                                        India (July 25, 2002–
                      mechanical engineer and                                     July 25, 2007); notable
                      electrical engineer                                         scientist and engineer
   Nikola Tesla                                           Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

                      Indian-born American
                                                                                  British inventor of
                      astronaut and space shuttle
                                                                                  Pitman Shorthand
                      mission specialist

  Kalpana Chawla                                            Sir Isaac Pitman

                      British naturalist,
                                                                                  British scientist,
                      geologist and originator
                                                                                  engineer and inventor
                      of the evolution theory
  Charles Darwin                                           Sir Barnes Neville

                      Greek philosopher                                           Swedish scientist,
                      and cosmologist                                             philosopher and mystic

                                                          Emanuel Swedenborg

                                                                                  Hungarian physiologist,
                      American author, naturalist,                                1937 Nobel Laureate
                      pacifist, and philosopher                                   in Medicine for
                                                                                  discovering vitamin C
Henry David Thoreau
                                                          Albert Szentgy Ö rgyi

                                                                                          7.5 November 2009

                   German naturalist                                        American physicist and
                   and explorer                                             computer scientist

 Alexander von                                             Douglas R.
   Humboldt                                                Hofstadter

                   Italian entomologist,                                    Chinese pioneer of
                   professor and poet                                       Nutritional Immunology

  Giorgio Celli
                                                          Jau-Fei Chen

                   Italian astronomer,
                   author and politician
                                                       Humanitarian and Environmentalists

Margherita Hack

                                                                            Acclaimed American
                   Italian geologist and
                                                                            actress, writer and

  Mario Tozzi                                          Marian Hailey-Moss

                   Italian oncologist and                                   Indian political leader
                   former Minister of Health                                and humanitarian

Umberto Veronesi                                        Mahatma Gandhi

                                                                            American actress &
                   British biologist and author
                                                                            environmental activist

                                                         Daryl Hannah
Rupert Sheldrake

                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

                                                                            Singaporean charity
                       American supermodel,
                                                                            worker who became
                       actress and environmental
                                                                            known as “Singapore’s
                                                                            Mother Teresa”

 Christie Brinkley                                         Teresa Hsu

                       American actor and                                   environmentalist, eco-
                       environmental activist                               living consultant, and
                                                                            founder of “Earth 2000”

 Woody Harrelson                                           Danny Seo

                       British world-famous                                 American author, lecturer
                       environmentalist                                     and environmentalist

 Richard St Barbe                                          Jim Mason

                                                                            American writer and activist
                       British founder and 1st
                                                                            for animal rights and
                       General of Salvation Army
                                                                            environmental protection

  General William                                         Judy Carman

                       American founder of the                              American charity
                       American Red Cross                                   campaigner

   Clara Barton                                           Heather Mills

                       Indian spiritual leader
                       and founder of the
                       international Art of Living                        Contributed by Govinda Watts
                       Foundation, a volunteer-               Source:
                       based educational and
                       humanitarian organization
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

                         The Enigma of Bayon
                                                                                               -Vimala Sarma*

        he monuments of Angkor in Cambodia hide                  1218. In the 12 th century when the Bayon monument
        many secrets, but none which have exercised              was built the Khmer empire covered much of Thailand
        the minds of so many scholars as the secret              as well as all of Funan as Indo-China was then
of the tower faces of Bayon, right in the dead centre            called. By the 14 th century, the Khmer empire was in
of the capital city, Angkor Thom, of the vast Khmer              terminal decline. Jayavarman VII is identified with
empire. Approaching the monument of Bayon                        the Khmer empire at its height. He liberated Angkor
from any direction, one realises with the shock of               by force, after it had been taken by the Champa King
recognition that the grey stone towers stretching high           Jaya-Indravarman, in a naval battle on Lake Tonle
above are in fact carved with massive faces, on all              Sap. This scene is depicted in bas reliefs of two
sides, looking serenely across the landscape. Such a             galleries—inner and outer gallery—encircling this
structure, with faces as part of the architecture, exists        monument. The monument is laid out in a cruciform
nowhere else. Many aspects of Bayon, including its               shape surrounding a circular mass of shrines in the
purpose, are even now hotly debated—is it a temple               centre. The galleries transform this basic cross shape
or it a royal victory memorial? And if it is a temple,           into a square.Although scholars use the terms Hindu
was it Buddhist or Hindu? But most intriguing of all             or Buddhist as exclusive concepts to describe various
are the 200 or so massive stone faces on its towers that         Khmer temples, in the period of the Khmer empire (9–
gaze serenely in all four cardinal directions. Whose             12 centuries) the concepts “Buddhist” and “Hindu” did
face is depicted in these towers?                                not exist in the sense that we understand them to-day.
                                                                 Hindu is a word coined by the British rulers of India
Bayon is the regnal monument of King Jayavarman
                                                                 to identify religious beliefs in India which were not
VII who ruled the vast Khmer empire from 1182–

                                         Bayon Movement, Angkor Thom

                                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

Christian, Muslim, Jain, Jewish, or any other religion.
It is a modern term which includes a multiplicity of
India exported its culture to many countries though
the trade routes, and Indian myths and cosmology
were assimilated into a number of South East Asian
cultures including the Khmer civilisation. Indian
religious concepts and cosmology were exported
from India by sea to Cambodia from the 5 th century
CE (Common Era) onwards. The Indianisation of
South-East Asia during the first century CE developed
after a long period of trade between South East Asian
countries and India. Both Brahmanical concepts and
Buddhist concepts and ideas were assimilated into
Khmer culture without one set of ideas and beliefs
excluding the other.
Indian deities represented in Khmer sculpture have
been assimilated and are depicted as distinctly and
uniquely Khmer. For example, statues of the God
Vishnu depict Him with a simple headdress and
wearing sampot, not as copies of Indian statues
of the same God, with their elaborate decorations.
Conversely Khmer deities were also Indianised and
adopted Sanskritic names. As a result, there was a
syncretisation of Hindu, Buddhist and Khmer cults in
Cambodia which persisted harmoniously to the time in
the Angkor civilization. By the time of Jayadeva VII,
Shiva was the dominant God, often worshipped along
with the Buddha, in the same temples. The epithet
applied to the Khmer rulers was Devarāja, the God-                               Tower Face, Bayon
King. Buddha was simply added to the Hindu trinity
of Siva, Vishnu and Brahma as the fourth emanation
                                                               Buddhist images. Numerous images of the Buddha
of the absolute.
                                                               were broken by Jayavarman VIII. If the faces of
Some of the temples of the Angkor complex are Saivite          Bayon were in fact Buddhist, how did they survive
and some Buddhist and some with both Buddhist and              intact when so many Buddhist statues were destroyed
Hindu deities. In the main temple of Angkor Wat,               all over Angkor by his successor?
is a magnificent bas relief spanning whole wall of
                                                               The 200 tower faces, of which about 161 are extant,
a gallery depicting the churning of the ocean by the
                                                               are more or less identical, with minor variations. All
Gods (devas) and demons (asuras), and this theme
                                                               are decorated with earrings, a headdress over which
recurs on the entrance causeways onto Angkor Thom.
                                                               the hair is piled and finished with an opened lotus
Bayon is generally referred to as a Buddhist temple
                                                               flower on the crown. A third eye, either in relief or
because a broken image of massive Buddha seated on
                                                               scratched on the forehead, is evident. The eyes are
a snake (nāga) was found at the bottom of the central
                                                               open, and a necklace can be seen. The faces have thick
well of the monument. This statue was found broken
                                                               lips which turn up at the corners, characteristic of the
in the deep shaft below the main sanctum of Bayon.
                                                               Khmer style. The various hypotheses put forward for
However the two tiers of bas reliefs which wrap
                                                               the identity of the faces, at various times, include: it is
around the central structure show Hindu mythology
                                                               the face Buddha, Avalokitesvara, Brahma, Jayavarman
or historical events—particularly the victory of the
                                                               VII himself, and Vrajasattva (a Buddhist tantric deity).
Khmers over the Champa tribes from Southern China.
As well, groups of three dancing heavenly nymphs               The faces are unlikely to be that of the Buddha as they
(apsaras) are depicted beside every doorway.                   do not have the characteristics of the iconography of
                                                               the Buddha such as elongated ears, hair with tight curls
It appears that Jayavarman VII was a Buddhist or
                                                               or the raised crown. It is also unlikely to be the face of
was converted to Buddhism later in life. The Khmer
                                                               a Bodhisattva such as Avalokitesvara because the eyes
empire, however was largely Shaivite and Jayavarman
                                                               are not cast downward and there is no small image
appears to be its first Buddhist King. His successor
                                                               of the Amitabha Buddha on the top of the heads. The
Jayavarman VIII was a Hindu and an iconoclast of

