Monthly Archives: December 2015

Badagas Of the Blue Mountains !

Happy New Year !

Osa Barashana Ollithe Aagali !!

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Happy Hethe Habba

Our Goddess Hethe stands for everything pure – pure as perfect white.

On this auspicious occasion of Hethe habba, wishing all the visitors and viewers a very happy Hethe Habba !

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Ondhu, ombaththu aagali!
Bandha hechchali, badhukku Hechchali!
Kattidhadhu karayali, biththidhadhu baeyali!
Bhuddhi bevarava Kodali!
Uri Hogi, Siri barali!
Siri sippathi aagali!
Pava pariya nodi,
Olagadha hesaru eththi,  Badhukki baa!

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May good multiply nine fold!
May wealth and affluence grow!
May milk and crop be plentiful!
May intelligence and wisdom be given!
May jealous (and) anger give way to happiness!
May you care for dear and near!
May you prosper in life with name and fame!

[Courtesy – Dharmalingam Venugopal]

Hethe Habba 2015

Hethe Habba has started in its full glory and grandeur.

The following pictures [taken on 25-12-2015] are of the traditional send of to the men [only male members are permitted] ‘going to Hethe Manay’ from Hubbathalai.

Some of these men carry a ‘holy’ wooden staff known as ‘DHADI’. These Dhadis are passed on from generation to generation in that particular family and are limited to every village. No new ‘Dhadi’ is permitted to be carried to Hethe Mane [temple].

As always, it takes place on the Friday – Bellie- in Badaga, preceding the main festival that always falls on a Monday, Sovara in Badaga.

On this day, every house in the hatti, pays a religious donation- kaanikke, of five HANA [in the olden days, a hana means a four anna -25paise coin and hence a total of one rupee and four annas or Rs.1.25]; now a days it can be five one/five rupee coins] and that is given at the SUTHTHU KALLU [sacred stone at the base of an olive tree – bikka mora], see the photos below. Usually, along with this mandatory FIVE HANA, people donate more money.

This donation is carried by the men/boys who go to Beraganni and Pedduva and paid in a ceremonial function known as ‘HANA KATTODHU -paying the money’. The amount is proportionately shared between the two Hethe Temples and spent on the puja and annadhana [free food] to the lakhs of devotees who throng these temples during the week long celebrations of Hethe Habba.

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Hethe Habba starts today (21-12-2015)

Multi Cultural Divinity of The Nilgiris

Hette, the weeklong annual worship of the ancestress of the Badagas of Nilgiris, which begins today, coincides this year with several auspicious days – the Vaikunta Ekadesi, Milad-un-Nabi and Christmas- underlining the multi-cultural divinity of the Nilgiri mountains.

Abbe Dubois, the French pundit of Hinduism wrote in 1848 , ‘There is one of these holy mountains in the district of Coimbatore. It is called Nilagiri-malai…the Hindus have made it a punyasthala or place of virtue…as it is very difficult to reach the top of this mountain, a view of the summit alone is considered sufficient to remove the burden of sin from the conscience of any person who looks at it, provided that he looks at it with that intention’.

According to an account, the famous Kalighat temple of West Bengal had its origin in the Nilgiris. A devote named Brahmananda Giri who was alone meditating in the Nilgiri hills decided to commit suicide as Kali would not appear to him. Goddess Kali not only appeared to him but also took him along with another devote to the present Kalikshetra.

It was in Kotagiri that the sacred Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, were first rendered into English by Rev. R.T.H. Griffith between 1880 and 1899.

Dargahs of famous Islamic saints who lived in the Nilgiris are still worshiped in places like Pandalur and Ooty.

Guru Nanak is believed to have visited Nilgiris on his second ‘Udesi’ around 1507 on his return from Sri Lanka. He is said to have passed through Cochin, Palghat and Srirangapatnam.

Shri. Aurobindu Ghose visited Ooty in 1895 at the invitation of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwar of Baroda.

Sree Narayana Guru visited the Nilgiris in 1926 and suggested the location for the present Gurukula at Ooty.

The Ramakrishna Mutt in Ooty is believed to have a special vibration among all Mutts in the country. Young J.J. Godwin, the stenographer of Swami Vivekananda, lies buried in St. Thomas’ Church at Ooty.

Rabindranath Tagore visited Nilgiris in 1919 as part of his tour of south India and stayed in Ooty about ten days
Since the British days, the Nilgiris has been an important centre for missionaries from several countries. Rev. C.F. Andrews, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi stayed in Kotagiri for several months in 1942.

[ Mahatma Gandhiji had visited the Nilgiris in 1934 and stayed at Mount Pleasant, Coonoor, as part of his South India tour. He himself has written about this in detail – Wg Cdr JP]

The Nilgiris has also been the home of Theosophists from their beginning from Madam Blavatsky to Dr. Anni Beasant.

Dharmalingam Venugopal

Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri

 

International Mountain Day 2015

Dharmalingam Venugopal

[Nilgiri Documentation Centre,Kotagiri, The Nilgiris ; 9444365360]

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International Mountain Day 2015

December 11 is International Mountain Day.

This year the theme is promoting mountain products

Globalization offers opportunities for mountain producers to market their high quality mountain products, such as coffee, tea, tourism and handicrafts at the national, regional and international levels. Though mountain products cannot compete with the prices and volumes of lowland production, they  can concentrate on high value, high quality products to boost local economies.

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Photo by – JP

Very few mountains in the world compare with the Nilgiris in the range of products and services provided by these mountains.

The Nilgiri mountains of Tamil Nadu is unique in several ways.  Scientists classify the Nilgiris as a ‘Living Fossil’. Ecologists say the biodiversity of the Nilgiris is ‘found nowhere else in the world’. Anthropologists describe the Nilgiris as an ‘aboriginal enclave’. Geographers have listed the Nilgiris among the 400 natural wonders of the world.

There are 348 mountains in the Nilgiris identified and named by the Badags since time immemorial. Of these, 256 are above 2000metres; 90 between 1000 and 2000 metres and 2 are below 1000 metres. 229 mountains are in Ooty taluk; 71 are in Kotagiri taluk, 38 are in Coonoor taluk and 10 are in Gudalur taluk.

Doddabetta (Big mountain) is the highest at 2637 meters followed by Kolari betta (2625 meters) and Kudikkadu betta (2590 meters). The Mukurti peak (2554 meters) and the Nilgiri peak (2474 meters) are popular mountains.

Three major rivers (Bhavani, Kundah and Moyar) originate in the Nilgiris.

Nilgiris is the home of nearly 300000 indigenous people with unique cultural heritage.

The economic benefits of Nilgiris is, again, outstanding.

–         2.5 million tourists visit the Nilgiris annually round the year.

–         Nilgiri produces 700 MW of hydel power

–         Nilgiri waters irrigate 2,47,247 acres of land in three districts below

–         Several towns below use Nilgiri waters for drinking

–         Nilgiri forests stock 1.5 billion tons of carbon

–         All most all available land is cultivated without irrigation

–         Nilgiri produces 590000 tonnes of tea which have been described as, ‘finest on earth’ by American Tea Association.

–         Nilgiri has been producing ‘English’ vegetables for two hundred years  with the current production of  69000 tonnes of carrots,  44000 tonnes of Cabbage and  36000 tonnes of potatoes.

 

 

 

Some facts about Bagwad Gita

Pic – http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/

Some facts about Bagwad Gita

Today is Bhagavad Gita Jayanti. Which means today is the day when Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Shri Krishna to his very first disciple in the form of human i.e. Arjun. Tomorrow Bhagavad Gita will complete 5151 years.

What is the Bhagavad-Gita?

The Bhagavad-Gita is the eternal message of spiritual wisdom from ancient India. The word Gita means song and the word Bhagavad means God, often the Bhagavad-Gita is called the Song of God.

Why is the Bhagavad-Gita called a song if it is spoken?

Because its rhyming meter is so beautifully harmonic and melodious when spoken perfectly.

What is the name of this rhyming meter?

It is called Anustup and contains 32 syllables in each verse.

Who originally spoke the Bhagavad-Gita?

Lord Krishna originally spoke the Bhagavad-Gita.

Where was the Bhagavad-Gita originally spoken?

In India at the holy land of Kuruksetra.

Why is the land of Kuruksetra so holy?

Because of benedictions given to King Kuru by Brahma that anyone dying in Kuruksetra while performing penance or while fighting in battle will be promoted directly to the heavenly planets.

Where is the Bhagavad-Gita to be found?

In the monumental, historical epic Mahabharata written by Vedavyasa.

What is the historical epic Mahabharta?

The Mahabharata is the most voluminous book the world has ever known. The Mahabharata covers the history of the earth from the time of creation in relation to India. Composed in 100,000 rhyming quatrain couplets the Mahabharata is seven times the size of the Illiad written by Homer.

Who is Vedavyasa?

Vedavyasa is the divine saint and incarnation who authored the Srimad Bhagavatam, Vedanta Sutra, the 108 Puranas, composed and divided the Vedas into the Rik, Yajur, Artharva and Sama Vedas, and wrote the great historical treatise Mahabharata known as the fifth Veda. His full name is Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa and he was the son of sage Parasara and mother Satyavati.

Why is the Mahabharata known as the fifth Veda?

Because it is revealed in the Vedic scripture Bhavisya Purana III.VII.II that the fifth Veda written by Vedavyasa is called the Mahabharata.

What are the special characteristics of the Mahabharata?

The Mahabharata has no restrictions of qualification as to who can hear it or read it. Everyone regardless of caste or social position may hear or read it at any time. Vedavyasa wrote it with the view not to exclude all the people in the worlds who are outside of the Vedic culture. He himself has explained that the Mahabharata contains the essence of all the purports of the Vedas. This we see is true and it is also written in a very intriguing and dramatically narrative form.

What about the Aryan invasion theory being the source of the Bhagavad-Gita?

The Aryan invasion theory has been proven in the 1990s not to have a shred of truth in it. Indologists the world over have realized that the Aryans are the Hindus themselves.

