My temple is bigger than yours


by Sunny
23rd August, 2006 at 8:35 pm    


A picture of the largest Hindu temple in Europe, opening in the West Midlands from today with a five-day religious festival. The design is based on one of the holiest sites in the Hindu world, the Tirupati-Tirumala Temple in India.
BBC News story 1 and story 2. More pictures.


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  1. tasneem khalil » 360° - 24/8 2006

    [...] My temple is bigger than yours. [...]




  1. leon — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

    So that brings the grand total of Mandirs up to what, five, in the UK?

  2. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

    Sponsored by the British Airport Authority! (Sorry, that was in bad taste)

    Wasalaam

    TMA

  3. Katy Newton — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:13 pm  

    Is this bigger than the temple in Neasden?

  4. Don — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:15 pm  

    Mmm, free food.

  5. sunray — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

    why do you have to be so negative about this with your headlines.
    does it make you look cool then?
    who cares whether its bigger or smaller.
    temples arent big enough anywhere.
    they are mostly dingy tiny little corner factories or himes converted into temples.
    so when we get a grand temple you people mock it.

    well its expected on this forum.
    nothing good has ever been posted on hindus here anyway. (that i can recall)

    Grand temples are accepted and expected from Hindus. seems to be a tradition going back 1000s of years.

  6. Katy Newton — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:50 pm  

    Who’s mocking? I think the temple in Neasden is wonderful. I haven’t seen this one yet.

  7. Sunny — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

    Stop crying so much Sunray, jeez. I mock any large religious structure, including the Gurudwara in Southall.

    nothing good has ever been posted on hindus here anyway
    I can mock my own people if I want to. Live with it.

  8. Jagdeep — on 23rd August, 2006 at 9:56 pm  

    Leon, there are plenty of mandirs in Britain, it’s just that many of them are old converted school halls or churches hidden away in dull corners of inner cities. Now that the Hindu community has established itself, it has started to build places of worship which are purpose built.

    Yakoub

    I didnt get your joke?

    ———

    The mandir looks beautiful and it is a credit to the Hindu community of the Black Country to get it built.

  9. Clairwil — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:04 pm  

    Well I’m most impressed. I love a religious building. It’s one of the things that the worlds religions have managed to get right a lot of the time. Are there pictures of the interior?

  10. Sunny — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

    The best ones are the Bahai ones to be honest. If you’ve seen the Lotus temple in New Delhi, you’ll know what I mean.

  11. leon — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

    Leon, there are plenty of mandirs in Britain, it’s just that many of them are old converted school halls or churches hidden away in dull corners of inner cities. Now that the Hindu community has established itself, it has started to build places of worship which are purpose built.

    There are? Strange, how come you get list after list of Gurudwaras and Mosques (and a good number of these are like the Mandirs you suggest) but only a hand full of Mandirs come up? I’m genuinely curious becuase the research I’ve seen suggests there aren’t that many of them…

  12. Billy — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:18 pm  

    I have to agree with Clairwil, the buildings are the best things about religions.

  13. Jagdeep — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:24 pm  

    I don’t know Leon? I see them all over the place. Maybe it’s because Mandirs are not socially networked to the same degree as other religious places. But there are plenty that I know and have visited.

    ———–

    I think Sunny is a man whose experience has made him cynical. Often when it comes to the Indian community, when temples are built it seems as much about ego and competition to see who can build the most impressive one, and in doing so, the principles get by passed.

    Let me give you an example — my Uncle said to me that if an alien came down to Earth in the year 2006 in England and wanted to know who Sikhs worshipped, he would think that they worshipped a God called Marble and Gold, because Gurdwaras are so eager to rebuild themselves in the most lavish manner, when the money could go to better use elsewhere. And the motivation is as much pride as anything else, and the religious message is forgotten.

    I understand that to a certain degree but at the same time, I think temples like this brand new Mandir, and the massive new Gurudwara in Southall, are quite beautiful, because they are the fruit of years of aspiration and hope of their community, built from the donations of the community, and they are a sign that after 2 generations, Sikhs and Hindus have established themselves enough to make nice things, which are open to be visited by all people of all religions, and they encourage non Indians to visit them. I remember, when we first came to England our grandparents would worship in the back rooms of terraced houses, and so the sentimental side of me is happy at this, in contrast to Sunnny’s bittersweet cynicism :-)

  14. sunray — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:39 pm  

    BOOK ON MANDIRS
    If anyone is interested, its just been recently published.
    Ive not got it myself but details are on their website.
    http://www.sandipani.org/publications/shmbook.asp

    title of book
    SHRI HARI MANDIR AND THE GLORY OF HINDU TEMPLES in ENGLISH

    Art Book on the Most Beautiful Hindu Temples of India Compiled by Pooja Taparia and Bhavit Mehta.
    This is an art book. Beautifully designed, gorgeously produced. The photography is captivating and reproductions crystal clear.