                                                                                                            7.5 November 2009

‘Brahma’ theory is simply based on
the fact that there are four heads on
each tower facing different directions
and this is how the Hindu God
Brahma of the Puranas is depicted
in iconography. At the time of the
first Europeans to visit Bayon in the
nineteenth century the locals referred
to the faces as “Prohm” or Brahma.
However this is now discredited as
the central deity was a Buddha, and
thus the towers were unlikely to
depict a Hindu God. The third eye on
the forehead is not easily explained
away. In India Shaivites are identified
by the three horizontal lines on
their foreheads made with ash and a
vermillion vertical mark representing
the third eye. The existence of the
third eye has led many a scholar to
propose that the faces are of Shiva.                     Bass Relief of Jayavarman seated on elephant
Fifty years After Jayavarman’s reign,
a Shaivite image was again re-installed at Bayon and         that of the King. The conventions followed by the bas
other Khmer temples by his successors. If the faces          reliefs are similar to the reliefs seen in the temples
were of Shiva, it would be difficult to explain why          of Egypt—the bigger the figure the more important
Jayavarman who was clearly a Buddhist, had them              and the higher the status. Keeping this idea in mind,
carved. Peter Sharrock believes the faces are of the         would not the King be the most important person in
Mahayanist tantric bodhisattva, Vajrasattva, and that        the empire, and thus would not his face be carved with
Jayavarman had them carved in the final years of             immense proportions? Could this not explain the size
his reign, when he was thought to embrace Tantric            of the faces and also why the faces are also above all
Buddhism, and the Bayon itself is constructed in the         the cardinal gateways into Angkor Thom? The third
plan of a huge ‘mandala’ for the King to meditate            eye might have been carved or scratched later after
upon.                                                        the death of Jayavarman VII in order to Shiva-ize the
                                                             faces and turn them into Hindu faces again and the
My own theory is that the face is that of the God-
                                                             composite Shiva-Vishnu icon, Harihara was thought
King (devarāja) Jayavarman himself—symbolising
                                                             to be installed in the central sanctum after the Buddha
his sovereignty over the empire in all directions from
                                                             image was destroyed. This was deduced from the
its very heart, the most central point. This explanation
                                                             fact that the Goddesses Parvathi (wife of Shiva) and
seems to fit the ‘Occam’s razor’ test. The simplest
                                                             Bhudedevi, wife of Vishnu were found in shrines on
hypothesis, is that the face is that of the King, as Bayon
                                                             either side of the central sanctum.
is surely his own regnal monument situated as it is in
the exact centre of his heavily fortified city. It is in     Whatever the true explanation for these giant faces, the
this building that Jayavarman was ritually consecrated       tower-faces still confront the casual tourist and their
as King after taking Angkor by force. He may well            enigmatic smiles hold the secret of Bayon forever.
have wanted his face on the towers to proclaim his
sovereignty and as an assurance to his people of his                                                               References:
protection, in the dominions of his weal. The main                 Bayon: A New Perspective, Editor Joyce Clark, River Books,
reasons for dismissing this simple hypothesis are:             2007. Contributors include Peter Sharrock, “The Mystery of the
                                                               Face Towers” pp. 232–280; T.S. Maxwell, “Religion at the time
It does not look like the face Jayavarman VII as seen in                                   of Jayavarman VII”, pp. 74–121.
his statue at the Khmer temple at PhiMai in Thailand.
There is third eye depicted on the forehead of the
faces.                                                            *Vimala Sarma, Nayika Indian
It could be argued that the face is an idealised and                 
stylised face of the King, in the same way as the
Buddha’s face is also stylised in iconography. It is an
abstraction in the Khmer style of art. It is shown to
be perennially young and idealised. The bas reliefs
in Bayon also show faces in a stylised way, including
                                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

                              Vedanta in the West
                                                                                  -Russell Frank Atkinson*

        he impact of Vedanta upon Western culture is
        usually considered a relatively recent one—
        since its beginnings about 1800 until the
advent of great teachers and gurus who have taught
in America and Europe since 1894. The influence of
Hindu culture on the West goes back much further
than that. The first published translation of Indian
texts known as the Vedas or Upanishads was in Dutch
in the early seventeenth century. A translation of the
Upanishads from the Persian was published in France
by Francois Bernier in 1671. Voltaire translated this
text into German in 1794, starting the interest in
Vedanta for German academics. Yet the influence of

 The influence of Vedanta on Western
 countries goes back prior to the
 attempted invasion of India by
 Alexander the Great in 327-326 B.C
Vedanta on Western thought goes back prior to the
attempted invasion of India by Alexander the Great in                          Russel Frank Atkinson
327–326 BC. How far back is a subject for academic
speculation, but it is most surely evidenced by                Socrates debated with at least one Indian as recorded
Pythagorus (c. 569–582 BC). Some leading academics             in Eusebius:
have traced the teachings and geometrical theories of                        Aristoxenus the musician tells the
Pythagorus to Vedanta and Hindu science. In fact,                            following story about the Indians. One
his name is a derivation of the sanscrit Pithagorus,                         of these men met Socrates in Athens
‘Father-teacher’. This may be surprising to the average                      and asked him what was the scope
Westerner who believes that all our knowledge was                            of his philosophy. ‘An inquiry into
a product of Greek culture. Only a few scholars of                           human phenomena,’ replied Socrates.
antiquity know that India was more developed than                            At this the Indian said, ‘How can a
other ancient cultures. Qadi Sa’id (1029–1070) an                            man inquire into human phenomena,
Arab scientist of Cordova, Spain, wrote:                                     when he is ignorant of divine ones?’”
                                                               The study of Vedanta is an interest that can shed
  The first nation to cultivate the sciences is the
                                                               truth-revealing light on all aspects of existence. It can
  people of India who form a nation vast in numbers,
                                                               provide subject matter for a lifetime of discovery in
  powerful, with great dominions. All former Kings
                                                               such diverse subjects as archaeology, anthropology,
  and past generations have acknowledged their
                                                               theology, psychology, health, occult anatomy,
  wisdom and admitted their pre-eminence in
                                                               cosmology, and metaphysics.
  the various branches of knowledge. Among all
  nations, during the course of the centuries and              Because it is so ancient, one can trace the development
  throughout the passage of time, India was known              of the human mind in its struggles to understand the
  as the mine of wisdom and the fountainhead of                mystery of life. It contains the antidote to the challenges
  justice and good government, and the Indians                 and errors of modern life and can resolve the conflicts
  were credited with excellent intellect, exalted              produced by the Jewish/Christian traditions and the
  ideas, universal maxims, rare inventions and                 Descartian/Newtonian ideas of Western philosophy.
  wonderful talents…
                                                               The German philosopher Schopenhauer (1788–1860)
                                                               said Vedanta had been the consolation of his life and
                                                               would be the consolation of his death. In fact, almost
                                                               every European philosopher from Kant (1712–1804)

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

to Nietzsche (1844–1900) have been deeply influenced            the work of the Theosophical Society and the influence
by contact with Indian philosophy.                              of the great teachers and Gurus that have taught in the
                                                                West since Swami Vivekananda burst into American
Nietzsche studied Professor Deussen’s ‘Systems of
                                                                society in 1893.
the Vedanta’ and other Sanskrit works. Of the ‘Code
Book of Manu’ he wrote:                                           Professor Max Muller has written:
  “It is an incomparable intellectual and superior                “Vedanta is the most sublime of all philosophies
  work. It is replete with noble values, it is filled             and the most comforting of all religions. It has
  with a feeling of perfection, with a saying of yea              room for almost every religion. It embraces them
  to life,…the sun shines upon the whole book…”                   all”.
Schopenhauer was prophetic when he wrote:                       Vedanta is the Golden Thread that has run through
                                                                all true spiritual traditions throughout the world. The
  “In India our religions will never take root. The
                                                                American philosopher and historian, Will Durant, in
  ancient wisdom of the human race will not be
                                                                his book ‘The Story of Civilisation’ wrote:
  displaced by what happened in Galilee. On the
  contrary, Indian philosophy streams back to                     “…India has sent to us such gifts as grammar
  Europe and will produce a fundamental change                    and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and
  in our knowledge and thought.”                                  chess, and above all, our numerals and decimal
The discovery of Sanscrit literature in the 19th century
has become a significant influence in the evolution of            But these are not the essence of her spirit; they
Western culture—perhaps the most important of all,                are trifles compared to what we may learn from
for as the scientist Julian Huxley wrote in ‘Evolution            her in the future.
after Darwin’ in 1959:
                                                                  …Perhaps in return for conquest, arrogance
  “Man’s evolution is not biological but                          and spoliation, India will teach us the tolerance
  psychosocial: it operates by the mechanism of                   and gentleness of the mature mind, the quiet
  cultural tradition…Accordingly, major steps                     content of the unacquisitive soul, the calm of an
  in the human phase of evolution are achieved                    understanding spirit, and a unifying, pacifying
  by break-throughs to new dominant patterns of                   love for all living things.”
  mental organization, of knowledge, ideas, and
                                                                In the 21st century, scientific theories are tending
                                                                to confirm many of the ideas found in the Eternal
                                                                Religion, giving birth to a marvellous fusion of
                                                                cultural traditions. This phenomenon has profound
 The study of Vedanta is an interest that
                                                                significance, not only for this age but for all time to
 can shed truth-revealing light on all                          come.
 aspects of existence.                                             Source: From ‘A Spirituality for the 21st Century’ by
                                                                            Russell Frank Atkinson, Zeus Publications
Vedantic ideas have certainly provided great stimulus
to this end, while Western ideas have had a similar             *Russell Frank Atkinson was probably the first person
effect upon the culture of India. The subtle effects of         to teach Yoga in Australia. He travelled to India
Vedanta in the West have been through its influence             in 1952 to attend the School of the Wisdom at the
upon many famous Western philosophers, writers                  Theosophical headquarters in what was then Madras
and poets. The list is impressive—Tolstoy, Emerson,             and then travelled extensively in the Himalayas on foot.
Whitman, Goethe, Hesse, Edison, Voltaire, Yeats,                His first book, ‘Yoga Pocket Teacher’ was published in
Huxley, Maeterlink and Tesla; European academics                London in 1968. Seven books have followed. His recent
such as Prof Muller, Duessler and Zimmerman and                 book, ‘A Spirituality for the 21st Century’, Published
physicists such as Bohr, Bhome, Einstein, Schrodinger,          by Zeus Publications is a comprehensive study of all the
and Heisenberg. The overt effects have been through             schools of Vedanta.

