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Let God Save India

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[h=3]Bonhams to sell private collection of Indian Temple Jewellery[/h]Bonhams is about to sell an inspiring array of Indian Temple Jewellery from the 17[SUP]th[/SUP], 18[SUP]th[/SUP], and 19[SUP]th[/SUP] centuries, all from one impressive private collection. Each of the 28 pieces were used to ornament the Hindu gods. As tributes to the deities, these works of art are beautifully made of gold, diamonds and rubies combined with centuries old Indian craftsmanship.Estimated at a value between £300,000 and £400,000, the 28-piece collection consists of a mixture of temple treasury that includes brooches, earrings, necklaces, pendants, hair braids and solid gold bulls set with striking jewels. In Hindu mythology, many goddesses are described as golden-hued, a beauty that literally never loses its lustre, and this collection is testament to that idea. Alice Bailey, Head of Bonhams Indian and Islamic Department, says: "The collection is in immaculate condition. Its value lies in the wide variety, good quality and sheer range of temple jewellery seen among these [28] lovely pieces."The relationship of jewellery such as this to the deities, religion, and culture is intrinsically linked. By adorning gods on special occasions such as Shiva, Krishna and Nandi with these ornaments, it was thought to bring good fortune. Sometimes there is a direct association between a type of jewellery donated and a request from a deity. Women desiring marriage or children often give bangles. Some of these pieces were designed to be worn personally as a tribute to the Hindu gods - devotional pieces such as the large variety of braids in the collection.The quality of the gold is remarkable and is mostly 25 and 26 carats, as opposed to the top alloy we are used to of 24 carats. But India's love affair with gold stretches back across centuries and even millennia, including using these much higher value golds. And it's not just the gold, but the exquisite craftsmanship so evident in every one, not to mention the stones themselves that include diamonds and rubies.It's rare to be able to buy jewellery with such fascinating history, and even rarer to have a chance of owning jewellery quite literally intended for the Gods. The collection will be sold through private treaty by Bonhams.
 
Beautiful and Valuable Jewellery. Our hindu temples should trade their modern jewellery with these antiques/valuable ones.
 
How do the valuable Temple jewelry end up in private hands to be sold in England?
I can understand England pillaged all their colonies, but I understand that the Temple Peshkars and the pujaries collude and steal and sell Temple goods. We must preserve the temple wealth.

The museums and private collectors are still able to buy Temple statutes, Brass and gold castings, even wood carvings. I do not know how much is legal and I am pretty sure a lot of it is illegal.

I still do not get the idea of the title of the post.

Does the money from the sale come to India?
 
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Dear Prasad

I am very much worried and saddened about the way Indian artifacts are auctioned in the Western World. Every week Indian Coins, Idols and Statues, particularly from the Hindu temples are auctioned in New York,London and other cities. Only our people help them to smuggle it out of India. There are more temple treasures in private hands in western countries than Indian museums. That is why I wrote India Needs an Indiana Jones. If you read my article The Wonder That is Madurai Meenakshi Tempe you may be surprised to know they sent the Meenakshi's saphire all the way to Queen Victoria to "look at" it. I dont know whether the East India Company changed the original to a fake one. Only God can save India. We have to take care of the Richest Treasure in the world that was found at Pathmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvanathapuram
 
We are in the grip of selfish people, who have no respect for our Culture or value for Heritage. No wonder artifacts of our heritage are traded freely among the foreign collectors. If you see the working of the present Archeological Department you will understand. This fund starved department is crawling at snail's speed.It will look that the progress has been stopped since the departure of the British Governance. If you visit their office attached to Tanjavur Big Temple or any other Temple of repute you will be appalled by the condition of the office, with rickety wooden furniture gathering dust.

Our Government Museums and Libraries, except in New Delhi, have stopped growing long ago. For instance in Bangalore the Governments never thought of building a big Museum or a Library at all. What we have are the good old Museum and the Central Library built in 19th Century by great Diwans under Maharajahs.

At this rate of negligence not even God can save India.

Regards,
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.
 
I do not think God will be interested to save those who do not try to save themselves.
 
Sorry state of affairs indeed. India is a good example of what happens when Meritocracy is sidelined and men or women of low caliber enter the administration. They are finishing off what the British could not complete!

As for the temple artifacts, it seems a choice between the hands of a negligent & decrepit administration or private hands. let us hope that the 'private hands' appreciate & respect the treasures!
 
One can imagine what may happen to the treasure trove of jewels and valuables in Sri Ananda Padmanabha swamy temple, Trivandrum. The details are already in the public domain. If not for the alertness and pursual by some devotees, thins could have been different. with the type of government that we have at present which is totally against the Hindu culture and traditions, God only can save India.
 
One can imagine what may happen to the treasure trove of jewels and valuables in Sri Ananda Padmanabha swamy temple, Trivandrum. The details are already in the public domain. If not for the alertness and pursual by some devotees, thins could have been different. with the type of government that we have at present which is totally against the Hindu culture and traditions, God only can save India.


It is easy to blame the "government" for all our ills, and I agree that it deserves it. But what is government, it is people like us.
Some of us are not in power at this time, but we know of such people. Do we think they will change if the government changes?
Changing actors does not change the play, you need write a new play to change the outcome.
 
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Perhaps how the hindus and muslims handled this in the french enclave pondicherry as recorded in his diaries by ananda rangam pillai, dubashi of the french governor.

The governor's wife wanted to build a church at the site of vedapuriswarar temple and made her husband issue necessary orders to demolish the temple and a mosque. Hindus rushed to AR pillai, pleaded with him to talk to the governor and halt demolition, but the only advice he could give was - nothing can be done now, take all the murthis to a safer place. The temple was demolished.

When the similar demolition was attempted on the mosque, all the muslims assembled in front of the mosque, and vowed to kill themselves and kill all responsible for the demolition. The governor got cold feet and the mosque was spared.

See a small reference for this incident in a 'the hindu' article:

"the demolition of the Vedapuriswarar Temple (sanction obtained after five years), how the demolition of a mosque was halted by timely intervention and protest"

The Hindu : FEATURES / FRIDAY REVIEW : A mirror to history

Demoloition of babri masjid has done one thing - it has established by a proper secular legal procedure that a temple had existed earlier in that site. I wish mathura and kasi temple disputes are also led to similar solution.
 
It also means that Hindus could not unite for a good cause (of saving the Temple) and muslims were united for saving the Mosque.
 
After reading all the replies and suggestions made by you, I think we must create awareness about the great treasures we have in India. In the Western world and Islamic world all grave yards made in to great shows. But they present them in immaculate condition. We must learn from them to present them in good condition.

People also should realize we can make very good money by properly exhibiting them. Sending them abroad is like killing the golden goose. If they are in India we can make money for ever by attracting foreign tourists.
My friend is the assessor of Indian coins in one of the famous Auction houses in London. We have the greatest treasure in the world even after all these smuggling. Tehran Museum has thousands of crores worth Indian gems and thrones. I have already written about the Gem Globe and Peacock Throne.
 
Shiva with Uma and Skanda - Browse by Title - Norton Simon Museum

Years ago there was a dispute between the government of India and Norton Simon Museum about a Sozha bronze sculpture of Shiva. I understood that the museum agreed to hand over the idols (which were bought by the Museum from individuals in India obviously through nefarious deals) after exhibiting them in their museum for a fixed number of years. I am not sure if the idol in the link above is part of that collection or not.

On a separate note when there is a demand supply will come from all corners to cater to it. I was aware of an episode in my native village where the priest succumbing to his poverty decided to exchange the beautiful bronze idols from the temple for some fake ones (so as not to be caught) to some third party via brokers probably for a paltry sum. It was later detected that the fake ones were made of clay with a metallic coat which wore off soon and when abhishEkam was performed the idols started dissolving. The poor priest was taken to jail.
 
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well, after reading various comments it looks there is no way to stop this loot. I wish to quite one incident about 30 years. I had to accompany one european buyer of indian goods to various places in India. on the day he was to leave India, we had dinner in a posh hotel. I simply asked him as to how he feel about India. after a long pause, he said that he is not a believer of God but after visiting India he started to believe God because it is God who saves India. I felt so humiliated I lowered my head and changed the topic. you see some messiah even someone like Netaji Subhash Bose has to come to save this great country. Let us all pray
 
well, after reading various comments it looks there is no way to stop this loot. I wish to quite one incident about 30 years. I had to accompany one european buyer of indian goods to various places in India. on the day he was to leave India, we had dinner in a posh hotel. I simply asked him as to how he feel about India. after a long pause, he said that he is not a believer of God but after visiting India he started to believe God because it is God who saves India. I felt so humiliated I lowered my head and changed the topic. you see some messiah even someone like Netaji Subhash Bose has to come to save this great country. Let us all pray


Why do we have to wait for someone else to be the Action Hero and save the day?
Why can't awareness be created about this.
Since there are lots of talks shows these day..try bringing this topic up somewhere.
Use media as the tool to create awareness.

