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TAMIL NATIONAL FORUM - 2000
From: Siva Ratnam 23 December 2000
This is my reply to
Sara Ananthan regarding the taboo on women entering temples during
their menstruation period. I do appreciate all what you say
about the great sacrifices that our women folk have made and are
still making, in Eelam. But that has nothing to do with certain
taboos that our religion places on women. Such taboos are not
discriminatory. Unless you view our religion with faith and more
than that, with rationalistic belief that the so called Mambo Jumbo,
is also a part of our religion, you will not be able to see it's
In the west I hear a lot of "honey", "darling" "sweetie pie" and what not, showered on women by men. The women also use it on their men . There is lot of holding hands, hugging, kissing and more, showing outward affection. But we must understand that all this is new, even to the white race. These are trends that were copied from Hollywood and TV culture.
All this outward affection and overly enthusiastic and romantic attitude
towards the sexual partners is not required is my opinion. Man and woman have to
unite for the continuity of the species. Evolution has made our path towards
this function connected with the following -
From what I have seen of my parents, my father had a life with wife and family but he also had a life away from his wife and sometimes, away from the family too, in regard to his religious practices. Even the white people were like this, the man and woman, even though married and affectionate and more important, dependent on each other, they also had a lifestyle where they were with their own sexes, for many reasons.
Man and woman are different. To dispute this in the name of rationalism, women's liberation or even science is to be totally unrealistic and irrational. They are different in every way, from the way their bones are structured, from the way their skin reacts to sensitivity, from the way they breath, the way they think, their likes and dislikes, their walk, their emotions, etc. are all different. So time to time they needed to be in the company of their own.
This trend has lately changed, mainly due to developments in the west. Women's liberation was required in the west because there was discrimination to women in regards to education, employment and mainly in a society based on crude male arrogance, the abuse of the women. Wife beating is not the only form of abuse. That is due to men giving into the weakness in the mind called anger. What is prevalent in the western society as an abuse against women is the males considering women as sexual objects and the whole culture, the magazines, Hollywood and TV advocating this sexual culture. The Hindu society worshipped the woman as the goddess herself.
Of course there were brutal men and there were wife beatings but as I said before that is not a cultural trait, it is due to a human weakness called anger. The modern western society began to portray woman as a sex symbol, to be conquered and then enjoyed, from the early 20th century. This required a liberation for the women of the west. But does this mean that women need to be liberated from their femininity itself? Therefore what I meant about men being lovers of women, is this modern trend of over affection and over enthusiasm that is shown by Hindu males towards their better half's, which I did not see in my parents. This trend is a direct influence of the western culture and in the west itself this behavior is a very recent phenomenon.
What is the result of all this kissing., hugging, honey, darling, honey pie and "doing things together" kind of life style-almost 90% divorce rate in the western countries. Now it has come to the point that couples do not marry. They live together. I am not talking morality here. I am talking in terms of science, psychology and social structure required for the continuity of the human race.
The family unit is not something man made. We are no different from the rest of creation as far as the intelligence behind evolution is concerned. That force behind evolution has given the human race the family unit for the progress and survival of our species. This is at risk today. We, who come from more ancient cultures are following these modern trends blindly. We are following blindly whatever the white man does because we think that is progress.
To think or do otherwise is unscientific and old fashioned, that is what we think. So all this talk of women liberation is applicable only to certain areas of the functions in society, mainly in regard to employment and education. At home the man and woman have to battle their mental weaknesses like anger, jealousy, selfishness, ego, etc. and try to achieve harmony. Their main function is not seeking liberation from this and that, but to create a peaceful atmosphere at home where the future generations can grow up in a happy, fearless and healthy atmosphere.
Our religion puts the full emphasis at the home front on women. In Tamil she is called, Illathu Arasi (queen of the house) or Illal (owner of the house). The man is not called Illathu Arasan or Illan. This is because the home is the total responsibility of the woman, not because she is meek and does not go to work and knows to cook. It is because the woman's nature is much better suited for this job. They are calmer, more down to earth, unselfishly loving towards their better half's and the children. There is much more that can be said about the positive qualities that women possess which goes to enhance family life and the bringing up of children. This is nothing strange, even in the rest of the animal, bird, reptile and even insect kingdoms, the same can be seen in regard to the female of the species.
Therefore we have to reject some of these new trends, mainly from the western (modern) civilization, which serves no purpose. As I said before, all the outward affection shown by the modern western couples is not achieving what it should achieve, that is the continuity of marriage. When I said men have become lovers of women this is what I meant. I lived in India for 14 years and I saw this trend among the modern males, mainly among the so called educated. But that trend was spreading to the villages too. So this is why I said that it is this attitude of the modern Hindu men in India that is asking for taboos against the women to be removed. It is not due to bhakthi or the desire to visit temples or women's liberation.
Actually many go on the Sabari Mallai yatra today, as if going on a picnic. In our religion there are religious functions in which the men do not participate. I have never heard a woman asking her man to come too. But I have heard men sheepishly asking their wives, whether he too can come for it. And in every occasion the answer was no. The women as I said earlier are much more level headed and down to earth, in this regard, than men.
In my opinion the religious women of India feel no shame or anger because
they have to keep away from temples and holy rituals on account of their
menstruation. It is the men who are advocating this, either as progressives and
rationalists or as over affectionate and enthusiastic wife lovers (again I say
this not in any disrespect for women but definitely in disrespect of such
Man is playing into his ego and desire for money and fame, and goes on creating new gadgets and methods, all in the name of science but the basic motive is corporate profit. I can only support this view of mine with a quote from Stephen Hawkins, the leading British theoretical Physicist. He said this during his interview in CNN with Larry King on New Years eve, 1999.
Larry King asked him whether he believes in God, and the scientist said this "If by God you mean all the laws of physics, etc in the universe, yes I believe that there exists this supreme order in the universe, managed by all these laws. But by God if you are talking in terms of psychic power, meditation, levitation and other supernatural things, I have to say that science has nothing to do with such stuff. Actually science is not equipped to investigate such things."
This is the substance of what he said. Now that is a proper scientific statement from one who can be considered as a giant in the field of science.
When it came to the so called supernatural things, he did not say, no I don't think they are true or I don't believe in all that mumbo jumbo. He said science is not equipped to investigate such matters, meaning they deal with areas which science as it stands today knows nothing about.
Einstein and even Newton said similar things about religion. These are giants in the field of science and they deal with theoretical science, just like Vedantists, investigating the truth. They are not the same as the pseudo scientists working for this or that corporation, making all kinds of gadgets, which all of us use and say aaah! And oooh!.
It is OK if we stop with that admiration for all the gadgets and comforts these pseudo Corporate scientists are showering us with but we go a step further and say, therefore all the mumbo jumbo in religion is untrue. How are these two things related? It is totally unrealistic and illogical to make that connection. But that is what many of us are doing. If you want to see a ghost, you have to go alone to places where ghosts are supposed to appear, at the right time and you might have to do that repeatedly for a very long time, before you come to any conclusion regarding the existence of ghosts.
For example if you go to the jungle to see a particular animal, you have to
go at the right time (during which that species comes out to hunt or seek food)
and sometimes you have to go a number of times, before you see one such
creature. There are incidences when researchers failed to see certain rare and
illusive creatures even after repeated attempts but they were sure they existed.