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

Art and Architecture in the Hindu Vision
                                                                                            -Satish K. Kapur*

         he Hindu vision of the universal being in His
         manifold forms and aspects finds adequate
         expression in its temple art and architecture
which combine beauty and grace with ennobling
motifs. To build a temple or to contribute to its
making in some form as patron, to create a piece of art
or to appreciate it, to worship in holy precincts or to
visit a shrine as a spectator (drastr), are all regarded
as sacred acts because each engages the body and
the mind with matters of the spirit, and provides a
diversion from the mundane activities. Sublime art
draws divinity in the human art. Aesthetic experience
of beauty fills one with joy. Even an illiterate is
overawed by the majesty of architecture, the beauty
of miniatures and sculptures, can sing and dance his
way to God. Symbolism, serenity of environment,
geometrical form in tune with astronomical beliefs,
sculptural exquisitiveness marked by themes from the
epics and Puranas, ornamentation and imagery, with
motifs of lotus flowers, creepers, trees, animals and
birds, characterise prominent Hindu temples which
may ignite Godly thoughts in a person.
The enclosure and gateway (gopuram), pyramidal tower
(vimana), huge courtyard and pillared hall (mandapa)                         Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
with decorative motifs and gorgeous carvings, as in
the case of south Indian temples; cruciform ground-             Such was the devotion of craftsmen that they did not
plan, rhythmic accentuation of shrine, ornate pillars           even mention their names on the gorgeous structures
and ceilings, and the sanctum (garbhagriha) covered             they had created out of rocks, caves or ground material.
by curvilinear spire (sikhara) further surmounted by            The grandeur of the Muktsvara temple and the
Amalakauila (like Indian gooseberry fruit) and the              Jagannatha temple (Orissa), the sun temples at Modhera
pot finial (kalasa), as in the case of Nagara style             (Gujarat) and Konark (Orissa), the Lingaraja temple
of temples bespeak of the lofty vision and religious            at Bhuvanesvar (Orissa), the thousand-pillared temple
conviction of architects and builders (sthapatis), craft        at Hanamkonda (Andhra Pradesh), the Chennakesava
of sculptors (silpi) and painters (chitrakaras) and the         temple at Belur (Karnataka), the Hoysalesvara temple
feeling (bhava) and generosity of patrons (karayyitr).          at Halebid (Karnataka), the Meenakshi temple at
Even the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho and Konark              Madurai (Tamil Nadu), and of many such shrines
which may appear as vulgar have an esoteric meaning,            dotted all over India fill a spectator with wonder. The
Kama being one of the four aims (pursartha) of human            Hindu temple is not a structure of bricks or stones
life.                                                           but a living organism which vibrates with spirituality
Generations of artists who created the Khajuraho                as a result of consecration (pratisthavidhi), regular
group of temples (Madhya Pradesh) from granite                  prayer (puja), ritualistic sacrifice (yajna) and acts
Vindhyan sandstone, Avantipura temples (Kashmir)                of devotion to the deity like hearing religious stories
from argillaceous and fossiliferrous limestone, and             (sravanam), remembering Him (smarnam), serving
Jagsvara temples (Uttar Pradesh) from gneisses, or              at His feet (padasevanam), adoring Him (arcanam),
those who hewed out the Kailasanatha temple at Ellora           paying obeisance to Him (vandanam) showing
(Maharashtra) from a hill of amygdaloidal basalt, the           servility (dasyam), considering Him an intimate
monolithic rathas at Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram,               friend (sakhyam) and surrendering before Him in all
Tamil Nadu) from the hillocks of charnockite and                respects (atmanivedanam). The temple is the abode
granite, or the Siva temple from a rock at the Elephanta        of the Divine (devalaya) and provides an ambience
island (Maharashtra), could have accomplished the               for the spiritual unfoldment of a person. It is like the
gigantic work having been inspired by a deep religious          runway of an airport from where the devotee takes
feeling.                                                        off to meet his God face to face. However, bereft
                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

of intense feeling (bhava), and a genuine desire to
surrender (prapatti) before the Divine one gains little
like a student who gets admission in an educational
institution, but is refused a degree on account of his
poor performance. The infinite energy pouring out of
religious motifs and symbols is experienced by the
faithful in moments of total absorption.
There is a deep metaphysical meaning in the form
and structure of a Hindu temple, which is believed
to symbolise the universal man who envelopes all
existence. It has a subtle body to it starting from the
foundation stone (adhara sila) to the seat (peedam) of
the deity. The Hindu temple is like a human organism                          Somnath Temple, Saurashtra
with various limbs set apart from head to foot, not
excluding such vital organs as the heart, lungs or               or kalasa) representing the deity; of various kinds of
the kidneys. Vastu purusa or the presiding deity of              vigraha or representation of deities meant for external
the enclosed ground area (mandala) is traditionally              worship before the spiritual aspirant (sadhaka) can
believed to lie with his head placed towards north-              look within his own self and realise that he is no other
east, his feet towards south-west and his knees                  than Him; of yantras or the diagrammatic form of
towards north-west and south-west directions. The                deities (devatas) both for worship and the fulfillment
structure of temple is raised as per sectarian, regional         of desired objectives, of mandalas or circular yantras
or geographical requirements after the performance               for ornamentation and contemplation on the Supreme
of elaborate rituals and ceremonies including the                Being, and of Swastika, a propitious representation of
propitiation of Vastu purusa, in accordance with canons          the world-wheel which dilutes negative forces in the
of the arts, Vastu (shilpa shastras), Visvakarmaprakasa,         invisible world around. The symbol of two interlaced
Manasara,           Bhuvanapradipa,          Silparatnam,        triangles—one pointing upwards representing the
Mayamata, Rajaballabha, Silpasangraha, Bodhayana                 triple aspects of God, namely, Truth, Consciousness
Grhyasutra, Puranas, and the Agamic texts (Vaisnava,             and Bliss (sat-cita-ananda) and the other pointing
Sakta and Saiva). After the gross body (sthula sarira)           downwards representing the three qualities (gunas)
of the temple is complete the sanctum is rendered                namely, purity (sattva), action (rajas) and inertia
alive with the installation of the idol with prescribed          (tamas), inherent in nature (prakrti), has been
rituals which infuse life (prana-pratistha) into it. The         frequently used in temples since ancient times. The
consecration is usually done from mid-January to                 point in the centre of interlaced triangles stands for
mid-July during the Uttarayana, an auspicious period             the one Supreme Reality.
of six months.
                                                                 Iconographic representations of Hindu deities (murtis)
Hindu symbols which are both abstract and material,              whether standing (sthanaka), sitting (asana), dancing
mental and verbal, pervade all aspects of life from              (nartanam) or reclining (sayana), betray variations in
rituals and ceremonies to feasts and festivities,                different regions and sects in terms of head-covering
from metaphysics to mysticism. A Hindu symbol is                 (kiritas), gestures (mudras), weapons (ayudha) or
art, science, philosophy, spirituality and religion,             other embellishments throughout the course of history
all rolled into one. The mystic syllable Om (AUM),               but the spirit of them all has remained unchanged. The
for example, is written in manifold ways (art); it               crown (jatamukuta) of Siva, for example, differs from
is a cosmophonic sound (science); it contains the                place to place but the symbol of His third eye is a
philosophy of existence, being the representation of             ubiquitous feature. Different forms of Visnu and Siva
the Absolute (philosophy) and its chanting connects              have different attributes with corresponding functions,
one to the cosmic rhythm (religion and spirituality).            saktis, mantras, symbolic representations and modes
Hindu symbols are like codes which conceal the                   of worship. Yet, they are not mutually contradictory
Reality from unscrupulous elements and reveal it to              or antithetical to each other. The daksinamurti form of
the inquisitive and the deserving persons (adhikari-
                                                                 Siva in which He is depicted as a universal spiritual
purusa) who intend to tread the path of virtue.
                                                                 preceptor is quite akin to the Yogesvara form of Visnu.
Among the most common symbols which are employed                 Siva who normally holds a damru carries the lute in
in Hindu temple art are those of the sacred lotus                some South Indian sculptures (Vinadhara-daksina-
(kamala; Nelumbium nucifera)—the first product of                murti) and in his representation as Vinadhara-Natesa,
the creative principle—which remains untouched by                ‘Lord of dance with the lute’, in Bengal. He appears
water even though it blossoms in it; of the water-pot            without his essential adornments—snakes (sarpa)
topped with mango leaves and a coconut (purna kumbha             and the trident (trisula) in some of His forms in the

