Mumbai rains have been news of the nation in last 24 hours. I switched on news channel to see the mumbai updates. Switched it off in 2 minutes. I opened my whatsapp and am flooded with more messages on dangers and alerts of mumbai rains […]
Generally, festivals are celebrations characterized by excitement, enthusiasm, and enjoyment; Jain festivals are characterized by renunciation, austerities, study of the scriptures, and repetition of holy hymns by reciting Sutras and Stavans, meditation, and expressing devotion for the Tirthankars. Paryushan is the most important festival in […]
Mahavira was the last Jainist Tirthankara. People call Lord Mahavira by different names such as Vira or Viraprabhu, Sanmati, Vardhamana, Ativira and Gnatputra. When it comes to the values of Jainism, Lord Mahavira deserves a special mention, as he was the one to establish the ethics that are ruling the whole Jain community today. Mahavira (599-527 BC) was the last Jainist Tirthankara. People call Lord Mahavira by different names such as Vira or Viraprabhu, Sanmati, Vardhamana, Ativira and Gnatputra. When it comes to the values of Jainism, Lord Mahavira deserves a special mention, as he was the one to establish the ethics that are ruling the whole Jain community today.
His teachings and philosophies continue to inspire numerous people even today. He was born in a royal family and denounced his royal family life to attain spiritual knowledge like the Buddha. He was named Vardhamana Mahavira because when he was born his father, king Siddhartha prospered like anything. Vardhamana means increasing and the king credited his growing success and prosperity to the birth of his son.
Lord Mahavira was born roughly around 599 B.C. He was born in the royal family of Kshatriyakund, a part of the republic of Vaishali (present day Bihar). His father was King Siddhartha and his mother was Queen Trishala. It is said that when the queen conceived Lord Mahavira, she had fourteen auspicious dreams that were a premonition of the greatness of the child that was to be born. The prosperity of the King grew day by day. The king attributed his success to his new born child and named him Vardhamana, which means “ever increasing”.
Bhagwan Mahavir’s Birth
It is a well-established convention that the Tirtharnkaras, being supermen, are born only in the noble warrior (Ksatriya) caste. Bhagavan Mahavira was,however, conceived in the womb of a Brahmin lady at midnight on the sixth day of the bright half of Asadha, as a result of his pride for superior caste in one of his previous births. Shakendra Maharaj from his divine drishti saw the underdeveloped body of the Bhagwan in the womb of Devananda a Brahmin. Shakendra maharaj thought that, a Tirthankar was always from a royal family & not from a middle family, so he thought of a plan.
He called Harin Gameyshee Dev & said that the last Tirthankar, yet to be born in the womb of Devananda Queen Trishla Mata of king Siddartha too is pregnant, so he recommanded god Harin gameyahee dev to transplant the foetus from the womb of Devananda to that of womb of Trisala.That night, change of pregnancy took place.
Fourteen Auspicious Dreams of Mother Trishala
Its said that the mothers of would-be Tirtharnkaras witness fourteen auspicious objects in their dreams. Queen Trishala, mother at midnight also saw fourteen beautiful and auspicious dreams after conception while Devananda dreamt the vanishing of dreams. Ever since Trishla Mata’s womb was blessed with the birth of a Tirthankar. The treasury overflowed. There was prosperity every where in the city of Vaishati.
- Goddess Laxmi
- Garland of Flowers
- Full Moon
- Large Flag
- Silver Urn
- Celestial Air-plane
- Heap of Gems
- Smokeless Fire
The first dream Queen Trishala saw was of an elephant. She saw a big, tall, and impetuous elephant. It had two pairs of tusks. The color of the elephant was white and its whiteness was superior to the color of marble. It was an auspicious elephant, and was endowed with all the desirable marks of excellence. This dream indicates that her son will guide the spiritual chariot, and save human beings from misery, greed, and attraction of life.
