The Candid Eye

April 30, 2010

Bible Vs. Quran: The Evolution Of Violence In Religion

Barbara Bradley Hagerty, National Public Radio’s religion correspondent, ruffled some feathers last week when she posed this question: is the Bible more violent than the Quran?

Religion scholar Phillip Jenkins was on hand to answer that question. No contest, he argues in his new book Jesus Wars>. Whereas the violence prescribed in the Quran is mostly defensive, Jenkins says, the Bible is packed with genocidal commands from God. That drew a sputtering response of incredulity from Andrew Bostom, a self-taught scholar of Islam whose writings are most about the malevolence of jihad. “This is just preposterous!” he exclaimed in the same broadcast.

Vatican & Christianity

Since most Americans have at most read selected passages of the Bible, I expect they will agree with Bostom. But here are some hard truths: Christianity and Islam are the world’s dominant religions because they have used every possible tactic, including large-scale violence and intimidation, to get that way. There are no clean hands in this quarrel.

Sure, Jenkins make a fine “mote and beam” argument. (In a certain well-known sermon, Jesus is recorded as saying, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”) But the even harder truth is this: it doesn’t much matter what the sacred texts say. Scriptures are magic mirrors. They reflect back the wishes of those who stare into them. If you’re rich, you find justification in them for your wealth. If you’re poor, you find hope that you’ll be rewarded for your suffering.

Harder still: religions are like living beings, and like all living things they are subject to natural selection. Far from being the fixed point in a turning world, every religion evolves and, if it persists long enough, speciates. You can see this at a glance in Christianity and Islam. Each has split into two major species: Catholic and Protestant on the one hand, Sunni and Shi’ite on the other. But even up close, you can observe evolution at work in religion. As often as not, religion evolves toward violence.

Case in point: Quakers. I attended a Friends school back in my youth in Philadelphia and as a young adult flirted with the idea of being a Quaker, but I could not in good conscience declare myself a pacifist. Not that I like war, but imagining myself in my parents’ generation, I could not see sitting out the fight against Nazism. Peace constitutes a defining Quaker value. To be a Quaker is to be a pacifist. So it was not for me. And yet, the president who not only waged but expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia and Laos was none other than Richard Nixon, the nation’s only Quaker commander in chief.

Could Nixon have won the presidency as an outright pacifist? Probably not. Look at how he pasted the dovish George McGovern in 1972. Variation and selection bring about adaptation.

Of course, Quakers are not particularly doctrinal, and they have less respect for scripture than for inner reflection. Would it have made a difference if they were more, er, bookish? Not really. Let us not forget that the Ten Commandments, which theocrats are always trying to nail up in public schools, come in multiple versions, most of which include this: “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

Pretty plain language, wouldn’t you say? And yet, a pro-death-penalty, war-loving preacher can slice and dice that commandment faster than Pitchman Vince on the Slap Chop. What’s more, even if you buy the argument that this commandment is simply a prohibition against murder, can you show any evidence that it has constrained the faithful? American jails are crammed with violent believers, including a disproportionately high number of Christians. Atheists, at less than half a percent of prisoners, are sadly underrepresented in proportion to their numbers in the real world.

Mecca & Islam

What of the reverse? Do commandments to do violence necessarily result in violence?

To be sure, there are suras in the Quran than can be read as highly aggressive. Take this choice morsel: “Then, when the sacred months have passed — that is, [at] the end of the period of deferment — slay the idolaters wherever you find them, be it during a lawful [period] or a sacred [one], and take them captive, and confine them, to castles and forts, until they have no choice except [being put to] death or [acceptance of] Islam; and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush, [at every] route that they use …” Of course, the passage ends with an offer of mercy if they convert to Islam, but still …

And yet, consider: Muslims believe the Quran to have been dictated, word by word, by Allah — that is, God. Taken literally, the above sura amounts to a command to go out and kill or convert nonbelievers every year. How many Muslims actually do that? Not even one in ten thousand, I daresay.

