Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lumbini Park, Hyderabad

Photo 1: Lumbini Park with visitors in day time

Photo 2: Lumbini Park Laser Show auditorium, showing the history of Hyderabad

Photo 3: Lumbini Park entrance gate

The Lumbini Park is a public urban park of 7.5 acres (0.03 squire km), adjacent to Hussain Sagar Lake, located in the center of Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is in close proximity to other tourist attractions of Hyderabad such as the Birla Mandir and Necklace Road. The park attracts many thousands of Indian and international tourists, apart from local visitors throughout the year.

Constructed in 1994, at a cost of Indian Rupees 2.35 crores, the Lumbini Park is being maintained by the Buddha Purnima Project Authority that functions under the guidance of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The Lumbini Park is famous for its 2000-people-capacity laser show auditorium, boating facilities, beautiful gardens, musical fountains, along with other visually appealing features.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thiruvathirakali: group dance by women, Kerala

This video shows a group dance Thiruvathirakali performed by women in Kerala. It is mostly performed as a ritual dance during festivals. Read more about Thiruvathirakali...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fireworks by Association of Indians in America

Karaga dance during Deepavali

Balance -- Top to Bottom, originally uploaded by Baskhar.

Karagam folk dance (Karaga) is very popular in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh (Garagalu) and Karnataka (Karaga).

Karaga originated as a ritual dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of rain and the protector from diseases such as small pox and cholera, according to some legends.

Karaga dancers perform various acrobatic feats accompanied by a number of musical instruments like Thavil, Nadaswaram, Muni, Udukkai, Pambai, etc.

Thiruvalluvar statue, view from Vivekananda Rock Memorial

This is the giant Thiruvalluvar statue on a rock a little off from the seashore at Kanyakumari in the southern most part of subcontinental India. This is a view from the Vivekanandar Rock Memorial and temple built on another rock in the sea. The southern most tip of mainland India can be seen towards the right of the photo. Photo uploaded to by Baskhar on 8 Sep 2007.

Chennai night skyline - Diwali 2008

Diwali 2008 Chennai India, originally uploaded by junglejim67.

Hyderabad: Girls lighting Diwali lights

Diwali flower-seller in New Delhi

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Durga Puja in India and some other countries

Photo 1: (L-R) Lord Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Durga, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Kartikeya decorated for the 2009 Durga Puja celebrations in Cologne, Germany. Their cropped individual photos in the order of their appearance in the photo are below.

Photo 2: Lord Ganesha

Photo 3: Goddess Lakshmi

Photo 4: Goddess Durga

Photo 5: Goddess Saraswati

Photo 6: Lord Kartikeya (Lord Murugan)

Durga Puja, celebrated about a fortnight ago, brought in reports of celebrations in the rest of the world. So, in retrospect, here are some short notes, apart from the photos above.

Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. The date of the celebrations is set according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Durga Puja also includes the worship of Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswati and Kartikeya.

In India, Durga Puja is celebrated on a large scale mainly in the States of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura. It is also celebrated in other states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa and other parts of India where Goddess Durga is worshipped.

Outside India, Durga Puja is celebrated by the Indian diaspora residing in different parts of the world, and others interested in Indian traditions and culture. Some of celebrations of Durga Puja outside India are reported from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Singapore and Kuwait, among others. In the U.K., recently, the immersion of the Durga idol has been permitted in the Thames River for the Durga Puja festival held in London.

In Germany, Durga Puja is celebrated along with Bhog distribution and Anjali in several cities including Cologne (Köln), Berlin, Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main), Stuttgart, and Munich (München). Durga Puja in Cologne has become one of the most outstanding festivals compared to celebrations in other centers in Germany.

For the participants in the Cologne Durga Pooja celebrations, it is not only an occasion to worship Goddess Durga and other deities, but it also an event to nurture Indian culture, to refresh old memories, and an occasion to renew personal and family contacts. Various cultural events such as dance programs, music, etc. are also held during the celebrations. The Cologne Durga Puja also attracts a large number of Indians living in the neighboring countries such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

Nepal, with a predominantly majority Hindu population, and Bangladesh, with the second largest Hindu population in the world, celebrate Durga Puja on a grand scale.

In Singapore, the Bengali Association of Singapore (BAS) celebrates Durga Puja with Bhog distribution and Anjali along with cultural programs.

Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha

Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha is worshipped during Ganesh Festival in Lalbaug, Mumbai, India. Ganesha is widely worshiped across India as the remover of obstacles.

The market place at Peru Chawl, where the local fishermen and vendors used to sit in the open place for selling their wares, was shut down in 1932. The affected fishermen and vendors prayed to Lord Ganesha for a permanent place for their market. The landlord Rajabai Tayyabali donated a plot of land for construction of a market, which is the present Lalbaug Market. On fulfillment of their wish, the fishermen and the traders installed the Ganesha Idol on 12.09.1934. Since that day, Lord Ganesha, known as Lalbaugcha Raja, has become popular for fulfillment of the wishes of the devotees.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trinidad and Tobago: Diwali celebration and other facts

Photo: The Hindu Temple complex and the 26-meter-tall (85 ft) Hanuman Statue, the tallest Hanuman Murti outside India, in Central Trinidad

Photo: Divali Nagar (City of Lights), located in the town of Chaguanas, where the annual exposition of Hindu and Indo-Trinidadian culture, associated with the celebration of Diwali in Trinidad and Tobago, takes place

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the birthplace of Steelpans (steel drums or pans), Calypso (Afro-Caribbean music), Soca (soul calypso) limbo (a popular form of contra dancing), and well-known for its Carnival, is also one of the countries outside India that celebrate Diwali in a significant manner.

Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic country situated in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the South American country of Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles.

The country consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous smaller islands covering an area of 5,128 square kilometers (1,980 squire miles). Most of the country's population (96% of 1,229,953 people as of July 2010 est.) lives in Trinidad and 4% of the population reside in Tobago.