                                                                                                          7.5 November 2009

Deccan. The stone sculpture of Sri Krsna in standing
posture at Wadwal (Solapur district, Maharashtra)
emerges out of a Sivalinga and has the embellishments
of Siva like rudraksa beads, snake-bangles, and coiled
serpents as head-dress descending to his toes. Harihara
icons (Haryardhamurti) in which Visnu and Siva are
entwined rest on the principle that the ultimate reality
is one.
Kirtana, satsanga (holy congregation), Katha or
pravachana (religious discourse) by professionals or
saintly men of all lineages are attended by the Hindus
with religious feeling irrespective of their sectarian
background. Om, the symbol of the Absolute Reality
and Swastika, the symbol of auspiciousness and good
fortune, are common to the followers of all traditions.
Most Hindu homes have a specially designed niche in
which is kept a handy shrine or just a wooden stool
to place the sivalinga, mark of Siva or the saligrama,
mark of Visnu, as the case may be, images of Gods
and Goddesses with related objects of worship,                                   Sun Temple, Konark
yantras, photographs of saints, or of one’s parents
or ancestors. No one can raise objection which idol             death to immortality’ as per the Vedic prayer on the
or holy representation to keep and which to discard.            Brhadaranyaka Upanisad (I.3.28).
Adoration is made not to the images but to the Supreme          The representation of Bala Gopala, or the Child Krsna
Being. Sarupa dhyana or contemplation of God with               in art as ‘makhana-chora’ (‘one who steals butter’)
form leads to arupa-dhyana when one transcends                  or as one who fascinates the cowherdesses (gopis) of
the image. The sublimity of Hindu art lies in faith,            Vrindavana is metaphysical, and is understood as such
philosophy and divine inspiration. Neither aimed at             by the Vaisnavas though the cynic and the skeptic
beauty for beauty’s sake nor at providing pleasurable           perceive it in negative terms. Understandably, no
sensation, nor propelled by materialistic desire                religion would depict his God as a thief or seducer.
(artha-bhavana) it posits emancipation (moksa) as               When Sri Krisna is shown in paintings and sculptures,
the ultimate goal of life. Hindu art centres around the         or in Rasa-lila as taking away the clothes of gopis
Immense Being (Virata-purusha), the all-pervading               bathing in the Yamuna river he was a child of seven
life-force (prana) from which one derives one’s                 years with an unsullied mind. The gopis, who were
origin and sustenance and into which one dissolves              madly in love with Him were either married or older
after fulfilling one’s assigned task in the material            to Him in age. Besides, they knew that Sri Krisna
world. An artist’s journey is from the temporal to the          was not a person but the Person. The relationship is
spiritual and back. The higher the consciousness of an          symbolic of the yearning of the human soul for the
artist, the greater his receptivity to the cosmic field         Supreme Soul whose physical embodiment the Lord
of creativity which has a magnetic resonance to it.             of Yogis (Yogesvara-Sri Krisna) was. Likewise, the
The closer he is to the Supreme Self, the finer are             Divine Love of Sri Krisna and Radha was not carnal
his ideas and thoughts. The nobler are his emotions,            but spiritual, a reaffirmation of the Cosmic Unity on
the better is his reach to the macrocosmic levels               the human plane. When the human mind is attuned
of beauty and bliss and the greater is his ability to           to the creative principle the hand that chisels, writes
bring it to the microcosmic level of being. Hinduism            or draws an image becomes the divine instrument
believes that the intangible becomes tangible when              of expression; the face glows with charm and
deep feeling blends with professional expertise; the            confidence, the feet which are in direct touch with the
visible art-form radiates charm when an artist is in            Mother earth, dance in harmony, the eyes regarded as
dialogue with the Divine. That explains why the                 windows of the mind, become lustrous and, the voice
higher powers are invoked before an art performance,            in songs or chants comes not from lips but from the
why a silpi undergoes elaborate rituals so as to be             deep recesses of the human heart.
able to complete his task well, why the tools of an             To a Hindu, art is beauty, beauty is divinity and
artist from chisel and hammer to a pen and brush are            divinity summum bonum of life.
considered sacred, or why art-forms and presentations
not conforming to classical standards are not abhorred,                 *Former British Council Scholar, now part of
or why the seemingly puerile, mythological lore                               Dayanand Institutions, Solapur, India
continues to impact millions, goading them to move
                                                                                 Source: Bhavan’s Journal, September 30 2009
‘from truth to untruth, from darkness to light and from
                                                                                              7.5 November 2009

          ovember is an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache,
          highlighting men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and
          depression in men.
Mo Bros, supported by their Mo Sistas, start Movember (November 1st)
clean shaven and then have the remainder of the month to grow and groom
their moustache. During Movember, each Mo Bro effectively becomes a
walking billboard for men’s health and, via their Mo, raises essential funds
and awareness for Movember’s men’s health partners—The Prostate Cancer
Foundation of Australia and beyondblue—the national depression initiative. At the end of Movember, a
series of Gala Partés are held to thank Mo Bros and Sistas for their support and fund raising efforts.
The idea for Movember came about in 2003 when a few mates were having a beer in a small bar in Fitzroy,
Melbourne. Inspired by the women’s health movement, it was recognized that men were lacking a way to
engage and actively involve themselves in their own health. During a conversation about fashion and past
trends, the idea came up to bring the moustache back for one month, and in doing so, have some fun, raise a
small amount of money and hopefully encourage men to talk about their health with each other.
Since this time, Movember has continued to grow each year, both in terms of participation numbers and
funds raised. In its first year, 30 Mo Bros took part in Movember and last year, in Australia alone, 125,000
Mo Bro & Sistas got on board, raising more than $8 million for each of Movember’s men’s health partners.
Today, in its sixth consecutive year, Movember takes place around the world. Motivated by what was
happening in Australia, a further five countries now embrace the Mo each November—New Zealand, US,
Canada, UK and Ireland are all helping Movember to achieve its ultimate goal—to change the face of men’s
health globally.
To date, Movember has raised AUS$60 million globally for the fight against prostate cancer and depression
in men. And, more importantly, as a direct result, male awareness of health issues has improved with
Movember helping to spread health messages directly to millions of Mo Bros & Sistas around the world.
Going forward, Movember will continue to work towards helping to change established habits and attitudes
and make men aware of the risks they face, thereby increasing early detection, diagnosis and effective

 High Commissioner of India hosts meeting with the Indian Community members
 from all over Australia at Hyatt, Canberra and evening reception with Australian
 Parliamentarians at the Embassy.
 Members of the Indian community and ethnic media from all over Australia
 gathered at High Commission of India Canberra on 28 October 2009. It was
 a good occasion as people shared
 views and discussed issues relating
 to the Indian community. There
 were the afternoon session and the
 evening reception with the Australian
 Parliamentarians. The event was worth
 remembering both in terms of gathering
 and the relevant issues so discussed.
 Sujatha Singh, High Commissioner of
 India took active interest in the issues
 related to the Indian community.

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

                    Why America will lead the
                        “Asian Century”
                                                                                                     -John Lee*
Singapore—Not a week passes, it seems, without a big-
picture thinker releasing a big-picture book or giving
a big-picture sermon describing the gradual eclipse of
American hegemony in Asia. True, American power
will inevitably decline in relative terms as Asian
giants such as China and India rise. But, at least as
far as Asia is concerned, arguments about the end of
American hegemony ring hollow.
For one thing, the United States was never a hegemon
in Asia. Only some American post-Cold War
triumphalists thought it was. The nature of US power
and the exercise of its influence was always much
more clever and subtle than most assume. In fact, as
India and China rise, the US could actually find itself
in a stronger position.
How can this be? After all, power and influence are
built on the back of economic success. The Chinese
economy has been doubling in size every ten years
since 1978. The Indian economy has been doing
the same since 1991. In contrast, it takes about two                                  John Lee
decades for the US economy to double in size. Doesn’t
this surely mean that Asia is rushing toward a state            Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to host its critical
of multi-polarity—a configuration of roughly equal              radar infrastructure.
great powers balancing against each other—while
American influence is on the wane?                              Moreover, in remaining preeminent, America requires
                                                                other key states and regional groupings, such as
                                                                ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), to
 The interdependent relationship means                          acquiesce in its security relationships. Thus, there is
 that the US is not so powerful that it                         broad-based regional approval of US alliances with
                                                                Japan, South Korea, and Australia, as well as with
 can readily ignore the wishes of key                           partners such as the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
 states and it is here that its apparent                        and India. The key to the effectiveness of these
 weakness is actually strength.                                 bilateral relationships is that they enjoy widespread
                                                                support (and thus legitimacy) in the region as
                                                                stabilizing arrangements. The whole is greater than
The seemingly obvious conclusion would be true but              the sum of its parts.
for the fact that Asia has a unique kind of hierarchical
security system that came about partly by accident              Combined with the raw military capacity that the
and partly by design.                                           US brings to the table, this means that America is
                                                                powerful enough to enforce the peace and provide
No power can be preeminent if it cannot maintain                stability for commerce to thrive. America’s presence
its military advantage over rivals. Yet, despite the            and bilateral partnerships are complementary to Asian
fact that America spends more on defense than                   states’ obsession with counter-dominance and non-
the next ten powers combined, it has never been a               interference in the region.
regional hegemon because it actually relies on the
cooperation of other states to remain predominant.              This dynamic “liberal order”—largely fair, flexible,
Without cooperation from allies such as Japan, South            and open enough to welcome new entrants as they
Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines, the US could             rise—will continue to serve Asia well. For example,
not retain its forward military positions in the West           even China has been a major beneficiary of the public
Pacific. Likewise, the US needs the cooperation of              goods provided by the US-led hierarchical system.