    Published by Sanskruti Foundation UK …………….. the book has turned into a veritable treasure trove of highly readable information on the concept of temple worship in India. The information has been very imaginatively and attractively put together. Stunning photographs are interspersed with short informative pieces on various subjects in line with the central theme of the book.

  15. nydesi — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

    “I mock any large religious structure, including the Gurudwara in Southall.”

    I think its a little different in this case.

    This is probably the only traditional south indian temple in the UK, if not Europe.

    The Neasden temple is very specific to one sect.

    even if the community is about 10 thousand, 20 thousand or something small like that, shouldn’t they have a large enough space to accomodate everyone for festive days?

    Even a lot of South Indians from London will probably make the treks out there on weekends in order to worship in the tradition that they know.

  16. leon — on 23rd August, 2006 at 10:53 pm  

    I don’t know Leon? I see them all over the place. Maybe it’s because Mandirs are not socially networked to the same degree as other religious places. But there are plenty that I know and have visited.

    No worries, I did some research into this a few years back and a lot of Mandirs look to have slipped under my rader…

  17. Vladimir — on 23rd August, 2006 at 11:44 pm  

    I got to agree with Clairwill, that the only good thing about religion is the buildings, there great. I am going on a holiday to India soon, and if anything I won’t be visiting numerous mandirs to pray, after all why waste time when you can enjoy such great architecture?

    Oh and yeah the best is the lotus temple, you can see it while landing at Delhi International Airport, plus there is something quite spiritual about the Bahai faith.

  18. Nush — on 24th August, 2006 at 9:30 am  

    I cant wait to see this place!

  19. Leon — on 24th August, 2006 at 10:14 am  

    I got to agree with Clairwill, that the only good thing about religion is the buildings, there great.

    Yep, I agree with this too. Some of the catherdrals and churches in the UK have beautiful architecture.

  20. Bert Preast — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:02 am  

    Problem is, they were largely built by people who lived in damp hovels and died from pneumonia, brochitis etc.

  21. Leon — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:20 am  

    Problem is, they were largely built by people who lived in damp hovels and died from pneumonia, brochitis etc.

    Does that detract from their artistic/architectal value?

  22. Bert Preast — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:23 am  

    It shouldn’t, but it does for me. I gaze awestruck on a magnificent cathedral, then wonder how many died to build this entirely futile monument.

    Give me a nice aquaduct anyday.

  23. Neil — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:37 am  

    Maybe they were built by skilled craftsmen and labourers. Someone has to do it !

  24. Bert Preast — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:39 am  

    Yes, but the labourers were the ones dying in damp hovels.

    I’m not a communist though.

  25. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

    Bah…. soo typical of South Indians…. I’ve been to the original tirupati temple, in India lemme tell u this is Nothing (nada,zilch,shunya) in front of the original temple. Mna that place (in Andhra Pradesh) is loaded. They make something like £200 million per year from the donations by devotees itself.

  26. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    Is this bigger than the temple in Neasden?

    From my limited knwoldege of my parent’s religion, Neasden temple is a temple of Swaminarayan sect who are Vaishav Gujaratis. While Tirupati is a Shaivite South Indian temple. Or may Swaminarayans are Shaivites while South Indians are Vasihnavites…. heck i dont even know what my parents believe in!

  27. Leon — on 24th August, 2006 at 12:51 pm  

    It shouldn’t, but it does for me. I gaze awestruck on a magnificent cathedral, then wonder how many died to build this entirely futile monument.

    I wouldn’t say futile, there’s a number of churches that have been turned into flats.;)

  28. Adnan Y. — on 24th August, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    So, does it bring all the boys to the yard?

    sorry, couldn’t resist.

  29. Sunny — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:18 pm  

    Lol, Adnan. Vikrant I think these guys are Vaishnavites because they were referring to an inscription of Lord Vishnu. I don’t think the Swaminarayan folks are Shiva worshippers eithers. Which begs the question, where are all the lord Shiva worshippers gone?