Therefore the scientific discoveries today deal with physical and material well
being of the human race. Religion is in the realm of the psyche and
consciousness. It is metaphysical and occult based. Either you have to have
blind faith or practice all what the scriptures preach and hope that the truth
reveals itself to you, in this lifetime.
In the Agamic and divine sacrifices woods like Neem (Vembu), Allamaram (Banyan), Arasu (Boddhi tree) are used. For Asuric sacrifices they use different wood, and Skanda Puranam, when describing the sacrifice done by the Asuric king Surapathaman for control of the universe, says that certain poisonous woods were used. Anyway, the main point is that the Asuric sacrifices and the divine ones are entirely different from each other. The blood letting is not only of other creatures but their own. The practitioner must be averse to pain and be totally fearless of death.
When the practitioner reaches the highest of this torturous practices, the Aghora form of Siva manifests and grants his wishes. In this manner the Asuras were conducting sacrifices and becoming all powerful. The Devas went to Lord Vishnu (whose function is to protect good from evil) and asked for a remedy. He then manifested as a being called Buddha. This is not an avatar as many Hindus believe it to be. This manifestation is same as the Mohini manifestation by Lord Vishnu, to delude the Asuras. Vishnu went as Buddha to the Asuras and convinced them that there is no God, and that they themselves can become the masters of all created beings and even go beyond Lord Siva himself by following the Suniya philosophy (the philosophy of "Nothingness or the Void".) The Asuras were convinced and gave up the worship of Lord Siva after that.
This is the story of the birth of Buddhism according to our scriptures. Therefore Buddhism is an Asuric religion and in its existence on earth as a religion, it has been a bitter enemy of Saivaism in India. This too, mainly in Tamil Nadu. The songs of the four Nayanmar tell you all about it. But in modern India, you will not find one word of this Buddhist tyranny in any of the history books. The world knows nothing of this "other" side of Buddhism. After Buddhism was defeated in Tamil Nadu by the efforts of the Tamil Saivaite saints, they ran away to Karnataka and became Vaishnavaites.
As you might know, the Vaishnavaites (at least some of them) are hardcore Siva haters and shower abuse on him and his devotees whenever there is an opportunity to do so. This is true even today. I attribute this anti-Siva attitude to have originated from the Buddhists who converted to Vaishnavism. Also Karnataka, where the majority of the Buddhists took refuge, has a venomous anti-Tamil attitude even today. These are all symbolic representation of the Buddhist influence and of the enmity Buddhism has towards the Tamil race. Some of the Buddhist monks formed the Kabalika cult, which terrorized the Tamil nations for a long time.
The Kabalikas were practicing human sacrifices in the name of Kali and other deities but their inner motive (of their higher archie) was disruption of the society in the Tamil kingdoms. The Tamil race is mainly a Saivaite race. Vaishnavism is a later manifestation. This is not to say that Lord Siva is greater than Lord Vishnu. Hari and Hara are same. Just as the Female manifestation of divinity is from the Vishnu aspect of divinity, the Vishnu aspect itself is a manifestation from the ultimate God (Kadavul) aspect.
Vishnu's main function is preservation and he as the leader and king of the
Devas has to be born on earth as an avatar, in each yuga for the protection of
Dharma. Until now no Vishnu purana spoke of the Buddhists and there was no
enmity between the Vaishnavaites and Buddhists. The main reason for this is the
fact that Vishnu was the original Buddha. But in Kalki Purana, that is the
puranic episode of Vishnu's avataram in the current Kali yuga, he comes as Kalki
and the purana speaks of his enemies as being Buddhists also. So the undeclared
peace between Vaishnavism and Buddhism ends in the Kali yuga.
What I say has nothing to do with the so called " reality". I am speaking in terms of the occult forces and the cosmic struggle of good against bad, divinity against the Asuric forces.
In the Thevarams of the four saivaite saints, mention is made of many Buddhist monks who came to challenge the Saivaite saints. One of them was Naga Nandi who came from Sri Lanka and he came after vowing to the Sinhala king that he will establish a Buddhist temple in Chidambaram. He went to the Chidambaram temple and sat there doing whatever that he had come to do, to achieve his goal. Thirugnana Sambandar heard of this and came to Chidambaram and there was verbal and most probably an occult battle between the two. Then the Buddhist monk was struck by a lightning bolt and killed. I know all this sounds, either a lot of mumbo jumbo or full of death and bloodshed in the name of religion. Please understand the fact that things are not what you see. There are things beyond human comprehension. There are things that cannot be fathomed by the mind.
So all this talk of Ahimsa and cruelty, should be made after understanding the fact that our religion believes that these Asuric forces cannot be converted or changed. They have to be destroyed. Swami Aurobindo said the same thing about Hitler, whom he considered as an avatara of the Asuric type.
When Ghandi was talking about the chances of Hitler having a change of heart and giving up the Nazi philosophy of war and bloodshed, Aurobindo said that a person like Hitler cannot be changed, only put an end to or destroyed.
So the Saivaite saints battled many such manifestations of the Asuric forces, in the form of Buddhist monks and many of these monks could have been from Sri Lanka. As I said before, the Tamil race, in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, has been the upholders of the Saivaite religion. Sri Lanka is called Siva Bhumi in the scriptures but it is also the Asura Bhumi. It was part of the Asuric kingdom of Surapathman in Skanda Puranam. When Lord Muruga sank the whole Asuric kingdom beneath the ocean, he spared Lanka. Why? because of Kathirkamam. In Sakanda Purana Kathirkamam is called Emakudam and the Deva guru, Brahaspathi or Guru Bhaghavan, considered Kathirkamam to be the only spiritual place fit enough for Lord Muruga to reside during his battle with the Asuras. Therefore Lord Muruga spared Lanka on account of the spirituality of Kathirkamam. Nevertheless the land of Lanka has an Asuric history.
Therefore it is not strange that the Asuric religion of Buddhism is well established there and there is so much hatred for the Tamil race. The Eelam struggle is a battle between Saivaism and Buddhism. We will never be defeated, no matter what the odds are against us, but we might have to struggle for much longer, before we are really victorious.
You ask what the Ukirra Murthis are doing? It is they who are protecting our boys and girls from total annihilation. Do you know how absurd and unequal this whole struggle is: Teenage boys and girls are fighting the army, navy, airforce and the police, in an island surrounded by the ocean, with no connection to any other country.
The only refuge we had, Tamil Nadu, is no longer open to us, after Rajiv Ghandi's death. America and Israel are training the enemy forces and the enemy forces number more than ten times the number we have. The enemy has used brutal force in trying to destroy the aspiration of the Tamils. There has been indiscriminate airforce bombing and artillery bombardment. In short the enemy has conducted a merciless war, with no restraint, but did they succeed?
Do you attribute this miracle only to the courage of our boys and girls (which definitely is one reason)? It is the divinity in Kathirkamam, Nallur, Sella Kathirkamam, Thiru Kateswaram, Thiru Koneswaram, Naga Thambiran temple of Nagar Koil, Nagapooshani Amman of Naina Theevu, Muneeswaram temple of Chilaw, the Wattapallai Amman temple and many others that have helped our boys and girls survive this onslaught.