                                                                                                          7.5 November 2009

This interdependent relationship means that the US is           the top, it would not need the same level of regional
not so powerful, that it can readily ignore the wishes          cooperation and acquiescence to maintain its position
of key states, and it is here that its apparent weakness        and military footholds.
is actually strength. America is not a Hobbesian
                                                                As China and India rise, and Japan becomes more
Leviathan with absolute authority and power. Indeed,
                                                                “normal,” they will balance each other within the US-
China’s strategists are frequently puzzled by the lack
                                                                led hierarchy to ensure that the US remains on top and
of “balancing” that takes place against the US in the
                                                                one or the other doesn’t dominate. If China makes a
region. But it is puzzling only if we characterize Asia
                                                                bid for regional hegemony, it will find it difficult to
as being multi-polar rather than hierarchical.
                                                                resist the structural constraints placed on it within this
 As China and India rise and Japan                              US power is in relative decline, but that is no bad thing.
 becomes more “normal”, they will                               False triumphalism breeds poor discipline. But a sense
                                                                of strategic vulnerability breeds interdependency,
 balance each other within the US-                              which has always been the key to successful US
 led hierarchy to ensure that the US                            leadership in Asia.
 remains on top and one or the other                             *John Lee is a foreign policy fellow at the Centre for
 doesn’t dominate. .                                             Independent Studies in Sydney and a visiting fellow
                                                                    at the Hudson Institute in Washington. His most
In fact, any balancing tends to take place in order to                               recent book is “Will China Fail?”
preserve the hierarchy, not to replace or supersede it.
                                                                                       Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2009
Other states tend to resist bids by any Asian power—
be it Japan, China or India—to rise to the top of the
pyramid. As a foreign-based power, the US needs the
cooperation of Asian partners. This keeps the top dog
in check. Were an Asian country like China to rise to

                                  Barack Obama’s Peace ?
   Nobel Prize committee voted Barack Obama’s promise for the world’s future. But the
   global marketplace held a very different vote on America’s future. The Norwegian
   Nobel Committee awarded the US President the peace prize for 2009 for having
   “created a new climate in international politics”.
   The world’s foreign exchanges have been busy reassessing the climate in international
   realpolitik. The US dollar is falling sharply against currencies around the world. The
   divergence between Obama’s Nobel honour and the marketplace repricing of his
   country’s future would appear to be a stark lesson in the difference between hope
   and reality. Hope for Obama’s plans may soar, but his ability to meet those hopes is
   shrivelling with the value of the currency.
   The US recession is a problem today, as it pales into insignificance next to the danger of America’s vast
   government debt. The “dismal deficit outlook poses a huge longer-term threat”. It implies a savage sell-
   off of the US dollar. The consequences “could jeopardise the entire recovery” of the American economy.
   The world increasingly doubts that the US Government can repay its debts. A combination of prior tax
   cuts, years of high spending and a brutal recession have produced the worst budget conditions in 75
   years.” US must cut its spending and that implies a shrunken US ability to deliver on just about all of
   Obama’s ambitions.
   The US deficit is a bipartisan disaster. It demands a bipartisan solution. The Nation should be extremely
   careful with forecasting the decline and fall of America. Its future will not be secured by complacency or
   boosterism. Its future success, or failure, lies in the wisdom of its policy choices.
   But America has the ability, as it has shown repeatedly, to regenerate itself, as long as it is ruled wisely.
   America is not predestined to rule the world, nor is it fated to collapse. Its future is in its own hands.
                                                 Contributor: Peter Hartcher, International Editor, Sydney Morning Herald

                                                                                                         7.5 November 2009

                                 Hindi and Urdu:
                                 The Twin Sisters
                                                                                               -Gambhir Watts*

Urdu/Hindi, the lingua franca of Indo-Pakistani people            Hindustani is the linguistic super family uniting all in
written in Arabic Persian Script is a combination of              the subcontinent and can even help the famous peace
two separate scripts and names Hindi in Deva Nagari               process between India and Pakistan. In fact, Urdu/
and Urdu in Arabic. Urdu’s history is enmeshed                    Hindi and Hindustani are three names for one speech
with religious terms like Indira, Mitra, Siva, Allah,             language, the lingua franca of the Indian subcontinent
Rab. These are shared by Muslims, Hindus, Jews,                   or undivided British India (prior to 1947). Urdu and/
Christians. Urdu is amalgamated with Mesopotamia’s                or Hindustani, as a successor of Persian, was adopted
rich vocabulary and grammar shared among Arabic,                  by the British in 1835 as the administrative language
Sanskrit, Dravidian and Persian.                                  and a medium of education because of the national
                                                                  and global status of Persian script. The synthesis
The languages have divided men into Hindus, Muslims
                                                                  of a new Hindi was achieved by purging of Arabic/
etc but can even reunite them into a common heritage
                                                                  Persian words and the demand and struggle of Hindu
of cultures, religious ideas, sciences and languages.
                                                                  nationalists to remove Urdu. The British, who created
Both Urdu and Hindi have been the assimilation of
                                                                  Hindi and instigated the development of Hindi
thousands of Arabic/Persian terms created from
                                                                  nationalism, never removed Urdu and the struggle
                                                                  continued until partition.
 The similarities in Islam and Hinduism                           The secular leaders like Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru and
 make this bond Urdu/Hindi impeccable                             others were in favour of continuation of Hindi and
 as Urdu emerged from Hindi which in                              Urdu. In fact Mahatma Gandhi, who favoured Urdu’s
                                                                  continuation even after partition, was perceived as
     turn has its origin in Sanskrit                              pro-Muslim. In India Urdu lost its status as the primary
                                                                  language to its twin Hindi in 1949, but it remained
Sanskrit. They are the common linguistic melting                  important. It is still commonly utilized as the second
pot with the source of a single shared script in                  language in many states. In Pakistan it has retained its
Mesopotamia, centered at Iraq. These are inclusive of             prime position.
Western India and Egypt/Greece range of influence.
                                                                  From a deeper perspective recognizing the global
Early literature from Pali integrates with Sufi literature
                                                                  substrates in its genesis and true to its heritage,
of 9–16 th centuries to form one language, the Hindi. It
                                                                  Urdu/Hindi has grown to be a truly global language
is only after the period 1800–1900 that it diverges into
                                                                  including its variants making Urdu/Hindi as world’s
a Hindi and an Urdu stream.
                                                                  most widely used language by around 20–30 million
The similarities in Islam and Hinduism make this                  people. In fact, 700 million people claim it as their
bond Urdu/Hindi impeccable as Urdu emerged                        mother language and/or second language. The cultural
from Hindi which in turn has its origin in Sanskrit.              unity of South Asia is robustly maintained as Pakistani
Languages are an earthly creation free from religion              media retaining Hindi and Urdu retaining its hold in
as Hindi created for Hindus is now turning holy for               Indian streets. Urdu/Hindi has its old quality, neither
Indian Muslims. Urdu/Hindi may be viewed as neither               Hindu nor Muslim, but non-parochial and secular.
Aryan nor Hindu nor Muslim, but as a purely Indian,
                                                                  To comprehend the history and linguistic base of Urdu/
South Asian, a hybrid of five known linguistic groups,
                                                                  Hindi, one has to look at the Indian subcontinent or
Munda, Dravidian, Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic.
                                                                  South Asia as a geopolitical and linguistic entity, like
Urdu/Hindi has the capability to heal religious, racial
                                                                  Europe, with language-based regional sub-nations and
divisions and focuses on inclusiveness and healing
                                                                  a shared vision of history and culture. Linguistically
through its scientific history. It helps one to rise above
                                                                  as many as four families are identifiable: the largest
one’s personal bias, provide modern outlook with a
                                                                  Indo-Aryan (IA) branch of the worldwide Indo-
global and scientific perspective and an aptitude for
                                                                  European family; Tibeto-Burmese (TBR) of China;
self-criticism, reorientation.
                                                                  Dravidian (DR) and the large Austro-Asiatic (AA)

                                                                                                        7.5 November 2009

                                                               called Para-Hindi or Para-Urdu despite their own
                                                               regional scripts and political culture. In addition
                                                               Hindi/Urdu is not infrequently spoken in these areas
                                                               as a second language, and its films are equally popular.
                                                               In fact, Urdu and Hindi are one and the same like two
                                                               sides of a coin. Hindi/Urdu may be the world’s most
                                                               widely used language, if one includes Para-Urdu/
                                                               Para-Hindi or regional dialects.
                                                               Poetry has to be one of the more challenging forms of art,
                                                               not only to create but to interpret and understand. For
                                                               anyone who loves poetry (whether it be by great poets
                                                               of bygone eras or their contemporary counterparts)
                                                               it is forever present to be recited or referenced with
                                                               much enthusiasm and passion. Sometimes with an
                                                               element of snobbery, the culturally aware drop poetic
                                                               references into routine conversations in artsy circles
                                                               to look down upon their middle class acquaintances

                                                                Urdu/Hindi has grown to be a truly
family of Pacific South East Asia. TBR occupies
the extreme northeast bordering China-Burma and                           global language
Indian state of Assam, and Bangladesh. The DR
family with its four popular languages, Tamil, Telugu,
                                                               and remind us that poetry is inaccessible to those
Kannada and Malayalam, dominates the south. The
                                                               without a certain pedigree or education.
IA family dominates the rest in about three-fourths of
undivided India. The AA family, through its dialects           Unfortunately, I am one of those middle class types
Munda, Santali, Kol etc overlaps all others but is             who cannot recite a poetry or even quote poetic verses
concentrated in the central eastern highlands in the           amid conversation to support a polemic argument
state of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and Bihar. Its role        about the state of the world today. I sometimes do feel
is more basic in Urdu and other languages such as              rather belittled when others who are admittedly more
Sindhi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali,         brilliant than me are able to do what I only wish I
Assami, Oriya and Nepali which are currently grouped           had the ability to do. To look someone squarely in the
as IA dialects of IE Sanskrit.                                 eyes, focus and let loose my verbal assault through
                                                               Ghalib’s or Neeraj’s—ah, what a dream I dream!
Urdu/Hindi, the largest amongst these, is well
comprehended in all IA dialectional tract; all share a                                                       *President
common genesis, grammar, syntax and about 90% of                                    Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia
their vocabulary. These dialects can be appropriately

 Annual Sir Syed Day Dinner 2009 Celebrated in Australia
 AMU Alumni Association of Australia takes great pride in its asociation with the prestigious Aligarh
 University and continously honours its Alma Mater by following its traditions, and celeberate the birth
 anniversy of it’s founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. This Celebration is called “Sir Syed Day”. All AMU
 students, old and new, their families, employees, and associates, and friends are invited to share this great
 day with us. Traditionally the program starts with the recitation of the AMU Tarana, and includes speeches by
 the Guest speaker, Chief guest, Alumni Executive, Alumni Scholarship, award ceremony, cultural program/
 mushaira, and followed by a grand dinner. All funds generated are for used for scholarship to poor students.
 The Sir Syed Day Function and Dinner was held at 6:30 PM, on 31st Oct 2009, at Parramatta Town Hall,
 132 Church Street, Sydney NSW, Australia.