Two major ethnic groups in the country are the Indo-Trinidadians and the Afro-Trinidadians in Trinidad, and Indo-Tobagonians and Afro-Tobagonians in Tobago, accounting for about 80% of the population. According to the 2000 census, people of Indian origin (South Asians) make up 40% of the population, the rest of the population being African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, others 1.2%, and unspecified 0.8%.

Indo-Trinidadians (about 40%) constitute the country's largest ethnic group. They are primarily the descendants of indentured workers from India, brought here by the colonial rulers to work mainly in sugar plantations.

About half of the people of the Indian community follow their original native religions, and the rest have converted to Christianity, or have no religious affiliations (including atheists and agnostics). Through many cultural and religious groups, Trinidadians of Indian descent maintain many of their customs, traditions and rituals.

A major festival of Trinidad and Tobago that stands out is the Diwali Nagar exposition (also spelled Divali Nagar, meaning City of Lights), an annual exposition of Hindu culture broadly, and Indo-Trinidadian culture specifically, staged at the Divali Nagar Site, located in the town of Chaguanas.

Diwali Nagar exposition mainly features stage performances by east Indian cultural practitioners, a folk theatre featuring skits and plays, an exhibition on aspects of Hinduism, displays by various Hindu religious sects and social organizations, nightly worship of Goddess Lakshmi, lighting of Diwali diyas (lamps), performances by various schools related to Indian culture, and a food court serving Indian and non-Indian vegetarian delicacies.

The Diwali festival culminates with magnificent fireworks displays ushering in Diwali. Thousands of people participate in the celebrations in an atmosphere devoid of alcohol and in a true family environment.

The influence of Hinduism can be seen in the Hanuman Murti statue and Hindu Temple complex in Central Trinidad, which is famous for the tallest Hanuman Murti (26 meter/ 85 feet) outside India.

Followers of Hinduism constitute only 22.5% of the population, while the rest of the people are Roman Catholic (26%), Anglican (7.8%), Baptist (7.2%), Pentecostal (6.8%), Muslim (5.8%), Seventh Day Adventist (4%), other Christians (5.8%), others 10.8%, unspecified (1.4%), and people following no religions (1.9%) as per the 2000 census.

The main languages of Trinidad and Tobago are English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish and Chinese.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christchurch Diwali Festival 2010

Rajasthani female dancer performs at Christchurch Diwali Festival
Diwali 2010, originally uploaded by johnstewartnz.

Photo: A Rajasthani dancer performs at the Christchurch Diwali Festival

New Zealand, an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean situated about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, is noted for its multiculturalism. Though the majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent, the indigenous Maori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-Maori Polynesians, especially in urban areas.

New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons on many topics, including education, economic freedom, and most importantly lack of corruption and its cities also consistently rank among the world's most livable cities.

Though New Zealand is culturally and linguistically part of Polynesia, contemporary New Zealand culture is mainly derived from British roots, with significant influences from American, Australian and European cultures, and recently non-Maori Polynesian and Asian cultures.

New Zealand's fastest growing ethnic groups are Asians, who celebrate festivals like the Auckland Lantern Festival, Indian festivals such as Diwali, and festivals of other Asian traditions. Large festivals, in celebration of Diwali and Chinese New Year, are held in several of the larger centers. The world's largest Polynesian festival, Pasifika, is an annual event in Auckland.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sheila Dikshit: Corrupt Games officials can't get away

In an interview with NDTV, the Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit said that the corrupt Commonwealth Games officials cannot get away. She also said that the Capital now has the experience to conduct the Olympics, but she won't be there, when it happens.

Diwali and the myth of Narakasura

Photo: Krishna and Satyabhama fighting Narakasura's armies, painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA.

Deepavali (Divali or Diwali) literally means ‘row of lights’. According to one legend, the festival is celebrated on the occasion of Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama killing the Demon Narakasura. Another legend says the festival is celebrated on the occasion of return of Lord Rama and Sita to the Kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen years in exile.

In Hindu mythology, Narakasura (or Naraka) is the Asura (demon) son of Goddess Earth (Bhudevi or Bhumi) and Lord Vishnu in his Varaha (boar) Avatar (incarnation). Some other legends say that Narakasura is the son of the Asura, Hiranyaksha.

Narakasura established the kingdom of Pragjyotisha in Assam defeating the last of the Danava king Ghatakasura. As it was foretold that he would be killed by a later incarnation of Vishnu, Goddess Earth sought a boon from Vishnu that her son should have a long life, and he should be all powerful. Vishnu readily granted these boons.

In the history of Assam, Narakasura is cited as the progenitor of many dynasties that ruled Kamarupa in its golden times. He is also associated with the myth of the Shakta Goddess and the place of worship, Kamakhya.

Narakasura joined forces with another Asura, Banasura, and brought all the kingdoms on earth under his rule, conquered Swargaloka, and defeated Indra. Thus Narakasura became the overlord of the heavens and the earth. Also, he abducted and imprisoned 16,100 women in his palace. Besides, he stole the earrings of Aditi, the heavenly mother goddess, and usurped her territory.

Defeated and helpless, the Devas, led by Indra, complained against Narakasura to Lord Vishnu who promised that he will mitigate their plight when he will be incarnated as Lord Krishna.

During the Krishna Avatar of Vishnu, Aditi, who was a relative of Satyabhama (an Avatar of Bhudevi), approached Satyabhama for help. Upon this, because of Narakasuara's ill-treatment of women and Aditi, Satyabhama asked Lord Krishna’s permission to wage a war against Narakasura.

As promised to the Devas and Aditi, Krishna attacked the fortress of Narakasura, riding his mount Garuda with wife Satyabhama. The battle was fierce, as Narakasura unleashed his huge armies of Asuras on Krishna. But the Lord slew them all, and killed Mura, Narakasura's general, because of which Krishna is also called Murari (the enemy of Mura).

In desperation, Narakasura launched Sataghni (a thunderbolt) on Krishna, but it made no impact on Krishna. Finally, when Narakasura tried to kill the Lord with a trident, Krishna beheaded him with his Sudarshana Chakra.

