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Thread: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

  1. #21
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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Namaste,

    If you are worried that the Himalayan Academy would not accept a particular situation that you are in, I would strongly suggest that you contact the monks.
    When one gets a college degree and starts working, he runs into many work related problems. Some he can solve right away and others may need some additional knowledge/effort. So, he talks to his more experienced co-workers, or reads some books/technical journals on the subject and comes up with the solution. One does not go running back to college every day to deal with the day to day issues arising at work. After the training (college education) is over, he thinks, he reads and talks it out to find solutions.

    After religious training has been imparted and one runs into situations, he should be able to find the right path with some intuition. Are the monks there to run your every day life? Should one be running to the temple every day and detail every little thing that one encounters and ask for their advice? I think NOT. There are rules dictated by the shashtras for spiritual advancement, and then there are culture/ethnicity/geographical location based suggestions provided by the Guru for one's conduct in every day life. These are mere suggestions and have to be tailored to an individual's station in life. Many times we confuse the two and turn on our Guru for giving us questionable advice. Guru guides us in our spiritual life and makes suggestions about the mundane. We have to deal with the mundane in the best possible way, keeping in mind the suggestions provided, but not be bound by them. One's head is a valuable asset and it should be used and not completely rested in favor of advice on the mundane in life.

    Maybe, it is the dedication that some may have for the Guru, that they don't want to deviate at all from the suggestions. But then they should not turn around and analyze the suggestions and start critiquing the Guru either. Either find your own way, or follow every suggestion - the choice is yours, but please, don't disgrace the Guru by treating him as an ordinary person and saying unflattering things about him. That type of conduct says more about your consciousness than about the Guru's.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 20 December 2011 at 12:14 PM.

  2. #22
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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,

    When one gets a college degree and starts working, he runs into many work related problems. Some he can solve right away and others may need some additional knowledge/effort. So, he talks to his more experienced co-workers, or reads some books/technical journals on the subject and comes up the solution. One does not go running back to college to deal with the day to day issues arising at work. After the training (college education) is over, he thinks, he reads and talks it out to find solutions.

    After religious training has been imparted and one runs into situations, he should be able to find the right path with some intuition. Are the monks there to run your every day life? Should one be running to the temple every day and detail every little thing that one encounters and ask for their advice? I think NOT. There are rules dictated by the shashtras for spiritual advancement, and then there are culture/ethnicity/geographical location based suggestions provided by the Guru for one's conduct in every day life. These are mere suggestions and have to be tailored to an individual's station in life. Many times we confuse the two and turn on our Guru for giving us questionable advice. Guru guides us in our spiritual life and makes suggestions about the mundane. We have to deal with the mundane in the best possible way, keeping in mind the suggestions provided, but not be bound by them. One's head is a valuable asset and it should be used and not completely rested in favor of advice on the mundane in life.

    Maybe, it is the dedication that some may have for the Guru, that they don't want to deviate at all from the suggestions. But then they should not turn around and analyze the suggestions and start critiquing the Guru either. Either find your own way, or follow every suggestion - the choice is yours, but please, don't disgrace the Guru by treating him as an ordinary person and say unflattering things about him. That type of conduct says more about your consciousness than about the Guru's.

    Pranam.
    Aum,
    I am Chris, I have just created a new account with my Hindu name. I agree with what you say, you don't want to run to the monks for every little thing.

    I got the impression that Divine Kala thought that these were hard and fast rules rather than ideals or suggestions. If she was in any doubt about my post then this would be the way to resolve it.

  3. #23
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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Quote Originally Posted by c.smith View Post
    Hari Om!

    Thanks for the clarification. I have the Master Course from Himalayan Academy so will be looking into this in detail.

    Still confused about one thing however. How is it that Shiva is the Destroyer and not the other way around? Sorry from what may come across as needing an elementary education.

    Om Namah Sivaya
    Jai Hanuman!
    Siva defined simply as "destroyer" is, I think, more of a puranic image, and not a definition accepted by those who worship Siva as Supreme. In Living with Siva, Siva -- as personal Deity -- is defined as Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer.

