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Hindus and Dalits Likely to organise Annual Festival in Sri Badrakaliamman Temple at Chennai

The Collector in Nagapattinam, S. Palanisamy, has fastened the ban on Mandagapadi, a week-long annual festival of the temple that was about to start on August 8, 2016

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Badrakaliamman Temple. Image source: subaonline.net
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August 7, 2016: A major step has been taken for the upliftment of the Dalit community in Chennai and this year, in 2016, Hindus from Nagapattinam’s Kallimedu village have considered the demand of Dalits from Pazhag Kallimedu to host ‘mandagapadi’ at Sri Badrakaliamman Temple, Chennai, but there is a dispute regarding the date.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) had proposed four proposals to the caste Hindus, which stated that the customs of the 800-year-old temple could not be altered or changed, which the caste Hindus rejected.

The Collector in Nagapattinam, S. Palanisamy, has fastened the ban on Mandagapadi, a week-long annual festival of the temple that was about to start on Monday, August 8, 2016; as earlier three parties failed to break the deadlock over the right claimed by Dalits of Pazhag Kallimedu to host mandagapadi for a day, mentioned The Hindu reports.

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After various failed attempts on a compromise between the two communities, the festival has been banned. Image source: The Hindu
After various failed attempts at the compromise between the two communities, the festival has been banned. Image source: The Hindu

After the festival was banned by S. Palanisamy, both sects of the same Hindu community discussed numerous times regarding the issue, to reach the decision to somehow conduct the festival.

Members from Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) have been staying in the village to derive a conclusion. HMK reports, maximum people from both the sects wanted the festival to be held. The State president Tamilisai Soundararajan from BJP had also visited the village and met representatives from both the communities on August 1 to appeal them to come to an agreement with each other and organise the festivities peacefully, and in brotherhood.

A member of the Hindu group, A. Sivasubramanian, told The Hindu that some people from the group have agreed to make Dalits a part of the festivities so that the festival can be held as per the decided schedule. The Hindu caste group did not wish to be called anti-Dalit. He believes that a peace meeting could have been held before the complete ban on the festival.

Another round of meeting between Hindus and Dalits. Image source: The Hindu
Another round of meeting between Hindus and Dalits.
Image source: The Hindu

A group of people from both Hindus and Dalits is likely to meet the Collector on August 10, in order to negotiate the cancellation of the event.

A representative of the Dalit community, K.Tamilselvam believes that the administration should hold another formal talk to lift the ban on the festival. It is indicated that Hindus are strongly considering to allow Dalits to celebrate Mandagapadi on Saturday, August 13.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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  • AJ Krish

    Only when people come together despite their differences in caste, or religion can a festival be a celebration.

  • Pope

    That picture in this article – is it real ??? There is 1 group of people seated on chairs & another group addressing them seated on the floor !!

    This is year 2016 in modern Chennai for crying out aloud! India claims to be the IT capital of the world with the brightest minds discovering the latest technologies of this world, but the mentality of some of its people hasnt changed very much has it ?

    I’d really to be proven wrong & my allegations baseless. Somebody please correct me as looking at the pic really disgusts me 🙁

SHARE
  • AJ Krish

    Only when people come together despite their differences in caste, or religion can a festival be a celebration.

  • Pope

    That picture in this article – is it real ??? There is 1 group of people seated on chairs & another group addressing them seated on the floor !!

    This is year 2016 in modern Chennai for crying out aloud! India claims to be the IT capital of the world with the brightest minds discovering the latest technologies of this world, but the mentality of some of its people hasnt changed very much has it ?

    I’d really to be proven wrong & my allegations baseless. Somebody please correct me as looking at the pic really disgusts me 🙁

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Shankaracharya: A remarkable genius that Hinduism produced (Book Review)

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

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He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita
He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

Title: Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Tranquebar Press; Pages: 364; Price: Rs 699

This must be one of the greatest tributes ever paid to Shankaracharya, the quintessential “paramarthachintakh”, who wished to search for the ultimate truths behind the mysteries of the universe. His genius lay in building a complete and original philosophical edifice upon the foundational wisdom of the Upanishads.

A gifted writer, Pavan Varma, diplomat-turned-politician and author of several books including one on Lord Krishna, takes us through Shankara’s short but eventful span of life during which, from having been born in what is present-day Kerala, he made unparalleled contributions to Hindu religion that encompassed the entire country. Hinduism has not seen a thinker of his calibre and one with such indefatigable energy, before or since.

Shankara’s real contribution was to cull out a rigorous system of philosophy that was based on the essential thrust of Upanishadic thought but without being constrained by its unstructured presentation and contradictory meanderings.

He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote extensive and definitive commentaries on each of them. Of course, the importance he gave to the Mother Goddess, in the form of Shakti or Devi, can be traced to his own attachment to his mother whom he left when he set off, at a young age, in search of a guru and higher learning.

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.
Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess.

Against all odds, Shankara created institutions for the preservation and propagation of Vedantic philosophy. He established “mathas” with the specific aim of creating institutions that would develop and project the Advaita doctrine. He spoke against both caste discriminations and social inequality, at a time when large sections of conservative Hindu opinion thought otherwise.

Shankara was both the absolutist Vedantin, uncompromising in his belief in the non-dual Brahman, and a great synthesiser, willing to assimilate within his theoretical canvas several key elements of other schools of philosophy. He revived and restored Hinduism both as a philosophy and a religion that appealed to its followers.

Also Read: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Varma rightly says that it must have required great courage of conviction as well as deep spiritual and philosophical insight for Shankaracharya to build on the insights of the Upanishads a structure of thought, over a millennium ago, that saw the universe and our own lives within it with a clairvoyance that is being so amazingly endorsed by science today. The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara’s philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess. The added value of the book is that it has, in English, a great deal of Shankara’s writings. Unfortunately, most Hindus today are often largely uninformed about the remarkable philosophical foundations of their religion. They are, the author points out, deliberately choosing the shell for the great treasure that lies within. This is indeed a rich book. (IANS)