Before dying, Narakasura requested a boon from Krishna that his death anniversary be celebrated by all people on earth. So, the day of his death is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi', the first day of Diwali.

In another version, Narakasura had gained a boon from Brahma that he would die only at the hands of his mother. So, Satyabhama, along with Krishna, fought Narakasura bravely, but she was no match to him. When Narakasura got a chance, he took aim at Krishna, hurting him lightly. Krishna fainted in a preordained, divine plan adopted to empower Satyabhama.

On seeing the fainted Krishna, Satyabhama was furious, fought fiercely, and killed the demon finally. Before dying, he requested a boon from his mother (Satyabhama) that everyone should celebrate his death with colorful lights. Thus this day is celebrated as the first day of Diwali, 'Naraka Chaturdashi'.

The victory on Narakasura resulted in freedom for all his prisoners, and honoring of Aditi and Lord Krishna rescued all the 16,100 imprisoned women, and married them to restore their former dignity.

Kandeels: paper lanterns lighted during Diwali

A Kandeel [Sanskrit: Akasha Deepa (lantern of the sky), Kannada: Goodu Deepa (Nested light) or Nakshatra Gudu (Star like nest)], is a colorful decorative lantern made of wooden frame and covered papers. These are generally hung in front of homes during Diwali (or Deepavali meaning Festival of Lights), sometimes for around a month from the first day of Diwali.

Kandeels are traditionally built in a crystal shape with tails at the bottom. But in modern times, people created Kandeels in different shapes of stars, globes, airplanes, or any shape that suits their imagination, but the central idea is to make the Festival of Lights more impressive and colorful.

Diwali (also spelt Divali) is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, and celebrated in India, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Fiji, Surinam, and other places where people of Indian origin and/ or Hindu/ Sikh/ Jain faiths live.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meera Shankar: First Indian Female Ambassador to USA in 60 years

Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar presenting her credentials to President Barack Obama

Photo: Meera Shankar presenting her credentials to President Barack Obama

India has now the first woman ambassador to Washington in 60 years; Meera Shankar, a career diplomat who was till recently posted in Germany.

Shankar, an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1973 batch, succeeded Ambassador Ronen Sen. Earlier she had served as Director in the Prime Minister’s Office (1985-1991), Ministry of Commerce (1991-1995), and in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Now some of the core areas of her work involve India’s commercial negotiations with US companies for the supply of nuclear equipment under the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal, according to Meera Shankar’s statement to the press.

India’s nuclear spend is estimated at $150 billion, on which the US companies hoped for a major pie, but the biggest dampener for them turned out to be India's tough nuclear liability legislation that makes suppliers also potentially liable for eighty years.

Describing the deal as an instrument of transformation in India-US relations, Shankar said the growing defence cooperation between the two countries also reflected deeper mutual trust. ‘Bilateral defence trade between the two countries had rapidly risen to over $ 4 billion in the last few years with another $4 billion in the pipeline through the FMS route’, she said in an address on Tuesday on "Indo-US Relations: An Evolving Partnership" at Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

Another core area on which Shankar needs to concentrate on India’s interests is highlighting Indo-US common concerns of about terrorism and the closer counter-terrorism cooperation, the focus now being on strengthening exchange of intelligence and information sharing best practices and capacity building.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Delhi 2010: Meet the Discus Divas of India

This video by NDTV shows the winning trio of Krishna Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil speeking to NDTV after winning the gold, silver and bronze medal respectively in the Women's Discus Event and giving India its first sweep of all the 3 medals in the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meditating Buddha at Bodh Gaya

Photo: The giant marble statue of Buddha in deep meditation at Bodh Gaya. For more info about the photo and the photographer, click on the photo.

CWG Delhi 2010: The Giant Helium Balloon

The huge helium filled aerostat balloon was a major attraction at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. As at seven in the evening, spell-binding fireworks lit up the sky heralding the opening ceremony, the aerostat lifted up from the centre of the stadium with huge puppets hanging from the balloon that remained suspended above the main stage at a height of 25 meters above the ground.

During the entire ceremony that lasted over three hours, revolving images of the action on the ground was projected on the helium balloon while the special light effects continuously change its colors. The lights were programmed to bounce off mirrors on the aerostat while sound effects of the magnitude of 500,000 watts was used to make it more spectacular and spell-binding, to the amazement of over 60,000 spectators.

The aerostat, manufactured by Per Lindstrandt and designed by Merk Fsher, is the biggest helium balloon in the world used for the first time for an event like this. The balloon is of the diameter 40 meters x 80 meters x 12 meters approximately and is reported to cost Indian Rs 70 crore.

CWG Delhi 2010: Let The Games Begin

With one of the grandest ever opening ceremonies on Sunday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India showcased to the world the spirit of the games, Indian culture and tradition, music, rhythms, dance, colors, diversity of its culture and lifestyles, and above all its technological advancements.

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, the representative of the Queen, inaugurated the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games by reading out the message from the Queen and declaring the games open in the presence of 60,000 spectators, participants and officials from 71 countries and territories, heads of states and other dignitaries from various countries. Prince Charles, said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I have much pleasure in declaring the nineteenth Commonwealth Games open."

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, present for on the occasion of opening ceremony of Delhi 2010 the along with his wife Gursharan Kaur, graced the occasion with a brief speech, "From all our countrymen, I convey my warm greetings to each member of this august gathering of Commonwealth sporting fraternity… I invite all our guests who have come from every corner of the world to enjoy our hospitality, to enjoy games, to enjoy the incredible sites and sounds of India. Millions of people are waiting eagerly to watch this great sporting spectacle unfold."

The games commenced when the President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil announced, "Let the Games begin," after her brief speech declaring the games open.