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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Quote Originally Posted by Tāṇḍava View Post
    Aum,
    I am Chris, I have just created a new account with my Hindu name. I agree with what you say, you don't want to run to the monks for every little thing.

    I got the impression that Divine Kala thought that these were hard and fast rules rather than ideals or suggestions. If she was in any doubt about my post then this would be the way to resolve it.
    I think that the Saiva Siddhanta Church does have rather "hard and fast rules", but you don't have to be a full-blown member of that Church in order to benefit from its teachings or to visit the monasteries or temples associated with that Church. There are many students of the Satguru who live lives that would not be appropriate for SSC members. The Satguru recognized that fact, and often addressed issues that professional, working women (and men) had to deal with. For instance, the following is from Living with Siva:

    "That's why I advise the professional mother, the professional father, the professional son and the professional daughter to use in the home the same good manners that are learned in the workplace, and build the vibration of the home even stronger than the vibration of the workplace, so that there is something inviting to come home to."

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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Stri dhana (woman’s wealth)

    In Hindu society, a woman was always requiredto be protectedby male member of the family. Generally speaking that responsibility had devolved on the father before marriage, on the husband after marriage, on the son after the demise of the husband..
    However since situations of emergency could always arise, provision had to be made for her maintenance, Stri Dhana is an important mode of achieving it.

    Literally Stri Dhana means the wealth given to the woman, becoming her property, with her full rights over it. The money and presents given to her by her father, brother etc., before her marriage and by family of husband and other relatives after marriage constituted stridhana. It could include immovable property also. During her lifetime, no one else, not even husband, had any right or control over it. With her consent it could be put to use for the good of the family ONLY during emergencies. It is almost apachara/ wrongdoing or sin to tap into her wealth.

    There are rules regarding the distribution or disposal of her stri dhana after her demise. Generally speaking, it was to be given to her unmarried daughters. If the husband had taken her stri dhana partly or wholly as a debt and died before clearing it, it was the duty of the sons to clear the debt. ( excerpt from A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 2011)

  6. #26
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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by charitra View Post
    Stri dhana (woman’s wealth)

    In Hindu society, a woman was always requiredto be protectedby male member of the family. Generally speaking that responsibility had devolved on the father before marriage, on the husband after marriage, on the son after the demise of the husband..
    However since situations of emergency could always arise, provision had to be made for her maintenance, Stri Dhana is an important mode of achieving it.

    Literally Stri Dhana means the wealth given to the woman, becoming her property, with her full rights over it. The money and presents given to her by her father, brother etc., before her marriage and by family of husband and other relatives after marriage constituted stridhana. It could include immovable property also. During her lifetime, no one else, not even husband, had any right or control over it. With her consent it could be put to use for the good of the family ONLY during emergencies. It is almost apachara/ wrongdoing or sin to tap into her wealth.

    There are rules regarding the distribution or disposal of her stri dhana after her demise. Generally speaking, it was to be given to her unmarried daughters. If the husband had taken her stri dhana partly or wholly as a debt and died before clearing it, it was the duty of the sons to clear the debt. ( excerpt from A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 2011)
    What is the point of repeating a 'white man's' assessment of women's property rights in Hinduism? - Comment retracted, as it was based on erroneous info obtained with google search.

    Women never had any property or money or inheritance in their name/under their mattress. Only the legislation passed few decades ago made them equal partners (along with their brothers) in the distribution of inheritance after their father's death, and inheritors of property/money in their husband's name, in case of his early demise. Even that is not strictly enforced, as most sisters would sign off on the dotted line and let the brothers be the sole inheritors of the family property. Quoting something from 'an idiot's' book does not change the ground reality. I am sorry and didn't mean to be rude, but this sort of thing, of intellectuals reading some foreigner's book and passing it off as facts is beyond me. What part of the Hindu world do you live in? Just using some Sanskrit terms like 'Stri dhana' is a cunning way to legitimize and give credence to something that is patently false. If women were always under the protection of their fathers/husbands/sons, then what did they need a separate wad of rupee bills for? Something is very inconsistent!