Only a minority of Muslims even laud the few who do practice jihadi violence, characterized by the suicide bombing. A 2007 poll of tens of thousands of Muslims in various Middle Eastern countries found support for violent extremism falling even among Palestinians. None of this is meant to dismiss the threat posed by Muslim extremism, which remains all too stark, nor to discount the humdrum violence and oppression that characterize all too much of the Islamic world. Nor do I mean to overlook the violence of Christian extremists such as Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. Till in church last year.

On the contrary, both Christianity and Islam owe their global success not so much to the magic words in their scriptures as to their effectiveness in practicing forced conversions. Oh, yes, we all know about the growth of the Islamic Empire, whose berobed foot-soldiers held a scimitar in one hand and the Quran in the other. But pull that beam out of your eye, dear Christian reader, and remember the Celts, the West Africans, the Indians of the Plains, the Hawaiians, and countless other peoples whose religions and languages were violently suppressed that they might know salvation through “our Lord Jesus Christ.”

There are no clean hands in this quarrel.

Source: Huffington Post

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April 27, 2010

Kiddie Jihad: Child Bombers Terror’s Newest Weapon

Filed under: Islam,Jihad,Wahabism — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM

Islamic terrorists are always looking for new ways to escape detection and carry out their attacks. One of their latest ideas is using children as suicide bombers.

The growing phenomenon may soon spread beyond the Middle East to the rest of the world.

Kiddie Jihad

The Making of a Child Martyr

Strategies in the global war against Islamic terrorism are taking very different roads in 2010. The Obama administration hopes downplaying Islamic extremism may help when dealing with Muslim countries.

Terror groups, however, are taking extremism to new levels by indoctrinating Muslim children in the deadly art of suicide bombing.

“The state-sponsored illegal recruitment and education of innocent Muslim children to become suicide bombers and child soldiers is occurring throughout the Muslim and non-Muslim world,” said Brooke Goldstein, founder and director of The Children’s Rights Institute, an organization focusing on human rights violatios against children.

“In Pakistan, thousands of children are being educated in madrassahs,” she said. “In Iraq, handicapped children are being blown up at polling stations. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is paying up to $12,000 per child, donated to them by their own families.”

Taliban leaders run training centers where boys as young as 11 years of age learn to be suicide bombers. Some are even younger.

A 6-year-old Afghan boy recruited in 2007 was told that his suicide belt would “explode into flowers.”

Child Terrorist

A Deadly Pioneer

The modern-day pioneer of Islamic child martyrdom was the Ayatollah Khomeini.

He sent thousands of children to clear minefields during the Iran-Iraq War. Khomeini then passed the baton to Palestinian terror groups, who’ve shown no qualms about sending children to their deaths.

Goldstein examined the world of Palestinian child bombers in her award-winning film, The Making of a Martyr. “The state television, the school textbooks, the radio media, their print media, music videos are all teaching these children to become suicide bombers,” Goldstein said. “They’re teaching them to hate life and love death.”

A Growing Global Phenomenon

This phenomenon is spreading through the Middle East to Iraq, the al Qaeda hotbed of Yemen.

“In Yemen, just about 50 percent of all combatants in the war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels are under the age of 18,” Goldstein explained. “A majority of those children are now being targeted to become suicide bombers.”

The next battleground may be Great Britain. Due to growing extremism among young British Muslims, the government has started a de-radicalization program called The Channel Project.

“They have 230 children between the ages of 7 and 18 who they are now in the process of deradicalization education,” Goldstein said.

In the meantime, she says international human rights groups like Amnesty International have shown little interest in the issue.

Source: Familysecuritymatters.org

April 26, 2010

A girl is burnt again

Filed under: Hinduism,India,Indian Media — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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A thought provoking article by Tarun Vijay appeared in TOI.