The opening ceremony of the 11-day sporting extravaganza, Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010, was marked by a grand cultural extravaganza, dance, music and fireworks; a magnificent opening ceremony showcasing a glimpse of India's great heritage and tradition through light, music and dance show.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CWG opening ceremony: tight security blanket over Delhi

The countdown to the Commonwealth Games is almost over, the Opening Ceremony is minutes away but it is a virtual shutdown in the Capital because of restrictions on the roads to protect the games venues from any security threats. Over 6000 specially trained men who were trained by the NSG are also deployed. View the video for a full report.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid verdict delivered

Video: The Allahabad High Court has delivered its verdict on Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid case

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has delivered its verdict that the land under the central dome of the demolished Babri Masjid is the Ram Janmasthan (place where Lord Ram was born).

The contentious Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid title issue is 60 years old. On title suit the three-judge special bench comprising of Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan, Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma ruled that the disputed 2.77 acres of land be divided into three parts; one-third for the party representing 'Ram Lala Virajman', one-third for Sunni Wakf Board and one-third to Nirmohi Akhara. But status quo is to be maintained for three months at the site in Ayodhya, the court has ruled.

Senior lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad who represented Mahant Raghuvar Das said, "The honorable judges have dismissed Muslims suit and they have partly allowed suit number five by Hindus. One judge has partly and one has fully allowed. But the majority has decided that the land will be divided in three parts. The court has said in three months till then it is status quo."

Sunni Wakf Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani said, "We don't accept the one-third formula. We accept the mosque as an intact body. But we believe there is no need for resentment as the matter will go to the Supreme Court." said. The Sunni Wakf Board said that it would challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court of India.

Hindu Mahasabha counsel P. L. Mishra said that that verdict had something for every one, adding, "Honourable Justice Agarwal has said that pooja has always been performed on the land where the Ram Lala exists. Lord Ram will continue to exist there. But, the Nirmohi Akhara has been using the premises as well. The Muslims have also been offering namaz there. Hence, the land will be divided into three and each of them will receive their part. The government-acquired land under Special Acquisition Act of 1993 will be divided and then, other infrastructure requirements for entry and exit of the three parts will be put up."

The area under the central dome of the three-domed structure where Lord Ram's idol exists belonged to Hindus, Justice Khan and Justice Agarwal said, while the third judge Justice Dharam Veer Sharma ruled that ‘the disputed site was the birth place of Lord Ram and that the disputed building constructed during the rule of Mughal emperor Babur was built against the tenets of Islam and did not have the character of the mosque’.

Deviating from the views of the other two judges, Justice Dharam Veer Sharma ruled that the disputed structure was constructed on the site of the old structure after demolition it. He added, "The Archaeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure". According to Justice Sharma, the idols were placed in the middle dome of the disputed structure in the intervening night of December 22 and 23, 1949.

Justice Sharma also said, "It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janambhoomi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship 'Charan', 'Sita Rasoi', other idols and other object of worship existed upon the property in suit." He also said that it is established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janamsthan, i.e., a birth place as deity, and devotees were visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage from times immemorial.

Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan said, "All the three sets of parties, i.e. Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara are declared joint title holders of the property/premises in dispute as described by letters A B C D E F in the map Plan-I prepared by Shri Shiv Shankar Lal, Pleader/Commissioner appointed by court in Suit No. 1 to the extent of 1/3rd share each for using and managing the same for worshipping. A preliminary decree to this effect is passed." However, Justice Khan observed that it is further declared that the portion below the central dome where at present the idol is kept in makeshift temple will be allotted to Hindus in final decree.

Further Justice Khan observed that the disputed structure was constructed as a mosque by or under the orders of Babar but it is not proved by direct evidence that the premises in dispute including constructed portion belonged to Babar or the person who built it.

Justice Khan also observed that no temple was demolished for constructing the mosque as it was built over the ruins of a temple which was lying there for a very long time.

In his findings on issues, Justice Agarwal said the parties of the Muslim side have failed to prove that the property in dispute was constructed by Babar in 1528 AD.

(With inputs from various news reports)

Monday, September 27, 2010

CWG Theme Song - Official Music Video by A R Rahman

AR Rahman: Commonwealth Games Theme Song

The official anthem for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi, India going to be held between October 3 October and 14 October 2010, was composed by A. R. Rahman, who is speaking on the song in the video above. The song was released on August 28 for digital download. The title of the song, Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto (aka Oh Yaro Ye India Bula Liya), is based on the motto of the games, ‘Come out and Play’.

The song was first performed by Rahman at the song release function held in Gurgaon, Haryana on August 28, 2010. A shorter tweaked version of the song was released on 23 September.

For the song A. R. Rahman quoted Indian Rupees (Rs) 15 crores as remuneration, and the deal was finalized at Rs 5.5 crore, according to reports that appeared in the news channels.

The lyric of the song, penned by Mehboob, is in Hindi with a mix of a few English words. The song release was preceded by a promotional event held at Delhi. Rahman unveiled the title of the song and sang the initial lines, ‘Oh Yaro Ye India Bula Liya’. As you can understand from the video above, when a reporter asked about the song’s comparison to the style of Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), the theme song for 2010 FIFA World Cup, Rahman said, it would surpass Waka Waka. At the official release of the song on August 28, 2010, Rahman performed the song live.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Minor earthquake in Delhi

It was about a minute ago that I felt that my chair and table were being rocked by someone! I had the doubt that there it could be a minor quake! I just pulled back my legs from the footrest of my computer table to see if I was rocking myself. I felt the rocking again. Then I watched the telephone wire that was hanging near my computer. It was also swinging and swaying. Well, it was a quake, but a minor one.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Corals and deep-sea flora and fauna

Corals and undersea flora and fauna including colourful ornamental fishes

Seen above are some of the wonderful photos of corals and undersea flora and fauna including colorful ornamental fishes, photographed by Dr. P. K. Roy, a professional physician-turned-gifted-photographer. Click on any of the photos above to visit Dr. Roy's collection of works on the photo-sharing site

Corals are saltwater organisms in the class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria, and they live in colonies of many identical individual polyps. This group of corals includes the reef-building corals typically found in oceans in the tropics. They secrete calcium carbonate (CaCo3) to form a hard skeleton, and it is these skeletons that we see most of the time, because, the dead corals form a permanent hard structure and new organisms stick to them further and grow.

