Category Archives: Indian religions

Romila Thapar’s ZOOM Lecture on The Museum in India

Professor ROMILA THAPAR to deliver the Dr. ROLAND SILVA MEMORIAL LECTURE for the National Trust on 27th January 2022 at 6.00 pm on Zoom….

yes  ZOOM

Prof. Romila Thapar  who is a Professor of Ancient History, Emerita, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. The notice of the Lecture is appended (or attached) and we welcome you all to participate.

Roland Silva

 

 

 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, evolution of languages(s), heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, nature's wonders, religiosity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, teaching profession, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Yogini. Stolen Artefacts and Sotheby’s Shame

Dalya Alberge, in The Guardian  5 December 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/dec/04/looted-and-left-in-an-english-garden-the-goat-goddess-can-return-to-india

Looted and left in an English garden, the goat goddess can return to India. The statue, once on sale at Sotheby’s, was recovered amid claims it was part of a precious trove of stolen.

 

For more than 20 years, those who lived in and around the village of Lokhari in Uttar Pradesh, India, have prayed for the return of an important statue of a goddess that was stolen from a local temple. Now those prayers have been answered. The 8th-century goat-headed deity has been discovered thousands of miles away – in an English country garden, covered in moss.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, atrocities, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Self-Immolation in Protest: Reflections

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an expanded version of article printed in Lanka Monthly Digest, September 1999, Vol 6:2, pp. 56-57…. with citations added.

 

 

 

 

 

A Kurd in Germany immolates self in protest vs Ocalan’s fate

 ONE : In February 1999 a Kurdish nationalist leader, Ocalan, was caught by the Turkish authorities. Kurdish refugees in the Western world erupted in protest. In London a young girl Neila Kanteper set herself alight. In Sydney a young lad was caught on camera with petrol can and cigarette lighter as he threatened similar action. As I walked into the local news-agency in Adelaide that week the proprietor[1] waved the picture of Kanteper in flames in front of me and in considerable alarm inquired how anyone could take such an extreme measure. He could not ever take such a step, he said. His remarks gain in significance from the fact that they were unsolicited and had not been preceded by prior conversation. I was in a hurry and did not explore matters further, but I conjecture that his bewilderment stemmed not only from the method of death by fire, but also from such terminal commitment to a collective cause. The question, therefore, is whether in similar circumstances an act of martyrdom involving death by hand-gun would produce the same level of astonishment. Relatively speaking, death by gun seems to be so much more acceptable to the Western world than death by flame.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, performance, photography, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, Uncategorized, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Vale Dr. Siran Deraniyagala: Assiduous Archaelogist & A Savant Servant for Lanka

Chryshane Mendis

It is no easy task to pen down few words on the life history of a colossus like Dr. Siran Deraniyagala, but nevertheless I will try. Life has its ways, its own twists and turns at times one would not expect; such was the shocking yet inevitable demise of Dr. Deraniyagala. The mystery of life will take us on many paths, and in the case of Dr. Deraniyagala, it took him to explore the mystery of life itself! While digging the earth to unravel humanity’s origins, perhaps he too realized where his journey would end, in the earth; and it eventually did come to pass on the 5th of October 2021. The Man who studied the past, of the lifeways of past peoples, now himself joined them; Siran Upendra Deraniyagala is now a person of the past! But what of his legacy? Will he be only a person of the past or will he be remembered in the present? Unlike the mystery of life, this is an easy question with a simple answer. Yes. Siran Deraniyagala will live on! Decades later even after fading from living memory, his name will be remembered even centuries on. Such is his legacy. Therefore let us briefly marvel at the amazing life of of Dr. Siran Deraniyagala.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Aboriginality, ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, irrigation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, pilgrimages, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Prejudice & Patriotism: Cricket in This Space

Roshan Kishore, in Hindustan Times, 29 October 2021, with this title “Cricket and patriotism: What links them in India”

Pakistan’s victory over India in the ongoing T20 cricket World Cup match on October 24 has kicked up a political storm in India. First there was uproar over online trolling which targeted India’s pace bowler Mohammad Shami along religious lines. Many Opposition leaders came out in Shami’s support, and several cricketers and the Board of Control for Cricket in India also spoke up for him. Meanwhile, reports of Muslims celebrating Pakistan’s victory started doing the rounds. Those who did so will be booked under sedition charges, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in a tweet on October 28.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, demography, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, heritage, Hinduism, Indian religions, Indian traditions, life stories, meditations, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Revd Ernest Poruthota in Q and A on His Life’s Work

Avishka Mario Senewiratne in Q and A with Fr Poruthota (1931-2020) ………… Interview in  May 2018 and originally published in the Messenger, May, 27, 2018. 

