Recieved through email, a cry from a Nepali Hindu for help. Indian Hindus have again refused to protect Hinduism in their own backyard. This habit of ours of not protecting Hindus — in Bangladesh, in Fiji, in Pakistan, in Malaysia or Nepal — will cost us Hindus of India dear. There will come a time soon when we will have to foot the bill for our frivilous attitude toward protection of dharma.
Please Help Us Save Hinduism in Nepal
Dear Fellow Hindu Brothers and Sisters,
Namaste and my deepest and most humble greetings.
I write this letter to all of you with the hopes that you will help protect and save Hinduism in Nepal as you are all related to organizations concerned with Hinduism. I got all of your e-mails through searching the internet for Hindu organizations. I hope that you will spare some time to read this mail. And please do forward this mail onto other people who you think can help.
As you may all well know, Nepal was the only Hindu country in the whole wide world until a few years ago until when it was undemocratically changed from that status to one of a secular nation. But I am not writing about that. That is a political matter. What I am writing about is the ways the politicians in Nepal have run all over our Hindu religious traditions. Please see the attached photos with this mail. These scanned photos are from the government run daily newspaper named Gorkhapatra, which is also the national daily of Nepal, from the date of Phagun 11, 2065 (February 22, 2009).
I do realize that it is all in Devanagari Nepalese, but that is the official language of Nepal, and I have hopes that Lord Pasupatinath will provide someone to translate the relevant text to you. Anyway, I will give you the gist of what is on the two scanned photos in the paragraph below.
The first photo (named “1 The Photo In Question”) shows part of the first page of Gorkhapatra which has the president of Nepal offering prayers for Lord Pasupatinath on the occasion of Shivaratri. The second photo is named “2 The Article In Question” and is from the third page of Gorkhapatra. The related article is the one on the top left side. The prayer in question is the prayer offered for the initial rites for Shivaratri, and this occurred on Phagun 10, 2065 (February 21, 2009). As written on the third page and shown on the second photo named “2 The Article In Question,” this is the initial prayer of Shivaratri for Lord Pasupatinath, and this prayer officially starts Shivaratri in all the places of worship for Lord Shiva in Nepal. There is also a sentence mentioning that the president was dressed in religious attire. This was the first time that this rite was performed by anyone other than a King of Nepal since Nepal was founded. As I am sure you are all aware, this year Shivaratri fell on Phagun 12, 2065 (February 23, 2009).
And on the photo named “1 The Photo In Question” and which appeared on the front pages of the national daily, on the left hand of the president, you will see that he is wearing a watch with a LEATHER WRISTBAND. And only a FOOL would ever believe that the president of any country would wear a watch with imitation leather wristbands.
I am sorry if the resolution of the photos are not clear in this mail. That is why I have also zipped the two photos and also attached them with this mail in a file named “Save Hinduism In Nepal.”
I am sure you are all aware that there is great diversity of beliefs prevalent in Hinduism. Some Hindus will be strict vegetarians while others are not. There is also a great deal of diversity in the way Hindu people observe the same festivals, and this can be seen not just in different parts of the world but also in the same neighbourhood. For example, some Hindus will observe the festival of Dasain, which is also known as Dasara and Navaratri and also by many different names in different parts of the world, by following strict vegetarian rules and also by not even eating onions or garlic even though normally they may be non-vegetarians, and there are also some Hindus who perform animal scarifies on the very same festival. Such is the diversity of our religion. So one say there are not very many strictly followed rules in our religion. We can all go our own way. But there are still some universal don’ts. Nowhere in our religion is it permissible to wear or bear any item of leather when partaking in an important prayer of Lord Shiva. THIS IS A GRAVE AND SACRILEGIOUS ACT. This is not the same thing as when one shrine or temple falls in your way when you are going elsewhere and you offer your prayers without even bothering to take off any items of leather on you. And in any case, one does not go inside the temple or shrine in such a case after all. The prayer in question is a significant part of the official ceremony for worshiping Lord Pasupatinath, the holiest shrine in the entire world for Lord Shiva on the occasion of Shivaratri, the most important festival for Lord Shiva. THIS IS A GRAVE AND SACRILEGIOUS ACT. And the president was praying on the behalf of all of Nepalese. This is a great burden of sin that he has placed on the shoulders of all of us Nepalese.
There are many among of us who were wondering in the first place if any prayers offered by one of the same politicians who removed Hinduism as the official religion of our country in their lust for power would even be acceptable to Lord Pasupatinath, but this photo removes all doubt. Even children know of this simple rule. But the president did not even bother to observe this most minimum rule of our religion. How arrogant and conceited is he and the other politicians?
I do not really know if it is true for this situation, but it is normally the case for such important rites that people observe a fast beforehand. Unfortunately, that photo cannot show what is inside of his stomach, and quite frankly I do not have any confidence that he maintained that much self-discipline. Not just because of what was on the photo, but also because, after all, he was a member of a political party, the Nepali Congress which is also the biggest opposition party in Nepal right now, before he became the president, the very same party that went against its own party constitution that was for a Hindu Nepal and which suddenly became secularist in an attempt to appease the then rebels, the Maoist Party, in the Congress party’s futile attempt to regain power. They were the biggest party before the elections so they had their reasons to hope for a chance to regain power. So you see, I have no confidence that such people will maintain the sanctity and dignity of our religion.
