358/365 – Madurai Adheenam

August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Madurai Adheenam is the oldest Saivite mutt or aadheenam (mutt) in South India established more than 1,500 years, and is believed to have exisited even before the time of Thirugnana Sambandar.

It is located near the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, which is one of the most famous Siva-Shakthi shrines in the world.

It is an active centre of Saiva_Siddhanta philosophy. It is currently headed by Srila Sri Arunagirinatha Gnanasambantha Desika Paramacharya – who is the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam or Pontiff of the Aadheenm.

On 27 April 2012, he coronated Paramahamsa Nithyananda as his legal and spiritual successor, and the 293rd guru maha sannidaanam of The Madurai Aadheenam.

Temples

The adheenam is the hereditary trustee of four temples in Thanjavur District

Agniswarar Temple,

Kanjanur Sakshinatheswarar Temple,

Thiruppurambiyam Kachaneswara Swami Temple,

Kachanam Pannagaparameswara Swami Temple

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madurai_Adheenam

Categories: General Knowledge

357/365 – Sri Sivan Temple Singapore

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Sri Sivan Temple is a Hindu temple for the god Shiva who is the presiding deity. The temple was originally located in Potong Pasir from where it was moved three more times before finally coming to the present Geylang location.

History

Sri Sivan Temple was originally present in Potong Pasir. The Sivalinga was moved to a spot in the lower end of Dhoby Ghaut, then to a site near where MacDonald House stands today, and then on to the Orchard Road site where it used to be until 1983.

The temple was rebuilt as a solid structure in the early 1850s at the Orchard Road site under which the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station is located. The Sivalinga was known to be worshiped at this site well before 1850.

In 1898, a further phase of the recorded development of the Sri Sivan Temple began. The reconstruction work took several years to complete.

One Mr V Nagappa Chetty and his wife were responsible for this, largely with their own funds and from donations collected from local Hindus.

During the Second World War, some of the statues of secondary deities and a part of the temple structure were damaged by shells that landed around it.

Towards the end of the war, renovations were made to the temple and a consecration ceremony was held in July 1943.

In 1954, the Municipal Commissioners wanted the temple to be setback 14 feet (4.3 m) from the road to widen Orchard Road.

After long drawn discussions, a compromise was reached between the Board and the City Council. In consideration of the temple giving up 490 square feet (46 m2) of the front land, the temple was given $50,000 and allowed to be rebuilt at the same site.

Plans to rebuild the temple were drawn up in 1957. Local contractors completed the construction works in April 1962 and skilled craftsmen from India carried out the sculptural and ornamental works. The consecration ceremony was held on December 9, 1964.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Sivan_Temple

Categories: General Knowledge, Temple

356/365 – Islam Principles

August 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Monotheism: Islam, as its name means, is peace and the call for full submission to God, the one and only one, with no partner, no son, no father, no companion, no resemblance. This full submission to God leads to peace in yourself and between yourself and the universe that you are part of it.

Muhammad prophecy: Prophet Muhammad is God messenger and prophet to call for Islam.

Quran holy book: Quran, Islam holy book, was revealed by God to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. Quran is the text of God holy words that remained without single letter alteration or addition since Quran revelation to prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) until present and will remain as such until (with God promise) the Day of Judgment. See related question, below, on why Quran was revealed.

Sunnah: Prophet Muhammad sayings, doings, and practices that are recorded and authenticated by sincere early Muslims and followed up by Muslims.

Islam five pillars: These five pillars to be believed and followed up in by all Muslims. Denying any of them intentionally and knowingly by any Muslim gets him/her out of Islam faith. See related question, below, on Islam faith pillars.These five pillars are: 1) witness that no god except the one and only one God (Allah) and Muhammad is his messenger and prophet, 2) performing praying (Salat), 3) pay the alms giving (Zakat), 4) fasting Ramadan (Sawm), 5) and doing pilgrimage (Hajj) by who can afford it.

Faith Principles: To have faith in: God (Allah)  God Angels  God holy books (including Psalms, Torah, the Bible, and Quran)  God prophets (including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad; peace upon them)  day of Judgment  Destiny

Muslim conduct: To follow the Islam morals guided by the Quran and Prophet Muhammad Sunnah.

Good deeds: Muslim is not only commanded to perform ritual worships but also, and equally important, to do good deeds for the benefit of oneself, family, community, and humanity.

No religion compulsion: You are created free and you have full choice to believe in the religion and principles that you find them correct. Only God, the Creator and the All-Knowing, will judge your choice on the day of Judgment then, in the other eternal life, you go either to Hell or to the Paradise (with God mercy).

Cooperation for mankind goodness: God created people in different races, colors, peoples and tribes, and cultures not to live in conflicts but to compete in doing the good and to cooperate in piety and for mankind benefit.

Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_10_important_principles_of_the_Islam_religion

Categories: Facts, General Knowledge

355/365 – Bitter Gourd

August 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Momordica charantia, called bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash in English, Karavella in Sanskrit and Karela in Hindi and Urdu, Karla in Bengali and Marathi, Pavakai (பாகற்க்காய்) in Tamil, Hagala kayi in Kannada, Kakarakaya in Telugu, kudhreth narhy in Turkish, is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is among the most bitter of all fruits.

Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. This is a plant of the tropics. Karela originated in India and it was carried to China in the 14th century.

This herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine grows to 5 m. It bears simple, alternate leaves 4–12 cm across, with three to seven deeply separated lobes.

Each plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers. In the Northern Hemisphere, flowering occurs during June to July and fruiting during September to November.

The fruit has a distinct warty exterior and an oblong shape. It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large, flat seeds and pith.

The fruit is most often eaten green, or as it is beginning to turn yellow. At this stage, the fruit’s flesh is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to cucumber, chayote or green bell pepper, but bitter.