But unless you conduct the proper rituals and follow the religious laws, the divine powers will diminish. Even the Devas had to live under the tyranny of Surapathman for a very long time, before Lord Muruga came to their rescue. I want to also mention the occult battle that takes place in Kathirkamam, even today, against the Asuric Buddhist forces.
The Buddhists have a vihara there called Kiri Vihara. It is at the back of the Murugan temple. In the late fifties when I used to go with my parents to Kathirkamam, this vihara was in ruins but later, after Kathirkamam became famous and the government got involved in its development, the Buddhist monks reclaimed this vihara. Those days when I used to go to Kathirkamam, we also lit a Katpuram at this Vihara, which was in ruins then. The Hindus called it "Suran Kottai", the castle of the Asura Surapathman.
The Hindus lit a Katpuram there because we believe that Asuras who do battle with Muruga, Siva, Vishnu or Devi are great souls, because they see the supreme being manifested and then they also get killed by these great Gods. So we pay our respects to them too. The emphasis I want to make is about the name, Suran Kottai given to that Vihara by the Hindus. To me this is symbolic of the Asuric connection of Buddhism.
The Hindu temple of Theivanai Amman temple is administrated by a Sanyasi sect from Allahabad India. I have met the head priest of this temple (he has since passed away) and he has told me of the immense physical and occult attacks that the temple has faced for many years and continued to do so, from the Buddhist monks.
He spoke of this struggle as if talking in terms of a real battle, like the
one that is going on between the Tamil race of Eelam and the armed forces. He
said we should not take even one step backward, no matter how terrifying the
enemy is, because, he said, to do so will mean, more and more steps backward and
finally we will be up against the wall. So as a Tamil and a saivaite, to me the
struggle for Eelam is an occult battle. Prabhaharan and all the heroic boys and
girls who are fighting there are God sent. Even though we are not doing anything
practical regarding the struggle of our people, at least we should pray and
conduct poojas in ancient temple, for the victory over the Asuric forces.
The current head of the math, Jayandra Saraswathi has become political and even corrupt. I have heard with my own ears, the old swami's criticism of this person. The current head of the madam was not appointed in the usual manner. Usually these appointments are made through occult means, that is through a vision or dream, the out going older swami's envision who the next head of the math should be. Then they send their representatives to seek out this person, who at that time will be a very young boy.
The current head of the math was not appointed in this manner. He was a young boy who was frequenting the madam and through the influence of his parents and other Brahmins, the old swami was forced into appointing him as the next head of the madam. As I told you before, there was lot of criticism from the older swami towards the current head of the madam, Jayendra Saraswathi. Then one day Jayendrar ran away from the math, to form another madam or organization or whatever. The old swami had no interest in calling him back but due to the pressure from Brahmin supporters of the runaway swami, he was called back and resumed his job as the head of the madam.
Another point we have to note is that the old swami before he died selected the next head of the math (the one who should take over from Jayendrar). This is unprecedented in the history of the madam. It is the current head of the madam who should appoint his successor. But the old swami did that in order to safe guard the divinity of that place. Also that appointment was made in the traditional occult manner, the old swami envisioned this young boy and then he was traced and ritualistically initiated into a sanyasi.
I was lucky to have been in Karnool, Andhra Pradesh during this ceremony. Speaking further of the current head of the math, Jayendrar, he has totally deviated from the path of his guru, become a pawn in the hands of corrupt and materialistic Brahmins. He is more of a politician than a swami. His guru, the old swami never traveled in any vehicle, only walked all over India. The current one has an air-conditioned room, he travels in an air-conditioned van, with cushions and all kinds of comforts. He has a siren-blowing motorcade wherever he goes. He has made a connection with the fascist RSS organization of North India and thereby disturbed the peace that existed between the Hindus and Muslims in Tamil Nadu. In short he has been a destructive force within the madam. So whatever he says about anything is to be totally ignored.
It does not represent our religion or the madam itself; it only speaks for his corrupt mental attitude, his desire for power and mainly his ignorance. But I wish to tell you of the attitude the old swami had towards the Eelam struggle. When the IPKF and LTTE started fighting each other, he sent a telegram to the then president of India, Venkataraman, who was usually seen as a strong Brahmin devotee of this swami and also to the then prime minister Rajiv Ghandi. This was published in the Hindu. The content of the telegram was this "cease hostilities and create friendly atmosphere between the Tigers and the IPKF". I hope you are able to see the significance of this message. The swami knew exactly what the role of IPKF should be in regard to the on going struggle. He wanted India to stand by the Tamils, even if it meant making an enemy of the Sri Lankan government. But Venkataraman, never responded to this telegram.
As for Rajiv Ghandi, I don't want to even give an explanation because he was a Komali Raja (clown king), who destroyed everything that Nehru and Indira Ghandi had done, not only for India but also for the rest of the underdeveloped nations, the commonwealth and the socialistic countries. Rajiv Ghandi was the instrument that removed the barricades put up against the Corporate Mafia of the west and he let them walk right in.
After the incident of the telegram Venkataraman never came to the Kanchi Madam till the old swami passed away. Most probably he was ashamed of himself. Further, many times during my visits to the madam, when the old swami was alive, I have heard him asking his assistants regarding the situation in Eelam. This is done just before he retires to bed, when he asks his assistants to brief him on political and other topics that are of interest to him. I can vouch to you that the old swami was very concerned of the ongoing struggle there and he was with the Tamils of Eelam. This was not because of any political reasons, but because he knew what this battle was all about.
During my visits there I have seen this old swami grooming the younger swami (Vijeyendra Saraswathi) and I have strong faith that this young swami will be a great spiritual giant like the old swami and his lineage. One example of this is the appointment of two priests from the Allahabad Sanyasi sect to Theivanai Amman temple at Kathirkammam by this young swami, in 2000. Actually the Allahabad sanyasi's come under the Sringeri Math, also established by Adi Sankara, and it is they who should handle matters regarding this.
From what I know of the happenings in the Sringeri math during my stay in India, the head swami of Siringeri math passed away and his successor was also a corrupt, political and materialstic person. So most probably the Siringeri math is not what it should be right now. That may the reason why the young swami of Kanchi madam got involved in the appointment of priests to Kathirkamam. In conclusion all I wish to say is that our religion should be approached with absolute faith in all its aspects. If you follow this path with true sincerity many things will be revealed to you. But please do not quote science when talking of religion; these two are different aspects of knowledge.
I just finished reading Eelam History by P.Kanapathippillai. This "history" beats Mahavamsa in the art of "creative history"! Except for a few facts here and there, this write-up in totality is pure fiction. For example he claims Vijayan and his comrades contracted marriage with Nayakkars in Tamil Nadu! What were these Nayakkars doing in the 5th century BC in Tamil Nadu? Again the story of Manu is fiction. No such historical figure existed in Tamil history. His claim that Tamils were Saivaites or Hindus from Ramayana days is not borne out by facts. The Cankam literature does not speak about religion. Only Paripadal and Thirumurugatruppadai speaks about gods. But these two works are definitely belongs to the tail end of the Cankam literature.History is a serious subject and should be left to those who are well qualified in that discipline. Fortunately K's history is in Tamil, so only providing entertainment to Tamils.
This is in response to Siva Ratnam's comments on 9 December 2000.
It is a whole heap of wasteful mumbo-jumbo to justify the moribund customs of the Hinduism.