Corals are major contributors to coral reefs such as the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and corals found off the coast of Washington State and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. A coral head, which looks like a single organism, is actually a colony of myriad genetically identical polyps, each measuring only a few millimeters in diameter. Over several generations the colony secretes a skeleton. Corals also breed sexually as well as asexually.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hindu temples outside India

Hindu Temple--Mauritius

This is a Hindu Temple, the site of a popular annual pilgrimage in Mauritius.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Hindu Temple - Neasden - London

Photo: Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Hindu Temple, Neasden, London

The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is the focal point of the temple complex, designed according to the Stapatya-Shastra, a Vedic text that develops Hindu architecture to metaphorically represent the different attributes of God. It is constructed mostly from Indian marble, Italian marble and Bulgarian limestone. The marbles and stones were shipped to India where they were sculpted by over 1,500 skilled craftsmen of temple architecture. They were then shipped back to London where the temple was assembled. The Mandir facility contains no iron or steel, a unique feature for a modern building construction in the U.K. Temple is specially noted for its profusely carved cantilevered dome, believed to be the only one in Britain that does not use steel or lead. The Mandir was inaugurated on 20 August 1995 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, the organization behind the temple.

The Mandir serves as a centre of worship. Directly beneath each of the seven pinnacles seen from the outside is a shrine. Each of these seven shrines houses murtis (idols) within golden altars. Each idol is treated like the incarnation of Godhead and therefore each deity is bathed, clothed, fed, and attended to each day by the sadhus (monks) who live in the temple complex.

Beneath the Mandir, there is the permanent exhibition named 'Understanding Hinduism'. Spread over 3000 square feet, the exhibition deals with the origin, beliefs, glory and contribution of Hindu seers and scholars in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, education and religion. The messages and information are presented through visual effects, paintings, tableaux, traditional art and craft, and 3-D dioramas.

Text extracted from The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir sources.

Hindu Temple at Penang

Photo above: Hindu Temple at Penang, Malaysia

Hindu Temple - Benalmadena

Hindu Temple, Benalmadena, Spain

Hindu Temple, Benalmádena, Costa del Sol, Málaga, Andalusia, South of Spain, Address: Avda. de Gandhi, s/n 29639 Benalmádena (Málaga), Spain.

The temple, located at the Parque de la Paloma (Park of the Dove), has a total area of 1,993 square meters and is single story with five domes. It is a new Hindu temple built probably just before 2006. The deities in the temple are: Laxmi Narayan in the center, Radha and Krishna, Sita, Rama, Laksman and Hanuman, Durga and some others. It is a temple built by ISKCON.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bright Red Rose Flower

Red Rose flower photo taken from Karimanoor, Thodupuzha

Red Rose flower, photo by Bimal K C taken from Karimanoor, Thodupuzha, Kerala, India.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miss Universe 2010: Ushoshi Sengupta fails to make to the top 15

Miss India Ushoshi Sengupta/

Photo: Miss India Ushoshi Sengupta at Miss Universe 2010 contest

Here are the top 15:

Puerto Rico (Mariana Vicente, 21 years, 173 cm/ 5'8" tall)

Ukraine (Anna Poslavska, 23 years, 180 cm/ 5'11" tall)

Mexico (Jimena Navarrete, 22 years, 174 cm/ 5'8" tall)

Belgium (Cilou Annys, 19 years, 178 cm/ 5'10" tall)

Ireland (Rozanna Purcell, 19 years, 175 cm/ 5'9" tall)

South Africa (Nicole Flint, 22 years, 173 cm/ 5'8" tall)

France (Malika Ménard, 23 years, 176 cm/ 5'9" tall)

Australia (Jesinta Campbell, 19 years, 178 cm/ 5'10" tall)

Jamaica (Yendi Phillipps, 24 years, 178 cm/ 5'10" tall)

Russia (Irina Antonenko, 18 years, 178 cm/ 5'10" tall)

Albania (Angela Martini, 24 years, 175 cm/ 5'9" tall)

Colombia (Natalia Navarro, 23 years, 179 cm/ 5'10" tall)

Guatemala (Jessica Scheel, 20 years, 170 cm/ 5'7" tall)

Czech Republic (Jitka Válková, 18 years, 169 cm/ 5'6" tall)

Philippines (Venus Raj, 22 years, 175 cm/ 5'9" tall)

The Top 10 are:







Puerto Rico

South Africa



Top 5 are:

1. Mexico

2. Australia

3. Jamaica

4. Ukraine

5. Philippines

Special awards

Miss Congeniality: Australia - Jesinta Campbell

Miss Photogenic: Thailand - Fonthip Watcharatrakul

Best National Costume: Thailand - Fonthip Watcharatrakul

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Victory Tower at Chittorgarh Fort

Victory Tower or Vijay Stambha at Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan

The Tower of Victory (aka Victory Tower or Vijay Stambha) is an imposing structure located in Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan, India, constructed by King Rana Kumbha, a Rajput belonging to the Sisodia clan, who ruled Mewar in western India between AD 1433 and 1468. Rana Kumbha constructed the Victory Tower between 1442 AD and 1449 AD to commemorate Mewar’s victory over the allied armies of Malwa and Gujarat.

There are about 157 steps leading to the terrace from where one can have a view of Chittorgarh Town and the Chittorgarh Fort. Vijay Stambha, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is 37.19 meters high with 9 stories, built of red sand stone and white marble, is enriched with numerous sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Suchindram Temple, Kanyakumari

Suchindram Temple, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India

Suchindram, an important pilgrim centre and the site of the famous Thanumalayan Temple, is situated in Kanniyakumari District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is 11 km from Kanyakumari City, 7 km from Nagarcoil town, 70 km from Tirunelveli and about 85 km from Trivandrum City (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala.

An annual 10-day chariot festival is celebrated in Suchindram Temple to commemorate the three deities Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, whose images in their own chariots are taken in procession. The temple is believed to have been constructed between the 17th and 18th centuries, no authentic records show the precise date/period of construction.