The second dream Queen Trishala saw was of a bull. The color of the bull was also white, but it was brighter than white lotuses. It glowed with beauty and radiated a light all around. It was noble, grand, and had a majestic hump. It had fine, bright, and soft hair on his body. Its horns were superb and sharply-pointed.
This dream indicates that her son will be a spiritual teacher of great ascetics, kings, and other great personalities.
The third dream Queen Trishala saw was of a magnificent lion. Its claws were beautiful and well-poised. The lion had a large well-rounded head and extremely sharp teeth. Its lips were perfect, its color was red, and its eyes were sharp and glowing. Its tail was impressively long and well-shaped. Queen Trishala saw this lion descending towards her and entering her mouth.
This dream indicates that her son will be as powerful and strong as a lion. He will be fearless, almighty, and capable of ruling over the world.
4. Goddess Laxmi
The fourth dream Queen Trishala saw was of the Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, prosperity and power. She was seated at the top of mountain Himalaya. Her feet had a sheen of golden turtle. She had a delicate and soft fingers. Her black hair was tiny, soft, and delicate. She wore rows of pearls interlaced with emeralds and a garland of gold. A pair of earring hung over her shoulders with dazzling beauty. She held a pair of bright lotuses.
This dream indicates that her son will attain great wealth, power, prosperity.
5. Garland of Flowers
The fifth dream Queen Trishala saw was of a celestial garland of flowers descending from the sky. It smelled of mixed fragrances of different flowers. The whole universe was filled with fragrance. The flowers were white and woven into the garland. They bloomed during all different seasons. A swarm of bees flocked to it and they made a humming sound around the region.
This dream indicates that the fragrance of her son’s preaching will spread over the entire universe.
6. Full Moon
The sixth dream queen Trishala saw was of a full moon. It presented an auspicious sight. The moon was at its full glory. It awoke the lilies to bloom fully. It was bright like a well polished mirror. The moon radiated whiteness like a swan. It inspired the oceans to surge skyward. The beautiful moon looked like a radiant beauty-mark in the sky.
This dream indicates that her son will have a great physical structure, and be pleasing to all living beings of the universe.
The seventh dream Queen Trishala saw was of a huge disc of sun. The sun was shining, and destroying darkness. It was red like the flame of the forest. Lotuses bloomed at its touch. The sun is the lamp of the sky and the lord of planets. The sun rose and an put to end the evil activities of the creatures who thrive at night.
This dream indicates that the teaching of her son will destroy anger, greed, ego, lust, pride, etc. from the life of the people.
8. Large Flag
The eighth dream Queen Trishala saw was of a very large flag flying on a golden stick. The flag fluttered softly and auspiciously in the gentle breeze. It attracted the eyes of all. Peacock feathers decorated its crown. A radiant white lion was on it.
This dream indicates that her son will be great, noble, and a well respected leader of the family.
9. Silver Urn
The ninth dream Queen Trishala saw was of a silver urn (kalash) full of crystal-clear water. It was a magnificent, beautiful, and bright pot. It shone like gold and was a joy to behold. It was garlanded with strings of lotuses and other flowers. The pot was holy and untouched by anything sinful.
This dream indicates that her son will be perfect in all virtues.
The tenth dream Queen Trishala saw was of a lotus lake (padma-sagar). Thousands of lotuses were floating on the lake which opened at the touch of the sun’s rays. The lotuses imparted a sweet fragrance. There were swarms of fish in the lake. Its water glowed like flames of fire. The lily-leaves were floating on the water.
This dream indicates that her son will help to liberate the human beings who are tangled in the cycle of birth, death, and misery.
The eleventh dream Queen Trishala saw was of a milky sea. Its water swelled out in all directions, rising to great heights with turbulent motions. Winds blew and created waves. A great commotion was created in the sea by huge sea animals. Great rivers fell into the sea, producing huge whirlpools.
This dream indicates that her son will navigate through life on an ocean of birth, death, and misery leading to Moksha or liberation.