 15th Annual Mushaira 2009 by Urdu Society of Australia
 Urdu Society of Australia held the Annual Mushaira on Friday 23 October 2009 at Himalaya Restaurant,
 Granville. The event also included international urdu poets Mr Khalid Sharif (Pakistan) and Mohtarma Sajid
 Zaidi among other local poets.

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

                    Melbourne Cup Day 2009
                      A Day when the Nation comes to a Standstill…….

       he first held Melbourne Cup in 1861 marked               at the Cup Day with
       an impeccable history in Australia and its               minimum counts of
       states and has never stopped since then. This            110,000       spectators
famous day observes world’s most prestigious horse              being there to hoot for
races with spectators’ eyes glued to the TV sets and            their personal favorites.
                                                                The current distance of
                                                                the racing track is 3200
                                                                meters and Kingston
                                                                Rule, winner 1990 took
                                                                3 minutes 16.3 seconds
                                                                to     complete      this
                                                                distance. However, the
                                                                first Melbourne Cup in
                                                                1861 gave a gold watch
                                                                and 170 pounds cash
                                                                prize to the Winner
                                                                The Australian sporting
                                                                and         socializing
                                                                calendar takes an entire new twist on the first Tuesday
                                                                of every November when the irresistible Melbourne
radio commentaries.
                                                                Cup Carnival starts. Since 1861, at 3.00 pm AEST
On the day of the Cup, Melbourne city is full of life           at the Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, this
with people flocking from different backgrounds to be           extravagant game of race begins with all high spirits.
a part of this legendary horse race. Also curious people        2009 Cup was no exception to this. The 2009 Cup
from Sydney, Canberra etc fly down to Melbourne to              Carnival had been a great tourist attraction among the
add more flavor to this annual Cup Day. The hallmark            people. It was really a joy for the horse racing lovers.
event is also famous for its urban fashion parade and           Fashion and celebrity added glitter to the show. From
other racetrack fashions which steal the horse racing           now on, the focus on equality amongst the sexes at the
business. There are some who feel that the spirit of            Melbourne Cup should be there with the need of more
the sport is lost in the fashion fiesta that takes place        female jockey participating in the race, competing on
during the event. Nonetheless people enjoy the day              equal footing against men.
                                                                Melbourne Cup has become synonymous to Australia’s
Horse Racing analysis and betting has always been               way of celebration and festivity. At the end of the
quite prominent among many overtly passionate                   celebrations there are people who are overjoyed
lovers while others try their luck by entering into             and people who are light on their pocket but the
lotteries or some small gambles. The Carnival attracts          enthusiasm of The Melbourne Cup never dies. This
a different mood among thousands of people who                  day brings people of all communities to raise a toast
enjoy with champagne, canapés and their attractive              and share the grand carnival. Next year again too, the
race day costumes. What might seem so striking about            excitement for this day will gain its momentum as
this day is its worldwide frenzy despite its gradual            2009 hangover settles down. But till then, let’s gallop
modifications. The biggest change in this race has              with the 2009 winning horse SHOCKING.
been the arrival of many foreign horses to contest the
race. Yet this Cup is an eye candy for the overseas                                         - Compiled by Pooja Kohli
media and the other obsessive horse race lovers.
Each year, since 1861 there has been a significant
upsurge in the number of people coming to cheer

                                                                                                           7.5 November 2009

                           Science and Literature
                                                                                                      -Dharam Pal*

       cience and literature are the two most                      It is limited to the establishment of a hypothesis. But
       important disciplines that have revolutionized              once the initial hypothesis is over, the intuitional
       human society. These major disciplines are                  application of human mind is also over. Then the
the two steps towards a gradual evolution of human                 scientist comes to cold experimentations with a
society. It can be conclusively pointed out that these             margin of error. Unlike the man of religion he gives a
evolutionary forces never come to a dead end. On the               fare scope to error in judgment and experimentation.
other hand their constant endeavour is to experiment,              This language is not normative but objective and
explore and make tremendous advancements in terms                  proof-ridden.
of human prosperity and understanding. Evolution is
                                                                   The scientist starts his investigations where the
defined as a journey from uniformity to deformity and
                                                                   previous scientists have left. He must take into
from deformity to uniformity. It is applicable to any
                                                                   account the previous inventions and discoveries of his
                                                                   fellow scientists. On the other hand, the creative man
  Science and literature have their own                            in literature has to start afresh. He, of course, learns
  specific limitations beyond which                                from other writers but he is not supposed to imitate
                                                                   them. He must take his own imaginative flights and
  they can not operate. But they are                               probes into the nature’s reality that he intends to
  complementary to each other. They                                explore. He must create his own imaginative world that
  help us to have comprehensive view                               is complete in itself yet a part of the world beyond his
                                                                   immediate existence. The world of poem or a novel or
  of human nature and society.                                     any other creative world is synthetic. It is imaginative
                                                                   and an amalgam of divergent forces. Unlike scientific
evolutionary force manifesting in human society. That
is why there are periods of decadence and stopping
in science and literature. But it is not a historical
process. It is a temporary arrangement in the process
of evolution. Science and literature present before
us two visions or points of view of human life and
the world. Science deals with a world of objective
realities and empirical truths distanced away from
personal prejudices and personal interpretations of the
universe. The scientist, in his scientific explorations,
takes the shelter of objective, cold conclusions.
He does not allow his personal vision to colour
his scientific conclusion. His language is personal
and cold. It is in no way emotive. It is imbued in

 Poetic truth and Scientific truth
 are different from each other. Both                               investigations, it is not analytical. It is born out of
 are essential to the growth of man.                               the intensity of imagination. This intensity is able
 One is mainly concerned with the                                  to bring a harmony in discordant feelings and ideas.
                                                                   According to T.S. Eliot new wholes are created in
 physical advancement and the other                                the poet’s mind. These creative, imaginative wholes
 is concerned with the emotive and                                 are self-sufficient and do not require any outside
 intuitional aspects of man’s life                                 testimony to support them. Poetic truth is supported
                                                                   by emotive language. It sets out to explore the inner
                                                                   and psychological dimensions of human psyche. It is
rationality and logic. It evades personal and emotive
                                                                   a curious combination of the outer and inner pulsating
shades of personal whims. Scientific reason has its
                                                                   with a life of its own. Poetic truth and Scientific truth
own limitation. It is that scientific outlook is creative
                                                                   are different from each other. Both are essential to
also but it is confined to the initial stages of scientific
                                                                   the growth of man. One is mainly concerned with
                                                                   the physical advancement and the other is concerned

                                                                                                           7.5 November 2009

with the emotive and intuitional aspects of man’s life.             Aldous Huxuly, who in his novels follows a method
Poetic truth perceives beauty in creation. It acquaints             of objective exploration of reality. Despite his being
us with the most beautiful and ugly aspects of human                a visionary he exposes the nature of reality in the
life. It is a direct confrontation with life and is                 most analytical manner. Some of the conclusions
imaginative reflection of life. On the other hand the               he arrives at are scientifically highly elevating and
scientist is a keen observer of life and the physical               beneficial. As a matter of fact, the vision, exuberance
                                                                    and emotion of artistic creation is to follow a medium
                                                                    that is objective and impersonal. It is through medium
 A scientist may be as imaginative and                              that an artist achieves a sense of universality in his
 emotive as an artist. There are certain                            creative manifestations. As such vision and emotion
 glaring examples that show that a                                  are raw material to be given a pattern. The pattern has
 scientist can be artistic in temperament.                          a semblance of life. It may be the medium of a poem,
                                                                    novel or a drama. The treatment must be scientific
                                                                    and must represent reality as far as possible. It is
realities of nature. His mind is open to the laws of                through structure that the writer displays his creative
intricacies of nature.                                              dexterity. Passion, emotion must cohere in a form,
                                                                    otherwise everything in creativity will be blurring
Both the scientist and the poet or any other creative artist
                                                                    and overlapping. Life as such is chaotic. Human
are essential for the growth of mankind. Their absence
                                                                    emotions also do not follow a particular channel.
from the society will create a kind of stagnation and
or leading to death and decay. Science and literature
have their own specific limitations beyond which they                Science and literature have their
can not operate. But they are complementary to each                  distinct domains yet they embrace
other. They help us to have comprehensive view of
                                                                     each other at many vital points
human nature and society. A writer can totally absent
himself from his works in order to provide a glimpse
                                                                    Our sub-conscious mind is also an arena of confusing
in the objective reality. Truth must be shorn off from
                                                                    thoughts and emotions. Human life, traditions and
all personal attachments and coloring of vision. It can
                                                                    its history can be put in imaginative discipline only
be achieved by a creative writer or an artist if he gets
                                                                    through form. And the form is given to human life
into the habit of thinking in a detached manner.
                                                                    only through structure. According to a writer, it is
The scientist as well as the creative artist—both are to            only literature that gives meaning to our existence.
be respected and given full recognition by the people               It imparts meaning to human emotions and trends
around them. It is the combined view of the scientist               in the society. Moreover literature brings to us the
and the writer that helps human personality in the                  past, present and the future. In the conclusion we can
fullest sense, we must help in the growth of both the               sum up that science and literature have their distinct
disciplines.                                                        domains yet they embrace each other at many vital
As such there is no intrinsic clash between the poetic              points.
and scientific truths. A scientist may be as imaginative
and emotive as an artist. There are certain glaring
examples that show that a scientist can be artistic in
temperament. For example Dr Einstein, the greatest
scientist of the present century, was a man of artistic
temperament. He often played on his violin sitting
on the sea shore. He was very much attracted by the
awe and mystery of nature that manifested through                           *Dharam Pal is a Retd. Professor in English
the sprawling vastness of the sea. Despite being a                   Literature. His published works includes six novels
man of scientific outlook, he displayed his aesthetic               and two collections of short stories in Hindi and two
sensibilities. Similarly a man of artistic out-look can                                   unpublished novels in English.
be scientific in his attitude to the nature of reality.
He can be rational and objective in the exploration of
truth. Among such writers we can cite the example of