  30. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:27 pm  

    where are all the lord Shiva worshippers gone?

    Just asked me mum, we are 100% Shaivites. Bhakti Shiavites whose saints have a mention in Sikh books. Heck! I NEVER KNEW SHIV LINGAM IS ACTUALLY SHIVA’S DICK. All these years i’ve been unwittingly worshipping…a dick.

  31. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

    BTW Since Shiv and Vishnu are two Gods of the trimurti (Hindu trinity), i wonder does anyone even worship po’ah ole Brahma?

  32. Rakhee — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

    Well, some people go by the following:

    G = Generator = Brahma (Creator)
    O = Operator = Vishnu (Commander)
    D = Destructer = Maheshwar/Shankar
    =
    GOD.

    I have to say though, I’m not a huge fan of praying at large temples. It doesn’t strengthen my belief in anyway. It doesn’t really matter how big or large the the place is. In fact, extravagance kinda takes away from what religion tries to instill in us to a certain degree.

    Best two spiritual experiences I’ve ever had was firstly at Amba-ji in Gujarat and then at home. Go figure.

    That said, am sure this place is beautiful and will definitely have a look.

  33. Don — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

    By the way, Vikrant, exam results go well?

  34. Sunny — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:51 pm  

    NEVER KNEW SHIV LINGAM IS ACTUALLY SHIVA’S DICK.

    Vikrant your knowledge of Hinduism alarms me at times.

  35. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:51 pm  

    Heh! if shaivites build even bigger temple maybe they could tell Vaishanavites “My dick is bigger than yours”

  36. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

    By the way, Vikrant, exam results go well?

    5 A*s dude. I’ll be taking SATs this years.. if all goes well i might be chasing chicks around in Rutgers next year.

  37. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    Though 5 A*s dont matter these days… given how ridiculosly they set the tests these days. Heck i was chatting with Rohin on Indian pornstars day before i took my Maths test…

  38. saurav — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    You can talk about buildings all you want, but my God can kick your God’s ass…and more :)

  39. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

    Vikrant your knowledge of Hinduism alarms me at times.

    Well its been nearly 4-5 months since i’ve been to a temple. Frankly 99.99% Hindus dont know wtf all the rituals are about. I’d interesting to see how many Hindus actually read the srciptures. (I tried just once, never got beyond the first page!)

  40. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 2:00 pm  

    #39: Kali..eek… you Bongs and your stupid rituals that we have to answer for on pro-evangelist redneck forums over the net!

  41. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

    You can talk about buildings all you want, but my God can kick your God’s ass…and more :)

  42. Rakhee — on 24th August, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    off topic but all over the news this right now: Ruth Kelly urges ‘honest debate’ on multiculturalism

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5281572.stm

  43. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

    err methinks theres some error in my post #42…

  44. Sunny — on 24th August, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    Kali maa shaktee dey!!

    I thought it was the MArathis who were mostly Shiva worshippers? I ended up at a big Shiv mandir when travelling around India 4 years ago. Turned out to be Naag Panchami. Oh boy, never managed to get inside the mandir. Caressed a drugged-out Cobra though. Heh.

  45. nydesi — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:10 pm  

    “They make something like £200 million per year from the donations by devotees itself. ”

    They make a ridiculous amount of money from donations-supposed to be the richest religious institution after the Vatican, or so they say.

    But the vast majority of that money is going directly to maintain two universities, homeless shelters, schools for the blind, orphanages, free food for all visiting pilgrims, architectural and environmental conservation, music and other fine arts etc, plus paying for the ten thousand plus people that are employed under the office of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.

    only a very tiny percentage of the money is pumped back into the actual temple itself. I don’t even think they make any new jewelry or ornaments for the deity at all. they just maintain the ones they have.

    Oh and btw, Venkateswara is basically Vishnu. How vikrant missed that when going there is beyond me.

  46. nydesi — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

    “if all goes well i might be chasing chicks around in Rutgers next year. ”

    why oh why would you want to travel all the way from the UK to go to that crappy crappy institution?

    save your money and just go to east thames or whatever.