What is the size of the Bhagavad-Gita?

The Bhagavad-Gita is composed of 700 Sanskrit verses contained within 18 chapters, divided into three sections each consisting of six chapters. They are Karma Yoga the yoga of actions. Bhakti Yoga the yoga of devotion and Jnana Yoga the yoga of knowledge.

When was the Bhagavad-Gita spoken?

The Mahabharata confirms that Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-Gita to Arjuna at the Battle of Kuruksetra in 3137 B.C.. According to specific astrological references in the Vedic scriptures, the year 3102 B.C. is the beginning of kali yuga which began 35 years after the battle 5000 years ago. If calculated accurately it goes to 5151years from today.

What is the opinion of western scholars from ancient times?

According to the writings of both the Greek and the Romans such as Pliny, Arrian and Solinus as well as Megastathanes who wrote a history of ancient India and who was present as an eyewitness when Alexander the Great arrived in India in 326 B.C. was that before him were 154 kings who ruled back to 6777 B.C. This also follows the Vedic understanding.

When was the Bhagavad-Gita first translated into English?

The first English edition of the Bhagavad-Gita was in 1785 by Charles Wilkins in London, England. This was only 174 years after the translation of the King James Bible in 1611.

Was the Bhagavad-Gita also translated into other languages?

Yes. The Bhagavad-Gita was translated into Latin in 1823 by Schlegel. It was translated into German in 1826 by Von Humbolt. It was translated into French in 1846 by Lassens and it was translated into Greek in 1848 by Galanos to mention but a few.

What was the original language of the Bhagavad-Gita?

The original language of the Bhagavad-Gita was classical Sanskrit from India.

Why is Srimad often written before the Bhagavad-Gita?

The word Srimad is a title of great respect. This is given because the Bhagavad-Gita reveals the essence of all spiritual knowledge.

Is history aware of the greatness of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita?

Historically many very extraordinary people such as Albert Einsten, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Herman Hesse, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aldous Huxley, Rudolph Steiner and Nikola Tesla to name but a few have read Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and were inspired by its timeless wisdom.

What can be learned by the study of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita?

Accurate, fundamental knowledge about God, the ultimate truth, creation, birth and death, the results of actions, the eternal soul, liberation and the purpose as well as the goal of human existence.

[recd as a fwd email]

You can listen to Bhagad Gita in Anuradhs Paudwal’s beautiful voice here

Ari Gowda

 

 

Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder

4-12-1893 to 28-6-1971

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Ari Gowda

Hubbathalai Bellie Gowda ARI GOWDA was born on this day in 1893 and was the first Badaga graduate.

Though his father Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowda was a great Badaga Nakku Betta Leader, who brought in many reforms to not only Badaga Communiity but tried to bring in all the other tribal groups like Toda, Kotha and Kurumas together. Being credited with the laying of Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Mettupalam to Ooty, he was also instrumental in starting a free school and hostel for Badaga boys at Hubbathalai, as well as a strong Scouts Movement during the British time.

Ari Gowda, carried on the legacy of his father after his death in 1935 and brought in far reaching social reforms in the Nilgiri Hills. Being a MLC and MLA even during the British rule,he succeeded in making the Nilgiris free of the curse of drinking that ruined many families, with prohibition in 1943.

Ari Gowda was not only well known in the Nilgiris and  then Madras state, he was declared as one of the 100 influential persons of Asia. The road in front of Mambalam Railway station in Chennai is named after him.

Though, he passed away in 1971, the undisputed fact is that there is no Badaga Leader like him since. Not yet.

On his birth anniversary, we bow our heads in repect and reverence!

Our Nilgiris’ Emergency Help to Our Chennai

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Namma Chennaikku Namma Nilgirisin Avasara Udhavi

 Our Nilgiris’ Emergency Help to Our Chennai

Climate Change is realty. Chennai ( formerly Madras, the HQ of Madras Presidency) is in distress. We have all had connection with Chennai one way or the other. It is now time to rise up to Chennai in its hour of dire need. Working together is far better than working piecemeal.

The Nilgiris is the only district in the state to share the honour with Chennai of being a capital of the state. For nearly 70 years, from 1870 to 1933, the Nilgiris was the summer capital of Madras state.

The Save Nilgiris Campaign was started in the 1980s to save the Nilgiris. For thirty years it was Chennai and its citizens who supported the Save Nilgiris Campaign. It is now the time to repay the debt of gratitude.

The Nilgiri Documentation Centre has taken an initiative to coordinate all the support from the Nilgiris to the unfortunate brothers and sisters of Chennai.

A help in time is a help indeed. Time is essential. Chennai is starving and shivering. It is our mountain tradition to take to them food and warmth.

All donations in kind and cash are welcome. But it must be useful.

We will collect them at your door step.

Nilgiri can support in several ways- give cash, give teas, give varkies and other confectioneries, give vegetables, give sweets and chocolates, give used and new clothes and finally give love and affection.

For coordination contact 9444365360, 9942545085, 9442791531, 9789927510.
dharmalingamvenu@gmail.com

Get into action ! Now !!! Spread the message across the world.