On any scale of significance, is the burning alive of a helpless dalit girl less important as a news story than the murky IPL concerning only the rich and influential? Why we are seeing the scandalous people every day on front pages and the girl’s murder by arrogant agents of state power relegated to oblivion?

Five years ago, Gohana had happened. Now it’s Hisar. What I wrote on Gohana was thus reported by PTI (http://tarun-vijay.blogspot.com/2010/04/c.html).

And on Hisar the news report says: An argument between a dalit and a jat over the former’s dog led to near-unbridled violence in a village in Hisar district, which was tense throughout Thursday after an 18-year-old physically challenged dalit girl and her father were burnt alive on Wednesday. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-Dalits-burnt-alive-after-clash-over-dog/articleshow/5846407.cms).

Those who say they belong to a caste that’s higher than the other Hindus are fossils. Like Khap people. The real low caste are those who claim to be savarnas, or belonging to some kind of an upper caste. Who gave them this right to call themselves ‘upper’ and the others ‘lower’? Those who say they are ‘upper caste’, in reality belong to the lowest class of human values and they abuse their dharma, which they say is Hindu.

Dalit Girl

Hisar must anger this nation, which is deeply engrossed in the IPL mud. We have sham pillars of democracy that thrive on casteism and hot money. Valmikis (dalits), tribal and other marginalized segments together form the majority of this nation. Yet, they are pushed out of every higher decision-making forum. Either they are hated and kept at bay by a cartel of influential caste-based groups or patronized — “well, you see they have to be accommodated, SC ko to lena hi padega na … mazboori hai”. These are the clichés we often hear in the power corridors. So-called dalit leaders are fake. They either consolidate their base through the easy way of spreading poison for other castes, using bad and strong language and aligning with deadlier elements of Islamist groups who use them for undermining Hindu solidarity. None of them have ever been seen helping their community through better schools and providing healthcare and sanitation facilities in their areas. Most of them learn to climb the stairs of political happiness through subjugating the interests of their flock and licking the boots of the political patrons.

I have seen an intrinsic hatred for the so-called low-caste people among the best of sermonizers who otherwise wax eloquent on the need of building a casteless society. I was abused, verbally assaulted by those who mattered just for taking up the cause of my Hindu brothers on the basis of what I have learnt in the RSS and hence got rid of my caste identity from my name. They, the all so-called fake high-caste conglomerate, would never allow a dalit girl’s burning taken up as a challenge to the Hindu society and discussed threadbare on channels and newspapers. Everywhere we see an abysmal absence of these segments, more so in the media. The channels, so passionately performing their duty on a Sania-Shoaib nikah or IPL-Tharoor masala, keep a studied silence with cursory mentions on issues of atrocities on dalits, especially on Valmikis.

In our daily life, the society intrinsically shows signs of hatred or at best aloofness from those whom we despicably refer to as scheduled castes and tribes. I know the arguments will be given how many extraordinary benefits these segments are receiving at the cost of the so-called higher castes. And even these castes have their poor who are forced to do menial jobs due to poverty. My only response to all these sham arguments is: “Try to live a day as an untouchable. Without friends in the circles that rule, be unlisted, ignored or patronized, always considered as ‘in becharon ko kuchh de do’ kind of people. Always blamed for the lethargic work in the offices and no-intelligence-just climbing up on crutches section. Then realize what it means to be a Valmiki. To be economically poor is bad. But to be poor and ‘untouchable’ is to be like a sub human. Choose.”

The test of your large heartedness and all-inclusive behaviour lies in self-introspection and not in quoting religious books advocating harmony and equality. Don’t quote the Gita or the Ramayana to Valmikis, they know what is written in it and what is not practised by the eloquent preachers. Answer the following:

1. Have you ever tried to celebrate Diwali or Rakhi with those who are called ‘untouchables’?

2. In your list of personal invitees, how many of these can be considered as your friends and visit your place with family as frequently as ‘others’?

3. In a puja or a family celebration do these ‘untouchables’ ever sit with you and perform the rites with Panditji as naturally as ‘others’?

4. If your daughter wants to marry a person of her choice and that happens to be a Valmiki, would you approve or disapprove?

5. Have you ever tried to know how these segments that have been around you and your ancestors and were not treated as well as they should have been, live their lives? Like the safai karamchari, whom you see every day, and try to avoid a ‘touch’ with her? Do they send their children to as good schools as you afford? And then do you also join the chorus that the government has given them too many facilities and the only sin that you have committed is to belong to a ‘higher caste’?

6. Can you describe the thread or the element that makes you feel that you belong to some sort of a higher caste and these, the ‘other’ people to a lower caste”?

7. Do you feel that the present-day pandit system, the priests’ order, needs a refreshing change and let the pujaris be more learned, with a good knowledge of Sanskrit, must get higher and reasonably good offerings (dakshina) and also the Valmiki youth, well trained and groomed for the job, be inducted as priests in Haridwar and all other temples and pilgrim centres? Let the opportunity to rise in society through IT, medical education and also priesthood be open to all Hindu sections without any caste-based discrimination?

8. How many ashrams, centres of spiritual rejuvenation and religious retreats would have these Valmiki and tribal segments of the society as devotees and as equal participants? Does it bother you if you find they are scantily represented even if they outnumber your castes?

9. Would you feel encouraged to ask a question to these high-profile gurus and saints that how many times in the last 10 years have they been to a Valmiki basti or have addressed a congregation for these segments in tribal areas, bringing the dharma and culture’s contemporary faces and flow to such areas also?

10. Have you ever thought that those who were declared outcastes by our common ancestors deserve a better deal through you and lets visit their house to see their condition and extend a hand of friendship, just for the sake of it, even if no other help can be given, and this act will not be an act of charity but a proactive action on part of those ancestors of ours who must be regretting their illogical behavior?

No offence intended indeed. Just try to hear the last cries of the physically challenged girl for help who was burnt for no crime except that she belonged to a caste, which the tehsildar didn’t.

Now, the last word for this piece.

The solution: produce more dalit journalists.

One of the better solutions to me is to help more and more youths from dalit and tribal segments to join mainstream journalism without the crutches of reservation. Have them trained in multimedia courses, through various schools of journalism. I am on board of a national university of journalism and can help. Even otherwise, would like to help as many young friends as possible through a specially crafted course and environment. I am sure friends will be there to help from all quarters. But at least it will do wonders to fill a very wide gap we see today. There is hardly any noticeable presence from these segments in our channels, editors’ groups and media houses. Why? Try to find an answer without blaming them with a bullshit — oh, they don’t come up on merit.

April 21, 2010

Saudi Police let 15 school girls burnt alive!!

Filed under: Islam,Jihad,Terrorism,Wahabism — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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Saudi Arabia’s religious police “Mutaween”  are tasked with enforcing Sharia Law as defined by government in the Kingdom.By the name of god these people have been committing crimes against humanity.Recently, the Mutaween police had let 15 school girls burnt alive just because they were not wearing burqa at that time.

Saudi Arabia's Religious Police & Fire victim

Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurred.

The Mecca city governor visited the fire-damaged school : Image Courtesy - BBC

According to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islam.

One witness said he saw three policemen “beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya”.

The Saudi Gazette quoted witnesses as saying that the police – known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – had stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned “it is a sinful to approach them”.

Affected students are being taken to hospital : Image courtesy - BBC

The father of one of the dead girls said that the school watchman even refused to open the gates to let the girls out.

“Lives could have been saved had they not been stopped by members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” the newspaper concluded.

Relatives’ anger

Families of the victims have been incensed over the deaths.Most of the victims were crushed in a stampede as they tried to flee the blaze.

The school was locked at the time of the fire – a usual practice to ensure full segregation of the sexes.