Fishing village at Kanya Kumari

A small fishing village at Kanya Kumari, India, with fishermen's catamarans lined up on the beach

This image titled 'A little fishing village at Kanyakumari by Chenresig on Flickr' shows that part of the beach probably not much visited by tourists. Also known as Cape Comerin, it is the southern most tip of peninsular contiguous India, a hot favourite with tourists. Kanyakumari offers the only opportunity in the world to view the sun rising from one sea (The Bay of Bengal) and setting in another sea (The Arabian Sea), and the mighty Indian Ocean in the south of the two seas.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Miss Universe 2010: Miss India Ushoshi Sengupta in swimsuit

Miss Universe 2010: Miss India Ushoshi Sengupta in swimsuit

Ushoshi Sengupta, Miss India 2010, performs in her swimsuit by Dar Be Dar Swimwear during the Presentation Show for the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant at Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, August 19, 2010. The Miss Universe 2010 competition will air live on the NBC Television Network at 9 PM ET, August 23, 2010. ho/Miss Universe Organization LP, LLLP

Munnar Hill Station, Kerala

Munnar Hill Station photo

The note added by the author of this beautiful photo says: "Taken from Munnar, Kerala: One of the most popular hill stations in India, Munnar (Kerala) is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 M above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience. Munnar is essentially a tea town."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yash Pal Ghai

Yash Pal Ghai, scholar in constitutional lawYash Pal Ghai born in Nairobi, Kenya (1938) is a scholar in constitutional law. As of 2007 he is the head of the Constitution Advisory Support Unit of the United Nations Development Program in Nepal and a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cambodia on human rights. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2005. In September 2008, he resigned his post in Cambodia, following bitter arguments with the Government of Cambodia.

He was the Sir YK Pao Professor of Public Law at the University of Hong Kong starting in 1989. He has been an Honorary Professor there since his retirement in 1995. Prior to that, Ghai taught and did research in law at the University of Warwick, Uppsala University in Sweden, the International Legal Center in New York, and Yale Law School. He has also taught courses at the University Of Wisconsin Law School, as part of an exchange program. He was the Chairman of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (which attempted to write a modern constitution for Kenya) from 2000 to 2004.

Ghai has also advised and assisted NGOs in human rights law related work. He drafted the Asian Human Rights Charter - A People's Charter, a project of the Asian Human Rights Commission.

His grandparents came from North India, being parts of the waves of migration sponsored by the British Empire. His earliest memories of Kenya are about racial discrimination and hatred. His father sent Ghai to Oxford to study.

Ghai has written several books on law in Africa, the Pacific islands, and elsewhere.

Source/ for updates go to: Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vel Kavady during Thaipusam festval


94-year-old woman ascends Batu Caves temple steps

A 94-year-old woman ascends the final stairs in the 272-step ascent in the Batu Caves
Hindu Ascent, originally uploaded by Stuck in Customs.

The note added by the author says 'A 94-year-old woman ascends the final stairs in the 272-step ascent in the Batu Caves, a pilgrimage site in Malaysia... Her hair is 3 meters long (about 9 feet). She has never cut it her entire life. It is so long, she has to fold it back and forth a few times and wrap it to keep it from dragging behind.'

Batu Caves Lord Murugan Temple - video

Lord Muruga devotee at Batu Caves

A Lord Muruga devotee at Batu caves shows his bare back where several lemons are hooked on to his skin
P1010171, originally uploaded by tajai.

The photo shows a Lord Muruga devotee at Batu caves, Malaysia, where Thaipusam was celebrated in the temple of Lord Muruga. Watch his bare back where several fruits/vegetables, probably lemons are hung from hooks dug into his body. The Lord Muruga idol here is the tallest Muruga idol in the world.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Neptune with a trident


Photo: Neptune (God of the Seas, patron god of Atlantis and fishermen) located at Habana in Cuba

Neptune, the god of water and the sea, in Roman mythology, is a brother of Jupiter and Pluto. Often he is described as God of the seas, storms and earthquakes, symbols of destruction, and he is shown holding a trident.

He is described as analogous with but not identical to God Poseidon of Greek mythology, often imaged according to Hellenistic canons in the Roman mosaics of north Africa (The Roman empire at its golden times covered the whole of North African Mediterranean coastal countries and almost the entire Middle East, including Turkey, Egypt and Israel). Often he was paired with Salacia, the Goddess of the salt water.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chili pepper: Bhut Jolokia?

Photo of a heap of red hot chillies, possibly the Bhut Jolokia or Naga Pepper
pep squad, originally uploaded by lilymox.

From the look of these chili peppers, especially the chocolate-colored ones, it seems these are the hottest chilies in the world, the Bhut Jolokia, often called Naga Jolokia (possibly erroneously) or the ghost chili by the Western media.

The chili pepper (aka Nahuatl chilli, chillie, chili, chile, etc.), a fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, although botanically are berries, peppers are considered vegetables or spices.

In February 2007, Guinness World Records published that the Bhut Jolokia was the hottest chili pepper ever submitted for judgment.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Snake Charmers in Morocco

Snake charming, a typical performance in which snakes are made to sway or dance, is commonly attributed to India, but it has practiced for several centuries in Asian countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as North African countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Ancient Egypt was home to a kind of snake charming, but the current practice is believed to have originated in India and then spread throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The popular species of snakes are the common snakes found locally, though various varieties of cobras are preferred by snake charmers and their audiences.

In India, the Indian cobra is commonly seen with snake charmers, though some charmers may also use Russell's vipers, Indian and Burmese pythons and some other local species of snakes. In African countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, Egyptian cobras, puff adders, carpet vipers and horned desert vipers are commonly featured in snake charming performances.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kailash Kora: Mount Kailash shining in the morning sun

Mount Kailash (also known as Kailasa Parvata, Kangri Rinpoche, Tise mountain, Gangs Rinpoche, etc.) is a peak in the Gangdise Mountains, a part of the Himalayas in Tibet. The peak is located near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet.