    Pranam.

    PS, Apologies to the OP, this thread has deviated so much from its original intent.
    Last edited by Believer; 25 December 2011 at 11:33 AM.

  7. #27
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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    A Concise Encyclopaedia of Hinduism. Vol 1,2 , 3
    Written and Published by Swami Harshananda, President,Ramakrishna Math

    Bull Temple Road, Bengaluru 560019 Karnataka India. First edition 2008. ISBN 13. xxxx…sss..xxx..Printers: Sri Nithyananda Printers, Bengaluru.
    Bookstall Tel 011-91-80-2661 6161. Price 1500 Rupees 3vol set.

    Believerji,

    I bought this set from RK Math, Hyderabad during my short trip there in October. We Telugus, traditionally, give our women lots of jewellery at the time of marriage and additionally depending on one’s capacity real estate is also transferredto the girl in HER own NAME ( but not in the name of the (future) husband). Thegold will never be sold unless there is a dire emergency that the wife herself volunteers to do so. So I do agree that Stri Dhana concept has been culturally accepted by lots of hindus and I have no doubtswhatsoever that RKMath has written about stridhana based on historical / cultural practices thatprevailed in spite of foreigner invasions disturbing our way of life in a big way. During Last several decades many constitutional decrees have shaped and promoted equal property rights to both sons and daughters.Cool down and breathe easy. Hindus are a diverse lot, that’s for sure. I was asking DK to look at ' Hindu Women's rights' from a different perspective, such as how hard we do try to safeguard the financial interests of our women. 'The Hindu Woman' topic is huge, this is just one important angle. Namaste.

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,


    What is the point of repeating a 'white man's' assessment of women's property rights in Hinduism?

    Women never had any property or money or inheritance in their name/under their mattress. Only the legislation passed few decades ago made them equal partners (along with their brothers) in the distribution of inheritance after their father's death, and inheritors of property/money in their husband's name, in case of his early demise. Even that is not strictly enforced, as most sisters would sign off on the dotted line and let the brothers be the sole inheritors of the family property. Quoting something from 'an idiot's' book does not change the ground reality. I am sorry and didn't mean to be rude, but this sort of thing, of intellectuals reading some foreigner's book and passing it off as facts is beyond me. What part of the Hindu world do you live in? Just using some Sanskrit terms like 'Stri dhana' is a cunning way to legitimize and give credence to something that is patently false. If women were always under the protection of their fathers/husbands/sons, then what did they need a separate wad of rupee bills for? Something is very inconsistent!

    Pranam.

    PS, Apologies to the OP, this thread has deviated so much from its original intent.
    Last edited by charitra; 24 December 2011 at 05:33 PM.

  8. #28
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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Namaste,

    Thank you for all the info. I had done a search for the 'A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism' and it came up with some Westerners as the authors/compilers. Evidently, there are more than one Encyclopedias with the same/similar title. I apologize for being led astray and making some of my comments based on the wrong information.

    Back to the basic question though, I know that we have the custom of giving gold/diamond jewellery to the bride, to the best of our ability. But, those are only personal use items, not to be confused with property in one's name. If the family falls on hard times, they have no option but to sell them, and the woman is not going to stand in the way of the sale by saying, Oh that is my property and let the kids starve to death, I refuse to sell my jewellery.

    When we are talking about an average working Indian family they will have only ONE house, if they are fortunate. It is not going to be handed over to the daughter upon her marriage leaving the parents and siblings homeless.

    I fully understand where you are coming from. If you belong to a privileged family and have money to burn, by all means there will be dowry and jewellery and much more. But I am asking you to come down a few notches to a common person's level. They don't have much and many a times they have to borrow money, just to get the daughter married. I am sure you know what I am talking about. Whether you want to address the issue at the common Indian's level or not is up to you. The bride gets gifts based on parent's financial situation, and many a times it is the (nasty) dowry tradition that has to be upheld, even at the cost of holding the girl's family hostage to the items demanded by the groom's family. Now one may call dowry as gifts, but it is a payment, nevertheless.