                                                                                                       7.5 November 2009

                   Bhavan’s Children Section
                     Celebrating Children’s Day:
                     Despite of Social Prejudices
                                                                                                      - Pooja Kohli*
14 November, a day which marks the birthday of
India’s first iconic Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru, whose unconditional love and affection for
the children held no bounds. From educating them to
lovingly fostering them, Nehru Ji did it all with utmost
dedication and sincerity. It was his unabated fondness
for the young children that universally symbolizes
this day as “Children’s Day”.
Even today the much awaited children’s day
celebration takes place with great fervor all over the
world with India celebrating this day on November 14
while the world celebrates on November 20.
With this, the message of Jawaharlal Nehru fondly
remembered as Chacha Nehru reverberates in my
  “Children of the country should be provided
  with proper foundation so that they can uplift
  the nation to greater heights and prosperity.
  However, failure to feed and educate the children
  buries all expectations of the nation”
Excitement and enthusiasm forms the strong foundation
of this day among both children and adults. But to
a considerable extent, it feels that the interpretation
of this day has completely changed. Today this has
been modified as a day of freedom among the young
generation who have unlimited demands and high
                                                                Ironically, this facet of life makes one reminisce the
knitted hopes. Their soaring aspirations and ambitions
                                                                unusual progress of the world. On the other hand,
are definitely creating a new path for the future
                                                                another picture of today’s modern youth clearly
development. In close scrutiny, when I sit down to
                                                                highlights the commendable positions they have
think about Children’s Day, for some reason many
                                                                attained in all spheres of life. With top-notch jobs and
indifferent thoughts keep pouring into my mind.
                                                                an extraordinary spark to lead life, they have shown
It somehow vents my imagination to think that apart             everybody the true zest to live life.
from 14 November, all other days of the year, we read
                                                                However, both these contrasting experiences clearly
cases of female foeticide, child abuse and other cases
                                                                depict the wide aspects of life which are exhibited
of vandalism which the young children are subjected
                                                                by our youths today. Nevertheless, what makes this
to. At one hand, laws of corporal punishments have
                                                                generation very special is the mere fact that they
been strictly enforced in schools, yet some schools
                                                                have a bold heart to confront issues which are a part
secretly smack the toddlers and heartlessly beat the
                                                                of social prejudices. Young and daring youths are
kids. Does this mean that November 14 has lost its
                                                                submitting themselves to fight against such social
significance or does it mean that this day is observed
                                                                injustices which have been ruling many nations since
as one when children will not be ill-treated? Though
Reality bites hard and reporting such brutal incidents
makes my heart weep.                                            The social taboos which have been inflicted in

                                                                                                      7.5 November 2009

                                                                Universal Children’s Day on November 20. Also,
                                                                every state and territory within Australia effectively
                                                                extends support to the Government for the purpose of
                                                                UNICEF. Annual cultural activities also take place at
                                                                various locations to raise funds for the disadvantaged
                                                                children all throughout Australia by means of selling
                                                                Children’s Day cards.
                                                                The Universal Children’s Day as observed on 20
                                                                November reminds the young people aged 10-
                                                                19 about their rights ad privileges in the country.
                                                                For this purpose, the UN General Assembly on 14
                                                                December 1954 made a prominent recommendation
                                                                to all governments to celebrate Children’s day as a
                                                                day of brotherhood and understanding among the
                                                                children. The well accepted and appreciated response
                                                                from across the nations helped in implementing the
                                                                Declaration of the Rights if the Child in 1959. The
                                                                Convention on the Rights of the Child on November
                                                                20, 1989 ratified countries to safeguard the interests
our society since ages needs to be revised in many              of the children and the young people whose basic
dimensions. The efficacy of today’s youth lies in               demands have been put at stake. Their basic right
making a phenomenal change in the world since they              to education, heath, recreation and justice cannot be
have the driving force which sets them out from the             neglected rather it has to be effectively dealt with.
others. May this Children’s Day be a complete day               Only once the voices of these young children will
of self realization among the youths, the children              be heard can the developed and developing nations
and the adults. Last but not the least, the celebrations        collectively move towards dealing with other social
of Children Day are not only limited to developing              challenges like AIDS, feticide, smoking and drinking.
countries. Rather other developed countries like
United States, Japan, New Zealand etc give high
regard to this day.                                             *Pooja Kohli, an international student pursuing
                                                                Masters in Community Development in Australia
Even Australia celebrates this day with great
                                                                got her association with Gandhian values and beliefs
pomp and show with Indian and the Non-Indian
                                                                during her graduation years in Delhi when she was
communities taking immense pride in observing the
                                                                made the President of Gandhi Study Circle.

                                                                                                                                                             Join Buffet Lunch@
                                                                                                                                                             12Noon Friday,
                                                                                                                                                             Nov 27, 2009
                                                                                                                                                             Swissotel Level 8,
                                                                                                                                                             Market St, Sydney

                                         
                                       
                                                                                             
                                                                                    
                                                                                                   
                                                                    
                                      
                                                                                          
                                                     
                                       

                                                                                             
                                                                                             

       SPONSORS: Indian Link, Wholesale Investor, ACR Travels, Peter Lehmann Wines, MaverickMav

                                                                    Topics Include:
                                                                    Topics Include:

                                                                    Innovation Democracy –Microsoft’s MD
                                                                    Innovation Democracy –Microsoft’s MD
                                                                    Cross Border Entrepreneurship in 2010
                                                                    Cross Border Entrepreneurship in 2010
                                                                    Social Innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid
                                                                    Social Innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid
                                                                    Innovating for Global Humanitarian Values
                                                                    Innovating for Global Humanitarian Values
                                                                    Finding the MAGIC of Innovation
                                                                    Finding the MAGIC of Innovation                                           
                                                       FUNDING the Innovation for Success
                                                                    FUNDING the Innovation for Success                                     
                                    
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                
                                                                                     
                                                                                         
                                                                                                      
                                                                                                    7.5 November 2009

        Homage to Two Legends of Music
August 15, 1947.
The entire Madras
Province comprising
the whole of the
present Tamil Nadu,
and substantial parts
of the present Kerala
and Karnataka, woke
up to the strains
of       Subramania
Bharatis Aaduvome,
pallu paaduvome on
All India Radio.
The singer was D.K.
Pattammal, musical
legend,       concert                            D.K. Pattammal and Gangubai Hangal
pioneer,     doughty
patriot and a lot
more. That immortal voice was stilled in July, 2009,      If Gangubai did not leave a legacy by way of disciples,
though her music survives her, thanks to technology       Pattammal lives on through her granddaughter,
and a host of disciples spanning three generations.       Nithyashree Mahadevan, besides present-day top
                                                          draws such as Vijay Siva and others. Perhaps the
Coincidentally, within days of Pattammal’s death,         greatest attribute of (and tribute to) Pattammal’s rich
another incomparable musical voice too fell silent,       contribution to Carnatic music was her openness to
with the death of Gangubai Hangal, doyenne of the         challenges. Challenging the mores of the times that
                                                          did not approve of ladies from Brahmin households
  Both these ladies lived to their nineties, performing concerts, she successfully broke the male
                                                          monopoly of the times that precluded women singers
   both were recipients of Padma                          from exhibiting their skills on concert platforms. She
  Vibhushan, the nation’s second highest                  was among the first to include Tamil compositions in
   civilian award and, by widespread                      the first half of a concert in an era that mandated that
                                                          this segment be devoted to compositions in Sanskrit
  views of countless music lovers                         or Telugu. She sang freely for the Tamil cinema of the
   deserved the highest honour of Bharat                  time, popularising compositions such as Aaduvome
   Ratna                                                  Pallu Paduvome and Vettri Ettu Dhikkum, adding her
                                                          resonant voice to the call for freedom. Gangubai too
                                                          was a free-spirited musician, whose life is a story
famed Kirana Gharana. Both these ladies lived             of dedication to music against formidable odds. Her
to their nineties, both were recipients of Padma          contribution to the propagation of Indian classical
Vibhushan, the nation’s second highest civilian award     music is something that will be remembered for a
and, by widespread views of countless music lovers        long time to come. Gangubai was the most acclaimed
deserved the highest honour of Bharat Ratna. Both         exponents of the gharana founded by Ustad Abdul
Gangubai and Pattamal were beyond the awards and          Karim Khan and Ustad Abdul Waheed. The other
honours they were flooded with in their long life in      important exponents of this gharana are Suresh Babu
music. Pattammal thought little of her invariable         Mane, Hirabai Barodekar, Pt Sawai Gandharva, Pt
inclusion in the musical trinity consisting of herself,   Bhimsen Joshi, Pt Basavaraj Rajguru, Begum Parween
M.S. Subbulakshmi and M.L. Vasanthakumari.                Sultana and Pt Firoz Dastur. Gangubai mastered the
Both were synonymous with shraddha or reverence to        Kirana gharana style and spread the sweetness of
the greatness of music itself. Enough has been written    her music all over India, through several prestigious
elsewhere about their musical excellence that it would    festivals, radio broadcasts and recordings, carving
be quite inadequate to express the debt we Indian         a niche for herself in the music world, otherwise
music lovers collectively owe them in terms of verbal     dominated by males.
praise and thanksgiving.                                                      Source: Bhavan’s Journal, August 31 2009