And I am sure you are aware, the Maoist Party led government of Nepal tried to change the centuries old tradition of having the main priest from South India for The Pasupatinath Temple. Because of this, this most holiest of temples in our Hindu religion was closed for several days.
In Nepal, it is also customary for the head of the nation, now the president, to receive blessing from the Kumari of the capital city Kathmandu on Indrajatra, an important festival of Nepal. As I sure all of you know, the Kumari is a Living Goddess. But again, the same nagging doubt still remains. Are such politicians even worthy of such an honour? To give such a high religious honour to the same people who sold out our religion in their lust for political power?
What I want to ask is, why is it that the politicians only attack Hindu sensibilities? And why is it only the Hindu festivals that they officially defile with their presence? Why does the president not observe the holy month of Ramadan with our fellow Nepalese brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith? Is it too hard for him? Or is he not so secular? And why does he not celebrate Christmas with our fellow Nepalese brothers and sisters of the Christian faith? And that to at their most important church in Nepal? Sadly, and with no disrespect meant to any Christian in any part of the world, Christians have a history of never agreeing on so many things so I do not think that all the Christians of Nepal agreeing on which is the most important church will ever happen. But due to our country’s culture, history and heritage, we Hindus in Nepal have had no such problems till now. Our country’s culture has always been rooted in Hindu tradition and so we have no confusions on which temples the head of state must go to on which occasions.
And do they even know with how high a honour they are being graced with? Do they even care? Looking at the photo, I do not think so. To them, it is just another opportunity to get their photos printed on the papers, nothing else. To them, it is just another opportunity for publicity, just another photo op sadly.
As a point of principle, such people should never even be allowed in Hindu temples or any other places of worship for other religions for that matter. If they could not be true or respectful to their own religions, only fools would even hope that they would be respectful to other religions. If Christians hand done the same thing, they would have been excommunicated. If they had been Muslims, something may be even worse. But you know, in our country, they have not just been defiling our traditional sacred Hindu rites with their presence, there have also been times when some temples have been inaugurated by ministers, people who voted to remove Hinduism as the official religion of our country. How stupid is that? Is there a provision for excommunication in our religion? No priests should go to such people’s homes to perform any religious Hindu ceremonies required in their household let alone let them even near any temples.
The very politicians who removed the only Hindu Nation in the whole wide world are perpetrating all of these changes in our Hindu traditions. And after all, it is our traditional rites that define our culture. It would not be so bad if a high-ranking Hindu official, such as a Sankaracarya, had approved all of these changes but sadly these changes were not.
Our religion is the third largest religion in the whole world, the oldest one religion in the whole world, and there are Hindus in all parts of the world. Hindu people have been overcoming prejudices against our religion in all parts of the world, but for our religion to be so disrespected in a country that was just recently the only Hindu Nation in the world, and that to by a member of the Hindu community?
I think I do not need to tell you that a place of worship, of whichever religion, belongs to the whole world. And the disrespecting of one place of worship touches us all. And this is not just any temple; this is in regards to the most important temple of Lord Shiva and that to on the occasion of Shivaratri. Please, such a sacrilegious act will affect Hindus all over the world. Please do something.
Is our religion to be so debased just to be a photo op for politicians who do not even respect our religion? Is our religion just a plaything for them? As I mentioned before, the politicians only target our Hindu religion. Can no one do anything to stop them?
I hope that you will excuse me for wanting to remain anonymous, but right now Nepal is going through a very dangerous period, and I think that it be best not to be make so many powerful enemies. People are still disappearing for speaking against the government (please see http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2009/mar/mar17/news01.php). And here I am speaking against not just against the government but also the very powerful opposition, and so…
I talked to priests, journalists, members of Hindu organizations, but sadly they are too afraid to do anything.
Please, do something.
If you have any questions, please do mail me, but please bear in mind that we in Nepal are facing an acute shortage or electricity. Ever since when our government caused Pasupatinath Temple to be closed for some days and be kept in the dark, we in Kathmandu Valley have been having only about some hours of electricity per day. And ever since Shivaratri, that has also decreased so that we are only receiving eight hours of electricity per day in two shifts of four hours in the a.m. and then also four hours in the p.m. And by that I mean just that, but the fours hours may start at 4 a.m. in the morning and end at 8 a.m. on some days and also 12 a.m. till 4 a.m. So we have to try to work, cook, do a lot of things etc. on these two slots of four hour. Some people are already saying that these are all signs of Lord Pasupatinath’s displeasure. Due to this, finding time for e-mailing is not that easy. But I will try answer as quickly as possible. This is also the reason I could not send the mail earlier; it took so much time to look for all of these e-mail address.
And lastly, I would like to express that we Hindus in Nepal were betrayed by people of the Hindu religion and not by any other religion. I bear no ill will towards other religions. Quite frankly, due to our liberal Hindu traditions, we in Nepal have had very few problems of a religious nature.
And Dear Fellow Hindu Brothers and Sisters, I will end this mail. Please do try to help. And please do forward this mail to anyone who you think can be of help.
Nameste and my deepest and most humble farewell.
A Very Troubled Fellow Hindu From Nepal.