Saturday March 17, 2018

Thousand year old Hindu Shiv linga discovered in Thailand

Thailand is a Buddhist country, but Hinduism was prevalent during 10-12th century

Image source: Shiv linga, sculpture, fine arts, India, Thailand

A Hindu Shiva linga of approximately 1000-1500 years old had been unearthed last week, on the western shore of Thailand province Nakhon Sithammarat, according to a news published in Bangkok Post.

Phra Kru Supakittayaporn, the honorary abbot (priest) of Wat Nang tra (temples) in the Tha Sala district of the province said that this discovery came into light by accident during a construction work in the temple.  While digging down the grounds, the workers discovered the Hindu phallus symbol along with an ancient jar and 20 pieces of Buddha coins.

The shiva linga measures 1 meter long and has a base diameter of 47 cm. It has flowers carved in Tawaravadee style. The sculpture is still in good shape.

The temple authorities brought this to the attention of local fine department authorities.

As the news spread, devotees rushed to the temple to have a look at the Shiva linga and pay their reverences.

The Fine Arts Department director, Anat Bamrungwong believes that these  artifacts date more than thousands years old. He stated that this discovery is no less than a treasure trove.

Shivalinga at Char Bangla Temple, Azimganj Jiaganj, Murshidabad. Wikimedia Commons

Shiva linga is revered by Hindus as a mark of energy and fertility. What exactly is a Shiva Linga?

According to Acharya David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) of USA, the Shiva linga is often portrayed in an upright conical form much like the male sexual organ, but there are many other types of lingas as well. The linga is the symbol of the universal power, the cosmic masculine force or the Shiva principle. It has many forms in nature.

Dr. Frawley adds that: “In the Sanskrit language, the word linga refers to a ‘chief mark’ or ‘characteristic’ of something. As a term, it is not per se a synonym for the male sexual organ, as some would believe. Linga indicates what is outstanding and determinative. In this regard, the male sexual organ can be said to be the distinguishing characteristic or linga of a man at a physical level, but linga in other contexts can have quite a different meaning.”

Today, Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist country. Hinduism was prevalent during 10th – 12th century in Thailand, particularly, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces.

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS