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Shlokas from Vaishnava Literature-1

The Bhagavata Purana upholds the supremacy of the path of
 Bhakti over the paths like Jnana, Karma or Yoga. It completely
 rejects the materialistic approach to life which is based on 
 (false) identification of the soul with the body. There is no
 particular school of Vedanta, eg. Advaita, Vishishtadvaita or 
  Dvaita, solely endorsed by the Bhagavatam, and hence it may be
  appreciated by anybody who studies it with an unbiased attitude.
  Krishna Bhakti is the central doctrine of this great scripture, and
  this is put forth as being especially efficacious in this Kali Yuga.
  Whether one is interested in realizing the impersonal Brahman, or if
  one endeavors to enter the effulgence of Brahman by dint of Yoga, or
   if one wishes to attain Moksha or even if one is interested in 
  materialistic gains in this world, he or she must worship Krishna who 
   fulfills all desires of His devotees.   

  The author of this Purana is Vyasa, who is considered to be
  one of the Avatars of Vishnu. After compiling the Vedas and writing
  the epic Mahabharata, Bhagavan Vyasa found that he was still not 
  satisfied with himself. Then Narada appeared before him and was able to
  understand the unhappiness of Vyasa. The vast Vedic literature is prone 
  to misinterpretation by people in general, and although it is a great 
  epic, the Mahabharata does not appear to advocate devotion to Hari as 
  its central theme. Any literature that does not specifically describe the
  glories of Lord Acyuta is worthless. So Narada asked Vyasa to describe the 
  activities and attributes of Krishna and emphasize Bhakti Yoga as the means
  towards liberation from the bonds of Samsriti. Vyasa then compiled this      
  Purana which is essentially an interpretation and explanation 
   of the Vedanta Sutras. Vyasa taught this scripture to his son,
   Shuka Muni who already had realized Brahman. Shuka then narrated
   the Bhagavatam to King Parikshit on the banks of Ganga. 

   Some of the other works highly revered by Vaishnavas are the Gita,  
   VishNu Purana, Padma Purana, Narada Purana, Hari Vamsha, the      
   Mahabharata, and the original Ramayana.  

   Apannnah samsritim ghorAm yannAma vivasho griNan
   tatah sadyo vimucyeta yadbibheti svayam bhayam ||

  Even though a person is helplessly  revolving in 
  the endless cycle of birth and death,  he will be
  immediately released by calling out the name of 
  Krishna, which Fear itself fears. 
                  ( Bhagavatam, Skandha 1, Chap. 1, Verse 14)

  nArAyaNam namaskritya naram caiva narottamam 
  devIm sarasvatIm vyAsam tato jayamudIrayet ||
  I offer obeisances to Narayana, NaraNarayana
  Rishi, Goddess Sarasvati and Vyasa and then 
  announce victory (over the endless cycle of 
  birth and death, by studying the Bhagavatam)
                  (Bhagavatam Skandha 1, Chap. 2, Vr. 4)

  jitam te punDarIkAkSha namaste vishvabhAvana
  namaste astu hriShIkesha mahApuruSha pUrvaja || 
                         (Vishnu Purana, Part 1 Ch. 1, 1)

  Victory be to You PundarIkAkSha, adoration be to You
   the Source of the Universe, who are HriShIkesha, the 
   Supreme Purusha and the One existing before the creation
   of the Universe. 

   praNamya vishNum vishvesham brahmAdIn praNipatya ca
   gurum praNamya vakShyami purANam vedasammitam    ||
                         (Vishnu Purana, Part 1 Ch. 1, 3)

   Saluting Vishnu, the Lord of the Universe, offering  respects to
   Brahma and the succeeding (narrators of this Purana) and having 
   also saluted the Guru, I will narrate this Purana, which is as holy 
   as the Vedas.   

   vishNoh sakAshAt sambhUtam jagat tatraiva samsthitam 
   sthitisamyamakartA asau jagato asya jagacca sah   ||   
                         (Vishnu Purana, Part 1 Ch. 1, 35)

   The world has been created from VishNu; it exists in Him;
    He is the preserver and destroyer of the world; and the world 
    is VishNu.    

    vAsudeve bhagavati bhaktiyogah prayojitah
    janayatyAshu vairAgyam jnAnam ca yadahaitukam  ||
                  (Bhagavatam Skandha 1, Chap. 2, Vr. 7)

    By resorting to bhakti in BhagavAn VAsudeva, one can 
    quickly gain spiritual knowledge, which is without any 
    worldly cause, and detachment (from worldly thoughts).

    vede RAmAyaNe caiva purANe bhArate tatha |
    AdAvante ca madhye ca harih sarvatra gIyate ||
                   (Hari Vamsha)

    In the Vedas, Raamayana, Puranas, Mahabharata, Hari
    is eulogized in the beginning, the end, the middle and 
    verily everywhere.    