12. Celestial air-plane
The twelfth dream Queen Trishala saw was of a celestial airplane. The airplane had eight thousands magnificent gold pillars studded with gems. The plane was framed with sheets of gold and garlands of pearls. It was decorated with rows of murals depicting bulls, horses, men, crocodiles, birds, children, deers, elephants, wild animals, and lotus flowers. The plane resounded with celestial music. It was saturated with an intoxicating aroma of incense fumes. It was illuminated with a bright silvery light.
This dream indicates that all Gods and Goddesses in heaven will respect and salute to his spiritual teaching and will obey him.
13. Heap of Gems
The thirteenth dream Queen Trishala saw was of a great heap of gems, as high as Mount Meru. There were gems and precious stones of all types and kinds. These gems were heaped over the earth and they illuminated the entire sky.
This dream indicates that her son will have infinite virtues and wisdom.
14. Smokeless Fire
The fourteenth dream queen Trishala saw was of a smokeless fire. The fire burned with great intensity and emitted a radiant glow. Great quantities of pure ghee and honey were being poured on the fire. It burned with numerous flames. This dream indicates that the wisdom of her son will excel the wisdom of all other great people.
After having such fourteen wonderful dreams, Queen Trishala woke up. Her dreams filled her with wonder. She never had such dreams before. She narrated her dreams to King Siddharth.
The king called the soothsayers for the interpretation of dreams and they unanimously said, “Sir, her Highness will be blessed with a noble son. The dream augur the vast spiritual realm, the child shall command. Her Highness will become the Universal Mother.”
After nine months and fourteen days, Queen Trishala delivered a baby boy. The boy was named Vardhaman meaning ever increasing.
Breaking news! It’s absolutely normal to do so. Sounds like a big relief, right? Like you, there are many more people who find Joker more interesting than Batman, Lord Voldemort more fascinating than Harry Potter and so on…. One of the major reason for this […]
This year we witness the 70th Independence day of India and 70 years of Kashmir Issue. We all know about Kashmir issue in bits and parts. If not in detail then atleast one thing that two countries (actually 3) are fighting for a piece of land. In this article, I shall write about Kashmir issue in a bit detail. I have tried my best to take bits and parts from about 8 to 10 books in one article. I will first begin with the brief history of Kashmir.
Brief History of Kashmir
About 2300 years ago, Kashmir was a part of Mauryan Empire. Later on it was under Kushans Dynasty. They made Kashmir into a big learning center for Buddhism. King Kanishka of Kushans held 4th Buddhist council in Kashmir. After the demise of Kushans, Kashmir was ruled by various Hindu dynasties betwen 5th and 14th century. During 13th century, Kashmir came under Islamic influence and many people were being converted to Islam. Gradually, even the King of Kashmir converted himself to Islam and thus “Sultanate of Kashmir” was founded in 14th century. It continued upto 16th century. In 1586, it was conquered by Mughals under the reign of Akbar. By 1751, Mughals became weak and Afghans invaded and captured Kashmir under Durrani Emperor – Ahmad Shah Abdali. Later, Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh defeated Afghans and took the hold of Kashmir. So it came under Sikh rule in about 1891. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, British defeated Sikh Empire with the help of Dogra Dynasty founder – Maharaja Gulab Singh. Dogra Dynasty is thereby also the founder of Royal house of Jammu and Kashmir. Gulab Singh was appointed as ruler of Jammu by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. But he supported Britishers in Anglo Sikh War. After winning the war, Britishers transferred the entire Kashmir area (Jammu, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan) to Gulab Singh in return for an indemnity payment of 7,500,000 Nanakshahee Rupees. This was in the year 1846 (approx). So from 1846 to 1947, Dogra Dynasty ruled Kashmir. Rulers were Hindu and majority of the population were Muslims.
When India-Pakistan partition happened, ruler of Kashmir was Maharaja Hari Singh, a descendant of Dogras. He neither wanted to be in India nor Pakistan. He wanted Kashmir to be Switzerland of Asia, An independent and neutral country.