  47. Kulvinder — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    re: the merits of religious buildings, it kinda reminds me of the programme jonathan meades did on salisbury cathedral. Its an incredibly depressing thought that buildings are the best thing about religion, i personally don’t hold that to be true as with all systems of thought they have their plusses and minuses, but should salisbury cathedral’s beauty detract from a more considered view on the merits of its construction? If we just say yes – that beauty comes first then what do we make of the Saddam Grand Mosque in Baghdad? Religion drops to the level of despotism and vanity – wouldn’t the money used to build salisbury cathedral or the sgm have been better spent on the poor?

    I accept that religious buildings are in one sense nothing but the skyscraper penis contest put to holy use. The money can be better spent and beauty itself cannot be sufficient justification. Beyond that though there is nothing wrong with a need for a tangible landmark of your existence, the community that built that have left a symbol that they were there. I appreciate that as will future generations. If we accept a building is a waste of money on a collective symbol of those who wasted the money i feel more comfortable and content with that money being wasted by those in society who are perhaps overlooked and whose desire for recognition comes deeply held beliefs and convictions.

    I may not share their ideology but the uniqueness of that building makes it more special to me than the incredibly boring edwardian remodelling of buckingham palace’s east wing facade.

  48. Kulvinder — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    Incidently my vote for the most brutally ugly building and winners of the attempt to revive the stalinist style goes to the Abraj Al Bait Towers.

    Im completely and utterly staggered that such a disrespectful, vulgar and downright tacky building would ever be constructed let alone overlooking the masjid al-haram. The sad thing is many muslims haven’t even heard of it and i seem to be more angered by it then them :(

  49. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

    save your money and just go to east thames or whatever.

    Well getting into good schools in US is easier than going into good UK schools… SATs are a joke in front of STEPs… moreover i’m sick of those stuck-up-public-school snobs *cough*Rohin*cough* who throng most of our top univs… Rutgers is just one school i’m planning to apply to….

  50. Jai — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

    Sunny,

    =>”Vikrant your knowledge of Hinduism alarms me at times.”

    His youth partially excuses him, although I think that the whole issue of what a shivling actually symbolises isn’t the sort of thing the average embarassed desi Hindu mum would discuss with her teenage son…..

    Vikrant,

    It gets even better. You know that intriguingly-shaped stand that the lingam is balanced on ? Look at it from above and rotate it around a bit. Assuming you’ve had biology lessons at school (or have presumably been doing some “recreational” surfing on the ‘net), you’ll then get a much clearer and fuller picture of what the stand is and what “act” the whole construction actually represents.

    *Jai waits for Vikrant to run out of the room screaming as the penny drops*

    Don’t worry buddy, it’s all purely, er, symbolic — “God’s creative power in the universe” etc etc…..

  51. mirax — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

    Vik, you know nothing about hinduism – I am shocked!

    Venkateshvara/Balaji/Narayan/lakshmi = definitely Vaishanavite

    Shiva/kailash/Muruga/Skanda/Kali/Durga/meenakshi = Shaivite

    Btw the vast majority of south indians are shaivite, and within this school, have quite a preference for the female deities. Kali, in particular, is mad and bad and def kicks Shiva’s ass (er, he actually lies down and allows her to step all over him). The shaivite school overall has the more temperamental, kickass, unorthodox, tantrically inclined deities.

    The tirupathy temple’s funds – as with all hindu temples in India- is controlled by the Government of India and the various state governments. Some of the funds are allocated to other religions or for non-religious purposes. I think this is a highly discriminatory act against Hindus by a secular government. The Indian government should tax all religious institutions (pretty highly imo) but otherwise stay out. This also rules out subsidy of any religious activity.

  52. mirax — on 24th August, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    >> whole issue of what a shivling actually symbolises isn’t the sort of thing the average embarassed desi Hindu mum would discuss with her teenage son…..

    I don’t see why not. It’s not sex organs or pornography per se (by the way young Vik, the linga is always planted in a yoni or vulva) but a representation of two principles, male and female.

  53. Jai — on 24th August, 2006 at 4:06 pm  

    Mirax,

    You’re right, but you know how the whole issue of male-female relations (romantic or otherwise) is quite embarrassing from the perspective of most Indian parents, especially if it involves anything remotely south of the border (so to speak).

    It appears that our distant ancestors were less prudent about such matters, as indicated by the lingam/yoni murti.

  54. mirax — on 24th August, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

    I spent a month as a volunteer guide at the Bahai Lotus Temple. There were a phenomenal number of visitors daily and on indian public holidays, the numbers were simply unmanageable.

