Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2002 09:18:14 -0000
From: "vrinparker" <email@example.com>
Subject: Stalin's Daughter and Vedic Culture
Svetlana Stalin and Hindu philosophy
Civilizational traits of different races, their religious preferences, prejudices and cravings for riches are part of human complexities which go beyond any set doctrine. Even Stalin's younger daughter Svetlana took to astrology while deciding to marry an Indian Marxist ideologue, Brajesh Singh, elder brother of former External Affairs Minister Dinesh Singh. Their marriage was secretly solemnized in accordance with Hindu/Vedic rituals.
Some years later when her husband passed away, she visited India to immerse her husband's ashes in the river Ganga. She was anxious to stay in India for a longer period having been attracted to Hindu philosophy. But the Russian embassy in Delhi would not consent to the extension of her visa, which was suspicious of her motives right from the start.
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Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 13:24:54 -0000
From: "indologia2000 <email@example.com>" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Russian Veda
The Chairman of Religius Affairs Comitte en the Ural region and researcher
of State University of the Urals reports the presence of a book called
Sussian Veda, Its work relates histories liike the puranic account of Krisna
lila, the hero is called Krishen. The cuestion arise, some of your erudite
persons have notions of the dates of this work??? Or do you have the e-mails
of this University or this Professor??
Hare Krishn das
Priest of Iskocn Saltillo. MX
U A de C
It is common knowledge that Hinduism pervaded several countries of South--east Asia which witnessed the rise and fall of several Hindu dynasties. The rulers of these dynasties got constructed many temples for Hindu gods and goddesses, Shiva and Vishnu including. Along with Shiva and Vaishnava religions, Buddhism also penetrated the land between Myanmar and Indonesia and flourished side by side as twin brothers, sometimes in one and the same temple complex. The Chinese or Eastern Central Asia is also known for Buddhist and the so-called Hindu-Buddhist icons in Buddhist temples of Khotan, Dun-Huang, etc. However, what is commonly less known is the fact that the five Islamic Republics of the erstwhile Soviet or Western Central Asia, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, etc., did not witness the prevalence of Hindu gods and goddesses, even though Buddhism had some presence there. The purpose of writing this article is to show that this was not the fact.
In the Central part of this region, there flourished the region anciently called Sogdiana, covering largely the state of Uzbekistan. There were centres where great works of art and architectures flourished, viz. Varaksha, located near Bukhara, Afrasiab, the ancient site of the capital city of Sogdiana, in the outskirts of Samarkand, and Penjikent, an ancient small city, around 60 kms east of Samarkand. Their flourishing period is bracketed between 5th century A.D. and 9th century A.D. Belonging to 8th-9th centuries bracket are also the works of great art reflecting Indian influence in nearlby sites, such as the Shahiristan. Buddhism, of course, flourished in a big way in Kigrhizia, Tadjikistan and southern Uzbekistan where several monasteries have been excavated, dating back to 1st century B.C.- A.D. bracket. It may be noted that the Arab Muslims entered this area in the 8th century, often destroying non-Muslim art and architectural remains.
The most important site for our study is Penjikent, a commercial town with bazaars, covering an area of 13.5 hectares, in which around 130 houses and shops have been excavated. The structural remains of these two to three storied houses, some of them very large, including wooden posts and walls, have yielded many sculptural remains and remains of painting. It is in them that we get the representations of Hindu gods and goddesses as well as many decorative elements and narrative scenes. It may, however, be noted that the Hindu gods and goddesses depicted here were having some local overtones in the sense that the form and iconography as well as their names had local origins. In other words, as we see in south India, the north Indian Kartikeya became Murgan but the iconography remained the same, in Penjikent also the people who adopted the Hindu gods and goddesses have them local names. This cross-fertilization of cultures is the hallmark of Penjikent's Sogdiana civilization of the pre-Islamic period. It may be noted that Hinduism alone was not the external element which combined with the local pre-existing culture of Sogdiana, in which a very popular regional religion called 'Manichaism' was extant. In the north Iranian Culture, Zoroastrian in particular was much more dominant. Nestorian Christianity was also existing here. In fact Sogdiana was the melting pot of cultures coming from various directions through the long-distance trade mechanism.
