Friday, 22 June 2012

Girl Beheaded by Father in Goddess- loving India

AN INDIAN father has cut off his daughter's head and paraded it around his village after becoming enraged over her “promiscuity”.   Full story: the Telegraph

Ancient Tantric Goddess Worship - Past and Present

‘‘Women are heaven,women are dharma (truth); women are the supreme fire of transformation.
Women are Buddha; women are the sangha (community); women are the Perfection of Wisdom...”
(Candamaharosana-tantra, circa 8th century CE) the birthplace of Tantra, ancient India, women occupied a very important position, in fact a superior position to men. It was a culture whose word for strength and power is "Shakti'', the embodiment of the goddess, meaning "power'' and "strength.''
Today however the position of women in India seems to be very different and it appears that women have little to celebrate, as observations made by Osho over 30 years ago, come to mind:
“The women of India are living in utter slavery; their slavery is doubled.”1
Still, it came as a surprise, when last year an independent study placed India among the top five countries in the world, as the worst place for women to live and survive,2 for several reasons.
A spate of exceptionally brutal rapes of “untouchable”, Dalit women shocked India last year.3 The country is also ranked as particularly dangerous because of high levels of female infanticide. This practice has a long history in India: because of the widespread cultural preference for sons, many baby girls used to be killed soon after birth and today female foeticide - the sex-selective abortion of girls - has led to an alarming "gender gap" in the country’s population.
Moreover, India has been ranked the fourth worst country in the world for women in view of the fact that, in spite of legislation making dowry illegal, dowry demands still result in an estimated 25,000 dowry deaths/murders of women a year. Similarly, although new law now gives India's 45 million or so widows better protection, long-established social custom still rules out remarriage. Prevailing superstition throughout India links a widow - and even holds her responsible for - the death of her husband. Blamed for the fate of their husbands, they are culturally ostracized, socially marginalized. Traumatized by their personal loss, they are twice discriminated: as women and as widows. Domestic violence also affects a wide section of Indian society.4
Tradition still prevails with continued intolerance against menstruating women. During menstruation, women are considered to belong to the lowest caste, Shudra, and are thus prohibited from entering and worshipping in Hindu temples, with notices on temples reminding menstruating women not to enter.
Hindu religious authorities continue to debate if women are suitable to chant the Gayatri Mantra. It is believed that this mantra is one the most powerful mantras in Hinduism, which when chanted accurately will bestow strength, knowledge, bliss, right path, courage, success and glory. Traditionally women are banned from reciting it. Paradoxically, Goddess Gayatri is the personification of the mantra as she is considered the Veda Mata, the mother of all Vedas. So the prohibition on women is astonishing...