The skin is tender and edible. Seeds and pith appear white in unripe fruits; they are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking.

As the fruit ripens, the flesh (rind) becomes tougher, more bitter, and too distasteful to eat. On the other hand, the pith becomes sweet and intensely red; it can be eaten uncooked in this state, and is a popular ingredient in some Southeast Asian salads.

When the fruit is fully ripe, it turns orange and mushy, and splits into segments which curl back dramatically to expose seeds covered in bright red pulp.

Categories: General Knowledge

354/365 – Problem in Assam

August 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Migraton of outsiders into Assam has a long history. The British administration had encouraged migration of thousands of Biharis to work on the tea-plantations and of hundreds of thousands of Bengali peasants to settle on the vast uncultivated tracts of Assam.

Till recently, Assamese landlords had welcomed the hardworking Bengali tenants in the sparsely populated Assam.

Between 1939 and 1947 Muslim communalists encouraged Bengali Muslim migration to create a better bargaining position in case of partition of India.

Partition led to a large-scale refugee influx from Pakistani Bengal into Assam besides West Bengal and Tripura.

In 1971, after the Pakistani crackdown in East Bengal, more than one million refugees sought shelter in Assam. Most of them went back after the creation of Bangladesh, but nearly 100,000 remained.

After 1971, there occurred a fresh, continuous and large-scale influx of land-hungry Bangladeshi peasants into Assam.

But land in Assam had by now become scarce, and Assamese peasants and tribals feared loss of their holdings.

However, this demographic transformation generated the feeling of linguistic, cultural and political insecurity, which overwhelmed the Assamese and imparted a strong emotional content to their movement against illegal migrants in the eighties.

The demographic transformation of Assam created apprehension among many Assamese that the swamping of Assam by foreigners and non-Assamese Indians would lead to the Assamese being reduced to a minority in their own land and consequently to the subordination of their language and culture, loss of control over their economy and politics, and, in the end, the loss of their very identity and individuality as a people.

Though illegal migration had surfaced as a political matter several times since 1950, it burst as a major issue in 1979 when it became clear that a large number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh had become voters in the state.

Afraid of their acquiring a dominant role in Assam’s politics through the coming election at the end of 1979, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (Assam People’s Struggle Council), a coalition of regional political, literary and cultural associations, started a massive, anti-illegal migration movement.

The leaders of the movement claimed that the number of illegal aliens was as high as 31 to 34 per cent of the state’s total population.

They, therefore, asked the central government to seal Assam’s borders to prevent farther inflow of migrants, to identify all illegal aliens and delete their names from the voters list and to postpone elections till this was done, and to deport or disperse to other parts of India all those who had entered the state after 1961.

So strong was the popular support to the movement that elections could not be held in fourteen out of sixteen constituencies.

Categories: General Knowledge, History

353/365 – Socks

August 17, 2012 Leave a comment

sock is an item of clothing worn on the feet. The foot is among the heaviest producers of sweat in the body, as it is able to produce over 1 US pint (0.47 l) of perspiration per day.

Socks help to absorb this sweat and draw it to areas where air can evaporate the perspiration. In cold environments, socks decrease the risk of frostbite. Its name is derived from the loose-fitting slipper, called a soccus in Latin, worn by Roman comic actors.

History

12th-century cotton sock, found in Egypt. The knitter of this sock started work at the toe and then worked up towards the leg.

The heel was made last and then attached to loops formed while knitting the leg. This practice allowed the heel to be easily replaced when it wore out.

Socks have evolved over the centuries from the earliest models which were made from animal skins gathered up and tied around the ankles.

In the 8th century BC, the Ancient Greeks wore socks from matted animal hair for warmth. The Romans also wrapped their feet with leather or woven fabrics.

By the 5th century AD, socks called “puttees” were worn by holy people in Europe to symbolise purity. By 1000 AD, socks became a symbol of wealth among the nobility.

From the 16th century onwards, an ornamental design on the ankle or side of a sock has been called a clock.

The invention of a knitting machine in 1589 meant that socks could be knitted six times faster than by hand.

Nonetheless, knitting machines and hand knitters worked side by side until 1800.   The next revolution in sock production was the introduction of nylon in 1938.

Until then socks were commonly made from silk, cotton and wool. Nylon was the start of blending two or more yarns in the production of socks, a process that still continues.

In the 8th century, Ancient Greeks wore socks made from animal hair

Ancient Egyptians knitted socks as far back as the 8th century

By 1000AD, socks because a sign of nobility

Cloth was tied around the foot and lower leg during the middle ages and was held up by garter belts

1589, William Lee invented a weaving/knitting machine, creating an easy way for socks to be manufactured quickly

Using the knitting machine, socks were able to be produced 6 times faster than by hand

Prior to the incorporation of nylon into socks, they were primarily made of cotton or wool

“Socks” are derived from the Latin word “soccus” which means light covering of the foot

Old socks are used to make hand puppets

Categories: General Knowledge

352/365 – Ashoka Chakra

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

The Ashoka Chakra is a depiction of the Buddhist Dharmachakra, represented with 24 spokes. It is so called because it appears on a number of edicts of Ashoka, most prominent among which is the Lion Capital of Sarnath which has been adopted as the National Emblem of the Republic of India.

Ashoka chakra has 12 pairs of spokes. The most visible use of the Ashoka Chakra today is at the centre of the National flag of the Republic of India (adopted on 22 July 1947), where it is rendered in a Navy-blue color on a White background, by replacing the symbol of Charkha (Spinning wheel) of the pre-independence versions of the flag.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who later became India’s first Vice President, described the flag as follows:

Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work.

The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends.

The “Ashoka Chakra” in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag.

Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka_Chakra

Categories: Facts, General Knowledge