The religious police are widely feared in Saudi Arabia. They roam the streets enforcing dress codes and sex segregation, and ensuring prayers are performed on time.Those who refuse to obey their orders are often beaten and sometimes put in jail.

Source: BBC

April 19, 2010

A temple where upper castes bow to Dalits

Stories of socially marginalised people not being allowed into places of worship are common in India. In such a scenario, a Dalit family presiding over an Uttar Pradesh temple for ages is nothing short of exemplary.

It’s only Dalits who have been priests of the Kali Mata temple, dedicated to goddess Durga, in Lakhna town in Etawah, some 300 km from Lucknow, ever since the shrine came up around 200 years ago.

‘Caste divisions and discrimination may not have given Dalits a place of respectability in society, but here as priests they are revered,’ Ram Dular Rajbhar, who owns a grocery store in the town, said.

‘Be it Brahmins, Thakurs or people from any of the other higher castes, after coming inside the temple, all have to bow before the Dalit priests and touch their feet. For others it may be surprising, but it has become a custom for us,’ he added.

Goddess Durga

Situated along the banks of the Yamuna river, the temple is sought after by the residents of Lakhna town for holding marriages, ‘mundan’ (tonsure ceremony of Hindu children) or other rituals particularly performed by Brahmins or members of the upper caste.

‘It’s not just a temple. It’s a place that is an example of social equality,’ said Umesh Dixit, who owns several garment shops in Lakhna town.

‘People in Lakhna also approach the priests to name their babies as it is believed that names given by Dalit priests would bring good luck and prosperity to the children and their families,’ he added.

According to locals, there’s a story behind the custom of Dalit priests. They say King Jaipal Singh, who got the temple constructed, made it mandatory that the priest of the temple would only be a Dalit.

‘While the construction of the temple was under way, Jaipal Singh noticed a Dalit labourer, Chhotelal, was being assaulted by a group of upper caste people for touching the idol that was to be placed inside the temple,’ said another resident Ram Raksha Pandey, who owns an eating joint in Lakhna.

‘Jaipalji soon intervened in the matter and said only Chhotelal and his family would be taking care of the temple after its construction. Since then, the practice has been alive,’ he added.

At present two brothers, Ashok Kumar, 43, and Akhilesh Kumar, 45, who are fourth generation descendants of Chhotelal are the priests at the temple.

Source: Sify

April 17, 2010

Bill banning inter-district recruitment passed amid Jammu shutdown

Another separatist activity by J&K government. Where is secularism now!? Is this what we want in a free country like India!?  From TimesOfIndia:

JAMMU: A controversial bill banning inter-district recruitment in Jammu and Kashmir was passed by voice vote amid uproarious scenes in the state legislative assembly on Friday even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) observed a complete shutdown in Jammu to protest its provisions.

The bill that bars applicants from seeking jobs in districts other than their native ones was passed after it was amended to keep eight percent jobs reserved for the Scheduled Caste community.

The amendment to the bill was moved by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar, immediately after the House assembled for the day. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leader Harshdev Singh and Congress MLA Ashok Kumar had sought the amendment.

The amendment said that eight percent jobs reserved for the Scheduled Caste would stay, but the candidates of other communities would not be eligible for applying for jobs in districts other than their own.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party members were on their feet as they were opposed to the amendment and wanted a blanket ban on inter-district recruitment with no reservation for any category.

Party legislator Zulfikar Choudhary wanted to speak but he was asked by his own senior colleague and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig to sit down. BJP and JKNPP members also stood up shouting slogans.

Amid this uproar, Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone said he would put the bill to a voice vote following which the treasury benches shouted a loud “yes”.

“The bill is passed,” Lone said.

Infuriated over this, the opposition PDP legislators rushed into the well of the house and created a ruckus by uprooting the mikes. They also entered into scuffles with the assembly secretariat staff.

The Speaker adjourned the House till 3pm.

Meanwhile, all shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Jammu region amid a shutdown call by the BJP.