If you are looking for Subhash Chadra Bose wake him up in you!
 
HINDU ART TREASURES AROUND THE WORLD

Most of you know that Dr R.Nagasamy fought the case of Pathur Nataraja Idol in London and brought the statue back to India in 1986.

More news:

HINDUS HAVE applauded prestigious Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) in Ohio (USA) for acquiring 10th century Hindu god Shiva statue for four million dollars.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that because of their richness and other factors, Hindu artifacts were becoming favorite of museums in America and the West. Many prestigious museums already owned Hindu sculptures and other artifacts and many were planning to acquire.


Even some formations in world famous Grand Canyon National Park of USA were named as Shiva Temple, Krishna Shrine, Vishnu Temple, Rama Shrine, Brahma Temple (7851 feet), and Hindu Amphitheater, Rajan Zed pointed out.

According to Zed, various renowned museums in USA which have acquired statues and other artifacts of Hindu gods include Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond; Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California; Museum of Art and Archaeology in University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri; Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania; Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri; etc.

Rajan Zed further says that other prestigious world museums, which possess statues of Hindu gods, include British Museum in London, United Kingdom; Musée Guimet in Paris, France; Museum für Asiatische Kunst in Berlin, Germany; Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands; Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand; Beijing World Art Museum, China; National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada; Victoria and Albert Museum in London, United Kingdom; etc. Thailand reportedly has a private Ganesha Museum.

Currently Chicago Field Museum in USA is showing “Sacred Waters: India’s Great Kumbha Mela Pilgrimage” including the devotional practices of holy men; British Museum in London is exhibiting “Royal Paintings of Jodhpur” depicting Krishna Lila, illustrations from Shiva Purana, Rama's Army crosses the ocean, etc; Melbourne Immigration Museum in Australia is exhibiting "Ancient Hampi: The Hindu Kingdom Brought to Life" showing among others Virupaksha Temple; etc. Philadelphia Museum of Art in USA has recently ended its over six month long “Portraits from the Courts of India” exhibition. Portland Art Museum in USA recently acquired an 11th century Lord Ganesha sculpture, Zed adds.

Rajan Zed urged foremost art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d'Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid (Spain), National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc, to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

CMA already possesses Shiva’s Gajasura-Samharamurti, Tripuravijaya, Nataraja, Ardhnari; Vaishnava Trinity; Ganesha; etc, statues. It has organized “Chola Bronzes from South India" exhibition. It even carries a glossary explaining Hindu terms like Veda, Mahayogi, etc.
Launched in 1913, CMA describes itself as "one of the world's most distinguished comprehensive art museums". It has over 43,000 works of art; including paintings of Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, etc.; and including Asian collection of 3,933 works. Its art research library is third largest in USA with 401, 918 volumes. Alfred M. Rankin Jr. is President of Board of Trustees while Timothy Rub is Director
 
Not unity, threat of violence against the administration. Violence pays!

Hindus have shown satvik violence only in the case of babri masjid.

It also means that Hindus could not unite for a good cause (of saving the Temple) and muslims were united for saving the Mosque.
 
you see as someone mentioned about Pondicherry temple we should stand up as muslims did. can we?? what happened in the case ayodhya babri masjid demolition!! How Narendra Modi is being attacked!! Dr Renuka said one has to wake up himself/herself. could have any Rani Jansi! someone has to lead us. we poor folks can only voice our anguish. we are helpless.with present Congress Govt, one can only submit and surrender. As Tamilbrahmins forum take good issue of brahmins, some forum has to come up to look after our great country i.e. Bharat Jai Hind
 
God himself is put into pressure by the looters and he is fighting these people to save himself...!!

TVK
dear friends !
kindly think differently . our GODS want to stay with the people who love HIM & know the value.
many stories about the priest who act as agent for smugglers apart from looting by our politicians.silently many of the temple ornaments are replaced with duplicate one.the honest temple employee either quit his job or end with sucide.
guruvayurappan
 
Guruvayurappan, You are right.

