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.
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John Major's double warning for Theresa May

The former Tory Prime Minister broke his silence with a very loud rebuke. 

A month after the Prime Minister stood in Chatham House to set out plans for free trading, independent Britain, her predecessor John Major took the floor to puncture what he called "cheap rhetoric".

Standing to attention like a weather forecaster, the former Tory Prime Minister warned of political gales ahead that could break up the union, rattle Brexit negotiations and rot the bonds of trust between politicians and the public even further.

Major said that as he had been on the losing side of the referendum, he had kept silent since June:

“This evening I don't wish to argue that the European Union is perfect, plainly it isn't. Nor do I deny the economy has been more tranquil than expected since the decision to leave was taken. 

“But I do observe that we haven't yet left the European Union. And I watch with growing concern  that the British people have been led to expect a future that seems to be unreal and over-optimistic.”

A seasoned EU negotiator himself, he warned that achieving a trade deal within two years after triggering Article 50 was highly unlikely. Meanwhile, in foreign policy, a UK that abandoned the EU would have to become more dependent on an unpalatable Trumpian United States.

Like Tony Blair, another previous Prime Minister turned Brexit commentator, Major reminded the current occupant of No.10 that 48 per cent of the country voted Remain, and that opinion might “evolve” as the reality of Brexit became clear.

Unlike Blair, he did not call for a second referendum, stressing instead the role of Parliament. But neither did he rule it out.

That was the first warning. 

But it may be Major's second warning that turns out to be the most prescient. Major praised Theresa May's social policy, which he likened to his dream of a “classless society”. He focused his ire instead on those Brexiteers whose promises “are inflated beyond any reasonable expectation of delivery”. 

The Prime Minister understood this, he claimed, but at some point in the Brexit negotiations she will have to confront those who wish for total disengagement from Europe.

“Although today they be allies of the Prime Minister, the risk is tomorrow they may not,” he warned.

For these Brexiteers, the outcome of the Article 50 negotiations did not matter, he suggested, because they were already ideologically committed to an uncompromising version of free trade:

“Some of the most committed Brexit supporters wish to have a clean break and trade only under World Trade Organisation rules. This would include tariffs on goods with nothing to help services. This would not be a panacea for the UK  - it would be the worst possible outcome. 

“But to those who wish to see us go back to a deregulated low cost enterprise economy, it is an attractive option, and wholly consistent with their philosophy.”

There was, he argued, a choice to be made about the foundations of the economic model: “We cannot move to a radical enterprise economy without moving away from a welfare state. 

“Such a direction of policy, once understood by the public, would never command support.”

Major's view of Brexit seems to be a slow-motion car crash, but one where zealous free marketeers like Daniel Hannan are screaming “faster, faster”, on speaker phone. At the end of the day, it is the mainstream Tory party that will bear the brunt of the collision. 

Asked at the end of his speech whether he, like Margaret Thatcher during his premiership, was being a backseat driver, he cracked a smile. 

“I would have been very happy for Margaret to make one speech every eight months,” he said. As for today? No doubt Theresa May will be pleased to hear he is planning another speech on Scotland soon. 

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.