While valley-based parties, the National Conference (NC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, favour the ban on inter-district recruitment, Jammu-based parties like the BJP and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party are opposed to it.

Congress, which is a constituent of the ruling alliance in the state, is divided as its Jammu-based legislators are opposed to the ban while those from the valley support it.

Protesters set up road blockades by burning tyres and held noisy demonstrations at several places.

The police, however, cleared one of the main bridges over river Tawi that connects Jammu city with the rest of the country.

Both the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley and Hindu-dominated Jammu region have their own reasons for supporting and opposing the bill.

While the valley feels that inter-district recruitment limits Kashmiri youths’ employment opportunities as jobs are reserved for the Scheduled Caste community, the Jammu region feels that the bill seeking to ban such recruitment overturns the constitutional provision of reservation of jobs for the socially marginalised people.

The Scheduled Caste community constitutes about 20 percent of the five million population in Jammu. The state has a population of over 10 million. The community has no presence in the valley where Muslims are in an overwhelming majority, with less than 3,500 Kashmiri Hindus as a microscopic minority.

April 16, 2010

Dharbham the Holy Grass

Filed under: Hinduism,Spirituality,Temples — Abhay @ 6:00 AM
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The Holy Grass known as Dharbham or Dharbai – Kush Grass, Kusa – Eragrostis cynosuroides

by TRS Iyengar

This article is on one of the practices widely used by Indian Brahmins all over using a Holy Grass named Dharbham or Dharbai. The botonical name is Eragrostis cynosuroides and Hindi they call
as Kus or Kusha. Brahmins in general and Srivaishnavites in particular use this Darbai grass in all functions, auspicious or inauspicious, a performing person needs to wear a ring made of this
Dharbham. But many have lost the reason of why it is to be used in the first place.

What I learnt from my father is proved to be accurately correct by a Medicine Practitioner. A medical practitioner named Dr. Sadhashiv Rao, once visited my home. When the topic turned to many
subjects, I needed to tell him about the Holy Grass named Dharbham. When I told him about the usage and the values, he could not just believe my words. So, he took out a bunch of the Dharbham
from me, went straight to the clinic to take an x-ray of his palm, by covering his hand with the Dharbham. To his utter surprise, he found that the grass absorbed about 60% of the (x-ray) radiation!

When the so powerful X-ray radiation can be absorbed by the Holy Grass, why can it not absorb the ill-radiations spread over the atmosphere?  While chanting and reciting some Vedic phrases and
versus, one needs to wear a ring made of Dharbham on his right hand ring finger. This is most essential, while performing all the rituals, such as Agni Santhanam, Thiru-Aaradhanam, all sorts of
Havans known as Homam etc.
The count of leaves depends upon the function that is held viz.: for some functions related to death only Single leaf Dharbham is used; for Auspicious and daily routine a ring made of two leaves is
used; for inauspicious but not death related functions, (i.e. Amavasya Tharppanam,Pithru Pooja etc) a three leaf Dharbham ring is used. And for the Temple Prayer and Pooja, a Four-leaf Dharbham
ring is used.
Also, when a fire ritual known as Agni Santhana is performed, these Dharbham are spread all the four sides of the Agni Kundam. Also, during the Eclipse time, these Dharbham are used to cover all
food items to protect them from the harmful ultra violet radiation.
Whenever any function is held, firstly they perform a site-cleansing act known as “Sudhhi Punyaahavachanam”. While reciting the selective versus, they hold the Dharbham bunch in their hand and
placing the tip point of it over the vessel containing water. Thus the recited vibration values are absorbed by water in the vessel through the Dharbham.
They found that the Holy Grass known as Dharbham has the highest value in conducting the phonetic vibrations through its tip. Later, they sprinkle the Holy water at every nook and corner of the place,
where the function is held. A Dharbham without the tip is considered of no value, as the conductor-type value is lost in it.

