December 20, 2011

RUSSIA/INDIA: Moscow Targets Hindu's Holy Text. A Court May Ban The Bhagavad Gita Text In Russia!

Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu. Krishna is identified as a historical individual who participated in the events of the Mahabharata.

Krishna is often described as an infant or young boy playing a flute as in the Bhagavata Purana, or as a youthful prince giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita. The stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being. The principal scriptures discussing Krishna's story are the Mahabharata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana. [source: wikipedia]


The Australian
written by Robin Pagnamenta
Wednesday December 21, 2011

A RUSSIAN effort to ban the Bhagavad Gita - revered as the word of God by nearly one billion Hindus - and brand it as extremist literature has provoked a diplomatic spat between Delhi and Moscow.

The External Affairs Minister in India, S.M.Krishna, yesterday condemned the attack on the book as "patently absurd, ignorant and misdirected".

Ajai Malhotra, India's Ambassador to Russia, said that the matter had been raised with Moscow "at senior official level".

The controversy was prompted by a court case in the Siberian city of Tomsk, in which prosecutors are seeking a ban on a Russian translation of the Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse poem which forms part of the Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata.

They want to place it on a list of books that includes Mein Kampf.

They claim that the translation, by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is offensive to Russian culture and traditions.

Professors of philosophy say the book expresses religious hatred and prejudice on the basis of gender, race, nationality and language.

A verdict on the case is due on December 28. Mr Malhotra rejected the claims and called for Russia's government to have the case dropped.

"The translation by Swami Prabhupada is one of the best that you can find, because he gives you the words, the meanings and the options to understand it as it was written," he said.

The spat comes three days after the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, visited President Medvedev for talks designed to forge closer trade ties between the countries.

The Bhagavad Gita, composed as a battlefield address by Lord Krishna, was written between the 5th and 2nd centuries BC.

The Times of India
written by Staff
Wednesday December 21, 2011

CHENNAI: Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin on Tuesday tried soothing ruffled feathers on a Siberian court considering banning the Bhagwad Gita, emphasising his country's secular credentials.

"Russia is a secular and democratic country where all religions enjoy equal respect. It is even more applicable to the holy scriptures of various faiths, whether it is the Bible, the Holy Quran, Torah, Avesta and, of course, Bhagwad Gita, the great source of wisdom for the people of India and the world," said Kadakin.

He added, "I consider it categorically inadmissible when any holy scripture is taken to the courts. For all believers these texts are sacred."

On Monday, the Siberian court in Tomsk city adjourned the hearing for December 28 following an appeal by Hindus in Russia. The court is hearing a petition from a group connected to the Christian Orthodox Church, seeking to declare the Gita an "extremist text."

In a statement on Tuesday, Kadakin said, "It is not normal either when religious books are sent for examination to ignorant people. Their academic scrutiny should be done at scientists' fora, congresses, and seminars, but not in courts. It is strange that such events are unfolding in the beautiful university city in Siberia, as Tomsk is famous for its secularism and religious tolerance. Well, it seems that even the lovely city of Tomsk has its own neighbourhood madmen. It is sad indeed."

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