    The simple hindu masses were always befuddled by the whole emptiness of the main hall – ‘Where are the gods?!’ but deeply respectful of the structure, often bending down to kiss or touch with their foreheads, the floor and the walls. The delhi upper classes were a mite eccentric – sunday mornings meant a couple of elderly gentlemen, leisurely sauntering around the place in their pyjamas and dressing gowns, no kidding. Other regulars included the legless man who ‘walked’ on his hands; how he made it to the temple from where he lived (the outskirts) was a wonder. There were nuns and afghan refugees, film actors and local slum folk. It was really fascinating meeting all these people at one place in that short month.

  55. Kismet Hardy — on 24th August, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

    temple your tempers

  56. gunjan — on 24th August, 2006 at 4:40 pm  

    I think it would become a popular tourist site!

    would love to see it one day.

  57. bananabrain — on 24th August, 2006 at 4:55 pm  

    i think it’s great and i’d like to visit it, although i bet the beit din would have something to say about it, considering their damfool ideas about hinduism. lest i let this go unnoted, hinduism is not the only religion that gets, uh, physical at times. you should check out some of the symbolism of the partzufim in the kabbalah, particularly the idea of yihud. not to mention the specifically anatomical Divine Names that occur in the Torah.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  58. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    I think this is a highly discriminatory act against Hindus by a secular government.

    Well last October they tried to make a Christian evangelist the president of the Tirupati temple trust. BTW i think pseudo-secular is the word you are looking for…

  59. Vikrant — on 24th August, 2006 at 5:00 pm  

    >> whole issue of what a shivling actually symbolises isn’t the sort of thing the average embarassed desi Hindu mum would discuss with her teenage son…..

    Actually my volatile family isnt your average desi family. My mum is just 36 my dad is 38 my step mum is 29! So they are all sort of frank whid meh!

    P.S Sunny, Marathis actually worship both Shiva and Vishnu (thru his Vithhal avatar).

  60. Chairwoman — on 24th August, 2006 at 5:10 pm  

    Bananabrain – lots of Jewish Groups under the auspices of the Chief Rabbi have visited the Neasden Temple, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t.

  61. nydesi — on 24th August, 2006 at 5:20 pm  

    “Well getting into good schools in US is easier than going into good UK schools… SATs are a joke in front of STEPs… moreover i’m sick of those stuck-up-public-school snobs *cough*Rohin*cough* who throng most of our top univs… Rutgers is just one school i’m planning to apply to….”

    well, seeing as how you’re not coming from a third world country, if you’re looking to go to a “good school” in the US, then there’s only about 25 or so that I would actually consider travelling abroad for.

    although, if you want to escape top tier elitism, none of those places will do that for you.

  62. Sid — on 24th August, 2006 at 5:43 pm  

    Looks stunning, I’m impressed. I’m so glad we’ve transcended post-modern architecture, the bane of my 80s existence, in which case the spec for this building would have been translated into pitched roofs and bright yellow double glazing.

    If this is anything to go by, I think there’s room for a traditionalist Buddhist stupa in Britain too.

  63. Kulvinder — on 24th August, 2006 at 10:31 pm  

    Looks stunning, I’m impressed. I’m so glad we’ve transcended post-modern architecture

    hahaha what? we either have souless shite that foster shits out or we have a horrible horrible nightmare of tacky/pm/stalinism like the abraj al bait towers. There is nothing else.

  64. Sid — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:12 pm  

    whachootalkinbout kulvinder?

  65. Sid — on 24th August, 2006 at 11:20 pm  

    But, I agree, the peversity tha is albraj al bait is indeed an insult to humanity.

  66. Uncleji — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

    “because Gurdwaras are so eager to rebuild themselves in the most lavish manner, when the money could go to better use elsewhere”

    Actually i find most Gurdwaras rather austere for my tastes. I often they bundle a free canteen (langar) which feeds the local down and outs. A recent development in midlands has a community and sports hall open to local communities.

    A interesting point is that some of the grandest buildings are built by Islamic sects who are perescuted in their home countries (Ismaili etc) a heartly big up for religious tolerance over here.

    I’ll rather have another religious building go up ( as long as its open to infidels) rather then another glass and steel office monstrouseny.

  67. sunray — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:40 pm  

    BRAVE WORDS
    “I can mock my own people if I want to. Live with it.”
    You don’t have any right as far as I am concerned.
    You may have an opinion but you cannot mock anyone.
    You have a responsible to the human society to understand them and make things better. (I thought this was one of your visions?) Other wise you are no better then that classroom bully or the terrorist of this world.

