Tuesday, July 12

Mount Kailash

Today, its all spritual.
I used to hear of Mount Kailash and Manas Sarovar as a child from different people. It used to be a strange thing for me. A Place in Himalayas, said to be an abode for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (Shakthi), land where sages and rishis can reach through their dedication and meditation, land which is inaccessible for mere mortal. And then, various fables associated with it from all the ancient scriptures, like Ravana lifting the mountain with his hands, Lord Hanuma residing there in meditation for past thousands of years, in the form of an old sage, all these and many more...

The first time I had a chance to see some snaps of the Kailash Parvat or Kailash Mountain was when my paternal Aunt visited it in 1997. She made a trip to Kailash and Manassarovar in Himalayas, Tibetan region, now under the control of China. And when she returned, she brought some snaps of both the places. Its then that I saw the picture like above.

She explained to us her experiences there while doing the parikramas for Kailash and Manas Sarovar. She told that she felt like walking in a walled Kingdom and when checked, there were no walls, except stones. She also told me that no one can reach the actual mountain by crossing the dunes of rocks laid before it, and any one who tries cannot return

Her trip made me curious and I started doing research on Internet whenever possible on the place. I learnt many a things in the process.

Kailash PArvat is a place of worship for Hindus as well as Buddhists. Common belief for both is that its a land of Sages/Monks. Yet another common belief is that by doing the parikrama of the mountain for a certain number of times, you acheive eternity. Aunt was telling me that there would be a dog accompanying every piligrim and that its a sacred one. The same was confirmed by many in their list of experiences noted on Web. Some wrote that its the guardian angel and some wrote it as monks in the form of Dogs. But, once we are done with the parikrama, the dog disappears itsims.

I read somewhere that doing parikrama around the mountain, with concentration and dedication, will bring peace and tranquility to mind, body, health.

I read about the experiences of others and gained some knowledge. But, I am waiting for the day when I can visit the place and get myself immersed in the beautiful nature. I am waiting for the day when I can enjoy each and every moment of the trip, right from the trekking to parikrama and if possible, spend more time at that place. Awaiting for the call....

Kailash Temple of Ellora, Maharshtra

Kailash Temple is situated at Ellora and is believed that it was constructed by excavating approx. 200,000 tones of rock and is possible the world's largest monolithic structure. Representing Shiva's Himalayan home, the temple is exquisitely sculpted and is considered as one of the most astonishing 'buildings' in the history of architecture. A crowning glory of the art, Kailash temple at Ellora is indeed unique. Instead of carving down into the face of a cliff and creating underground halls which had been the practice, the sculptors/architects set aside all convention and created a full temple, identical in every detail to a structural, 'built-up' example, by carving vertically down into the living rock.

I was searching for some images of Mount Kailash, and in the process of searching, came across Kailash Temple.
I was surprised to see the pictures and the history of the temple located in midst of Ellora Caves. Immediately, decided to make a blog here.

This is added to the list of must visit places now. This place has to be visited in the next one year. else, I may never do that.

Some of the urls on net that give more info/pictures are as follows:

I also came across some more intresting things related to India, Vedic culture, Hinduism, etc. Will blog them also here after studying them completely.

In the mean time, an extract from one of the above sites:

The depiction of the demon Ravana shaking Mount Kailash is a masterpiece contain the scenes of semi-mythological history, the royal court and popular life of the ancient times, as told in romances and plays. Some pictures recall the Greek and Roman compositions and proportions, few late resemble to Chinese manners to some extent. But majority belongs to a phase which is purely Indian as they are found no where else. These monuments were constructed during two different periods of time separated by a long interval of four centuries. The older ones were the product of last to centuries before Christ and belongs to Hinayana period of Buddhism in later part of 2nd century AD when Buddhism was divided into two sections, after the conduct of the fourth general council under another great king, Kanishka.

Friday, July 1

MP's Salary in India

IndiaPolicy Institute: Policy Clearing House: Laws of Indian Corruption

A friend has sent me a mail with the following text:
Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament

Monthly Salary : 12,000
Expense for Constitution per month : 10,000
Office expenditure per month : 14,000

Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : 48,000 (For a
visit to Delhi & return: 6000 km)

Daily BETA during parliament meets : 500

Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train : Free (For any
number of times)
(All over India)

Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40
trips / year
(With wife or P.A.)

Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free

Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units

Local phone call charge : Free up to 1,70,000 calls.

TOTAL expense for a MP per year : 32,00,000

TOTAL expense for 5 years : 1,60,00,000

For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years : 8,54,40,00,000
(nearly 855 cores)
And they are elected by THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, by the
largest democratic process
in the world, not intruded into the parliament on
their own or by any qualification.
This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and
price hike on our regular commodities.......
Think of the great democracy we have.............

On seeing the article, I was tempted to make a search on internet and came across the above article. It was really a good sarcastic article on the MP's. Please do take a look.

To think that we are spending a whopping 170 crores of visible expenditure on our honorable member of Parliaments, I now understand why we have many uneducated people at power.

Instead of saying "God save India", I prefer to say "Let us save India"

India and its influence on other nations...

To my previous post, Kiran Chakravadhanula has given a comment
"Nice post.I believe there are Vishnu temples in angkor (cambodia) and also Muktinath, nepal.India is a very unique place culturally, it has influenced much of Asia if not the world to a great degree. Too bad that many Indians dont realise this."

As I was composing this text, I received a mail from a friend with the following contents:
Some of the following facts may be known to you. These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA .

1. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.
2. India invented the Number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
3. The world's first University was established in Takshila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects... The University of Nalanda built in the 4 th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
4. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software.
5. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.
6. Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty striken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.
7. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago. The very word "Navigation" is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH. (Course of a Boat)
8. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Budhayan's works dates to the 6th Century which is long before the European mathematicians.
9. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India . Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11 th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 1053.
10. According to the Gemmological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.
11. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.
12. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.
13. Chess was invented in India .
14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient India .
15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilisation).
16. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

Well, all these are some of the great things regarding India. rather I should say, Bharatdesh. India is a name given to us by Britishers and Hindustan is what our patriots call it. I prefer to call my Country Bharat.

We did have an influence on many countries in Asia and Europe. There were many historical events and still some places in East Asia follow the culture imparted by our rulers hundreds of years back. It is from India that the concept of greeting people with clasped palms and fingers has arisen. Clasping of palms and fingers in a posture where the palm is drawn near to the heart means that we are welcoming the visitors wholeheartedly. And the same could be seen in Some countries in East Asia, like Thailand, Malaysia, etc.

The Symbol Swastik used by Hitler is borrowed from India. They say that many Vedic Scriptures were taken away from India by foreigners, for they contain many secrets. And Vedic scriptures containing secrets is true.

This is all our past. In the present day, we are fighting, not realising the harm we are doing for ourselves. We love to claim our ancestral roots, but we never take care to preserve them or restore them. We dont even care to follow some of the age old established values, which were proved to have scientific meaning. Why comment on others, even I dont follow. I am aware of the change that has come in myself over the past few years. And the same could be seen in everyone.

Inspite of all the changes that we make to ourself, if we can still preserve our culture, our rich heritage, the values passed on from elders to us, I am sure that we can be doing a better living than what we are today.

I feel surprised to see people who cant speak in their mother language or read/write in that lang. They fancy themselves and speak in english. I dont say that speaking in other languages is not good. You got to speak, in as many languages as possible. only then you can communicate with people of other cultures. But, whats the use when you cannot speak in your mother toungue, the one in which your people speak.

And I am sure that this is not restricted to India alone. This is visible world wide.

Early 1900's saw a revolution in which people across the world changed a lot, major change was seen in lifestyles and the way people perceived relationships. Divorce rate increased slowly. Now, something similar is happening. Lets wait and watch how the tide of time will turn the things and people's attitude.