He says, "The modern man is a slave to the woman. They are so much in love with their better half's, they want them to come with them on this pilgrimage too."
First of all what is wrong with that? If we have to follow his argument, even Lord Shiva or Siva loved his woman so much he gave half his body to her permanently. Hopefully he will not be banned from entering this so-called Punniya Poomi during those days.
In addition, we are living in this Internet Era where it is taboo to discriminate the sexes even in writing. That is why we write chairperson instead of chairman etc.
Coming back to reality, in the present struggle for survival in Tamil Eelam, our Tamil women have paid supreme sacrifices and have even created history by taking part in combat to defend our nation from the aggressors. In fact, even at this very moment they are contributing their fair share with their lives while we are discussing this all-important Sanathana Dharma from the safety of our foreign climes.
Instead of following the high ideals of Hinduism, we have reduced it into a cult of ritual worship and hypocrisy. All religions teach us of the brotherhood of humanity and humility in serving the less fortunate. But in Hinduism we waste our wealth on elaborate temple festivals while millions of our people are suffering without even their basic needs.
On another point, this type of Hinduism corrupts the minds and souls of the very people whom it is supposed to serve. The present decay and this rampant selfishness in our Hindu society are the by-products of this Vedic interpretation of Hinduism. Thiru Valluvar could write such a wonderful masterpiece Thiru Kural, which is relevant even after 2000 years because this Vedic Hinduism did not corrupt his mind.
In addition, where are all these Ukkira Moorthys while our people are subjected to all these atrocities and are struggling for their very survival in our motherland and who are deprived even the basic necessities such as food, medicine and shelter? There is not even a whimper from our so-called Hindu leaders during these difficult times. Or is it because they consider us as Non-Hindus?
It was reported that being pious Hindus themselves Gurkhas are forbidden to kill a fellow Hindu. But during the occupation of Tamil Eelam by the Indian forces the mercenary soldiers of the Gurkha regiment, that was, part of the Indian army was also used to butcher thousands of innocent fellow Hindus. In addition, many historical and famous Hindu temples were also destroyed during this period. It was reported that the Gurkhas were told that we, Tamils are not Hindus.
Another example is the recent unwarranted uttering by the Kanchi Sankarachari about our present struggle for survival in our motherland, which is bereft, of any compassion for the majority Hindu Tamils. Interestingly he had never opened his mouth while the Indian and Sri Lankan military forces committed all these crime against humanity in our soil.
There is the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to serve the people in need. Why we do not have anything similar in Hinduism to serve the refugees, the sick and the wounded people?
In fact the Asuras are none other than those people who have no compassion for their suffering fellow human beings. Religion should serve people, not people should serve religion.
From: Koomaren, Mauritius, 16 December 2000
I am really disgusted by what has happened to Mr.Eelaventhan. How can our supposed Hindu brother expel an old man of 68 yrs towards a sure death? Continue your great work, truth will prevails one day. Thamizh vazgha
Tamil Language & Social Status : All Tamils throughout the World should always speak in Tamil with fellow Tamils. No God, or a Prophet, or a World Religion, has said that it was 'below one's dignity' to speak in Tamil.
For one Tamil to speak in 'elocution and accent filled English' to
another Tamil, stems from a false sense of values founded on the belief that to
command the respect of other Tamils in society, it is necessary to
speak to them in English.
This article is my reply to Shan Ranjit's comments on the taboo Hinduism places on menstruating women, in regard to temple entry and attending religious rituals. If we are to consider ourselves as Hindus, belonging to that timeless religion based on the Sanathana Dharma, then we have to accept a few definite laws and beliefs.
1) We must believe that the Sanathana Dharma is eternal and requires no changes in its rituals, customs and do's and don'ts. The creative principle behind the evolution of our universe and all the other planes of existence has provided all what is required for our survival, continuity, yoga (aesthetic pleasures) and bhoga (sensuous pleasures).
2) Our religion, if is to be described in Western terminology, is an occult based, pagan religion. It is based on one single omnipresent supreme cosmic principle called God (Kadavul) which can be interpreted as Lord Siva or Lord Vishnu, depending on a persons love for either one of these manifestations. But it has been clearly stated in the scriptures that Hari and Hara are one and the same. The female counterpart is said to be a manifestation from the Vishnu principle. Then again it is said that Lord Siva has the female principle as one half of his form. The scriptures also say that God is both, with form and formless. Our religion is based on magic (Agamic and Tantric rituals) and accepts the existence of many kinds of supernatural beings. We have many Gods, both in higher and lower positions and all of them playing a part in the cosmic drama. Then we also have the Devas and the Asuras. Our religion accepts the existence, of Ghosts, Goblins, Gandharvas, Bhuthas, Siddhas, ancestral spirits and many other categories of supernatural beings. The mythology of our religion, the Puranas, is the history of the universe, told in a story and symbolic form. For a Hindu, they are not mere fictional stories to teach morality and religion, to the ignorant and not so intelligent followers of our religion. It is with the unshakable and rational belief in all this, our religion has to be approached as a follower.
3) The followers of the Vedantic logic and those who meditate and try to realize their inner divinity, sometimes think that they are on a higher level and don't need all the mumbo-jumbo listed in (2) above.
They think that all this is untrue and exists in our religion only to help the ignorant masses live an orderly and moral life. Some of our customs and taboos, they think are actually not suitable for a civilized society and should not have been there in the first place. Under this category comes the caste system and the taboo on women during their menstruation period. It is regarding the taboo against the women, that Shan Ranjit has written his comments. But to dispute that and to explain my views on this, we have to take into consideration all what is said in (2) above. Only then can we understand the reason for our customs and taboos.
Before we can argue against Shan Ranjit's suggestion that women's menstruation should not be a taboo for holy rituals and temple entry, let me explain some Hindu definitions regarding matters related to this.
1) Earth - In this universe there is only one earth and one human kind. Only on earth and only as a human being can one accrue and deplete karma. All other beings on this planet, animals, birds, reptiles, insects, worms, microscopic beings, ghosts, spirits, Devas, Asuras and other natural and supernatural beings, do not accrue or deplete karma, while existing in that state of existence. They got there by the karma accumulated during a past human birth and in some point in their continuing journey they have to be born again as a human being. Even mad men (those in a state of extreme insanity) are free from accruing or depleting karma. Such totally insane men are almost close to being like a ghost and therefore don't come under the Hindu laws for humans. Earth therefore is called Karma Bhumi. On earth, the land of Bharatha (present India and some other regions close by) is considered the most auspicious and is called the Punniya Bhumi. But it is also the most suitable for working out one's karma, and therefore it is also called Karma Bhumi. It is not a Bhoga bhumi as some other countries are; it is place of toil, sacrifice, hardship, sorrow, happiness, disease and yoga.
Yes, it is the only place on earth, where the souls that are ready to be freed from the cycle of birth and death are born, which will be their last birth..
2) Human Being-Man is the only being capable of realizing the ultimate truth, the only being capable of realizing his self. By achieving this state, he or she escapes the cycle of birth and death and merges with the divinity. All other living and non-living beings are not capable of this feat. The supernatural beings, even though much more powerful than man in every way and capable of enjoying bhoga (sensuous pleasures) to the fullest without any ill effects, are not capable of realizing their self.
3) Devas and Asuras-these two beings are in eternal conflict in the universe and thereby establish a kind of balance in the universe.