There was a political party in Kashmir called “National Conference Party” (earlier known as Muslim Conference Party). They wanted democracy or self-rule in Kashmir and not the rule of a King. They wanted the King just to be the constitutional head but has no power and only parliament has all the powers. And so Sheikh Abdullah, along with other few people, founded this party in 1931. By 1947 this was the largest political party in JK and was also supported by Indian National Congress.
In 1947, Jinnah argued that according to two nation theory (the basis of partition), the state of Kashmir with 77% Muslim majority should join Pakistan. And Maharaja Hari Singh, as mentioned earlier, wanted to stay neutral. But he signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan. It means “we will will continue to trade, travel, communicate, etc as it is but we will not join you. Things will remain as it is.” And he was also in talks with the Indian government to standstill agreement.
While these talks were going on, there was a rebel in Poonch (or Punch) area against state police and army. There was also communal violence in Jammu against Muslims. As you all know there were riots going on during Partition. During this period Pakistan supported tribal Pastun fighters from Northwest Frontier Province, NWFP (now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (If you happen to see Mahabharata map, you will find Gandhara there, yes, Gandhara is also happen to be the old name for NWFP). NWFP is the Pashtun dominated area of Pakistan. With the help of these Pashtun fighters Pakistan invaded Kashmir on 22nd October 1947. The reason they gave is they are here to help for rebel in Poonch and also the atrocities against Muslims. This was the official reason given by the Pakistan fighters.
As soon as these attacks happened, Maharaja Hari Singh’s army couldn’t stop it. He asked for military help from Indian Government. Indian government said, if you want military help, you need to join India. Thus, “INSTRUMENT OF ACCESSION” was signed on 26th October 1947. This means Kashmir joined India officially. As soon as this instrument was signed, Pakistan rejected it saying it was signed under pressure, by an unpopular ruler and it does not represent the will of the public. Even Sheikh Abdullah had agreed for Instrument of Accession.
The accession was regarded as provisional until the time comes when the the will of the people can be ascertained once things are stable. It can be ascertained thru elections and constitution may be formed. Sheikh Abdullah endorsed the accession. He was a good friend of Nehru and Nehru also promised him that the will of people will be ascertained once the situation is stable. Sheikh Abdullah was appointed as the head of emergency administration by Maharaja.
Thus, the war of 1947-1948 begins. It is also called as First Indo-Pak war or First Kashmir war.
In this war Indian army airlifted its troops as there was no road connectivity to SriNagar. Heavy fighting happened at high altitudes, especially in the areas near Drass and Kargil. Army managed to push back the attackers to northern areas. Then there was winter. No fight can happen in winter coz of snow and all roads are blocked. Hence there was a stalemate in war. (stalemate is no one wins or loses).
While this war was going on, a provisional government was formed in western area of Kashmir by Pakistan and it was called as Azad Kashmir with Muzaferabad as its capital. Attacks were happening from Azad Kashmir to areas of Poonch, Uri and Baramulla.
Now India went to United Nations in January 1948 to resolve the Kashmir conflict. UN constituted a commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) and a security council resolution was also adopted. Resolution 47 of UNSC (UN security council).
UNSC gave 3 consequential non-binding steps. consequetial meaning 2nd step is to be taken only if 1st step is complied with and so on. Non-binding means it is not mandatory for India and Pakistan to follow this.
The 3 consequential non-binding steps were:
- Pakistan should withdraw all nationals and irregulars from Kashmir.
- India should withdraw its army and keep only a minimal force in the region required to maintain law and order.
- A plebiscite (vote of people) will take place to determine the will of the people directly.
Pakistan did not withdraw its forces and hence even India did not withdrew its forces. Stalemate continues. A ceasefire line was drawn and that became the de facto border of India and Pakistan in Kashmir region. Ceasefire line of 1948 was officially termed as Line of Control (LoC) in 1972 Shimla Agreement. In Shimla agreement both countries agreed to solve the Kashmir issue bilaterally. No third party will come in between. Earlier it was under UN.