    “Just asked me mum… All these years i’ve been unwittingly worshipping…a dick.”

    Praises to your mum for the education she has gifted upon you.
    “Heh! if shaivites build even bigger temple maybe they could tell Vaishanavites “My dick is bigger than yours”

    Well well well.
    It didn’t take very long for someone to bash Hinduism with slander did it?
    People like Vikrant who have no idea of the spiritual significance of the religion and come here and make stupid comments where its not needed.
    Did you just post that to look cool and brave.
    “Hey look Ive just made rude comments about my religion. Now respect me!” (beats his chest in triumph). Perhaps your friends did think just that.

    The worship of Shivling to millions invokes the understanding of God brotherhood, peace, harmony and understanding, but you have turned it into something dirty and disrespectful.

    Its is written in the Bhagvad Gita that no matter how one worships God, but done with faith God will still be pleased. If all you see is a dick then that’s all you’ll be. See a God and you will be a God.

    People like you are perhaps just attention seekers.
    Was it to hurt others feeling, … knowing it will?
    Off course it hurts us very much.
    Yes we may even cry about it.
    The opposite would be to become angry and blow your brains out.
    Emotions are emotions and why play with such emotions.
    But that’s why you posted your filthy outbursts in the first place didn’t you.

    Put your opinions complaints observations in an intellectual manner and discuss it in a relevant thread.
    Criticizing a religion is NOT wrong, its how you go about it is wrong.
    Observations or Criticising in an intellectual manner after understanding the religion is welcomed.

  68. Sunny — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

    You don’t have any right as far as I am concerned.
    Sure, but I don’t have to ask you what rights I have or not.

  69. sunray — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

    Arrogance will be the downfall of humanity.

  70. Vikrant — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:49 pm  


    “Hey look Ive just made rude comments about my religion. Now respect me!” (beats his chest in triumph). Perhaps your friends did think just that.

    relax..dude… i’m not a Hindu-basher… i still consider myself as a Hindu… i just detest ritualistic manifestations of our religion.

  71. Sunny — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

    So will a lack of humour.

  72. Vikrant — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:51 pm  

    needless to say… i have actually read Bhagvad Gita during my time at HSS workshop. I might be ignorant about certain obvious aspects of Hinduism, but hey i’m still learning…

  73. Sukhjit Singh Kalsi — on 25th August, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

    I often they bundle a free canteen (langar) which feeds the local down and outs

    The langar is a central institution of Sikhism and the Gurdwara – it is not ‘bundled’ as an afterthought, it is integral to the Gurdwara and the act of doing seva (service) and feeding others has spiritual connotations as well as practical ones. It represents the dual duties of living in the world as well as contributing to it. It is charitable, practical, and spiritual, it represents the egalitarian principles of Sikhism where a prince or king sits beside a tramp to share food, and represents the principle of service to humanity.

  74. Uncleji Singh — on 25th August, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

    Point well made Mr Singh Kalsi
    I didn’t imply that it was a afterthought but it was good natured reposte to the previous post.

    You should not be so hard on your old uncle especially with his failing eyesight, arthic fingers and inability to spell.

    Anyway if Radical Religious groups put more money into the places of worship it would improve the skyline AND it would mean less money to buy ammo sow discord with converisons. A option alas not open to atheist terrorists and assorted trouble makers

  75. Sukhjit Singh Kalsi — on 25th August, 2006 at 5:20 pm  

    Uncleji Singh

    I am sorry to hear about arthritis and bad eysight. Please excuse yourself from serving duties at the langar next time to make sure no dhal is spilt as sometime happens ;-)

    Well, I think Gurdwaray should do their building improvements then each one ally themselves with their local hospitals and contribute all money from the sangat superfluous to basic needs to buy kidney dialysis machines etc etc and things like that.

    Also provide charitable donations to help other communities in the midst of Sikh sangat to help them. For example, making donations to Sickle Cell Anaemia charities in Birmingham to carry out seva but also as a sign of goodwill to the African Carribean community. Things like this should be on the agenda but many Gurdwaras have limited vision. Obviously it is hard for smaller ones, but the larger Gurdwaras should think along these lines. In Kenya whole hospitals and health centres are run by Gurdwaras.