4) The importance of earth and man- The devas obtain their sustenance and power from the divine rituals performed on earth. Only if the temples are properly maintained and the poojas are performed, will the Devas obtain their sustenance. They need the yagnas, rituals and poojas performed on earth. The Asuras on the other hand will do anything to prevent these things from happening.
5) The Temple-the temple does not exist as a place of social gathering or a place in which ignorant people practice blind faith to reduce stress. The ancient temples are divine batteries which exist on earth for its protection from the attacks of the Asuric beings. In the ancient days ordinary people did not enter the temples. Only the king and the Brahmins had that privilege.
The Brahmins of those days were pious individuals who lived a life of total abstinence, austerity, Tapas and sacrifice. The king too was a heroic, noble and truthful soul, who was considered as Gods representative on earth. There were no caste disputes. The god in the temple came outside on special occasions (which most probably were more than once a week) as the Utsava murthy (a stature in bronze) for the benefit of the community. The procession during these occasions went all around the village and everybody had darshan of the deity and the divine vibrations and the chants of mantras sanctified the whole community and the village itself. What we see today, as human rights violations in the name of caste are later manifestations, from the time of the Muslim invasion and the 200-year British rule.
It was the British rule that did the most amount of damage, which turned the higher castes into brutal and arrogant masters of the less fortunate in society. Once the all-powerful king was diminished (and later abolished) the weaknesses in men (mainly in the men of intellectual capability and power) manifested itself and over powered the society. The Brahmins too become materialistic and ambitious. They entered other professions and mainly sought out government jobs, which in those days meant, working for the British. It is such actions by the higher castes that led to the ruin of the ancient social structure of the Hindus.
Taking all what is said so far into account you have to decide whether a taboo such as the prevention of menstruating women to temples is justified.
When a woman attains age or enters the menstruating age, the parents, relatives and the community worship her as the goddess herself. The reason for this is because she at that point becomes the bearer of the egg, the egg that can create life. This egg is the human version of the cosmic egg of the mother of the universe, who gave birth to all creation on this universe. Then why is menstruation held to be unholy? It is because the cycle of birth and death is Maya. The egg in the human level is immersed in this Maya. In the divine mother of the universe this same egg is divine and her sexual organ, the yoni, is worshipped. But on earth and in the human level, the menstruation period of discarding the egg and the formation of the new egg, are acts of Maya and not a divine act. Temples exist to protect man on earth but they do not belong to earth or to the Maya world of birth and death. That is why we are expected to behave totally different from the way we behave on the streets or our homes, when we enter the temple. That is why so much purity is expected of temple visitors. Therefore the simple reason why menstruating women are taboo from temples, is to prevent the vibrations of Maya from disturbing the divinity of the temple and thus breaking the protective cover it provides for the community and rest of the world. The Asuric forces are said to be always waiting to enter holy places and places where yagnas and temple rituals are conducted, to destroy the divinity there.
This is why the priests in the temples during daily pooja and more elaborately during festivals and Kumbhabishakams, worship the warrior gods (various Dhurgas, Bhairavas and Bhoodas) on all eight directions.
Before concluding, we must consider the temple of Ayyappa, where any woman in the age of menstruation is not permitted to come. There is a Kerala legend about a king's son who had divine powers and many Ayyappa bhakthas think that, this divine human is the god in existence there. It is not so. This young divine child is only an amsam (a manifestation) of the power of Sastha.
The god who resides there is Sastha or Ayyanar. He belongs to the fierce god's category along with Bhairava, Kali, Durga, etc. They are called Ukkira Theivam in Hinduism. They are very averse to non-divine things and actions and impurity. The irony of it is, they themselves carry skulls, cups of human blood and severed and bleeding human body parts, in their hands or as ornaments. But that is their nature. They will not tolerate Asuric actions or presence and will not tolerate non-divine and impure vibrations. These gods usually dwell in thick jungles. The Sastha temple was in the jungle too, But today because of the greed for more crowds and more money, the temple authorities and the communist government of Kerala, destroyed the jungle and built roads, hotels and made it easy for more and more people to come. Now they are paying the price. The modern man is a slave to the woman. They are so much in love with their better half's, they want them to come with them on this pilgrimage too. It is the foolish, immature and bhakthi-less males who demand for the younger women's entry to the temple But people must understand that these temples do not exist for you to come on pilgrimage. They exist for the protection of all living beings on earth; they exist to protect the divinity of earth, so that the Devas will obtain their sustenance. Further the Sastha temple in Kerala is of utmost importance for the protection of the Hindu dharma.
In Ramayana, the higher Vishnu Avatara of Rama defeated the lower Vishnu Avatara of Parusurama. Once defeated by Rama, Parasurama gives all his powers to Lord Rama but retains the power of travelling anywhere by mere willing.
Then he went to Kerala and created a Yantra for the protection of Hindu Dharma. It is for this main purpose that he incarnated on earth as Parasurama. After burying the Yantra on the Sabari mountain (this name came later, on account of the old woman devotee of Rama, Sabari). Then he created a community of Brahmins with his yogic power. The Namboodris of Kerala claim lineage from these Brahmins created by Parasurama. Parasurama told the Brahmins to live there and protect the Yantra. He assured them that in case of any danger, if they pray to him, he would come. After he left, the Brahmins got worried whether he will keep his promise and wanted to test it.
So they prayed and Parasurama came. But he was very angry and disgusted by the cowardly behavior of the Brahmins. He knew he could not depend on them to protect the Yantra, which itself was for the protection of the Hindu Dharma itself. So he meditated upon Ayyanar, the black warrior god who was born to Lord Siva and Vishnu, when he manifested as the Mohini. Ayyanar answered Parasuramar's prayer and manifested himself. Then Parasurama prayed to him to reside there permanently and protect the Yantra. Ayyanar agreed and stayed.
This is the original story of that temple. Ayyanar is a Ukkira Moorthi and will not tolerate impurity and non-divine vibrations. Therefore to advocate the entry of women still in the menstruating cycle to this temple, which exists for the protection of Hindu Dharma itself, is totally wrong.
Myths and Misinformation: We never tire of harping on our ancient glory and myths amongst ourselves but we sometimes fail to understand how the world sees us. This also contributes to the misinformation and misunderstanding in the international arena about our present struggle for survival.
The following is an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Britannica, http://www.britannica.com
Under the topic 'Sri Lanka - History' - the following information can be found:
"The island's first human settlers were probably tribes of the proto-Australoid ethnic group, akin to the pre-Dravidian hill tribes of southern India. Remnants of these people were absorbed by the Indo-Aryans who immigrated from India about the 5th century BC and developed into the Sinhalese The Tamils were probably later immigrants from Dravidian India, their migrations being spread out over a period dating from about the 3rd century BC to about AD 1200. The Tamil element was strengthened in the 19th century with the immigration of southern Indians to work on the plantations."
IBM World Book 1999 has the following information under the same topic 'Sri Lanka - History':
"History. ..The earliest inhabitants of the island were tribal peoples called the Yaksa and the Naga. The Veddahs are descendants of these peoples. Vijaya, a legendary prince from northern India, is said to have led the founders of the Sinhalese culture to Ceylon. The Sinhalese probably began to arrive during the 400's B.C. They settled in the northern part of the island and built advanced irrigation systems to support agriculture. The city of Anuradhapura was the centre of Sinhalese civilization from the 200's B.C. until A.D. 993.