From: sens@acf2.NYU.EDU (Sunando Sen)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.indian
Subject: Economist article on Kashmir [From SCI]
Date: 22 Jun 1994 18:52:57 -0400
Status: OR

Since this article was mentioned several times here, thought I would
post it.  This article is taken from the Economist, June 4th--10th,
1994, page 40--41.

Sunando Sen

Kashmir: Something Stirs


In 1989, when the current insurgency in the Indian state of Jammu &
Kashmir began, the hordes of tourists that used to arrive by air quickly
disappeared.  Soon, the only visitors to the valley were soldiers and
the odd politician or journalist who had come to see whether Kashmiris
wished to stay Indian, join their Muslim brethren in Pakistan, or become
independent.  The main sounds of life in the state capital, Srinagar,
were the wail of curfew sirens and the clank of army convoys.  Only one
small hotel remained open, "To Let" signs were hung on the houseboats
and the Mughal gardens were locked.

This summer something has changed.  Tourists are trickling back,
beginning to occupy some of the houseboats.  Shops are staying open
later.  Although cinemas are still banned, Kashmiris no longer pay
attention to decrees issued by the militants that women must be veiled,
video shops shut and Pakistani television be watched instead of Indian.
And after years of avoiding the Mughal gardens---in deference to the
militants, who denounced them as unnecessary pleasure---people came out
in droves last month to break open the locks and celebrate the festival
of Id among the flowering terraces overlooking the lake.

Sensing a change, the Indian government set free Kashmir's best-known
local hero, Yasin Malik, a militant charged with murder and one of the
pillars of Kashmir's most popular political party, the Jammu & Kashmir
Liberation Front (JKLF).  Mr Malik, who was cheered through packed
streets on his return to Srinagar, quickly made it clear that his views
had changed in jail.  He had been reading Gandhi, he said, and had come
to believe in the creed of non-violence rather than armed struggle.  He
favoured a political dialogue, and maintained that he would personally
ensure the return of 150,000 refugees, Kashmir's tiny Hindu minority,
who had been driven from the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley to the
Hindu-dominated Jammu.

Other Kashmiri leaders suspect that Mr Malik's views have been
influenced by his jailers; but even so they fear that his new approach
is in tune with a change in sentiment among many Kashmiris.  So far, his
pacifism does not seem to have diminished his popularity.  The Hurryiat
Conference, an alliance of Kashmir's main political and professional
groups, including the JKLF, seems to be waiting to see how Mr Malik's
views go down with the locals.  So far, its spokesman, Abdul Ghani, has
taken issue only with Mr Malik's remarks about rehabilitating Kashmir's
Hindus, saying that their return would depend on a number of other

The impression that public opinion in Indian Kashmir has shifted against
Pakistan also heartens the Indian government.  Even though many more
Kashmiris seem to favour independence than union with Pakistan, the
Pakistani government has generally been regarded as a bulwark.  That
attitude began to change after Pakistan's last-minute decision in March
not to push for a resolution on Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Commission
in Geneva.  The disappointment intensified when Benazir Bhutto, the
Pakistani prime minister, said that Pakistan could not countenance an
independent Kashmir.

Civil servants and soldiers in Srinagar and Delhi like to compare
Kashmir to Punjab where, a couple of years ago, a decade of violent
secessionism started to give way to calm.  As in Punjab, they say, the
war of attrition in Kashmir is wearing down the terrorists, and the
local people are becoming fed up with the militancy.

The Indian government has recently shown growing confidence by letting
in some of the foreigners it had been keeping out: in the past six
months it had invited three batches of foreign ambassadors, including
one group from mainly Islamic countries, to see for themselves.  And
there is talk that, to encourage peace, it may release more militants
from jail and replace the governor, a retired general, with a less
soldier-like figure.

Yet the sense that peace is coming closer is barely reflected in the
death toll.  Last year about 25 people---soldiers, militants and
civilians---were dying every week; now the figure is more like 20.  The
area around Srinagar is calmer than it was, but fighting has shifted
into the wooded, hilly terrain to the south where the soldiers find it
more difficult to operate.  The security force want more troops, on top
of the 100,000--150,000 already in the state.


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