      songs are people

             m kif sbnaln dike the river’
               h t i g e ‘l
              18 december
              opera house                                        stern sound
                                                                                                         d a r y s in g e r /
                                                                                     ded by legenat fateh ali
                                  ia n v o c a l d r iv e n w e w n f o r h is w o r k w it h is t o r y in o c t o b e r
               m k f is a n in dm a h m o o d k h a n , k n o a h m o o d m a d e m u s ic h             c o n t in e n t t o
               s o n g w r it e r is t w e l v e p ie c e b a n d m e r f r o m t h e in d ia n s u b c h a r t s w it h
               k h a n . w it h h f ir s t s in g e r /s o n g w r it g l e o n a u s t r a l ia n p o e w o r l d /p o p .
               b y b e in g t h e d a n u m b e r o n e h it s ino r t h e n e w m u s ic g e n r
                                  e                                    f
                h a v e a c h ie v e r ’, s e t t in g t h e s t a g e
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                            w w w. b h a v a n a u s t r a l i a . o r g

                                                                           7.5 November 2009

            Charter of
 Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Bhavan) is a non-profit, non-religious, non-political
Non Gover nment Organisation (NGO). Bhavan has been playing a cr ucial role
in educational and cultural interactions in the world, holding aloft the best of
Indian traditions and at the same time meeting the needs of moder nity and
multiculturalism. Bhavan’s ideal ‘is the whole world is but one family’ and its
motto: ‘let noble thoughts come to us from all sides’.
Like Bhavan’s other centres around the world, Bhavan Australia facilitates
intercultural activities and provides a for um for tr ue understanding of Indian
culture, multiculturalism and foster closer cultural ties among individuals,
Gover nments and cultural institutions in Australia.
Bhavan Australia Char ter derived from its constitution is:
To advance the education of the public in:
a) the cultures (both spiritual and temporal) of the world,
b) literature, music, the dance,
c) the ar ts,
d) languages of the world,
e) philosophies of the world.
To foster awareness of the contribution of a diversity of cultures to the continuing
development of multicultural society of Australia.
To foster understanding and acceptance of the cultural, linguistic and ethnic
diversity of the Australian people of widely diverse heritages.
To edit, publish and issue books, jour nals and periodicals, documentaries in
Sanskrit, English and other languages, to promote the objects of the Bhavan or
to impar t or fur ther education as authorized.
To foster and under take research studies in the areas of interest to Bhavan and to
print and publish the results of any research which is under taken.


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sysTem ToTal asseTs of aUd 374 bn, india’s gobal bank wiTh 89 offices in 32 coUnTries spanning all Time zones, commands
nearly one-foUrTh of banking in an economy larger Than aUsTralia, markeT maker for indian rUpee exchange raTe, a
bank UnToUched by global sUbprime crisis, bUsiness increased by aUd 77.69 bn, prime beneficiary of “flighT To qUaliTy,
groUp profiT Up 68.11% in an enVironmenT of collapsing global banking, comforT of goVernmenT of india ownership,
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                                                                                                  7.5 November 2009
                                                                     From Bhavan’s Journal July 26 1959.
                                                                     Reprinted in Bhavan’s Journal July 31 2009

                                             Arise, Awake!
                                           Swami Vivekananda
Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism. Armies, when they
attempt to conquer, only multiply and make brutes of humanity. Spirituality must conquer
the West. Slowly they are finding out that what they want is spirituality to preserve them as
nations. Where are the men ready to go out to every country in the world with the messages
of the great sages of India? Where are the men who are ready to sacrifice everything, so
that this message shall reach every corner of the world? The world wants it; without it, the
world will be destroyed. The whole of the Western world is on a volcano which may burst
tomorrow, go to pieces tomorrow.

                                            True Worship
                                       Srimad Bhagvata Extracts
The characteristic of pure devotion to the Supreme Being is that it has no motive and is incessant. That devotion
is described as absolute by which one transcends the three dispositions (purity, passion, and darkness) and
renders himself fit to become one with Me. Therefore, with charity and honour and with friendship toward all
and non-differentiating outlook, one should worship Me, the Soul of all beings, as enshrined in all beings.

                                    Cooperation is What is Needed
                                           Vinoba Bhave
                     Those who have a clear grasp of Sarvodaya philosophy speak of it highly, meaning that
                     it is good, and nobody has any doubt about it. Nowadays the word ‘co-existence’ has got
                     going but it is too inadequate to serve the purpose. It is co-operation that is now needed.
                     Today we cannot afford to live separately. Science would perforce unite the world. If it was
                     not so, mankind would be wiped out of existence. Now a citizen of any State in India is a
                     citizen of India. Similarly we have to see that a citizen of any country would be a citizen of
                     the world. Thus, all boundaries will disappear. There will be no visa, no passport, nothing.
                     Man will be free to go to any part of the world and shall have the opportunity to work
                     and live lovingly. Only when the world is thus reshaped will its problems be solved. We
                     welcome science and want to utilise scientific knowledge for the happiness of man.
But the best use of science is possible only when non-violence and the plan for decentralisation are added to it.
Racialism, religion and languages which are inseparable from humanity should be put to good use. We should
put it to good use. We should utilise them as tools and not become tools in their hands.

                         Dr. S. Radhakrishnan: The Man and His Works
                                      Dr. P. Nagaraja Rao
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan is the finest product of the contemporary Indian renaissance, which is the result of the
impact of Western and Eastern ideals. He stands for all that is universal and of permanent value in Hindu
thought. He has assimilated the best of the West. Radhakrishnan’s genius has shown itself in his rare ability
as an interpreter of philosophy and as constructive metaphysician. Radhakrishnan laid the foundation for a
universal religion that satisfied the demands of reason and the needs of humanity. Next to religion, education
has been the field of his activity. To him students are near-divine. He has always been able to touch their hearts
and hold their loyalties.

                                                                                                      7.5 November 2009

                                        Holy & Wise
 Ekam Sdvipra Bahudha Vadanti - That is one whom the learned call differently - Vedanta

There is no doubt in this matter that, the more a man directs his mind to auspicious activities, the
more so all his desires are fulfilled - Vidooraneeti
A wise man will desire no more that he may get justly, use soberly, get justly, use sobrely, distribute
cheerfully and leave contentedly. - Burtan
It is wise to get knowledge and learning from every source - from a sot, a pot, a fool, a winter-
mitten, or an old slipper. - Rabelais

At the root of this elaborate structure is the faith that man is not a struggling worm who lives
and dies and is no more. He is a divine essence with a supra-physical destiny, which he can
only realise through truth, consecration and self-discipline.
When he attains self-realisation, he rises above the lures of sense-experience and his personality
becomes integrated.
This process implies two inter-dependent processes; by the first, the ego is surrendered and by the
second, the individual self is broadened into a universal self.
This consummation is variously named self-realisation (Sam-siddhi), emancipation (Mukti or
Moksha), freedom (Nirvana), enlightenment (Jnana), bliss (Ananda), or the absolute integration
of human personality (Kaivalya).
The attempt to lead a life in conformity with the Cosmic Order to attain self-realisation may be
termed the Highest Good.

The Test of Bhavan’s Right to Exist
The test of Bhavan’s right to exist is whether those who work for it in different spheres
and in different places and those who study in its many institutions can develop a sense of
mission as would enable them to translate the fundamental values, even in a small measure,
into their individual life.
Creative vitality of a culture consists in this: whether the ‘best’ among those who belong to
it, however small their number, find self-fulfilment by living up to the fundamental values
of our ageless culture.
It must be realised that the history of the world is a story of men who had faith in themselves
and in their mission. When an age does not produce men of such faith, its culture is on its way
to extinction. The real strength of the Bhavan, therefore, would lie not so much in the number
of its buildings or institutions it conducts, nor in the volume of its assets and budgets, nor even
in its growing publication, cultural and educational activities. It would lie in the character,
humility, selflessness and dedicated work of its devoted workers, honorary and stipendiary.
They alone can release the regenerative influences, bringing into play the invisible pressure
which alone can transform human nature

                                                      The ancient art of Rangoli is said
                                                      to bring good luck and fortune.

             Understanding culture is our business.
             HSBC is proud to be partnering with the Art Gallery of NSW to bring the Indian exhibition Garden and
             Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur to Australia until 26 January 2010. As the world’s local bank, our
             understanding of cultural differences benefits over 100 million customers in 86 markets. And with over
             150 years of banking experience in India, HSBC is able to meet the needs of customers in India and NRIs
             living in Australia.

             To find out more about the exhibition and how HSBC is celebrating Indian Summer,

   Issued by HSBC Bank Australia Limited ABN 48 006 434 162 AFSL 232595.

HSBC0028_IS_282x205.indd 1                                                                                               25/10/09 10:30 PM

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