Tamils from southern India invaded the island, perhaps as early as the 100's B.C. From the A.D. 400's until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 1500's, the history of Ceylon centred on struggles between Sinhalese kings and Tamil kings. Tamils eventually gained control of the northern half of the island. The Sinhalese moved into the southern half of the island..."
We can only marvel at the ability of these pundits who so accurately concluded that the Tamils landed just 200 years after the Sinhalese!
Probably, our forefathers were waiting for an auspicious time to give them a safe landing for 200 years, on the advice of their priests.
It defies logic to suggest that the Sinhalese who came all the way from North India, somehow beat the Tamils who lived just 30km across the Palk Straits in South India, by 200 years.
The historical record shows that the ancient Tamils were magnificent seafarers who had traded with the Romans, the Greeks and the Chinese. On their daily sojourns into the sea, they would have discovered and settled in the island of Eelam (Sri Lanka) long before the Sinhalese. Again, the so called 'Encyclopedias' make no reference to the antiquity of the Pancha Ishwarams of ancient Eelam.
Research into the history of mankind should be conducted not to prove the greatness or weakness of a people but to understand and enrich the evolution of the entire human civilisation. Setting our own historical record right is a vital task...
6 November 2000
While I was reading H.L. Seneviratne's 'The Work Of Kings - The New Buddhism in Sri Lanka', I came across a very interesting article by a Ravaya journalist by the name of Uvindu Kurukulasuriya which Seneviratne cites in one his chapters. The questionnaire created by the journalist is illustrative of the hypocrisy of the Sinhala-Buddhist religious establishment in Sri Lanka. In the latest publication of this book, the author maintains that no one from the various Buddhist Chapters have yet responded to these questions. tamilnation.org visitors might find it very interesting.
I'm not sure whether you are the right people I should be addressing this to, but I need to say what I have to say.
I am a white, middle class English person. I have no religious or political bias, just my own experience of life. I have travelled and worked extensively in the Middle East and the Arab world. What I found in the Arab world, was a sense of moral integrity and justice which is unknown in the western world: a people who are generous, gentle, kind and noble. All I see in my western world is depravity, greed and ignorance.
What I have seen and heard about the current crisis (in the Middle East), has sickened and saddened me. Not because I feel that war is unnecessary, but because the fight is so unequal...
There is the irony: You'd expect the Jewish people to really have a sense of what it's like to be subjugated and oppressed. But oh no....it doesn't seem to work like that does it? They're quite happy to bleat on about the holocaust, while simultaneously shooting Arab children. I saw some footage tonight on TV of an Arab boy fighting for life in hospital because he'd been shot by an Israeli soldier. What kind of "man" shoots a child? No kind of man that I know.
A real man stands up for what he believes in: A real man fights tanks with nothing but a slingshot in his hand.......a coward sits in his heliocopter gunship, or fires at unarmed children.
For what it's worth, I just wanted you to know that I support the Palestinian cause. I think most British people would if they were given the chance to have an opinion. Unlike America, we know what it is to stand against a seemingly unbeatable foe..and win. I really hope that the same happens for Palestine. Best Wishes & the love of God go with you
[see also The Fourth World & Nations without a State]
V. Thangavelu, Canada, 8 October 2000
From: G.Thevathasan, 7 October 2000
Thank you very much for the article. Duraiappah was self motivated, ruthless, shameful and selfish - and who by his acts, had done immeasurable harm to the Tamil Nation... Thanks. Your brother in Eelam Nation
Seetha Murali India, 5 October 2000
Response by tamilnation.org
You will find a link to some info about the movie at News Archive - India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
Who is a Terrorist? A terrorist is defined as a person engaged in the use of violence to achieve political goals. The word �terror� means, �the use of extreme force�.
When one state invades and occupies (amalgamation) a neighbour state/homeland, or invades and places a puppet regime, which serves the interests of the aggressor one cannot call a person or persons from the invaded state engaged in the use of violence, (to resist that invasion) terrorists. No one would ever argue with this point.
The key question that should be asked by any intelligent person is: has invasion taken place at an earlier date. Time does not negate the invaders aggression. Most people do not understand the history of a political struggle and accept their government�s view, if it suits that particular government....
The word terrorist is without question the most misused word in the world of politics. It is a word that explains the method but makes no attempt to explain whether it is a just struggle, a struggle to free one country/homeland from an invader. Sometimes, the invaded people are so hopelessly out-gunned; they simply cannot fight back.
A newly amalgamated landmass will generally leave one race as a minority. Thereby, negating the minority�s democratic rights in a �first-past-the-post�-voting system. Party politics based on ethnicity is all too common a tool used by politicians to win the votes of the majority. The invaders are likely to introduce constitutional and institutional discrimination against the newly formed minority. Sooner or later armed rebellion becomes the only path to freedom.
Classic examples of the incorrect use of the word Terrorists are; the British calling the Palestinians engaged in armed rebellion against the invading British, terrorists in 1948. Another more recent example was calling the ANC, terrorists ... The ANC after the Sharpville massacre had no option but to take up arms to fight terror.
All over this world from Russia to Sri Lanka, from America to Australia, state terrorism has been or is presently in use, 200 years is just a day in the time some ethnic groups occupied their lands... Hitler and many other such figures practised state terrorism at unimaginable levels.. There is no such thing as (true) democracy, only different degrees of it, i.e. it is not a system that can guarantee safety of the human race from state terrorism.
This refers to the observation by
Jega Rajan, Australia (8 July, 2000) about
Prof. A.J. Wilson. The Wilson Jega Rajan knew in 1986 was entirely a
different Wilson of the nineties. His political convictions underwent a sea
change during this period. He supported the cause of Tamil Eelam without any
reservations. He developed nothing but total admiration for the LTTE leader
Prabhakaran and the armed struggle led by him. He attended and spoke at every
International Conference sponsored by FACT.
He keenly followed the progress of the Jayasikuru military campaign launched by the SLA in Vanni during 1997-99. He was worried whether the LTTE really had the military might to defeat the heavily armed SLA. He felt very happy and relieved when the LTTE finally nullified the two-year battle gains of SLA in six days of blitz in November, 1999. He also lived to see the fall of Elephant Pass base which he at one time thought was impregnable.
One should read his book �The Break-Up of Sri Lanka, The Sinhalese -Tamil Conflict" to fathom the political metamorphosis he underwent. In this book he confidently asserted that �The partition of Ceylon was a fact of History.� His use of the word CEYLON instead of Sri Lanka is pregnant with meaning.
Mani Kumarasamy, New Zealand,
18 July 2000
Caste and Religious Chauvinism: This website is very nice. One of the viewers quoted some remarks such as Brahmins are not Tamils. Such kind of chauvinism - caste or religious should not be encouraged. In fact, the contribution by Brahmin communities to Tamil language is remarkable. I request the owner of the site not to publish such articles which creates hatred feelings on the basis of caste or religion. We are in the internet age.
Re Mr.Sivanayagam on Professor Wilson: I was in Toronto, Canada in 1983. As part of Tamil Eelam Society of Canada, I along with two others participated in directly communicating and negotiating with the Dept of Foreign Affairs of Canada. Tamils needed the support of Prof.Wilson and I and other Tamils involved in the struggle approached him several times to help us.