Sogdiana witnessed Hinduism in the worship of five gods, viz. Brahma, Indra, Mahadeva (Shiva), Narayana and Vaishravana. It may be noted that out of these five, the first three Hindu gods were identified with their own three gods. Brahma was identified with their own god Zrvan , Indra with Adbad and Mahadeva with Veshparkar. The last two had no local counterparts to impose upon the Hindu gods. The Sogdian manuscripts have described them in iconographic terms, for example, Brahma-Zrvan has been described as a god with a beard, Indra- Adbag has been described as a god with a third eye, Mahadeva-Veshparkar has been shown with three faces. As a matter of fact, some of the pictures bore the names of these gods. V.A. Livshits deciphered such a label as 'Veshpur(kar)' under a three-headed god.
At Penjikent a four-armed goddess riding a lion, sometimes found near the image of Shiva is often depicted. It is possible that the goddess meant here was Parvati although some scholars would like to identify her with the Iranian goddess Nana depicted on some Kushana Coins.
A mural of 8th century at Penjikent has three portable sacrificial fire altars. Much of this picture is gone but what remains has at least the picture of Mahadeva-Veshparkar. Thus, the two remaining gods supporting two other altars could be Brahma-Zravan and Indra-Adbag. As a matter fact, the name of the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahar Mazda was totally avoided here, for whom Indra-Adbog was the substitute.
Camel and ram have been used as a mount of some gods with Indian features whose identity is very difficult to make. Dragon has also been used as a mount but the identity of this multi-handed Indian goddess from Temple II of Penjikent is not possible at this stage knowledge.
The Russian scholars working here have been doing excellent work and
much of the archaeological remains of Penjikent can be seen in the Hermitage
Museum, St. Petersburg.
Friday August 22 2003 00:11 IST
Russians join Indians to celebrate Janmashtami
MOSCOW: Thousands of Russians, including members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), joined Indians here to celebrate Janmashtami, which commemorates the birth of Lord Krishna.
Amid unprecedented security measures in the face of growing terrorist attacks in crowded places, the celebrations took place in a huge camp constructed specially for the occasion.
Thousands of Indians and Russians poured into Moscow's downtown Khoroshevskoye Shose, home to Russia's lone Hindu temple, to offer prayers to Lord Krishna from midday Wednesday.
As the Indians looked on, Russian Hindu 'pandits' or priests performed rituals like 'abhishek', 'pravachan' and 'parikrama' associated with Janmashtami.
The magnificently decorated area gave the impression of an Indian 'mela' or festival as worshippers chanted mantras and Indian songs filled the air. Stalls selling Indian souvenirs, spices and food added to the atmosphere.
Groups of Russian ISKCON members, wearing pink dresses, played drums and danced while chanting "Hare Ram, Hare Krishna".
"Russians like Indian festivals because we have common roots," said Indologist Natalia Guseva, who has researched the common origin of Indians and Russians.
"These colourful festivals bring us a lot of joy and make our time-tested friendship stronger."
Children were the happiest of the lot as a host of games, competitions and plays kept them busy through the sunny day. On Wednesday evening, a large crowd gathered to watch a cultural programme staged in a marqee decorated with Indian religious motifs.
Russian artistes and children of the Indian School in Moscow presented songs and dances dedicated to Lord Krishna. The crowd was spellbound when artists of Moscow's Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre presented dances reflecting Krishna's romance with gopis.
Russian girls, dressed in colourful Indian attire and ornaments, proved more than a match for their Indian counterparts in presenting several dances. A drama depicting aspects of Lord Krisna's life was followed by Maha Yagna and Maha Aarati. Addressing the crowd, India's ambassador to Russia, K. Raghunath, wished peace, prosperity and happiness to every family.
Among the crowd were Russian cultural personalities like artist Natalia Durova and singer Rastislav Sergeyev. Most leading channels like NTV, RenTV and TVC widely covered the Janmashtami celebrations, an uncommon gesture.