If dharbam is cut & collected on the Avani Amavasya day (falls during 15th August & 15th Sept) it can be retained for usage for one full year. Also, if cut on the Masi Amavasya day then also one can
use it for full year. There is a specific slokha for cutting dharbam (the holy grass) that is to be recited while cutting it; I give below the same for readers to know. If Dharbam is obtained from a
Brahmin who doesn’t know this slokam or versus, the Dharbam is useless,  states the Vedic scripts!

My father, Late Shri Ramabathrachariar of Mukkur, fondly called by everyone as Sriraman, has taught me the immense values of Dharbham and its usage. With Sanskrit phonetic sound and
vibration, using the Dharbham increases its value. The usage varies according to the functions. It is really a marvel, that in those days of Vedic Era, the Sages & Saints of Hindu land used to control
the Magnetic path disturbances, just by simply using this Dharbham! While I was just preparing this article, I received an interesting E-mail from Sri. Vijay Narasimhan, which I give below without
editing:

Quote:

Basically all our Vedas and Upanishads are written in Sanskrit, Which basically is a phonetic based language. So I have a feeling that it is not just the mantras being powerful but mainly due to
the effects “Sound” has over a humans body. I feel that our ancestors had mastered the art of sound;  phonetics and acoustics as such. So when the Vedas was written and the tone set for its
deliverance that had no effect whatsoever on a “Man’s” body but it should have definitely had a profound effect on a “Woman’s” body that would have been the reason why ladies are not allowed
to chant mantra or the Vedas or Upanishads or for that matter any of the slokas that a man recites. When we do Paaraayanam, I feel that the reason why girls are not allowed to do that is basically
their physique cannot take the tremendous changes effected due to sustained practice of known as Recital.

This is something that my grandpa’s younger brother told me about, when we perform the Kumbabhishekam in a temple, At least 20 learned Vedic scholars would stand near the “kumba jalam”
( holy water kept in the copper or brass vessel) and holding a “Dharbam”,one end in their hand and other end in the water would recite all the slokas need or rather do the “Japam”  – I think this is
because “Dharbam” is a very good conductor of acoustic vibrations – When this happens you can surely find the difference in the water’s state before and after such a japam. The reason why i am
saying this has reference to my stating that Sanskrit is a phonetic based language and “Sound and Acoustics” does really change things.

Our ancestors would have done lot of research into acoustics management resulting in they mastering the art of sound and acoustics and using them to both, their constructive and destructive benefits.
Again this is purely my and only my own opinion.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks and Regards – Vijay Narasimham

Unquote.

Apart from the above, Dharbham cannot be planted and grown everywhere. It only grows naturally at selective places and available almost in every state in India. Several persons at many
occasions tried to cultivate this plant but failed to see its growth. Why, anyone can try this now if it is possible for them to plant & cultivate in their locations! Sorry, it will not grow as one might
think. It has its potential soil selection, magnetic path locations and soil conditions that add value to its growth only in selective places! Some learned scholars name it after Saint Vishwaamitra – hence
Dharbham is known and also called as “Vishwaamitra”. If it is kept for a longer time, say for more than six months, (excepting the one cut during Masi & Avani Amavasya days.) then it loses its
value and the power of absorbing the radiation or magnetic path control values.

Dharbham cannot just be plucked straight or cut on any day; There is a specific Slokha given above, that is to be recited before cutting it; That too it can be cut only on the day next to Full Moon –
known as Krishna Paksha Pradamai. A Dharbham without its tip portion is not to be used for making a Ring like item known as “Pavithram”.

A word of caution for the new users of this Dharbai / Dharbam. It is sharper than a blade! The edges are so sharp, it might even hurt & cut your palm if handled carelessly, that you’ll notice only
when you find blood oozing from your palm! Yes, you’ll not feel the pain while injuring, but later one feels it.  Only when it is wet, you can twist it to the form you need to make the called Pavithram
or Bugnams.

.o-o-o-0-0-0-o-o-o.

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