Some of the longest rivers in Asia such as Indus River, Sutlej River (a tributary of Indus River), Brahmaputra River, and Karnali River (a tributary of Ganges River) all originate in Mount Kailash-Lake Manasarovar region.

Mount Kailash is considered a sacred place for pilgrimage by religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and the Bon faith. Every year, thousands pilgrims travel to Kailash, a pilgrimage tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of many religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 miles) long.

Mount Kailash is located in a particularly remote and inhospitable area of the Tibetan Himalayas. A few modern amenities such as benches, resting places and refreshment kiosks, restaurants etc. exist there for the pilgrims.

According to Hinduism Lord Shiva resides at the summit of the legendary Kailasa, where he meditates along with his wife Goddess Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya.

Tantric Buddhists believe that Mount Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok (Demchog or Chakrasamvara) who represents supreme bliss. There are many sacred sites in the region associated with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) whose Tantric practices in holy sites around Tibet are credited with establishing Buddhism as the main religion of Tibet in the 7th-8th century AD.

The Bon, a religion and the oldest still-extant spiritual tradition which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintains that the entire mystical region and the nine-story Swastika Mountain are the seat of all spiritual powers.

Following the Chinese army entering Tibet in 1950 and the Sino-Indian War of 1962, pilgrimage to Mount Kailash was stopped from 1954 to 1978. After that, a limited number of Indian pilgrims have been allowed to visit Mount Kailash, under the supervision of the Chinese and Indian governments.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lilith, the first wife of Adam?

Image of a Sumerian terracotta relief called the ‘Burney relief’ or ‘Queen of the Night Relief’ (now in the British museum), with her bird-feet and owls suggest to a connection with Lilitu (Lilith in the Bible, and identified as the first wife of Adam in extra-Biblical Jewish folklore).

The Alphabet of Ben Sira is considered to be the oldest story of Lilith as Adam's first wife. The concept of Eve having a predecessor is not exclusive or new to the Alphabet, as it can be found in Genesis Rabbah.

Lilith is believed to have originated as a female Mesopotamian storm demon associated with wind. The figure of Lilith first appeared in a class of wind and storm demons or spirits as Lilitu in Sumer around 4000 BC. The phonetic name Lilith is believed to have originated in ancient Israel before 700 BC.

Although references to Lilith in the Talmud are sparse, some passages provide an insight into the demoness yet seen in Judaic literature. The Talmudic allusions to Lilith illustrate her characteristic wings and long hair, dating back to her earliest extant mention in Gilgamesh: "Rab Judah citing Samuel ruled: If an abortion had the likeness of Lilith its mother is unclean by reason of the birth, for it is a child but it has wings" (Niddah 24b), and, "In a Baraitha it was taught: She grows long hair like Lilith, sits when making water like a beast, and serves as a bolster for her husband” ('Erubin 100b).

The idea that Adam had a wife prior to Eve might have come from an interpretation of the Book of Genesis and its dual creation accounts. While Genesis 2:22 describes God's creation of Eve from Adam's rib, an earlier passage 1:27 indicates that a woman had been made, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". The Alphabet text places Lilith's creation after God's words in Genesis 2:18, "It is not good for man to be alone". In this text God creates Lilith out of the clay from which he made Adam but she and Adam bicker. Lilith claims that since she and Adam were created in the same way they were equal and she refuses to submit to him:

“After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone.' He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.”

“Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said, 'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, to bring her back.”

“Said the Holy One to Adam, 'If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.' The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God's word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, 'We shall drown you in the sea.’”

“'Leave me!' she said.’I was created only to cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.’”

“When the angels heard Lilith's words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God: 'Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.' She also agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we write the angels' names on the amulets of young children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath, and the child recovers.”

In folk traditions of the early middle ages, Lilith became identified with Asmodeus, King of Demons, as his queen. The second myth on Lilith included legends about existence of another world. Asmodeus and Lilith were believed to procreate demonic offspring endlessly, spreading chaos. Many disasters were blamed on them, such as causing wine turning into vinegar, men becoming impotent, women unable to give birth, and death of infants.

There are two main characteristics in these legends about Lilith: Lilith as the incarnation of lust, causing men to be led astray, and Lilith as a child-killing witch. The aspect of the witch-like role that Lilith plays broadens her archetype of the destructive side of witchcraft.

Lilith (1892), oil painting by British artist John Collier, located in Southport Atkinson Art Gallery

The Kabbalah mysticism attempted to establish a more exact relationship between Lilith and the Deity. Her origin has many versions. One mentions her creation as being before Adam's, on the fifth day, because the ‘living creatures’ with whose swarms God filled the waters included none other than Lilith. Another version recounts how Lilith was created with the same substance as Adam was, shortly before. A third version states that God originally created Adam and Lilith in a manner that the female creature was contained in the male. Lilith's soul was lodged in the depths of the Great Abyss. When God called her, she joined Adam. After Adam's body was created a thousand souls from the Left (evil) side attempted to attach themselves to him. However, God drove the evils off. Adam was left lying as a body without a soul. Then a cloud descended and God commanded the earth to produce a living soul. This God breathed into Adam, who began to spring to life and his female was attached to his side. God separated the female from Adam's side. The female side was Lilith, whereupon she flew to the Cities of the Sea and attacked humankind. Yet another version claims that Lilith was not created by God, but emerged as a divine entity that was born spontaneously, either out of the Great Supernal Abyss or out of the power of an aspect of God (the Gevurah of Din). This aspect of God, one of his ten attributes (Sefirot), at its lowest manifestation, has an affinity with the realm of evil and it is out of this that Lilith merged with Samael. According to The Alphabet of Ben-Sira, Lilith was Adam's first wife.

Another legend of the Kabbalah faith links Lilith with the creation of luminaries. The ‘first light’, which is the light of Mercy (one of the Sefirot), appeared on the first day of creation when God said, “Let there be light”. This light became hidden and the Holiness became surrounded by a husk of evil. “A husk (klippa) was created around the brain” and this husk spread and brought out another husk which was Lilith.

