Wednesday December 19, 2018

Journey beyond: How moksha brings us squarely to the twin realities of birth and death

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The Sanskrit word Moksha is perhaps central to Hindu philosophy. It can be roughly translated as salvation but it does not really imply that. Moksha has far greater complexity than the word salvation connotes.

The idea of moksha is unique to Indian thought and culture. It is attainment of ultimate peace (Shanti), knowledge (Videh), and enlightenment (Kaivalya). The term refers to liberation of oneself from the cycle of death and rebirth. A commonmisconception among the western scholars is that moksha implies an escape from reality. Moksha rather helps to free us from the fear of death and takes us into a world beyond categories.

Moksha is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘release’ or ‘liberation’ from shackles of the world, from the cycle of birth-death-rebirth or more appropriately ‘Incarnation’.

The concept of moksha, brings us squarely to the twin realities of birth and death. The desire not to be born and the desire to seek death are perhaps difficult to comprehend in a world dominated by the myth of total physical gratification in the here and now.

The logic simply directs to perform our worldly duties (dharma), acquire material wealth (artha) and realize desire (kama) to move towards the final goal that is salvation or moksha. Hinduism does not advocate a life of austerities but one of fulfillment and then final transcendence. Moksha like Hinduism is not just a belief or a concept but a way of life.

Content Courtesy: etemplesindia 

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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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Photo credit: theguardian.com

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)