Now there is a new aspect to the problem. China occupied the area of Aksai Chin after the Indo-Sino war of 1962. After this war Pakistan wanted to solidify friendship with China and to do so it simply gave away a large piece of land as gift to China – The Trans-Karakoram Tract (Shaksgam Valley). Earlier there were only 2 countries involved in Kashmir issue and now there are 3, further complicating the problem.
Sheikh Abdullah was made PM of Kashmir (not India) in 1948 and he headed the government till 1953.
Article 370 of Indian Constitution was framed to “temporarily” give few allowances to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It gave the state some special powers like:
All the rules of Indian constitution are not applicable to JK state.
State assembly will have most of the powers
State head will be called PM instead of CM. Although later on it was changed.
Also, state of JK fly its own flag along with national flag. Yes, Jammu and Kashmir has its own flag. And there are many more special allowance in Article 370.
In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was removed from his post of PM by Central govt (led by Nehru) and was jailed for 11 years.
In 1964, Sheikh was released and talks with Nehru began again. Nehru sent him to Pakistan to discuss the Kashmir issue. But while he was in Pakistan Nehru had died and again the talks were disrupted. Sheikh Abdullah was again sent to prison for few years by Indira Gandhi.
In 1974, Sheikh Abdullah signed an agreement with Indira Gandhi and this was called as “Indira-Sheikh Accord”. According to this accord Sheikh dropped his demand of plebiscite (which he had demanded in 1948) and he became the CM of JK. He remained CM until his death in 1982. After is death his son Farooq Abdullah became CM.
Indian army takes controld of Siachen Glacier under operation Meghdoot.
Insurgencies in 1990s
In 1987, assembly elections were held but were allegedly rigged to bring NC and INC to combine their powers. As soon as the results were out there was protest against this rigged elections. There were strikes, violence and protests that were out of control. Pakistan government and ISI took advantage of this situation. They promoted Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hizb-ul-Mujaheedin – 2 terrorists organizations to start a separatist insurgency (an armed rebellion against army / govt.). They also led the protests and also linked all their terrorists activities to the cause of independence of Kashmir. Initially, the protest started against elections but with terrorists groups they continue even today – against army and Indian government.
Many young Kashmiris were trained by militias and terrorist camps in PoK.
January 1990 – Genocide and Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits
In valley of Kashmir (entire Kashmir, only the valley of kashmir), Kashmiri andits were in minority. This ethnic community had been living in Kashmir valley since 100s and 1000s of years peacefullly. They were an affluent class of people even though theyw ere minority. They had goo positions in goverment, many were teachers in school, etc, basically they were well paid and lived. They were not poor. But in 1989, there was violence against these Kashmiri Pandits by the separatists. Many leaders of this community were killed publicly – high court judge, senior BJP politician, etc Around 300 were killed in few months.
By the time January 1990 came, insurgents were putting up public posts in newspapers and warning Kashmiri Pandits that they should leave Kashmir as soon as possible. Even loud speaker announcements were going on in day time to warn them to leave. On 10th r 20th January 1990, around 2.5 to 3 lakhs Kahsmiri Pandits fled overnight. They left their properties, houses, businesses, jobs and everything and fled to Jammu. Even tday, after 25+ years, many of them are living in camps and tents in Jammu and Delhi areas and still in deplorable condition. This entire episode is also known as ethnic cleansing of India. It means removal of entire ethnic of people from certain area.
The militany and violence that started in 80s led to the government of India to apply Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in JK in 1990. AFSPA gives special powers to the police and army.
Few of many special powers are:
- They can arrest any one without warrant.
- They can arrest any one found doing any suspicious activity.
- They can shot people after giving a warning, no need to arrest or carry out any investigation.
- and many more.
AFSPA was necessary coz of large scale violence that was going on.
The government had already resigned by 1990 – govt of Farooq Abdullah which had come to power in 1987. There was complete Lawlessness in the state of JK and that is why Kashmiri Pandits could not be saved. There was no got to protect them.