Another version that was also current among Kabbalah circles in the middle ages establishes Lilith as the first of Samael's four wives: Lilith, Naamah, Igrath, and Mahalath, each of them being mothers of demons. The marriage of archangel Samael and Lilith was arranged by the ‘Blind Dragon’, who is the counterpart of ‘the dragon that is in the sea’.

The Blind Dragon acts as an intermediary between Lilith and Samael: Blind Dragon rides Lilith the Sinful. And Blind Dragon causes the union between Samael and Lilith. Just as the Dragon that is in the sea (Isa. 27:1) has no eyes, likewise Blind Dragon that is above is without eyes, that is to say, without colors (Patai81:458). Samael is called the Slant Serpent, and Lilith is called the Tortuous Serpent.

The marriage of Samael and Lilith is known as the ‘Angel Satan’ or the ‘Other God’. To prevent Lilith and Samael's demonic children Lilin from filling the world, God castrated Samael. In many 17th century Kabbalah books, this concept is based on the identification of ‘Leviathan the Slant Serpent and Leviathan the Torturous Serpent’ and a reinterpretation of an old Talmudic myth. After Samael became castrated and Lilith was unable to fornicate with him, she left him to couple with men who experience nocturnal emissions. A 15th or 16th century Kabbalah text states that God has ‘cooled’ the female Leviathan, meaning that he has made Lilith infertile and she is a mere fornication.

Another passage charges Lilith as being a tempting serpent of Eve's: “And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness. And the Serpent seduced Holy Eve, and enough said for him who understands. And all this ruination came about because Adam the first man coupled with Eve while she was in her menstrual impurity - this is the filth and the impure seed of the Serpent who mounted Eve before Adam mounted her. Behold, here it is before you: because of the sins of Adam the first man all the things mentioned came into being. For Evil Lilith, when she saw the greatness of his corruption, became strong in her husks, and came to Adam against his will, and became hot from him and bore him many demons and spirits and Lilin (Patai81:455f).

Lilith is listed as one of the Qliphoth, corresponding to the Sephirah Malkuth in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The demon Lilith is described as a beautiful woman, who transforms into a blue, butterfly-like demon, and it is associated with the power of seduction.

Another similar monster was the Greek Lamia, who likewise governed a set of child-stealing Lamia demons. She has different origins and is described as having a human upper body from the waist up and a serpentine body from the waist down. Lamia had a vicious sexual appetite that matched her cannibalistic appetite for children. The Empusae were a class of supernatural demons that Lamia was said to have birthed.

In Arabic lore, Karina is considered Lilith’s equivalent, mentioned as a child-killing witch. Karina plays the role of a ‘shadow’ of a woman and a corresponding male demon, Karin, is the ‘shadow’ of a man. Should a woman marry, her Karina marries the man’s Karin. When the woman becomes pregnant, Karina will cause her chaos. She will try to drive the woman out and take her place, cause a miscarriage by striking the woman and if the woman succeeds in having children then her Karina will have the same number of children she does. Karina will continuously try to create discord between the woman and her husband. Karina plays the role of disrupter of marital relations, akin to one of Lilith's roles in Jewish tradition.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (around 1848), was greatly influenced by Goethe's work on the theme of Lilith. In 1863, Dante Gabriel Rossetti of the Brotherhood began painting what was his first rendition of ‘Lady Lilith’. Symbols appearing in the painting allude to the ‘femme fatale’ reputation of the Romantic Lilith: poppies (death and cold) and white roses (sterile passion).

Some Magical Orders dedicated to Lilith, featuring initiations specifically related to the arcana of the ‘first mother’ exist. Two organizations that use initiations and Magic associated with Lilith are the Ordo Antichristianus Illuminati and the Order of Phosphorus. A 2006 ‘creative occultist’ work by ceremonial magickian Donald Tyson, titled Liber Lilith, details the ‘secret cosmology’ for the 'Mother of Harlots' and spawn of all night breed monsters, Lilith.

In Luciferianism, Lilith is considered a consort of Lucifer and is identified with the figure of Babalon. She is said to come from the mud and dust, and is known as the Queen of the Succubi. When she and Lucifer mate, they form an androgynous being called ‘Baphomet’ or the ‘Goat of Mendes’, also known in Luciferianism as the ‘God of Witches’.

Writings by Michael W. Ford, including The Foundations of the Luciferian Path, claim that Lilith is a part of the ‘Luciferian Trinity’ consisting of herself, Samael and Cain. Lilith is also said to have been Cain's actual mother, and not Eve. Lilith here is seen as a goddess of witches, the dark feminine principle, and is also known as the Goddess Hecate.

Early writers of modern day Wicca had special reverence for Lilith. Charles Leland associated Aradia with Lilith: Aradia, says Leland, is Herodias, who was regarded in Stregheria folklore as being associated with Diana as chief of the witches. Leland further notes that Herodias is a name that comes from West Asia, where it denoted an early form of Lilith.

According to one view, Lilith was originally a Sumerian, Babylonian or Hebrew mother goddess of childbirth, children, women and sexuality who later became demonized due to the rise of patriarchy. Other modern views hold that Lilith is a dark moon goddess on par with the Hindu Goddess Kali.

The Western Mystery Tradition associates Lilith with the Klipoth of kabbalah. Samael Aun Weor in The Pistis Sophia Unveiled claims that homosexuals are the ‘henchmen of Lilith’. Similarly, women who undergo willful abortion, and those who support such practice are ‘seen in the sphere of Lilith’. Dion Fortune writes, "The Virgin Mary is reflected in Lilith," and that Lilith is the source of ‘lustful dreams’. If one meditates on negative (or inverted) Binah, one readily finds Lilith; to worship Lilith is to use the power of the Holy Spirit for negative purposes.

In a paper on the subject of Feminist Theology, Deborah J Grenn, of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, argued that Lilith was a mother goddess whose demonization was designed to keep women alienated from their own 'original sources' of power and spiritual authority. It is argued for ‘a reinterpretation of the divine as embodied by the Semitic Goddess Lilith, she who has been represented and misrepresented in a variety of sacred texts’.