Canadian Dept of Foreign affairs wanted at least some statement about the situation in Sri Lanka at that time. According to the Canadian Government Prof Wilson was a very credible person. However, he did not want to identify with the Tamil people when we needed him. Privately he indicated that he did not want to compromise his personal relationship with JRJ.
According to Mr Sivanayagam:
"A man of his (Prof Wilson's) intellectual calibre and academic standing would have been an asset in justifying the Tamil struggle in the eyes of the international community".
That is exactly what the Tamil community tried to do then. It might be true that Prof.Wilson may have had a change of heart since 1986, however I feel Mr.Sivanayagam's article is quite one sided.
I have visited your site and you guys have done real good job. I have a question, I have heard that Tamil is the second most spoken language in the world. I want to know whether this is true or not? If yes, if you can some send me some proofs or related material , I would really appreciate it. Thanking you, keep the good thing going ...
Response by tamilnation.org: Vannakam. Mikka Nanri. We have tried to check out the available material - and we find that the Ethnologue Data Base ranks Tamil as the 18th among the 100 top languages. The 17 languages ranked ahead of Tamil are Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, English, Bengali, Hindi, Portugeuse, Russian, Japanese, German, Chinese (Wu), Javanese, Korean, French, Vietnamese, Telegu, Chinese (Yue) and Marathi. There are some studies which have ranked Tamil as the second most widely used language on the Internet - at the present time. But these studies have not as yet received general acceptance.
Sachithanantham, Japan 26 May
Thamby Prabha -on behalf of Tamils who are older than you in age, and who share the same sentiments like me, I wish to greet you with the words,'Thamby - You and Your Team have Arisen and Arrived.' The Hindu of May 26 reports in its front page, that U.S.A is moving its warships towards Sri Lanka. This is nothing to be ashamed of. All the world is now wondering what you are planning to do in the next few weeks. This is the moment for you to act with the skill you have been blessed with and for which we Tamils are proud. I offer you that wonderful poem of Rudyard Kipling, 'If', written in 1910, for contemplation and guidance. These twenty lines of Kipling are worth to reminisce and remember.
What Kipling wrote 90 years ago, when he was an apologist for the then British Empire, still retains much lustre. Those who have 'lost their heads' such as the likes of the current Sri Lankan President can tag you as 'a combination of Hitler and Idi Amin'. But, Thamby Prabha, as Kipling wrote, it will serve you best 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you'. May the God Almighty bless you for years to come.
From: Sachi Sri Kantha, Japan 17 May 2000
Vanakkam... I wish to express my disappointment about the behaviour of elder Tamil politician, M.Karunanidhi, who currently serves as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. According to a news report which appeared in the Hindu newspaper of May 16, the Chief Minister has bragged that the DMK had 'distanced itself' from the LTTE long ago. For decades, the DMK leader had extolled the virtues of ancient Tamil heroism in his writings and movie scripts (the Sivaji Ganesan's hit-movie Manohara springs to my memory now). In recent weeks, when the LTTE warriors have demonstrated before a global audience, how ancient Tamil heroism is still living in the homeland of the Tamils, Karunanidhi turns into a politician who appears interested in only preserving his political job. One can only feel grateful, for the way that M.G.Ramachandran (MGR to adoring Tamilians), behaved towards the LTTE warriors, when he served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, between 1983 and 1987.
As the LTTE fighting formations close in towards the centre of Jaffna city, more than the racist Sri Lankan government and its Sinhala army, the Brahmin-owned The Hindu is getting more and more jittery almost to the point of being paranoid.
Today it published a news item wherein Subramaniam Swamy has called for the arrest of Dr.Ramadoss, Vaiko and Pazha Nedumaran for their open support to the LTTE.
As I once said Subramaniam Swamy is a lightweight politician who only managed to poll less than 25,000 votes out of 350,000 from the Madurai constituency losing his deposit. Yet because he is a Brahmin, The Hindu gives him undue prominence and publicity.
Now Prem Shankar Jha, The Hindu analyst, in an article titled "Dire Threat to India" is openly asking, " India should help Lanka to eliminate Tigers once and for all." Jha predicts that military success for the LTTE in Jaffna would ultimately lead to a separatist movement in Tamil Nadu.
The Sinhala owned Daily News has faithfully reproduced with glee not only this article, but The Hindu editorials and news reports. Like democracy being the last refuge of the scoundrel, this separatist threat is the refuge of anti-Tamil pro-Sinhala elements in Tamilnadu.
This of course is scare mongering tactics to force the hands of Vajpayee's government to bail-out Sri Lanka militarily which is a "pipe dream" if I have to borrow N.Ram's words.
From the outset Vajpayee's government has taken up the position that India will not send troops or supply arms to Sri Lanka.
But Jha puts a spin to this stand by claiming " It (government) ruled out sending Indian troops to Sri Lanka, immediately offered humanitarian aid, and said that it would consider the despatch of arms if Colombo made the request. But it took just one visit from a team of Tamil politicians, headed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, for the Vajpayee Government to start backing away. The reasons, put succinctly by Mr. Karunanidhi, was that the Tamil parties could not afford to allow any Government of which they were a part to do anything that would directly or indirectly take Tamil lives."
Well Prem Shankar Jha should be old enough to understand that this business of "eliminating Tigers once and for all" cannot be a one way traffic! If India decides to eliminate the Tigers, then in theory the latter too can decide to eliminate India.
That was exactly what happened during 1987-90 when India arrogantly, but foolishly decided to eliminate the LTTE by using IPKF- a euphemism for the Indian armed forces which killed thousands of Tamil civilians including Doctors, Nurses etc.
But fortunately there are no takers for Jha. He has to wait till thy Kingdom come to realise his dreams!
Not to be left out a lowly correspondent of The Hindu, Nirupama Subramanian is exhorting the Sri Lankan army " that this is the only opportunity they have to fight back the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, because this is the only time it has nowhere to run."
It is said that the snake has venom only in its teeth, but the Brahmins in the Hindu have venom all over their bodies! It is the duty of the Tamil Diaspora as well as Tamils of Tamilnadu to fight back the dark anti-Tamil forces led by The Hindu at this historical moment. One way is to boycott the newspaper and withdraw all advertisements!
From: Koomaren, Mauritius, 8 May 2000
Vanakkam. The Tamil nation (tamilians) is living their most important moment these days. The situation arising in Jaffna with the LTTE having the upper hand vis a vis the Sri Lankan army, has shown how much an independent Tamil independent state can arouse so many minds and hearts. I am really disgusted by the way India is handling the situation - this is mostly related to securing the supposed unity in the subcontinent. Instead of trying to save civilians, they are thinking more about the Sri Lankan army. Is it because the civilians are Tamils? If India tries to help the Sri Lankan army against the LTTE, I think that people of Indian origin all over the world should stop calling themselves Indians. If India can't accept an independent Tamil state, let at least our minds accept it and pray that India gets divided.
Rajan Thangavelu, Canada,
23 March 2000
Every year Thiruketheeswaram temple used to draw thousands of Tamil pilgrims from all over the island during Sivarathiri Day celebrations, before the army occupied its precincts in 1990. As of now the temple remains closed, not open for public worship and is occupied by the SLA. The whole temple complex looks like an army camp and troops are housed in the main hall and the sacred tank used as a swimming pool by the Sinhalese soldiers.