Due to absence of govt, there was now Presidents rule and thus AFSPA was introduced.
Throughout 1990s and early 2000s, there was heavy infiltration of terrorists and attacks. Indian army carried out counter insurgency operations against this infiltration of terrorists and attacks. Uptil 2004 violence was there in large scale. After 2003-2004, militancy has subsided to a good extent but it is still present. Even today we see ews atleast once a week on Kashmir violence or attacks but it is nothing compared to 1990s.
Infact, in 2014, 65% people in Kashmir came out to vote, which is a very good percentage.
In 2016, due to demonetization, Kashmir saw dip in terrorism. No stone pelting on forces in Kashmir after demonetization move. Even as on date I cannot comment if the violence in Kashmir is paid or not.
Everyone is aware that Dalai Lama is the political and spiritual leader of Buddhism. But what exactly does Dalai Lama mean? The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. In Tibetan, Avalokitesvara […]
You may have heard that World War I started when a Serbian terrorist shot an Austro-Hungarian archduke in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1914. It’s true but much more complicated than that.
For one thing, the Serbians were angry with the Austro-Hungarian Empire (yes, it was a combination Austria and Hungary) for annexing Bosnia (even though Bosnia still technically belonged to the Ottoman Empire). The Austro-Hungarians worried about the Serbs’ potentially uniting all the Slavs in southeastern Europe, which could threaten the Hungarian part of their empire. Russia was mad at Austro-Hungary, too. The Russians saw that part of Europe, the Balkans, as their sphere of influence.
Russia mobilized troops, which caused the Germans (allies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to declare war on both Russia and its ally France. In 1914, the Germans cut through neutral Belgium on the way to attack France. As relations between Britain and Germany were strained by an undeclared race between them for naval superiority, German troops crossing into Belgium gave the British an excuse to enter the war.
Eventually, Japan, Serbia, Portugal, Romania, Italy, and China joined the Allies (Britain, France, and Russia). The Ottoman Empire cast its lot with the Central Powers (Germany and Austro-Hungary).
In 1915, the British passenger liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. In all, 1,195 passengers, including 128 Americans, lost their lives. Americans were outraged and put pressure on the U.S. government to enter the war. President Woodrow Wilson campaigned for a peaceful end to the war, but in 1917, when the Germans announced that their submarines would sink any ship that approached Britain (even more passenger ships), Wilson declared that America would enter the war and restore peace to Europe.
By 1918, German citizens were striking and demonstrating against the war. The British navy blocked German ports, which meant that thousands of Germans were starving and the economy was collapsing. Then the German navy suffered a major mutiny. After German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated on November 9th, 1918, the leaders of both sides met at Compiegne, France. The peace armistice was signed on November 11th.
By the time it was said and done, four empires — the Russian, the Ottoman, the German, and the Austro-Hungarian had collapsed because of the war.
In 1919, The Treaty of Versailles officially ended the War. But the Treaty was brutal towards Germany — requiring that Germany accept full responsibility for causing the war; make reparations to some Allied countries; surrender some of its territory to surrounding countries; surrender its African colonies; and limit the size of its military.
The Treaty also established the League of Nations to prevent future wars. The League of Nations helped Europe rebuild and fifty-three nations joined by 1923. But the U.S. Senate refused to let the United States join the League of Nations, and as a result, President Wilson (who had established the League) suffered a nervous collapse and spent the rest of his term as an invalid.
Although Germany joined the League in 1926, continuing resentment because of The Versailles Treaty caused them to withdraw (along with ally Japan) in 1933. Italy withdrew three years later. The organization subsequently proved helpless to stop German, Italian, and Japanese expansionism.
Some might argue that World War I never had an effective ending, but the battles just stopped. World War II never would have happened if not for World War I, because had the Germans not been beaten down so badly by the demands of The Treaty of Versailles, Adolf Hitler may not have risen to power in the 1930s and convinced the Germans to fight regain their dignity and place in the world.