Hinduism in a nutshell

Our exploration of different religions continues with a look at the key aspects of the Hindu faith

Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha are the 7th, 8th and 9th incarnations of the preserver Lord Vishnu and prior to them was the 6th Lord Parshuram, before that Lord Vishnu came in the form of a Lion, a tortoise, a fish and so on – quite in line with the Darwinian Theory of Evolution.

The fish incarnation, incidentally, is the story where king Manu and his subjects including animals were led to safety in the great flood – interesting that a similar story comes under Noah of the Abrahmic religion.

It might be opportune here to elaborate on the Manu dynasty here in that Brahma created the first 4 men to head the 4 original civilisations, the Caucasian, the Chinese, the Red-Mongloid and the Negro. These men were called Manu’s and each has a name in the scriptures but for the Caucasians the Adi-Manu was given the knowledge in Sanskrit to civilise his race and those are detailed in the Manu-Samriti – again it is interesting that Adi-Manu resembles the word Adam but the two stories are completely different. Adam’s story is not at all like Adi-Manu’s who was the first civilised man among many created to establish God’s law, even prior to the first Satyug era.

Adi-Manu established created 4 different groups of activity,
- Spiritual,
- Defence,
- Trade and agriculture,
- Labour

And the names of these professions he categorised as Brahmins, Kashtryias, Vaishyas and Shudras. At the time these were interchangeable professions - in the period of Rama we had the sage (Rishi) Valmiki who was born into a Shudra family but became a sage whom everyone sought fit to worship – but later with time these professions became very rigid in hereditary. The British coming form a class based society named these as castes. The Sanskrit word is Varuna which means activity or profession. All systems in society degenerate if not reformed continuously and some of the bad aspects of this system are now under reform through Government policy.

One positive aspect of the even degenerated system has been that the practice of slavery remained alien to the Indian culture.

One very important aspect of Hinduism is that man and woman are given equal status. Brahman created the male as the potential energy and the female as the kinetic energy in universe. The male cannot move without the female, they are equally important to achieve anything complete in life. Hence if there is a God there is an equivalent Goddess. The consort of Lord Vishnu is Goddess Laxmi, of Brahma it is Saraswati and Lord Shiva’s wife is the Goddess Paravti. The Goddess is called as Mother and represents Shakti (strength and security). Goddess Durga Ma is revered the most among Hindus.

Anil Bhanot read Actuarial Science at university but then qualified as a chartered accountant. He was one of the founding members of Hindu Council UK in 1994 and was first elected as general secretary in 2003.
Grant Shapps on the campaign trail. Photo: Getty
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Grant Shapps resigns over Tory youth wing bullying scandal

The minister, formerly party chairman, has resigned over allegations of bullying and blackmail made against a Tory activist. 

Grant Shapps, who was a key figure in the Tory general election campaign, has resigned following allegations about a bullying scandal among Conservative activists.

Shapps was formerly party chairman, but was demoted to international development minister after May. His formal statement is expected shortly.

The resignation follows lurid claims about bullying and blackmail among Tory activists. One, Mark Clarke, has been accused of putting pressure on a fellow activist who complained about his behaviour to withdraw the allegation. The complainant, Elliot Johnson, later killed himself.

The junior Treasury minister Robert Halfon also revealed that he had an affair with a young activist after being warned that Clarke planned to blackmail him over the relationship. Former Tory chair Sayeedi Warsi says that she was targeted by Clarke on Twitter, where he tried to portray her as an anti-semite. 

Shapps appointed Mark Clarke to run RoadTrip 2015, where young Tory activists toured key marginals on a bus before the general election. 

Today, the Guardian published an emotional interview with the parents of 21-year-old Elliot Johnson, the activist who killed himself, in which they called for Shapps to consider his position. Ray Johnson also spoke to BBC's Newsnight:


The Johnson family claimed that Shapps and co-chair Andrew Feldman had failed to act on complaints made against Clarke. Feldman says he did not hear of the bullying claims until August. 

Asked about the case at a conference in Malta, David Cameron pointedly refused to offer Shapps his full backing, saying a statement would be released. “I think it is important that on the tragic case that took place that the coroner’s inquiry is allowed to proceed properly," he added. “I feel deeply for his parents, It is an appalling loss to suffer and that is why it is so important there is a proper coroner’s inquiry. In terms of what the Conservative party should do, there should be and there is a proper inquiry that asks all the questions as people come forward. That will take place. It is a tragic loss of a talented young life and it is not something any parent should go through and I feel for them deeply.” 

Mark Clarke denies any wrongdoing.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.