The Temple premises have also been converted into an Army training camp. All the buildings and the madams in the temple area have been demolished and the stones removed. Only the temple building is said to survive, but without any fittings. The temple underwent severe damages during the war which is estimated to be about Rs. 50.7 million.
At the beginning of this month President Chandrika President Chandrika promised withdrawal of troops from the precincts of the temple, following protests by Tamils locally and internationally. A former UN consultant threatened to fast unto death if Sinhalese troops were not withdrawn from the temple.
The group of Tamil devotees from Colombo who went to observe festival of Maha Sivarathiri at Thiruketheeswaram occupied by the Sri Lankan army returned to Colombo with reports that the shrine was in disrepair and its sanctity had been defiled.
This group led by Colombo District Parliamentarian R.Yogarajan (Ceylon Workers' Congress) undertook the pilgrimage following an assurance by the Sri Lankan government that the army would pull out in time for the Maha Sivarathiri vigil on Saturday (4 March 2000).
On his return from Thiruketheeswaram with 46 Tamil pilgrims today, Mr.Yogarajan said that most parts of the shrine except its sanctum sanctorum had been desecrated and that the temple was in state of disrepair. Nine families who were engaged in temple duties have been evacuated from the area by the SLA since 1990. The houses of these temple employees and about thirty five pilgrims' rests ('madams') are dilapidated and overgrown with shrub jungles. SLA personnel are still very much around the temple premises according to pilgrims. There are no houses within a 5 km radius of the temple - vacated by Tamils following army occupation.
The SLA took only a stipulated number of devotees in buses on Maha Sivarathiri day to the temple. The windows of these buses were shut and completely covered with paper. Members of the group that went from Colombo claimed that the SLA treated them better than the local pilgrims. Devotees from Mannar were allowed to go to Thiruketheeswaram only after being finger printed and videoed by the SLA.
The Mannar devotees were issued special identity cards and travel passes by the army before they were taken in the covered buses to the temple to observe the Maha Sivarathiri vigil and bathe in the Palaavi river the morning after. In sharp contrast to the defilement and sacrilege of Thiruketheeswaram temple, the only Buddhist Vihara in the north enjoys uninterrupted worship by Sinhalese pilgrims everyday of the year. Although President Chandrika brags that Sri Lanka is One Country One People everything is done by her government to prove the opposite.
From:Para Parasutharan, Toronto, Canada 12 March 2000
The following article came up in the Canadian Tamil Youth Development Center discussion form. It was written by me when we were discussing Tamil arts and how Tamil culture is disintegrating. You might find it of interest:-
"I appreciate your passion for Tamil arts. Whether they are music or dance or drama, they are good. They make us form an identity. But, art is still a medium. A medium is supposed to bring a message to the mass. Most of us are lost with the medium and we are not getting the message as we deserve.
We are being taught that there are three kinds of Tamil (Muthamil). They are Iyal, Issai, and Nadagam. It is not wise to translate them in to English or to another language because they loose their original meanings. In case anyone wonders, I give the present meanings for these trio. Now, Iyal is considered as writing. Issai is music. Nadagam means drama. Contemporary Tamil scholars take for granted these meanings as writings, music and drama in Tamil culture and literature. They don't try to look at the Tamil-trio in different ways.
There are some reasons for this. One reason for this is that books are translated into English and they are taught back to us. Second, the traditional teaching methods disappeared from Tamil culture. So, when the white men and the students of English tradition or mindset said this is the meaning for this, we accepted it.
Consequently, when we talk about Tamil, we ramble about music, drama, poems dance, songs etc and think that they all have to do with 'Muthamil'. Then, we send our kids to arts schools and teach them arts and get some satisfaction thinking that we are protecting the "Muthamil' or Tamil culture.
Tamil is not quite simple as dance or music, the so-called Tamil arts. Arts is supposed to bring some kind of message to the mass as a medium. We are too busy with the medium and forgetting the fundamental message.
Aside: We also hear that the Tamil grammar has three important aspects. There are "Elluthu", "Chollu", and "Porul" ("Elluthu" = alphabet, "Chol"= word, "Porul = meaning). These trio are explained in "Thol-Kappiyam".
Each is explained in three different chapters. "Thol-Kappiyam" is the oldest written book in Tamil that exists today, perhaps in the world. It was written by "Thol-Kappiyar" who was a disciple of Akkathiya-muni. It is believed that this book was written about ten thousand years before Christ. This book was used to explore the meaning of Tamil in the 2nd "Sangam".
For the 1st Sangam, they used "Akkathiyam", written by the Akkathiya-muni. Akkathiyam is the first recorded Tamil book but it is lost. No body knows what is in there.
For the 3rd Sangam, they used a book called "Kalaviyal"(a loose meaning for "Kalavu" is thieving). The places where the first two Sangam(s) took place are under the Indian Ocean now, according to "Kalaviyal". (According to archeological findings, there is a belief that India used to be up to what is now Madagascar. It is a lost continent.)
One other point to note here is that these books or Sangam literature didn't say any thing about music, dance, drama etc.
Back to my point. We are missing the 'Porul', the meaning of Tamil. You should keep in mind that Tamil words can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we interpret them, we should be able to connect the meanings at every level according different texts.
The word 'Iyal' comes from the word 'Iyal-pu'. (Actually the word 'Iyal-pu comes from 'Iyal' and so are the other words; we have to look back wards.) 'Issai' comes from the word 'Issai-vu'. 'Nadagam' comes from the word 'Nadadapu' or 'Nada'. (The loose meanings in English 'Iyal-pu' = personality or character, 'Issai-Vu' = consent to or acceptance. And for 'Nada ' = follow. If you see better English words to describe these, then throw them in.)
Iyal-Pu of what? Iyal-Pu of the Truth. Issai with or consent to the Truth. Then, follow or Nada with the Truth. Tamil describes the Iyal-pu of the absolute truth and how to consent to the truth and follow the truth. (Iyapai arri-n-thu; issai-nthu; athan-padi Nada-th-al, Tamil.) This is what the Tamil trio is supposed to mean. This message is supposed to be brought out to reach the mass by the writings, music and drama. But, now days the message is lost some where in the process. Catch the juice. Loose the skin.
From: T.Mahesa Sarma, Toronto, Canada February 2000
I wish to give below the reply I forwarded to Kalki Editor for their editorial regarding the Eelam Tamils. I wish that you can reprint this reply, so that entire Tamil readers can understand how Eelam Tamils feel about the distorted version of their struggle published in the media in India. [To read the Tamil script you will need to install the Tharmini Tamil font which may be downloaded from here.]
Senthilkumar Muthusamy, 24
From: Djehuti Sundaka, US
What is the literal meaning of 'Eelam'?
Gopi, Singapore, 6 January
According to some speculation the Presidential Security Division
(PSD) may be responsible for the killing of Kumar Ponnambalam. These PSD goons
have been in the forefront
in attacking the Sri Lankan opposition party supporters and
the free media personnel in Sri Lanka. We can expect the EPDP mercenary
group led by the traitor Douglas Devananda to be part of these killings of Tamil
People by the Sri Lankan state agencies... Recently �Thinamurasu� editor Ramesh
was killed by EPDP for taking a pro Tiger line.