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History of Thanksgiving: Find out how the American Festival is linked to Hindu Roots!

Thanksgiving, one of the major American festivals about relishing the bonds with your family and friends over shared meals is said to have Hindu roots

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Thanksgiving day. Image source: Wikimedia commons
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  • Thanksgiving, one of the major American festivals is said to have Hindu roots in Richard’s book Soul Journey: From Lincoln to Lindbergh
  • In the book, Thanksgiving’s relation to Hindu’s was based on the fact that Sir Abraham Lincoln repeatedly choose Thursdays as national days of prayer
  • Thanksgiving resonates with Diwali where people share food with the hungry and poor just like the former

It’s very easy for a man to sit and wonder about all the things he has lost in life, as life will never let you feel at ease. It’ll never let you feel you’ve got it all sorted! Hence, comes the day of Thanksgiving for his rescue. A time where people give thanks for all that they are blessed with. There’s stuffed turkey, cranberries and a glass of wine on a table shared with families and friends. Although historically speaking, Thanksgiving has its roots in USA and Canada but many nations around the world celebrate it in a secular manner.

But as an Indian-American do you feel left out while you stand and watch a thanksgiving parade pass by? Are Diwali, Holi and the other 99 festivals occupying the entire year not enough for you? Fret not, I present to you the real Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving in the word’s of Richard salve’s book–Soul Journey: From Lincoln to Lindbergh. It’s here to make you feel part of this very American holiday. Now, there’s a way to turn the whole thing vegetarian in an Indian way.

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Abraham Lincoln. Image Source: Wikimedia commons
Sir Abraham Lincoln. Image Source: Wikimedia commons

Soul Journey talks about President Abraham Lincoln’s Hindu origin. It claims that Lincoln was a Himalayan Yogi in his past life and after his death as the 16th President of the United States, he was reborn as Charles Lindbergh. These claims are based on a statement made by Yogananda. Not just this, there were 500 such connections made between Lincoln, Lindbergh, and the Himalayan Yogi.

In the book, Thanksgiving’s relation to Hindu’s was based on the fact that Sir Abraham Lincoln repeatedly choose Thursdays as national days of prayer and fasting, also Thursday is an important holy day in the Indian scriptures where people fast and pray in a similar fashion. It’s interesting to note here that for Hindu’s each day is considered auspicious and is dedicated to one of the 330 million Hindu Gods.

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If the above subtle connection is not going down your throat well then probably the book’s hypothesis that Lincoln set some time aside on Thursdays to grieve over his son, willie’s death might help strengthen the Lincoln and Thursday ideology. The Himalayan Yogi + Auspicious Hindu Thursday’s are an Indian-American’s only tool to not come up short and make his “Thanksgiving, great again”.

On a more serious note, Thanksgiving that was established as an American holiday in 1863 by Lincoln is all about relishing the bonds with your family and friends over shared meals; meals that are not within a poor man’s reach. It’s about giving thanks for the bounty of the harvest and sharing it with the lucked out men and women. Hence, bowing down to the temptation of drawing parallels between American Thanksgiving and Hindu festivals of celebrating the bounty and expressing gratitude towards family members, I feel the need to connect the dots and say that this holiday resonates with Deepawali, which interestingly roughly coincides with Thanksgiving. Diwali is a festival of lights that thanks’ God for all his blessings.

– prepared by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

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A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)