During the Kazakams rule, a lot of temple jewels were looted. But even before this happened, all the golden vessels donated by Raja Raja to Tanjore temple and jewels donated to Meenakshi temple by Tirumalai Nayak were swallowed by our own people. Read what Subramanya Bharathi says

கோயிற் பூசை செய்வோர் --சிலையைக் கொண்டுவிற்றல் போலும்
வாயில் காத்து நிற்போன் -வீட்டை வைத்திழத்தல் போலும்
ஆயிரங்களான நீதி அவை உணர்ந்த தருமன்
தேயம் வைத்திழந்தான் சீ ! சீ! சிறியர் செய்கை செய்தான் (பாஞ்சாலி சபதம்--பாரதி)
 
>>Rajan Zed urged foremost art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d'Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid (Spain), National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc, to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world<<

Be glad at least they take good care of these artifacts and display them in a resplendent fashion much better than India can do. Even if the Indian government can do a similar job there will be agents in between who would loot many of those idols which might end up in western hands anyway. When the Indian temple artifacts are displayed in these museums the visitors from around the world will get the know the ancient greatness of Hindu sculptures and the superb craftsmanship of the artisans of ancient times. Such craftsmanship cannot be brought to life by technology. Let us at least take pride in our ancestral assets wherever they are. The one solace is these artifacts are in good hands and they give due credit to their origin.
 
Mahakavi

Sometimes I also feel like you have felt. A Sourshtra community researcher from Trichy somehow found out I was working for BBC World Service in London in 1990. He contacted me through a friend's friend for a 8 page booklet about Sourashtra community in Madurai published in 1940s. He found out there was only one copy in British Library in the whole wide world. I photocopied the book for him and posted it. Till this day I was wondering what made these British to preserve one small booklet about a community that lives in the remote corners of Tamil Nadu. I saluted the British wholeheartedly on that day. Am amazing spirit to preserve anything that was old.Whenever I take visitors to British museum or Victoria Albert Museum I feel proud to show them the artifacts that came from our country.

I have written about the artifacts of Madurai Meenakshi temple in V & A Museum in London, Oxford Ashmolean Museum and Philadelphia,USA in my article The Wonder That is Meenakshi Temple. Let us salute who preserved our books and artifacts. So long as we are not ready to preserve them and respect them, we should not ask them to return them. Beware of the Kazakams in Tamil Nadu
 
Not a good solution.

We must make arrangements to secure, preserve and take care of our treasures. This mindset is dangerous, as it encourages export of ancient treasures for monetary gains, by fair or foul means. Some countries - greece, egypt - could get their treasures back by raising the issue and by legal means. These can be loaned to foreign museums for display, but ownership has to retained.

Only a small numbers of the treasures carted away are displayed, many are kept in the basement of the museum or are kept in the vaults of private collectors.



>>Rajan Zed urged foremost art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d'Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid (Spain), National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc, to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world<<

Be glad at least they take good care of these artifacts and display them in a resplendent fashion much better than India can do. Even if the Indian government can do a similar job there will be agents in between who would loot many of those idols which might end up in western hands anyway. When the Indian temple artifacts are displayed in these museums the visitors from around the world will get the know the ancient greatness of Hindu sculptures and the superb craftsmanship of the artisans of ancient times. Such craftsmanship cannot be brought to life by technology. Let us at least take pride in our ancestral assets wherever they are. The one solace is these artifacts are in good hands and they give due credit to their origin.
 
I am not advocating to ignore the foreign collections of Indian temple artifacts. By all means attempts must be made to recover those items which were obtained by foul means. The first attempt must be to gain back those items held in government museums abroad. Loaning back for exhibition is OK. Those were misappropriated during colonial days.The private foreign collector paid to procure those, although not through legitimate sources. Just like I mentioned about the shivapuram sOzha period bronze sculpures in Norton Simon museum, it can be arranged to have a limited period display. Maybe the foreign collectors can be paid some monetary compensation to get the items back. But the point to keep in mind is that such recovered items must be handled with great care to preserve them properly and not let them be pilfered again by nefarious elements in the country.

In the mean time India should beef up their standards in the curator-ship of museum items to world standards (if not already done), and distribute or rotate items through regional museums so that everybody in the country gets the chance to see all such items rather than store them all in New Delhi.
 
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