  76. Vikrant — on 25th August, 2006 at 5:32 pm  

    sunray,

    In retrospect my attempts to evoke humour were crude and disrespectful. I apologise. Though i’m a Nastika in spiritual sense, i still call myself a Hindu.

  77. Sukhjit Singh Kalsi — on 25th August, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

    Vikrant

    Well done. I found your comments in bad taste but did not want to say this. You have shown your stature by reassessing your statement. Well done.

  78. Jai — on 25th August, 2006 at 5:54 pm  

    For the benefit of Sunray and others who may have been offended by Vikrant’s earlier comments, it may be worthwhile mentioning at this stage that Vikrant is still of schoolgoing age — he has just taken his GCSEs.

    Hopefully this should place his language and reaction into their proper context.

    His subsequent retraction, however, does demonstrate both maturity and integrity beyond his years, so this should be appreciated.

  79. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:02 pm  

    Were it that I were as tactful or able to admit my faults at his age. I’d be much prettier than I am. :(

  80. nydesi — on 26th August, 2006 at 5:14 am  

    “i just detest ritualistic manifestations of our religion.”

    and the Shiva Lingam represents that to you?

  81. sunray — on 28th August, 2006 at 12:08 pm  

    Hi Vikrant being young and foolish is not an excuse I accept for your outbursts.
    However, for you to apologise and have such an understanding of your mistakes at such a young age is indeed worthy of praise.

    As a ‘son’, as an elder let me lecture you a few words.
    Also you say you are learning, so I hope this lecture won’t be treated as some kind of interference in your life.

    Firstly please be careful of the company you keep. You may not know it, but you have started to emulate the behaviour of the present company. Young minds are impressionable and you have fallen foul of such ‘impressions’.
    Some ‘company’ can give you responsibility and maturity which I have also seen in you.

    “I am Hindu, so please don’t mind my abusing it; it is my right; I am a Hindu after all.” “Oh Hinduism will survive, don’t worry about it mate.”
    This is a misconceived satisfaction, I hear it all the time. Being a Hindu does not automatically give you some sort of right to mock it or abuse it.
    By all means where there is ‘criminality’ or danger of some sort, please point it out and sort it out.
    Hinduism has NOT survived the test of time by mere accident!
    It has been nurtured and protected by great men. Read about them.

    Many Hindus have turned a blind eye by looking at the negative aspect of Hinduism.
    It is easy to get caught looking at the negative aspect of our religion, ‘I don’t like this’, ‘I don’t like that’ ‘this custom is stupid’ etc etc etc.
    Looking at it this way you will miss all the beauty, all the wisdom and wonderful philosophy therein. Read about it or listen to it from teachers eg Bhupendrabhai Pandiya who gives a modern scientific approach to it. Hes in Leicester at the minute Sanatan Mandir between 5.30 and 9.30pm till Saturday.

    You know you don’t have to believe in God to learn from all this wisdom!
    So please don’t miss out.

    Being a Hindu does not mean you stop enjoying life.
    Far from it, Hinduism asks you to fulfil your worldly duties first.
    So going to a pub or cinema or club does not make you less of a Hindu if you keep within the limits of the Dharma.

    Hinduism indeed is very symbolic and many of the stories are symbolic.
    Sometimes something’s are difficult to come to term with.
    I guess it is these colourful traditions and customs that makes Hindus what we are today: liberal, tolerant, kind, mild, freedom to think, intelligent and have individuality.

    I am not asking you to take pride of your religion but merely asking understanding of it.

    Finally “It is a Generation gap you old man”
    No. ‘There is no such thing as a generation gap it is merely a communications gap.’

    OK preaching over ‘son’.

  82. sunray — on 28th August, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

    Try this website sometimes
    http://www.dalsabzi.com/
    http://dalsabzi.com/Books/Hindu_customs_and_beliefs/introduction.htm
    Take your time going trough these pages.

    Hinduism is not about how OTHERS worship God.
    It is all about how YOU worship God.
    ‘SELFREALISATION’.
    Krishna explains it better in the Bhagvad Gita so read that book again.
    There are many good translations of The Gita such as
    http://www.dailyreadings.com/
    or
    http://www.krishna.com/main.php?id=291

    Self-realisation is a concept even Jesus tried pass to the Jews.
    “Why do you see the speck in your brothers eye but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”– Sermon on the Mount St Luke chapter 6.41

    God Luck

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