    Since you were talking about the old times when women did not work and were taken care of/protected by their fathers/husbands/sons, where does the need for the woman to have a separate load of assets arise. Of course a modern working woman might have property and CD's and Bonds and other investments in her name. But back in the old times....please think about it, instead of just listening to a swami.

    Again, when we talk about a tradition, it should be something that applies to an average citizen, not what is done by the .01% of the population, who are super wealthy.

    I am sorry to bring this up, but it is with the thought of keeping this wealth in the family, that among Telugus, for marriage, a girl's best and first preference is her maternal uncle. Isn't this incest perpetrated out of greed, for money to be kept in the family? While you bring up the diversity in India and the dowry in terms of cash and property, we should also look at what it causes - incest among some communities, pure and simple. Again, I am sorry and I did not want to bring this oddity in the Telugu culture, but it does pertain to wealth preservation. Many customs are inter-related. You might argue that the two are not related customs. And, I will accept that as your right. We will respectfully agree to disagree.

    Doc, I have no desire to hurt you in any way, and if some of the above is not palatable to you, please PM me with the undesirable lines, and I will gladly edit my post. But, we should not glamorize the lengths to which a family of average means went in the past, or does in the present to bestow wealth on their daughters. That just does not hold water. Sure Hindu women/daughters are respected more than in any other culture, but let us not demean respect by comparing it with some material gifts.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 24 December 2011 at 08:35 PM.

  9. #29

    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Yes, there is a concept of stri dhana in smarta religion and it is not just a concept invented by some "westerner's", as some "hindus" here are always inclined to postulate.

    But stri dhana relates to personal wealth like jewelry as far as I knew. Family wealth like property and finances was always under male patrons in orthodox hinduism.

    However, there were and still are societies within hindu who follow matriarchal systems. So one should not take a few brahminical rules as only valid hindu laws. These rules are now any way dysfunctional for 99.9% of hindu society.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Himalayan Academy - things I don't agree with

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,
    that among Telugus, for marriage, a girl's best and first preference is her maternal uncle. Isn't this incest perpetrated out of greed, for money to be kept in the family? Pranam.

    A wrong word was used for the context. Since you expressed some interest in consanguineous marriage, I provide below an excerpt (in piecemeal) on the topic from an Australian social scientist’s research presentation, which proves its global presence in all faiths. Please note no one on the planet characterized it incestuous; we simply cant send alarming/ unintended signals to the readers. For record, I oppose all consanguineous marriages, and thankfully nowadays they are nonexistent among telugus. Only very poor/ uneducated families now rarely follow it.

    A BACKGROUND SUMMARY OF CONSANGUINEOUS MARRIAGE

    by A.H. Bittles, 2001

    ...legislationintroduced within the present generation may be exerting a marked effect on traditionalpatterns of marriage preference, an example being the 1981 Marriage Law of thePeople's Republic of China which prohibits marriage between couples related asfirst cousins or closer...............Elsewhere...........the Roman Catholicchurch currently requires Diocesan permission for marriages between firstcousins, and the Protestant denominationspermit marriages up to and includingfirst cousin unions (Bittles et al. 2001).

    A similar degreeof non-uniformity exists in Hinduism. The Aryan Hindus of northern India prohibit marriage between biological kin for approximately seven generations onthe male side and five generations on the female side (Kapadia 1958).

    By comparison, Dravidian Hindus of South India favourmarriage between first cousins of the type mother’s brother’s daughter (MBD)and, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,uncle-niece marriages also are contracted.In general, Muslim regulations onmarriage parallel the Judaic pattern detailed in Leviticus 18: 7-18. However,uncle-niece unions are permitted in Judaism. Yet they are forbidden by theKoran, even though double first cousin marriages, which have the same coefficientof inbreeding (F = 0.125), are recognized within Islam. In southern Asia, Buddhismsanctions marriage between first cousins, as does the Zoroastrian/Parsitradition. The Sikh religion forbidsconsanguineous marriage, although some minority Sikh groups appear to exerciseflexibility in the observance of this proscription...................

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