Today the Messenger carries a very special and exclusive interview with one of the most senior and popular priests in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Rev. Fr. Ernest Poruthota. Since his ordination in 1957, Fr. Poruthota has served in ten parishes in different parts of the Archdiocese.  As Asst. Parish Priest in Kotahena (1957-59), Moratuwa (1959-60), Pamunugama (1960), Dehiwala (1960-62) and Parish Priest in Dehiyagatha (1962-66), Kelaniya (1967-74), Kalamulla (1974-82), Kotte (1982-87), Wattala (1991-1997), Dehiwala (1997-2004), Kirimatiyagara (2004-2011). Apart from Parishes he has served as the Chaplain of lay Apostolate (1966-67), Director PMS (1971-74), Chaplain YCW, CWM (1983-87), Dean of Colombo (1987-91).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, education policy, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Exploring the Etymological Strands of the Word “Thiruketheeswaram”

Chandre Dharmawardana

The word stub “ket,”, கேத, in the place name:  Tiru-k-keteeswaram,  திருக்கேதீசுவரம்

In finding a meaning for the component –ket– in Tiru-ket-heesvaram, well known Engineer Thiru Arumugam has quoted an interpretation given in 1849 by Pridham which leans on a mythological tale of Vishnu’s exlir of mortality that fell into the hands of a demon. The demon was said to be cut into two and became Rahu and Ketu (.இராகு கேது) recognized in astrology.  Predham stretches his imagination very far to convert the Tamil -கேத- sound to கேது in finding  an “explanation” or rationalization for the stub  -கேத- found in the place name.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, demography, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, pilgrimages, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, travelogue, world events & processes

Vijaya and Kuveni: Two Legendary Figures of the Pali Chronicles

Chandre Dharmawardana

“This may confuse some since Madura became a part of the Chola kingdom, and that Vijaya called for a Chola princess after rejecting Kuveni. In reality, many south Indian kings sought North Indian brides as they were fair-skinned”.**

Cholas, Pandyas, and Cheras, are mentioned in the Ashokasthamba (Asoka-Pillar) inscriptions (3rd century BC although some historians think the pillar inscriptions may have been even earlier). When did Vijaya come to Tambrapanni? Is Vijaya even a real person?

I believe there have been many invasions (basically, not necessarily invasions, but people coming in even to farm, fish or trade, and by boats and settling down). Even Vijaya’s landing as described in the Pali chronicles was accidental.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Aboriginality, ancient civilisations, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Thiruketheeswaram: the Site of a Temple from Pre-Historic Times

Thiru Arumugam, being an article presented recently in The CEYLANKAN, Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia. No. 3, August 2021

Thiruketheeswaram is located about eight km north of Mannar Town. It is on the coastal mainland of Ceylon, near the seashore on the direct coast road from Mannar to Jaffna. It has been the site of a Temple dedicated to Siva from pre-historic times. The place name of Thiru-Kethu-Iswaram has been devised as follows.  ‘Thiru’ means sacred or holy and “Iswaran” is another name for Siva. As regards ‘Kethu’, Charles Pridham in his 1849 book A Historical, Political and Statistical account of Ceylon and its Dependencies describes how the gods asked Vishnu to prepare an elixir which would make them immortal. The elixir was prepared by churning the oceans but a demon who was a bystander also managed to drink the elixir. When Vishnu realised this, he cut off the demon’s head, but he was too late as the elixir had already made him immortal. The two parts became Rahu and Kethu, which are significant planets in the Hindu astrological system. In order to propitiate his sin, Kethu (Fig. 1) wandered from place to place and ultimately reached the shores of Lanka. He performed severe penances and he   was ultimately blessed with the Lord’s vision and the place where this occurred was named Thiru-Kethu-Iswaram or Thiruketheeswaram.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, photography, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, travelogue, world events & processes

From Empiricist Conflation to Distortion: Caste in South Asia

Michael Roberts, responding in 1985 to a Review Essay by Susan Bayly of Cambridge University  on his book on Caste Conflcist and Elite Formation, CUP 1982

Susan Bayly** has done me the honour of reviewing the book on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 at considerable length.’ Her essay is appropriately entitled ‘The History of Caste in South Asia’. This title provides a clue to the interpretative pathways which have led her systematically to misunderstand the arguments within the book. No less problematical is her implicit belief in the possibility of constructing a composite picture of the caste system qua system on the basis of empirical data drawn from different regions, regions as widely different as Sri Lanka, southern India and western India. Let me elaborate this charge, and in doing so reiterate the arguments which I presented.

Susan Bayly

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, Kandyan kingdom, land policies, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, Portuguese imperialism, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes