Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:51 pm

Tour of Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila, Aggamahapandita, to Western Europe
by myanmarnet.net
Accessed: 4/1/19

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In 1953, shortly after arriving in Delhi, Nehru sent Freda to Burma as the Indian representative of a UNESCO mission. For the first time in her life Freda found herself in a rich and exclusively Buddhist country. The impact was immediate and galvanic. Surrounded by hundreds of pagodas and thousands of monks roaming the streets in saffron robes, she instantly felt she had come home.

“When I set foot on that soil, the Golden Temple, the monks with their begging bowls, suddenly it was déjà vu. Without understanding anything much about Buddhism, I knew. This is The Way, this is what I have been looking for. I saw the whole thing,” she said. Freda was forty-two years old. Her long, diligent quest to find her true spiritual path was finally over. It had taken thirty-eight years, since her first days of sitting in her local church in Derby before school trying to meditate. Curiously, in spite of her remarkable effort and conscientiousness in searching and trying out the world’s great religious traditions, she had enver come across Buddhism before, even though the Buddha had been born, taught, and attained enlightenment in India. His message had thrived there for over seven hundred years, until the Mughals invaded in the thirteenth century. They had swept in from the Middle East, destroying the renowned Nalanda University, hailed as the greatest center of learning in Asia, and setting fire to the largest Buddhist library in the ancient world, which allegedly burned for three months. Thousands of Buddhist monks and scholars fled into obscurity in the Himalayan kingdoms, from where Buddhism spread to the Far East and Southeast Asia. From then on, the Buddha was incorporated into the pantheon of Hindu gods and was regarded as a mythological figure.

Burma now boasted some of the most accomplished Buddhist meditation masters on the planet. Freda wasted no time seeking them out. As usual she went straight to the top.

Sayadaw U Thittila Aggamahapandita was vice president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and spoke excellent English. He agreed to teach Freda personally for eight weeks. The regime was tough and exceptionally rigorous, demanding she be aware of each detail involved in every activity – walking, eating, brushing teeth, putting on shoes, blinking. Every breath was accompanied by awareness. And then awareness itself was watched by awareness….

“I remember Sayadaw U Pandita telling me, ‘If you get a realization, or a flash, it may not be sitting on your meditation cushion in front of an image of the Buddha. It will probably be somewhere you least expect it.”

That’s precisely what happened. Freda had what she called her enlightenment experience “while I was walking with the Commission through the streets of Kyaukme, in northern Burma. Suddenly I saw the flow of things, the meaning and the connection. It was the first real flash of understanding. I can’t explain exactly what it was because it was beyond words. But it opened so many gates and showed me things I’d been trying to find for a very long time,” she explained. She revealed to a few close friends that her Damascene experience had lasted for hours and was accompanied by great bliss.

A window had been opened, a transcendental window giving a glimpse into another reality. The afterschock was dramatic. “We got a phone call back in Delhi that Mummy had collapsed and we had to bring her home from Burma immediately,” says Ranga. “Of course we had no money, so we went around to Nehru and Indira’s house and they provided the plane fare to fetch her home and an ambulance to meet her at the airport.” Continuing her tour was now out of the question.

“When she arrived, it was shocking. Mummy didn’t recognize anyone. For weeks she stayed in her bed, getting up just to go to the bathroom. That’s as far as she would go. She wouldn’t talk or register anything in the outside world. She’d eat the food put in front of her like an automaton. If you looked at her, it was like looking into a stone wall. She never saw you. It was as though she were catatonic. It was terrifying for all of us – except Papa. He didn’t seem concerned at all. He said it was all happening as it should and that it would work out all right. He was correct. After about six weeks she began to show signs of improvement. Her face became more expressive and she began to interact with us. But it took about three months before she was back to normal.”

Gradually she resumed her work and tried to get back to her old life, but she had irrevocably changed. After Burma she was going in a different direction, and nothing was going to be the same. The first to feel the impact was BPL. Their marriage of twenty years had been founded on love, intellectual compatibility, and their shared vision of an independent India. That last job had been completed. Freda knew with certainty that that phase of her life was over. Her heart and her path now belonged to the Buddha.

She calmly sat her husband down and announced, “I’ve been searching all my life, but it’s the Buddhist monks who have been able to show me what it is that I have been looking for. I am a Buddhist from now on – and I have taken a personal vow of a brahmacharya,” she said, referring to the vow of celibacy said to induce spiritual purity and enhance one’s capacity for divine happiness.

BPL took the news remarkably well....

Another reason that BPL took Freda’s news with such equanimity was that his inner life was running along parallel lines. For some time he had been following his own spiritual quest and was undergoing his own enlightenment experience. It bore all the hallmarks of his originality. “He would sit still for hours without moving. He would babble in voices we didn’t understand. He’d go up onto the roof and stand for hours with his arms outstretched toward a shrine of a Sufi saint,” said Kabir. “We called the doctor, but Papa just smiled at him. ‘What I’m going through is beyond you,’ he told him. The doctor nevertheless insisted on examining him. ‘You won’t find a pulse,’ said Papa. He was right. The astonished doctor left.

“Father started going on walks, discovering the graves of Sufi saints in the area, telling us where they were, both marked and unmarked. He started to do automatic writing. Word got out and people started coming to the house with their problems. Papa would listen, then begin writing, and eventually hand them sheets of paper with answers to their troubles on them. In time he became quite a healer and was known as Baba Bedi, the name given to a holy man.”

Having lost touch with its glorious heritage of classical scholarship, the Muslim world today is divided in squabbles between two opposing camps, who despite their respective deviations, are both attempting to usurp the right to represent orthodox Islam. The Wahhabis and Salafis are the product of a British strategy to undermine Islamic tradition and create fundamentalism. While the Sufis are their most vocal and articulate critics, rightly pointing out their corruptions, they themselves are part of a similar conspiracy, again with close ties to Western intelligence and the occult.

The New Age movement, following the teachings of a leading disciple of H. P. Blavatsky, believes that the coming of the Age of Aquarius will herald the beginning of world peace and one-world government, headed by the Maitreya, who is said to be awaited also by Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, though he is known by these believers respectively as Christ, Messiah, the fifth Buddha, Krishna or Imam Mahdi. The New Age’s expectation of the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims has been nurtured through its relationship with Sufism.

Essentially, the pretext of the occult is that in the future the world will be united in peace by eliminating all sectarianism, when the world will be brought together under a single belief system. The basis of that belief will be the occult tradition, which it is claimed has been the underlying source of all exoteric religions. As such, since at least the middle of the eighteenth century, occultists have marketed Sufism as being the origin of Freemasonry.

According to Idries Shah, the twelfth century Qadiriyya Sufi order was the origin of the Rosicrucians, the most important occult movement after the Renaissance, who later evolved into the Freemasons. As detailed in Black Terror White Soldiers, the Rosicrucians were responsible for orchestrating the advent of Sabbatai Zevi, who took the Jewish world by storm in 1666 when he declared himself their expected messiah. However, Zevi disappointed the vast majority of his followers when he subsequently converted to Islam. Nevertheless, an important segment followed him into Islam as well, and to this day consist of a powerful community of secret Jews known as Dönmeh.

The Dönmeh of Turkey maintained associations with a number of Sufi orders, like Whirling Dervishes founded by Jalal ad-Din Rumi, and the Bektashis. Strongly heretical, the Bektashi venerated Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, repudiated many of the legal rulings of Islam, and combined Kabbalistic ideas with elements of ancient Central Asian shamanism.

Through the influence of Bektashi Sufism, the Dönmeh developed the belief of Pan-Turkism, later adopted by the Young Turks, a Dönmeh and Masonic organization responsible for overthrowing the Ottoman Caliphate in 1908. Pan-Turkism begins with Alexander Csoma de Körös (1784 – 1842), the first in the West to mention mysterious Buddhist realm known as Shambhala, which he regarded as the origin of the Turkish people, and which he situated in the Altai mountains and Xinjiang.

Csoma de Körös’s mention of Shambhala became the basis of the mystical speculations offered by H. P. Blavatsky, which she regarded as the homeland of the Aryan race. Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society, and came to be regarded as an oracle of Freemasonry and the godmother of the occult. Blavatsky became largely responsible for initiating the popularity of Buddhism as a font of the Ancient Wisdom. However, contrary to popular perceptions, Tibetan Buddhism is a strange amalgam of Buddhist ideas, along with Hindu Tantra and Central Asian shamanism, it was for this reason that Blavatsky regarded it as the true preservation of the traditions of magic.

-- The Sufi Conspiracy, by David Livingstone


By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the first of the hippies and the Beat Generation were arriving in India, and many found their way to BPL’s door. “Then the house got full of really strange people. Papa always made it quite clear to all of them, however, that he was not a saint, nor was he going to behave like one. ‘I’ll smoke my cigarettes and drink my whiskey as normal – and not be bound by anyone,’ Papa said. Gradually he stopped writing automatic messages and started speaking words that he begun coming through him. At first his voice and way of talking were strange, but then the style evolved and he talked like himself,” said Kabir.....

The next event to send shock waves through the family was when Freda, for reasons of her own, sent Guli to boarding school miles away in North India. her daughter was just five years old. It seemed not only cruel but a terrible dereliction of maternal duty, and out of character with her essentially kind, caring nature. In addition, she performed the deed in what appeared a particularly brutal way.

Guli, now a tall, sociable woman who has dedicated her life to teaching children with special needs, lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, outside Boston, Massachusetts. She recalls every detail of the traumatic event. "When Mummy told me her idea, I told her outright, 'I am not going to boarding school!' We children were all strong characters, who had been taught to speak up. She arranged everything extremely well. We often went touring, and this year Mummy took me to visit an old family friend, Auntie Mera (who had adopted thirteen children) in Naina Tal, in the foothills of Uttar Pradesh. When we got there, she asked if I wanted to see All Saints School, which was nearby and run by Christian nuns. I said yes. I remember the oak tree in the garden, which was huge, and I got very animated and chatty with the nuns. I turned around to tell Mummy something and she was gone. I was absolutely devastated. I cried for three days. The nuns, British Anglican missionaries, were so kind. They really cared for me."

Guli grew to love her school. "It turned out to be the best experience. I studied the scriptures and I know everything about the bible. I loved the hymns and the feeling of the chapel, not that I ever felt the need to become a Christian. There was never any talk about conversion!"....

Whenever she could, she traveled to Burma to continue her meditation training under his strict, watchful eye. Sometimes she took Kabir, her "special child" with her, encouraging him to shave his head and don Buddhist robes as a child monk. Secretly she hoped that one day he would be ordained. That destiny was not to be his, however.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


At 3.25 p.m on 12th April 1958, the Buddhist organisations of Western Europe had the privilege of welcoming Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila and Ven. Pannadipa who had travelled together from Rangoon as representatives of the Union of Burma Buddha Sasana Council. They were met at London Airport by members of the Ven. Sayadaw's particular organisation, the Buddha Study Association of which he is President, and escorted to the London Buddhist Vihara, 10 Ovington Gardens, S.W.3, where Ven. Pandit Saddhatissa Mahathera is in charge.

Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila, being already well-known over a period of many years in England and on the continent of Europe, had a full programms awaiting him concerning both his work amongst the Burmese residents and the specific organisations depending on his lectures, advice and instructions for the work to be undertaken during the coming year. On 13th April, H.E. the Burmese Ambassador and his wife invited the Ven. Sayadaw and Ven. Pannadipa to lunch, after which the Ven. Bhikkhus chanted the Metta Sutta and the Ven. Sayadaw discoursed on Metta, while at each week-end during their stay they were entertained by personnel of the Burmese Embassy and of the Burmese Section of the B.B.C. Gatherings I were always celebrated by the chanting of the Metta Sutta and by short talks. Frequently the Ven. Bhikkhus have been entertained to lunch by Daw Mya Sein, the proprietress of the Burma Restaurant, and the Ven. Sayadaw has been taking to his various appointments in the cars of Mr. I and Mrs. R. Iggleden and Mr. G. Cruikshank.

In the period preceding the Wesak Festival, Ven. U Thittila spoke in Burmese on the Burmese Section of the B.B.C. at 4.30 p.m. on 24th April; his subject was "Wesak". On the 20th, 23rd and 30th April, respectively, he lectured at the Vihara to the Buddha Study Association on "What is Happiness?", "The Laws of Cause and Effect", and "Rebirth". For the Abhidhamma Study Group he held classes on the Patthana on 22nd and 29th April. At the opening ceremony of the Wesak celebrations at the Vihara when, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Gunasena de Soysa, High Commissioner for Ceylon, Ven. Saddhatissa invited H.E. U Aung Soe, the Burmese Ambassador in London. to hoist the Buddhist flag over the building, Ven. U Thittila, heading a list of distinguished speakers, discoursed on the significance of Wesak and all that the terms "Buddha" and "Buddhism" imply. At 2.30 on 3rd May, on the "East Asia Calling" Section of the B.B.C., he gave a talk on "Buddhism" and subsequently answered a number of questions.

Renewing his contact with the University of Oxford Buddhist Society, at 8.15 p.m. on 5th May, the Ven. Sayadaw spoke to the group on "Meditation" returning on 12th May to conduct a discussion relating thereto. At 7.30 p.m. on 8th May, he addressed the World Congress of Faiths 23 Norfolk Square, W.2, and at 7 p.m. on the following evening the Theosophical Society, Tavistock Square, W.C.2; his subjects were, respectively, "The Practical Aspect of Buddhism" and "Buddhist Psychology". On Sunday, 11th May at 5.30, he spoke at the Vihara Sunday Meeting on "Causes of Unhappiness", and on the 13th, 20th and 27th continued his lecture to the Abhidhamma Group on the Patthana. For the Buddha Study Association he spoke on the 14th on "The Origin of Life" and on the 21st on the Paticca Samuppada. Both series of lectures were timed for 7.30 p.m. Finally, at 6.30 p.m. on 28th May he addressed the London Buddhist Society, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W.1, on "Buddhism in Burma."

Having intended to visit France, Germany and Holland, the Ven. Sayadaw expected to leave England on Saturday, 31st May, but since he was obliged, by circumstances beyond his control, to curtail his continental tour, he proceeded to Holland on Tuesday, 10th June. In the interval he has spent more time in reviewing the overall position of his organisations in England and centres of activity which have recently arisen on the Continent.

This review has confirmed the necessity of greater continuity in the direction and personal management if the Buddhist organisations which have been the Ven. Sayadaw's particular care are to expand as healthy organisations should. Many years of work have sown the seeds of success in the expansion of Buddhist teachings, but these cannot mature unless a Burmese centre should be established in Western Europe-and the centre would be in London where the Sayadaw and the assistant Bhikkhus could live and from which they could work. Three points are outstanding regarding the review:

1. that a considerable change of outlook has occurred during the last few months and that in the present state of flux of thought there is exceptional opportunity to attract followers to the Buddhist Teachings,

2. that there are some students who have already made sufficient progress in their studies of Buddhism to be of value to the movement as a whole if they could continue them for another few years,

3. that the demand for headquarters is not for palatial buildings but for a settled genuine place of work.

The last of the three points is, of course, that most generally appreciated by Buddhists in England, for they have raised a certain sum of money amongst themselves and are disappointed that the Burmese authorities have shown no sign of giving substantial help. Moreover, enquiries have been received from continental cities which previously showed no interest in Buddhism, yet without a headquarters it is impossible even to deal with the letters. The British Buddhists, and particularly the members of the Buddha Study Association, while expressing their heartfelt gratitude for the visit of the Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila, do also make an earnest appeal for substantial help from the Burmese authorities, whereby, he may continue to teach them the Dhamma and help them to spread it to others.

A.A.G. Bennett

Edit. Repr. in Europe and the Americas of the Maha Bodhi Society of India.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:30 pm

Maha Bodhi Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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The Maha Bodhi Society is a South Asian Buddhist society founded by the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala and the British journalist and poet Sir Edwin Arnold. The organization's self-stated initial efforts were for the resuscitation of Buddhism in India, and restoring the ancient Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinara.[1][2][3]

Although some Indians had remained culturally Buddhist for centuries after the decline of Buddhist philosophy, they did not self-identify as "Buddhist". The Maha Bodhi Society renewed interest in Buddhism, and spawned the Ladakh Buddhist Association, All Assam Buddhist Association, and Himalayan Buddhist Society, as well as laying the grounds for the Dalit Buddhist movement.[4]

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Headquarters, Maha Bodhi Society of India, Kolkata. October 2014.

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Interior of the Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara of the Mahabodhi Society, officially opened 26th Nov 1920.

Origins

In 1891, while on pilgrimage to the recently restored Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the location where Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) attained enlightenment, Anagarika Dharmapala had experienced a shock to find the temple in the hands of a Saivite priest, the Buddha image transformed into a Hindu icon and Buddhists barred from worship as a result of which he began an agitation movement.[5] Prior to that, in 1885 Sir Edwin Arnold visited the site and published several articles drawing the attention of the Buddhists to the deplorable conditions of Buddhagaya.[1][2][3] The Buddhist renaissance inaugurated by Anagarika Dharmapala through his Mahabodhi Movement has also been described as "conservative" for it considered Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent responsible for the decay of Buddhism in India, in the then current mood of Hindu-Buddhist brotherhood.[6]

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Lawrence Dundas, Lord Ronaldshay and Governor of Bengal (1917-22) presents the Buddha relic which had been discovered 1892 in Battiporolu to Ashutosh Mukherjee, then Vice Chancellor of Calucatta University, acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and President of the Mahabodhi Society, Calcutta to be enshrined in the newly opened Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara on College Square. Morning of 26th Nov. 1920 on the steps of Government House, Calcutta.

The Mahabodhi Society at Colombo was founded in 1891 but its offices were moved to Calcutta the following year. One of its primary aims was the restoration of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the chief of the four ancient Holy sites to Buddhist control.[7][8] To accomplish this Dharmapala initiated a lawsuit against the Brahmin priests who had held control of the site for centuries.[7][8] After a protracted struggle this was successful with the partial restoration of the site to the management of the Maha Bodhi Society in 1949.[7][8]

Maha Bodhi Society branches have been established in several countries, most significantly in India and Sri Lanka. A United States branch was founded by Dr. Paul Carus in Chicago.[9] There is also a Maha Bodhi Society of Bangalore, founded by Acharya Buddharakkhita in 1956, which is not a part of or tied to the Maha Bodhi Society of India or Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

The Mahabodhi Temple

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The temple as it appeared in the 1780s

After the defeat of the Palas by the Hindu Sena dynasty, Buddhism's position again began to erode and was soon followed by the conquest of Magadha by General Ikhtiar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji.[10] During this period, the Mahabodhi Temple fell into disrepair and was largely abandoned. During the 16th century, a Hindu monastery was established near Bodh Gaya. Over the following centuries, the monastery's abbot or mahant became the area's primary landholder and claimed ownership of the Mahabodhi Temple grounds.

In the 1880s, the-then British government of India began to restore Mahabodhi Temple under the direction of Sir Alexander Cunningham. In 1885, Sir Edwin Arnold visited the site and published several articles drawing the attention of the Buddhists to the deplorable conditions of Buddhagaya.[1] He was guided in this undertaking by Ven.Weligama Sri Sumangala[2][3] In 1891, Anagarika Dharmapala started a campaign to return control of the temple to Buddhists, over the objections of the mahant. The campaign was partially successful in 1949, when control passed from the Hindu mahant to the state government of Bihar, which established a temple management committee. The committee has nine members, a majority of whom, including the chairman, must by law be Hindus. Mahabodhi's first head monk under the management committee was Anagarika Munindra, a Bengali man who had been an active member of the Maha Bodhi Society.

Mulagandha Kuty Vihara in Sarnath

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MahaBodhi Mulagandhakuti Buddhist Temple at Sarnath

Mulagandha Kuty Vihara in Sarnath is a fitting reminder of Sarnath's past glory. It is also the crowning and most glorious achievement of Anagarika Dharmapala's lifelong dedication. The construction of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara was taken up by Anagarika Dharmapala in 1926 towards the end of his pious life.When he decided to construct a temple at Sarnath and after making the architeclural plans, it was the generous Hawaiian Lady, Mary Foster who gave the first financial assisatance came from his parents, brother and well-wishers. He personally supervised the constructional works. The 200 feet high magnificent temple was opened to public in 1931. Later a reputed Japanese artist Mr. Kosteu Nosu and his assistant undertook the task to decorate the temple walls with fresco paintings known famously as the Mural paintings of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara, depicting the life Events of Sakyamuni Buddha. On the opening day of the Vihara, the Buddha's relics donated to Anagarika Dharmapala by Govt. of India under the British Raj was enshrined in the temple. The Vihara, an attractive place of Buddhist worship was visited by numerous Indian and foreign dignataries and millions of pilgrims and tourists over the past decades. At the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara annual function in November, the most attractive items among the programs is the exposition of the Buddha's sacred relic. People from different countries and from the homeland visit the Vihara to homage to the sacred relic considering it as a rare and an opportune moment in their lifetime.

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The night view of Sarnath's Mulagandha Kuty Vihara

Publications

The Maha Bodhi Society has a robust tradition of publications, spanning from Pali translations into modern Indian vernacular languages (such as Hindi) to scholarly texts and new editions of Pali works typeset in Devanagari to appeal to a Hindi-educated Indian audience. They have also published books and pamphlets in local/regional languages and dialects, sometimes in partnership with other presses.

Leadership

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Ven. P Seewalee Thero, the current General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India at an event in Sarnath.

Most Venerable P Seewalee Thero is serving as the 12th and current General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India since 2016 and the Joint Secretaries are Venerable Kahatagollawe Medhankara Thero and Ven.Rathmalwa Sumithananda Thero.

At a meeting in September 2008, the Maha Bodhi Society passed a rule that only persons born into Buddhist families will be eligible to serve as president or as one of the vice-presidents of the Society. The outgoing president, B. K. Modi, was a Hindu; he assumed the position of patron. At the same meeting, the 14th Dalai Lama was given the new title of chief patron.[11]

See also

• Buddhism in India

References

1. Maha Bodhi Society
2. Arnold, Edwin (1906). India Revisited, London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner
3. Dipak K. Barua (1981). “Buddha Gaya Temple: its history”, Buddha Gaya: Buddha Gaya Temple Management Committee
4. D.C. Ahir. Buddhism in Modern India. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1991. p. 17.
5. Sean O'Reilly, James O'Reilly, Pilgrimage: Adventures of the Spirit, Travelers' Tales, 2000,ISBN 1-885211-56-2 pg 81-82
6. A Close View of Encounter between British Burma and British Bengal
7. Arnold Wright, Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources, "Angarika Dharmapala", Asian Educational Services, 1999, ISBN 81-206-1335-X pg.119
8. C. J. Bleeker, G. Widengren, Historia Religionum, Volume 2 Religions of the Present: Handbook for the History of Religions, Brill Academic Publishers, 1971, ISBN 90-04-02598-7 pg. 453
9. Linda Learman, ed. (2005). Buddhist Missionaries in the Era of Globalizationa. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-8248-2810-0. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
10. The Maha-Bodhi By Maha Bodhi Society, Calcutta (page 205).
11. Sengupta, Ratnottama (September 28, 2008).Now, Hindus can't head Mahabodhi Society Times of India

External links

• Mahabodhi Society
• Mahabodhi Society, Bangalore
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:47 pm

Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Image
Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera
Born 8 November 1899
Malamulla, Panadura
Died 23 April 1973 (aged 73)
Colombo
Colombo
Nationality Sri Lankan
Alma mater St. John's College Panadura, University of London
Occupation Academic, diplomat

Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, OBE, JP (8 November 1899 – 23 April 1973) was a Sri Lankan academic, scholar and diplomat best known for his Malalasekara English-Sinhala Dictionary.[1] He was the Ceylon's first Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Ceylon's High Commissioner to Canada, the United Kingdom and Ceylon's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He was the Professor Emeritus in Pali and Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.[2][3]

Early life and education

Born on 9 November 1899 at Malamulla, Panadura as George Pieris Malalasekera, his father was a well-known Ayurvedic (native medicine) physician, Ayur. Dr. M. S. Pieris Malalasekera.

Malalasekera was educated at St. John's College Panadura, (now the St. John's College National School). It was a leading school in the English medium in Panadura under the head master Cyril Jansz, a reputed educationist of the colonial era. After receiving his education in that school from 1907–17, he joined the Ceylon Medical College, Colombo to qualify as a doctor with a Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery (LMS).

The death of his father cut short his medical studies. Circumstances compelled him to give up his hopes of becoming a medical doctor. By following a correspondence course from England, he gained a BA from the University of London External System, 1919 with a first division. His subjects were English, Latin, Greek and French. He was the youngest candidate to obtain the Bachelor of Arts degree in the British Empire in that year with a first class.

In 1923, he proceeded to join the University of London and obtained the two post-graduate degrees of a MA, PhD and a concurrently in 1925, in oriental languages majoring in Pali from the London School of Oriental Studies. Malalasekera would later gain a DLitt in 1938, his thesis was 'Pali Literature in Sri Lanka'.

Teaching career

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Malalasekara Theatre of Nalanda College Colombo

Coming under the influence of Buddhist renaissance of Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala, he changed his foreign names of George and Pieris to those of Gunapala Piyasena and henceforth came to be known as G. P. (Gunapala Piyasena) Malalasekera. After gaining his BA he took to teaching at Ananda College, Colombo as an assistant teacher, then under the principal P. de S. Kularatne. Both of them were the architects of the Sinhala national costume. In quick succession Malalasekera rose up the ranks to be the Vice Principal and acting Principal of Ananda College. Thereafter he left for London for his graduate studies. On his return to the motherland in 1926, he was appointed Principal of newly formed Nalanda College Colombo.. The student assembly hall of Nalanda College Colombo is named Malalasekara Theatre in memory of him.

Academic career

Shortly afterwards in 1927, he succeeded Ven. Suriyagoda as lecturer in the then University College, Colombo to lecture in English on Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit for the University of London degree examinations. When the University of Ceylon was founded in 1942, he became the Professor of Pali and Head of the Department of Pali. Later he would serve as Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Ceylon. His research was on Buddhism and Buddhist Civilization was extensive and he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia of Buddhism. His contribution by way of research papers and publications to the Pali Text Society of London under the patronage of scholars like Rhys David and Miss I. B. Horner. From 1927 twice he was elected the Joint Secretary of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress. Thrice he was the Vice-President and functioned as its President from 1939–1957.

During his tenure of office, he saw to it that the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress constructed a new building for its headquarters at Bullers Road (now Bauddhaloka Mawatha). He took a delight in the activities of the Viharamahadevi Girls' Home, Biyagama and was responsible for the establishment of boys' homes at Panadura and Ja-Ela. During his presidency of the Buddhist Congress for 25 years, he addressed 20 of its annual sessions. His 'magnum opus' or great work is the famous 'Gunapala Sinhala-English Dictionary'. Of equal importance is the Pali dictionary – Sinhala-English. An ardent member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon. He represented Ceylon at several parleys abroad notably, Conference on Living Religions (1924 – London), Conference on World Religious (1936 – London), Association of Occidental (Western) and Oriental Philosophers (Hawaii – 1949), Association of Indian Philosophers – India, meeting of the Pakistani Philosophers (1953 – Karachi), and the Seminar on Religions for Peace, (San Francisco, USA, 1965). So numerous were the essays, write-ups, literary contributions he made and radio talks delivered over Buddhist, religious and cultural matters and Social service assignments. He was the founder president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists inaugurated within the hallowed precincts of the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy in 1950 at the suggestion of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress.

He was president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists from 1950 to 1958 as well as the Ceylon Arts Society;

Diplomatic career

Malalasekera was appointed the first Ambassador for Ceylon to the USSR in 1957 by Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike when he established diplomatic relations with socialist countries such as Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia. In 1959, he was appointed concurrently first Ambassador for Ceylon to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania.[4]

Subsequently, he functioned as the Ceylon High Commissioner in Canada and was Ceylon UN Permanent Representative in New York. There he served as chairman, Security Council Member, Fact Finding Mission to Saigon and also in the Committee on Information from North Non-self Governing Territories. Finally, he was the Ceylon's High Commissioner in the UK from 1963 to 1967.

In 1967, he returned to the island to accept the post of chairman of the National Higher Education Commission which responsible post he held till 1971. He died on 23 April 1973.

Family life

He married Margaret Russel in 1927, she was a concert pianist he met while he was a student at the London School of Oriental Studies. The marriage lasted only three years and produced a daughter Chitra who excelled in classical music (piano). He thereafter married Lyle, they had three sons and two daughters. His sons were Indrajith, Arjun and Vijaya. Vijaya studied law at the University of Cambridge and was called to the English Bar as Barrister-at-Law. His second daughter became a science graduate.

Honors

• Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) (1949)[5]
• Justice of the Peace
• Membre d'Honneur of École française d'Extrême-Orient
• Commander of the Royal Order of Monisaraphon
• Buddha Sasana Vepulla Hitadhara from the Supreme Council of Buddhist Monks, Burma

See also

• Sri Lankan Non Career Diplomats

References

1. Wijenayaka, Walter. "Remembering Professor G. P. Malalasekera – outstanding personality", "The Island (Sri Lanka)", Sri Lanka, 24 April 2011. Retrieved on 16 January 2018.
2. Outstanding Buddhist Leader.
3. Professor G. P. Malalasekera – outstanding personality.
4. unesco
5. London Gazette

External links

• Dictionary of Pali Names by G. P. Malalasekera
• Books by Professor G. P. Malalasekera
• Biography of Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera
• Local symbol of global Buddhism
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Archives of the World Congress of Faiths
by archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk
Accessed: 4/1/19

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Archive Collection

For more information, email the repository Advice on accessing these materials. Cite this description Bookmark:https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb738-ms222

This material is held at University of Southampton Special Collections
Reference GB 738 MS 222
Dates of Creation 1924-1992
Name of Creator The World Congress of Faiths
Language of Material English.
Physical Description 35 boxes

Scope and Content

Papers for annual general meetings, 1945-82; minutes of the executive committee, 1934-92, including minutes of the executive committee of the predecessor of the World Congress of Faiths, the World Fellowship of Faiths, chaired by Sir Francis Younghusband

Sir Francis Younghusband's proposal for an International Congress of World Faiths, 1935

World Congress of Faiths Trust Association: memorandum and articles of association, 1943 and 1955-88; council minute book, 1955 62 (1 vol.)

Correspondence, membership and financial papers, 1935 92; alphabetical sequence, including correspondence with the Association of World Federalists, 1976-85; the Church Education Movement, 1987-9; Human Rights Society, 1978; the Inter-Faith Association, 1980-7; the Inter-Faith Network, Great Britain, 1985-91; Mount Abu summit on global co-operation for a better world, 1989; the Standing Conference on Inter-faith Dialogue in Education, 1975-85; the Temple of Understanding, 1974-92; the United Nations Association, 1975-89; the Vatican, 1975-9; and the World Conference of Religion for Peace, 1974 89

Records of branches: Brent, 1974 5; Cambridge, minute book, 1948 60; Canterbury, 1977; West Germany, 1968 75; Pakistan, 1971 4

Newscuttings, 1924, 1953 74 (4 vols.)

Administrative / Biographical History

The World Congress of Faiths was founded in 1936 by Sir Francis Younghusband (1863-1942). He served with the First Dragoon Guards, transferring in 1890 to the Indian Political Department. He was subsequently British commissioner to Tibet, 1902-4, and British representative to Kashmir, 1906-9; he was President of the Royal Geographical Society, 1919. One of the mainsprings of the World Congress of Faith were the spiritual experiences of Sir Francis, but it also had roots in the Religions of Empire conference held in London in 1924 and in the second World's Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1933. The aim of the World Congress of Faiths is to promote fellowship between followers of all faiths; to revitalise man's spiritual being through religion and to encourage study of religions whilst allowing members to follow their own tradition. It publishes INTERFAITH NEWS and WORLD FAITH INSIGHT. (M.Braybrooke A WIDER VISION: THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAITHS, 1936-1996 (Oxford, 1996).

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Note

Compiled by Gwennyth Anderson

Other Finding Aids

Lists

Subjects

Christianity and other religions
GlobalizationReligious aspects

Personal Names

Younghusband Sir Francis 1863-1942 founder of the World Congress of Faiths

Corporate Names

World Congress of Faiths, formerly World Fellowship of Faiths
World Congress of Faiths Trust Association
Association of World Federalists
Church Education Movement
Human Rights Society
Inter-Faith Association
Inter-Faith Network Great Britain
Mount Abu summit
Standing Conference on Inter-faith Dialogue in Education
International Congress of World Faiths
Temple of Understanding
United Nations Association
Vatican

World Conference of Religion for Peace

Geographical Names

Cambridge (England)
Canterbury (England)
Germany
Pakistan
Brent (London, England)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:11 am

World Congress of Faiths
by ICERM: International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation
Publish date: 12:38 pm, July 2, 2018

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Younghusband stressed that the primary aim of the initiative was to promote fellowship between faiths: there was no intention of formulating a new religion through convergence, nor of seeking the lowest common denominator, nor of appraising the value of existing religions and discussing respective merits and defects. Through discussion and reflection, and by coming closer to each other, members of different religions would deepen their own spiritual communion and the concept of God was strengthened.

The organisation has its roots in the Parliament of World Religions, first held in Chicago in 1893 and the Religions of Empire Conference, held in London in 1924. Inspired by these movements and his own spiritual experiences, explorer Sir Francis Younghusband, once described as ‘the last great imperial adventurer’, organised two international conferences in London, and after the second of these, in the shadow of a looming World War, WCF became established as an independent body.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:14 am

New Chair in Tibetan Buddhist Studies: The endowed chair is the largest gift to study Tibetan Buddhism that has been awarded in North America.
New Chair in Tibetan Buddhist Studies Established at University of Michigan
by College of Literature, Science & the Arts, University of Michigan
June 27, 2018

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From Tavistock to Rand

In 1967, the head of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London was a man named Dr. Fred Emery, an expert on the 'hypnotic effects' of television. Dr. Emery was particularly struck by what he observed of crowd behavior at rock concerts, which were a relatively new phenomenon at that time. Emery referred to the audiences as 'swarming adolescents.' He was convinced that this behavior could effectively be refined and used to bring down hostile or uncooperative governments. Emery wrote an article about this for the Tavistock Institute's journal, Human Relations, which he confidently titled, "The Next Thirty Years: Concepts, Methods and Anticipations." The article detailed ways in which to safely channel or directly manipulate what he termed 'rebellious hysteria.' This is precisely what the RAND studies later observed, and manufactured, as 'swarming.' [19]

Following World War I, the British Military had created the Tavistock Institute to serve as its psychological warfare arm. The Institute received its name from the Duke of Bedford, Marquis of Tavistock, who donated a building to the Institute in 1921 to study the effect of shell-shock on British soldiers who had survived World War I. Its purpose was not to help the traumatized soldiers, however, but instead to establish the 'breaking point' of men under stress. The program was under the direction of the British Army Bureau of Psychological Warfare. For a time Sigmund Freud worked with Tavistock on psychoanalystical methods applied to individuals and large groups.

After World War II, the Rockefeller Foundation moved in to finance the Tavistock Institute and, in effect, to co-opt its programs for the United States and its emerging psychological warfare activities. [20] The Rockefeller Foundation provided an infusion of funds for the financially strapped Tavistock, newly reorganized as the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations. Its Rockefeller agenda was to undertake "under conditions of peace, the kind of social psychiatry that had developed in the army under conditions of war." [21]

That was a fateful turn.

Tavistock immediately began work in the United States, sending its leading researcher, the German-born psychologist, Kurt Lewin, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1945 to establish the Research Center for Group Dynamics. Lewin was interested in the scientific study of the processes that influence individuals in group situations, and is widely credited as the founder of 'social psychology.' After Lewin's death, the Center moved to the University of Michigan in 1948 where it became the Institute for Social Research. [22]

Tavistock's work over the next two decades was to co-opt legitimate psychological insights into social groups and social dynamics in order to refine techniques for social manipulation.

Then, Fred Emery's 1967 insights about 'swarming' crowds seemed validated by massive student uprisings in Paris during May 1968. Thousands of 'swarming adolescents' grew into a movement of millions, destabilizing the French government and eventually toppling President Charles de Gaulle. [23] That spontaneous outpouring was closely studied by Tavistock and by various US intelligence agencies for methods, patterns, and tactics that would be developed and implemented over the ensuing three and a half decades by the US intelligence community.

_______________

Notes:

20. Bill Cooke, Foundations of Soft Management: Rockefeller, Barnard, and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Lancaster University Management School, accessed in http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:f- ... =clnk&cd=6

Cooke notes, 'While Tavistock histories have been previously written, this is the first to draw on archival material which sets out the early relations between the Rockefeller and TIHR founder ATM "Tommy" Wilson in the 1930s, and shows how the Tavistock's development into a centre of social and organizational science was supported by the Rockefeller's medical research program up until the 1950s. It also situates the rise of the Tavistock in a nexus of transatlantic inter-personal relationships on the one hand, and changing UK, US, and world politics on the other.'

21. Eric Trist and Hugh Murray, The Social Engagement of Social Science -- A Tavistock Anthology: The Foundation and Development of the Tavistock Institute to 1989, quoted in http://everything2.com/e2node/The%2520T ... 0Institute.

22. University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Research Center for Group Dynamics, History, in http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/history/.

23. A curious tiny group named Situationist International played an inordinately large role behind the student uprisings in May 1968 leading some researchers to posit that it was backed or steered by US intelligence. Even the powerful French Communist trade union, CGT, attempted to quell the student unrest to no avail. De Gaulle was considered a 'friend' of the Soviet Union for his opposition to US-run NATO.

-- Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy In The New World Order, by F. William Engdahl


Accepted an invitation from the Association for Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, U.S.A., to lecture in America (1959), and delivered over a total of one hundred and sixty lectures at various universities and arranged meetings in six months. His later teaching engagement for two years in England allowed him the opportunity to translate into English from the Pali, for the very first time that it had ever been done, the second of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga. It was published by the Pali Text Society in 1969 under the title of The Book of Analysis.

-- Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila (1896-1997), by Dhamma Web


Later in Delhi, she became editor of the magazine "Social Welfare" of the Ministry of Welfare. She briefly served as a member of the United Nations Social Services Planning Commission to Burma, during which she was first exposed to Buddhism, which quickly became the defining aspect of her life. In Rangoon she learned vipassana from Mahasi Sayadaw, and Sayadaw U Titthila.[6][7]

_______________

Notes:

6. "GELONGMA KARMA KHECHOG PALMO". http://www.luxlapis.co.za.

7. Andrew Rawlinson, op. cit. "In 1952 she went to Rangoon and practised vipassana with Mahasi Sayadaw (Friedman, 276), one of the first Westerners to do so. She also practised with Sayadaw U Titthila (Snelling, 321). "

-- Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia


After Independence, she edited Social Welfare, a magazine of the Ministry of Welfare; and was also appointed as the social worker of the United Nations Social Services, assigned to Burma. And much later, she was nominated as the advisor on Tibetan Refugees to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

In 1952, while working for the United Nations, Freda went to Rangoon; and, there she was drawn to Buddhism, learnt Vipassana meditation with Mahasi Sayadaw and Sayadaw U Titthila. Freda was one of the first Westerners to be initiated into Vipasana.

-- MN Roy: brief outline of life-events and thoughts – Part 15: Western Women in leftist and national movements, by sreenivasarao's blogs


(ANN ARBOR, JUNE 27, 2018)—The University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has received a gift of $2.5 million to establish the Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship of Tibetan Buddhist Studies, which will further enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America. The gift is largest dedicated to the study of Tibetan Buddhism in North America.

Tibetan Buddhism, a tradition of Buddhism practiced in Tibet, Nepal, India, Mongolia, and other regions in China, today counts millions of followers around the world.

The professorship is made possible through the generosity of the donors of Khyentse Foundation, which provides support for institutions and individuals engaged in all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. Michigan is only the second Khyentse chair in North America. The first was established at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006.

“As citizens of a world that is ever shifting, changing and even precarious, we must all seek and contemplate sources of strength and sanity. For centuries, Buddhist study and practice have proved to bring stability and harmony to both individuals and society,” said Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, founder of Khyentse Foundation. “So in this day and age, it is more crucial than ever that such wisdom be preserved and kept alive in important institutions of learning like the University of Michigan.”

The Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship will reside in LSA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. It is named after the Tibetan poet, philosopher, and painter Gendun Chopel (1903-1951), regarded by many as the leading Tibetan thinker of the twentieth century.

In fall 2019, the department will conduct an international search to fill the newly created professorship with a faculty member who will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism.
This research will be shared with students and scholars of Buddhism around the globe, enriching knowledge and understanding of an ancient religion whose teachings continue to inspire the modern world.

"Michigan has a long and distinguished tradition of excellence in the field of Buddhist studies," said Donald Lopez, chair of Asian languages and cultures and the Arthur E. Link Distinguished Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies. "This historic gift will allow us to expand both our undergraduate and our graduate programs in new directions. We are deeply grateful to Khyentse Foundation."

*****

CONTACT: Tamra Talmadge-Anderson
University of Michigan
tampr@umich.edu
CONTACT: Sarah Anne Wilkinson
Khyentse Foundation
sarah@khyentsefoundation.org

About Khyentse Foundation

Khyentse Foundation is an international 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The foundation supports all traditions of Buddhist study and practice, with beneficiaries in 30 countries over the past 17 years. Projects funded include a chair of Buddhist studies at the University of California at Berkeley, a lectureship at the University of Sydney, the digitization of the entire Tibetan Buddhist scriptural canon, endowments for traditional monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship program, and numerous other innovative initiatives. Learn more about Khyentse Foundation at khyentsefoundation.org.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:17 am

World Fellowship of Buddhists
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19

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The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) is an international Buddhist organization. Initiated by Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, it was founded in 1950[1] in Colombo, Ceylon by representatives from 27 nations.[2] Although Theravada Buddhists are most influential in the organization, (its headquarters are in Thailand and all of its presidents have been from Sri Lanka or southeast Asia), members of all Buddhist schools are active in the WFB. It now has regional centers in 35 countries, including India, the United States, Australia, and several nations of Africa and Europe, in addition to traditional Buddhist countries.[3]

The aims and objectives of the World Fellowship of Buddhists are:[2]

1. To promote among the members strict observance and practice of the teachings of the Buddha

2. To secure unity, solidarity, and brotherhood amongst Buddhists

3. To propagate the sublime doctrine of the Buddha

4. To organize and carry on activities in the field of social, educational, cultural and other humanitarian services

5. To work for happiness, harmony and peace on earth and to collaborate with other organizations working for the same ends.

The current president is Phan Wannamethee of Thailand serving since 1999, while Venerable Hsing Yun of the Republic of China serves as honorary president.

See also

• Buddhist councils
• Buddhist Society of India
• Index of Buddhism-related articles
• World Buddhist Sangha Council
• International Buddhist Confederation
• Secular Buddhism

References

1. Olson, Carl (2009). The A to Z of Buddhism. Scarecrow Press. pp. 241–242. ISBN 9780810870734.
2. "About WFBHQ". World Fellowship of Buddhists. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
3. Melton, J. Gordon; Baumann, Martin (2010). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices [6 volumes]: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO. p. 3132. ISBN 9781598842043.

External links

• World Fellowship of Buddhists homepage
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:20 am

Mehtab Kaur of Patiala
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19

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The abrupt dislocation from their lakeside home, with its backdrop of snowcapped mountains, to the teeming, hot, dusty, dirty cityscape of Delhi was a rude shock. The Bedis were broke, homeless, and without work. Furthermore, Freda had four-year-old Guli and six-year-old Kabir to look after. Ranga was already in Delhi, a BA student in History and Economics at St. Stephen’s College.

In desperation, the Bedis initially fell back on their tried-and-tested practice of camping instead of buying or renting. On the outskirts of the bustling capital was a walled area of about five acres belonging to a friend of Freda’s, the White Maharani of Patiala (in the Punjab). Part of the land was taken up by the Ashoka Vihara Center, a community of monks, but the rest was open ground, some of it contaiing ruins. It was much to their liking.

The Bedi tents had style. They were large with mesh windows to stop the mosquitoes, and beautiful Kashmiri rugs on the floor (on loan from the Maharani). Their neighbors were a motley collection of eccentric, colorful characters. For Guli and Kabir it was a magic playground. They cooked pigeon over communal fires, and made friends with all the stray dogs.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


Image
Mehtab Kaur
Maharani of Patiala 2nd wife of Yadavindra Singh
Tenure 1938 – 1947
Predecessor Bakhtawar Kaur
Successor Royalty abolished
Born Mohinder Kaur
14 September 1922
Ludhiana, Punjab Province, British Raj
Died 24 July 2017 (aged 94)
Patiala, Punjab, India
Maharaja Yadavindra Singh
(m. 1938; died 1974)
Issue
Detail
Heminder Kaur (daughter)
Rupinder Kaur (daughter)
Amarinder Singh (son)
Malvinder Singh (son)
Father Sardar Harchand Singh Jaijee
Member of Parliament
In office
1967–1971
Preceded by Sardar Hukam Singh
Succeeded by Sat Pal Kapur
Constituency Patiala
Personal details
Political party Indian National Congress
Residence New Motibagh Palace, Patiala

Mehtab Kaur (née Mohinder Kaur; 14 September 1922 – 24 July 2017), was the second wife of the ninth and the last Maharaja of Patiala Yadavindra Singh (1914–1974). She was the mother of Amarinder Singh, the current Chief Minister of Punjab. Had it not been for the erstwhile Indian princely families being stripped of their titles in 1971, upon the death of her husband she would have been considered Rajmata (queen mother), and in popular usage is commonly referred to as such.

Early years

She was born in Ludhiana, undivided Punjab as Mohinder Kaur, the daughter of Sardar Harchand Singh Jaijee, a nobleman of Patiala State and a member of the Patiala Riyasat Prajya Mandal (Patiala State Peoples' Forum, an affiliate of the Indian National Congress party). In August 1938, at age 16, she was married to the Maharaja of Patiala Yadavindra Singh, the ruling Maharaja of Patiala. She was the Maharaja's second wife. As the senior Maharani was also named Mohinder Kaur, and was present in the palace to receive her co-wife, the younger Mohinder Kaur received the new name Mehtab Kaur.

As Maharani

Image
Residence of Maharani Mehtab Kaur, New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.

Yadvinder Singh had succeeded his father as the Maharaja of Patiala, only a few months prior to his wedding. His first marriage had been (and remained) childless. However, barely 10 months after her wedding, Mehtab Kaur became a mother with the birth of a daughter, Heminder Kaur, future wife of the diplomat and politician Natwar Singh. The following year saw the birth of another daughter, Rupinder Kaur, followed in March 1942 by her first son Amarinder Singh. He was followed in 1944 by a second son, Malvinder Singh.

India gained its independence in 1947. On 15 July 1948, the princely state of Patiala was merged with the Indian union and the ruling power of the Maharaja was ended. Patiala was merged with certain other princely states to form PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States' Union), a state within the union of India. Yadvinder Singh was named Rajpramukh or ceremonial Governor of this new state. The royal family of Patiala worked diligently to adjust to the new realities of their situation, and Maharani Mehtab Kaur (the name by which she was now known) made important contributions in the transition.

India received its independence at the price of being partitioned, and the province of Punjab bore the brunt of that brutal upheaval. Patiala, as a major town located near the newly defined border between India and Pakistan, received tens of thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees who had been compelled to leave their homes in the territories that became Pakistan. The royal family of Patiala organised numerous camps and relief projects in aid of these refugees. In particular, the two Maharanis supervised relief kitchens and medical provisions for them.

Political career

At the time when his state was merged into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union, the Maharaja had been given the position of Rajpramukh (ceremonial governor) of PEPSU for life. However, in 1956, PEPSU disappeared from the map following a further reorganization of internal borders in India, and the Maharaja was summarily deprived of the responsibilities (and perks) of office.

After 1956, the Maharaja was given various diplomatic assignments, including heading Indian delegations to the UN general assembly (1956), UNESCO (1957–58) and UNFAO (1959 onwards). He also served as ambassador to Italy (1965–66) and the Netherlands (1971–1974). These relatively minor assignments were a far cry from the assurances that the royals of India had received when they signed away their kingdoms, and from the absolute ruling powers to which the Maharaja had been accustomed. Further, the ruling Congress party was championing a sharp turn left-wards in its policies, and its utterances with regard to the erstwhile princes were radical and alarming. Since Patiala was by far the largest of the princely states in Punjab, the government had deemed it expedient to keep the Maharaja beholden (and away from politics) by giving him minor diplomatic assignments which required his presence abroad. The Maharaja was however anxious to gain some political leverage and influence in the ruling dispensation, but as a titular Maharaja, it was not possible for him to enter party politics himself. Meanwhile, Mehtab Kaur's father and family had risen in the ranks of the Congress party, building on the Riyasat Praja Mandal background. For these reasons, and at her husband's behest, Mehtab Kaur entered party politics in 1964.

Mehtab Kaur served as a member of Rajya Sabha, the indirectly elected upper house of the Indian Parliament, from 1964 to 1967 as a Congress party member. In 1967, she was elected to the 4th Lok Sabha (1967–71),[1] the directly elected lower house of Parliament, from the Patiala constituency. In 1971, the Congress party and its government executed some of their radical plans by individually 'de-recognizing' each and every one of the over 500 Maharajas who existed at that time in India. The privy purse (pension) and other benefits which had been guaranteed to them by solemn covenant in 1947-48, when they signed away their kingdoms, were summarily withdrawn as well. In keeping with Indira Gandhi's anti-royal political stance, Mehtab Kaur was marginalized and was not given a party nomination to contest the general elections of 1971. Instead, the Maharaja was appointed ambassador to the Netherlands that year, and the family again moved abroad.


Later life

In 1974, the former Maharaja died at the Hague while still serving as India's ambassador to the Netherlands. The family returned to India, and the two dowager ex-Maharanis took up residence in their family home, the Moti Bagh Palace in Patiala. Due to the demise of her husband, Mehtab Kaur gave up wearing jewelry, silk or bright colored clothing, and dressed exclusive in two colors, namely white and Indigo blue, which are the colors of renunciation and piety in Sikh tradition. She had forayed into politics only because her husband had desired it, and as a pious widow, she now intended to withdraw from public life and spend her days in prayer and religious observances. All her children were married and settled by this time, and she had seven grandchildren upon whom she doted. However, in 1977, outraged by the excesses of the Emergency, in particular the forced sterilization by vasectomy of healthy men, she joined the Janata Party and was named one of its general secretaries. That party won the general elections held shortly thereafter, and in 1978, Mehtab Kaur was made a member of the Rajya Sabha. She served a full 6-year term (1978–84) in the upper house and then withdrew from public life.

In her retirement, Mehtab Kaur maintained the charitable traditions of her family and remained assiduous in matters of tradition and religious observance. She often granted audience to ladies from Patiala State until advanced age and ill-health prevented exertion. Her piety, austerity and charity made her a cultural icon in Patiala. In later life, she resided in New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala, before her death on 24 July 2017.[2]

References

1. Tribune of India It’s development vs Panth in Patiala
2. "Rajmata Mohinder Kaur no more". The Tribune. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Sheikh Abdullah
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19

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Far from being bowed from her time in jail, over the next four years Freda increased her efforts to bring freedom to the Indian subcontinent. She continued giving speeches in towns and villages, championing the exploited, fighting injustice, and working around the clock to earn a living to support the family. Increasingly her attention was drawn to Kashmir, the exquisitely beautiful but politically volatile state in northwest India famed for its snow-capped peaks, verdant pastures, and Dal Lake with its charming houseboats.

The lure was their close friend Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, president of Kashmir’s first political party, the National Muslim Conference, which he founded in 1932. In June 1939 he changed the name to the more secular sounding All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. The Bedis and Sheikh Abdullah had much in common. Both believed in equal rights for all sections of society regardless of caste, creed, or religion. Both were adamant about overthrowing imperialism, which in Sheikh Abdullah’s case took the form of the Raj-appointed maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh. Self-rule was the mutual goal.


Sheikh Abdullah was a towering figure. He wore long regal robes and called himself “the lion of Kashmir.” Like BPL, he was charismatic, forceful, and extremely determined. He was also a hunted man. The maharaja was after him, and so were the law enforcers of the British Raj. When he was banned from entering Kashmir, he rushed for sanctuary with Freda and BPL in The Huts. ….

Freda, however, went several steps further. In order to get Sheikh Abdullah’s messages to his many thousands of followers, she elected to carry them herself, disguised in a burka. Inevitably she was discovered and given forty-eight hours to get out of Kashmir. Freda announced, “I’m going to do nothing of the kind,” and surreptitiously continued carrying messages.

During these years, fighting for Kashmir, Freda’s tenacity and courage became legendary. When the police discovered her staying in a hotel owned by a Sheikh Abdullah sympathizer in Srinagar, they stormed it, forcing her eviction. She found refuge with a houseboat owner on Dal Lake, who hid her in the kitchen. The police were hot on her heels; discovering her hiding place, they roughed up the houseboat owner and his family. Freda returned from her mission to find them in tears and beating their chests. Without a moment’s hesitation she sprang into action.

“Mummy immediately got into a rowboat that took her to shore, where she climed into a tonga (horse-drawn carriage) to look for the policemen,” reports Ranga. “She found them at a tea shop. After asking them why they had molested the family, she took off her shoe and began to hit them. They ran for their lives, nonplussed that a British woman was beating them.


“Mummy was quite expecting to be arrested again, and was ready for it, but the maharaja thought better of it. He didn’t want the scandal of incarcerating her with its attendant publicity of what she had done – it made the police look too silly.”

On another occasion it was Freda herself who was hurt – and this time she had taken Ranga with her. They were in Srinagar for a riverboat procession down the Jhelum River to celebrate the fact that Sheikh Abdullah was willing to embrace all faiths in his case. As the boats, with Freda, Ranga, BPL, and all of Sheikh Abdulla’s top guns, sailed down the river, they saw the maharaja’s people gathering on the banks to protest.

“As the boats passed under the bridges, they hurled stones down on us, including mummy, who lay on top of me to protect me. Many people got injured, but I was OK. As for Mummy, she just carried on. She was utterly fearless,” said Ranga…..

During her treks in the Kashmiri hills, Freda met the renowned British writer Rumer Godden (author of Black Narcissus and The Greengage Summer, among other highly esteemed literary works) … The two women became close friends…..

Another illustrious figure who came into Freda’s life at this time was Jawaharlal Nehru, who was to become India’s first prime minister. He had met Freda in the early thirties at a Congress convention and admired her greatly, especially after her imprisonment. In addition to Indian self-rule, he too was keenly interested in socialism and women’s emancipation. Nehru passionately loved Kashmir, his ancestral home, and took every opportunity to go there. At such times Freda would often drop in, and she became close friends with his daughter, Indira, who was just six years younger, and also Oxford educated. The relationship was sealed when Freda and BPL were invited to Indira’s wedding to Feroze Gandhi (no relation), in 1942.

Ranga was at the celebration. “I remember it was held in a large house – and Mummy was the only British face there. Afterward we went to have breakfast with Nehru. We all stayed friends for years. Indira’s sons, Rajiv and Sanjay, and became our playmates. Many years later Indira attended my wedding to Umi.”

For all her political work, her teaching, her family, her marriage, and her writing, it would be wrong to think that Freda had forsaken her spiritual quest. Far from it. If anything, living in India had only heightened her deep yearning for spiritual nourishment and education. She did yoga (even in jail) and read as much spiritual literature as she could, including the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Bible, searching for the eternal verities that lay beyond dogma. “I am going through the Old Testament again, leaving out the Rules and the begats. The Gita says that all paths lead to Me. That I believe,” she said…..

An interesting side effect of Freda’s daily meditation practices, she said, was an increase in her clairvoyance: “I got many internal revelations, even visions,” she said later in a radio interview in New York. She discovered she could receive messages via dreams, for example. On one occasion Freda was able to reassure an old college friend living in Malaysia during the outbreak of the war that her missing husband was not dead, as she feared, because she had dreamed of her, her two children, and her husband escaping from the Japanese. Sure enough, four years later the husband emerged from the jungle where he had been hiding and was reunited with his family.

By 1943, the war was beginning to turn against Germany, and two years later, in May 1945, peace was finally declared, ending the global onslaught of terror, destruction, and death…. Now, she felt, her job was nearing completion and it would be safe for her to have another child. She would have the time and energy to devote to a new baby, unlike with Tilak. Freda promptly became pregnant.

She had another prophetic dream in which she saw a Tibetan figure holding a boy in front of him. He said to her, “Take care of him.” However, at this point in her life, she knew no Tibetans – they had yet to pour out of their homeland into exile. The dream was a harbinger of things to come.

On January 16, 1946, Freda gave birth to her second son, whom they named Kabir, after the sixteenth-century much-loved mystic poet and saint who preached peace between Hindus and Muslims, and the oneness of all religions. From the outset, Freda regarded Kabir as a special child and the closest to her of all her children.

As a Freemason, al Kabir also aimed to demonstrate the relationship between the symbols of Freemasonry and Islam.

-- The Sufi Conspiracy, by David Livingstone


Sheikh Abdulla sent a congratulatory telegram from Riasi jail where he was serving one of his many prison sentences. “He will grow up, I am sure, as a very handsome boy and his forehead depicts him to be a great thinker and revolutionary. May he live long and have a happy life.”….

LUTHER: Here the hurricane, of which Balzac spoke, embraces forehead, eyes and nose, no marble dome is arched above it; but this flaming volcano of energy and thoughtfulness rests upon mouth and chin as upon a rock of granite. Even the smallest feature of the powerful face testifies to energy and thirst for achievement.

-- The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston Stewart Chamberlain


In 1947, as Independence neared, Freda returned to England to attend a large socialist conference and to see her mother and show her the new child. On August 15, 1947, at the stroke of midnight, while she was in England, Indian Independence was declared….

She would have dearly loved to be there celebrating with her husband and all her friends, but BPL had warned her to stay away. Already the tension between Hindus and Muslims was mounting, and BPL knew the bloodshed that was about to occur. He had written her an urgent letter saying, “Don’t come back to Lahore at this time, whatever you do.”


He was right. At the same time an independent, free India was born, a brand-new country, the Muslim state of Pakistan was also created, out of what had formerly been known as the Punjab.

It should have been a moment of great joy and celebration. Instead India awoke to a bloodbath. Rather than being united under the banner of freedom, the subcontinent was abruptly split apart on the basis of religion. A massive cross-migration had begun, with thousands of Muslims fleeing India to get to Pakistan, and Hindus and Sikhs going in the opposite direction to India….

Lahore was ablaze, with riots in the streets as gangs of Sikhs and Muslims clashed…. It was estimated that more than half a million people were killed and more than a million made homeless….

According to Kabir, the ever-confident BPL faced the crisis head-on. “Father was in Lahore, right on the border. He helped people going both ways! He pretended to be whoever might be useful in the moment – he could speak all languages – and would talk his way out of every situation each time he was confronted.”….

Packing their meager belongings, Freda, BPL, Ranga, and baby Kabir moved to Kashmir, the beautiful land north of the Punjab. The idealistic, romantic, basic, and communal life in The Huts was over. A new era was beginning.

In the last few weeks of 1947, the Bedis moved into a fine gabled house on the edge of Dal Lake that was equipped with comforts and conveniences unheard of in The Huts. They had been drawn not by the landscape but by their great friend Sheikh Abdullah, who was now prime minister of the conjoined State of Jammu and Kashmir. He was promising everything they believed in – religious harmony between Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Harijans (the Untouchables); female emancipation; and land reform. They were delighted to support him. In Freda’s eyes, Sheikh Abdullah was virtually a saint.

“He is a Moses-like figure who had, along with his party, led the Kashmiris out of the virtual slavery of the maharaja’s kingly rule to responsible government, and given a new self-respect to these gifted people. To this country, whose beauty is tragically silhouetted against the great, unchanging poverty of its peasants and working classes, he and his government have brought fresh faith and a new approach, “ she said…..


Right now, her hero and his state were in deep trouble. Tens of thousands of tribal warriors were pouring over the northwestern frontier from Pakistan, hell-bent on taking Srinagar, with its airport, and making it their own. These were the Pathans, the famous fiercest Islamic fighting force in the world, who were raping, pillaging, and hacking to death every infidel they could find in revenge for the massacres carried out on their Muslim brothers in the border areas. They were stopped at Baramulla, a town a few miles upstream from Srinagar, but not before the town had been reduced to ashes, and its inhabitants – including the Irish nuns at the Baramulla Convent and a priest and nurses in the Baramulla Hospital – had been butchered.

Freda and BPL nobly rushes to the rescue….

Kashmir balanced precariously on the brink as it struggled to decide where it was going to place itself – whether it would join with the Muslims in the newly formed Pakistan or accede to union with India. The tug-of-war was fraught, passionate, and vicious….

“The first thing Mummy did when we got to Kashmir was to get a group together and go to the church to clean it up. I was with her. Statues had been defaced and were lying smashed. She got down on her hands and knees to clean the blood of the floor and walls. The marauders had used machetes – blood was everywhere. The horror of it only urged her on,” recalled Ranga, who was fourteen years old at the time.

The second thing Freda did was to rush to the aid of the multitude of refugees arriving daily from the occupied territories in a constant stream of misery…..

Freda focused on the women and children, setting up twenty-three milk-ad-relief centers and recruiting a band of Kashmiri girls to help her….

Ranga witnessed what his mother went through. “It was a nightmare. Utter chaos. Everything had shut down, including the schools. Mummy worked around the clock, leaving at seven a.m. and coming home around ten p.m. She was organizing it all – the camps, the food, the medical supplies, the tents. Selfless volunteers were coming in from everywhere, and Mummy organized them too. She was absolutely hands-on.”

Freda wasn’t the only eminent Englishwoman helping the refugees. Edwina Mountbatten, wife of the last viceroy of India, tirelessly worked with the displaced and wounded after Independence, and she, too, appeared by Freda’s side. She declared herself deeply shocked by what she saw in Srinigar but was full of admiration at the sight of the women engaged in the relief effort. “It is always true that good comes out of evil and that there is no doubt that this crisis has brought out women to play their full part in their country’s affairs, which would otherwise have taken years of evolution to achieve,” she wrote in a letter to Sheikh Abdullah.

Edwina Mountbatten and Freda Bedi were clearly united in their outlook and mission. Edwina’s next move bore all the hallmarks of Freda’s persuasive powers. On returning to Delhi she persuaded Nehru (with whom she was particularly close) to send more government help to the Kashmirir refugees, which he duly did….

BPL was far away in Delhi, working to reopen the trade lifeline, shut since the war, which was essential to Kashmir‘s economy. So she was alone with Ranga and Kabir, with only Rufus the Great Dane to guard them.

To protect herself and her family, Freda did the unthinkable. She took up arms by joining a women’s militia – the Women’s Self-Defence Corps – started by some feisty members of the Communist Party affiliated with Sheikh Abdullah’s National Conference Party. They demanded to be trained and given arms in the face of the countless women being raped, abducted, and killed all around them. For Freda, a follower of Gandhi, it was a radical but necessary step. She spent hours drilling on a parade ground, learning to shoot a gun and lob a grenade alongside seventh other women, all volunteers gleaned from all classes, who had pledged to protect not only themselves but the citizens of Srinagar itself….. It was a big story, and was reported with pride in The People’s Age, a newspaper to which BPL contributed.

“For the first time on the soil of India there is being built an army of women trained to use the rifle and other modern weapons of war. The women of Kashmir are the first in India to build an army of women trained to use the rifle. By their example they have made Indian history, filled our chests with pride, and raised our country’s banner higher among the great nations of the world.”

The writing bears all the hallmarks of BPL’s communist rhetoric and with it the pledge to achieve female emancipation.

Nehru came to inspect the Women’s Self-Defence Corps, and press photographs reveal Freda standing boldly upright, rifle in hand, the only white face among a sea of brown ones. The training took up hours of her precious time, but in the end she never had to shoot anyone.


By the beginning of 1949, things were quieting down a little. On January 1, a cease-fire had been established following the condemnation of the Kashmir crisis by the United Nations. The maharaja, Sir Hari Singh, had fled, and much to Freda’s approval Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Harijans, and Christians began living peacefully side by side, in the capital at least. For the next few years, Freda and BPL got down to building up a new “enlightened” society. “Kashmir with its socialist government and its young leaders can lead India and rebuild this miserable country. I have great faith in it and love it, too. It’s beautiful, rich in talent and natural resources,” she claimed.

For the first (and last) time, BPL was bringing in a regular salary – employed in various capacities by Sheikh Abdulla’s government. Freda’s portfolio was massive. Not only did she continue her work with the refugees, she also established a Houseboatmen’s and Domestic Workers Unemployment Relief School, giving technical training to the children of classes hard hit by the stoppage of the lucrative tourist trade. She was delighted that the training carried with it a monthly cash payment for each child, thus enabling hard-hit families to buy food.

She and BPL also rewrote more than ninety school and college textbooks. “Kashmir was the first part of India to reorganize its teaching materials so that the books fitted in with the new world and the new free India that our children now live in” she boasted.

In a brief respite from her heavy workload, Freda managed to become pregnant again…. She wrote to Olive, “The latest family news is that we are expecting a sister (finally a sister) for the boys in early September.” …. (How Freda knew that her unborn baby would be female is unknown.)

On September 15, 1949, Freda gave birth to a girl. They called her Gulhima (shortened to Guli), meaning “Rose of the Snows” ….

The ROSE was anciently sacred to Aurora and the Sun. It is a symbol of Dawn, of the resurrection of Light and the renewal of life, and therefore of the dawn of the first day, and more particularly of the resurrection.

-- Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike


Never one to forsake her calling for motherhood, the very next year, Freda was back at work, this time as a member of the Board of English and Philosophic Studies in the newly founded Jammu and Kashmir University. By the autumn of 1950 she had taken on the additional role of visiting professor in the pioneering college, newly established in Srinagar especially for Kashmiri girls wanting to get their BA or BS degrees. She worked late into the night, diligently marking all the papers.

“We hope to produce our first graduates by the summer of 1952. There are 160 girls studying at the college”….

More work was in store. In 1950, all of North India suffered the most dreadful floods. Freda became Secretary of the Government Flood Relief Committee for Srinagar and Suburbs…..

There was time for a social life. Freda was very highly regarded throughout Kashmir, and with their connections the Bedis became a celebrated couple, frequenting many high-society cocktail parties…..
The Bedis’ house, with its beautiful gardens bordering on Dal Lake and its open-door policy, became a magnet for many business-people, international holidaymakers, educators, and journalists alike, including the celebrated American photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White, of Life magazine fame. “She was an elderly lady, yet she hung on telegraph poles to get her story,” remembered Ranga.

In spite of her extraordinary workload, her husband, and her children, Freda still pursued her spiritual quest, trying to find a path that would fulfill all her deepest yearnings for ultimate Truth and Freedom. Her search was exceptionally meticulous. Following her nonsectarian bent, she decided to take one religion at a time and study it thoroughly. For one year she practiced Islam, praying five times a day and observing the feast days. When a Canadian Jewish professor and his wife visited Kashmir, she studied Judaism with a green-leather-bound Torah that they gave her. Then she observed the Hindu fasts and studied the gods: Shiva, Ganesh, Krishna – all were equally important to her. And of course, she became thoroughly acquainted with Sikhism the religion of her husband’s forefathers.

One day she met a Tibetan Buddhist lama in Srinagar, the head of a Ladakhi monastery visiting from the other side of the continent. It was a brief encounter, but something resonated deeply within Freda….

By 1951, the thorny political issue of offering the people of Kashmir a plebiscite to let them decide whether they wanted to join Pakistan or accede to India hung heavily in the air. Freda was torn. While she believed in the people’s right to choose, she was adamantly against Pakistan’s propaganda, with its call for Islamic separation and the holocaust she feared would irrevocably follow, with Hindus and Sikhs the losers.

“There will be a tough fight when and if a plebiscite takes place. The other side uses low weapons – an appeal to religious fanaticism and hatred, which can always find a response. We fight with clean hands. I am content as a democrat that Kashmir should vote and turn whichever way it wishes, but I know a Pakistan victory would mean massacre and mass migration of Hindus and Sikhs – and I hate to face it. God forbid it should happen,” she said.

For the first time she revealed an anticommunist leaning. “I feel the British Press – with the exception of our friend Norman Cliff on the News Chronicle – is Pakistan minded, and while I realize that Pakistan and Middle East oil interests are linked, I think it is a great injustice to Kashmir. While a very brutal invasion and a lot of propaganda from the Pakistan side has been trying to make the state communist minded, it has valiantly stuck to his democratic ideas and built up this very war-torn, hungry world.”


BPL was valiantly doing his part in promoting counterpropaganda (a role given to him by Sheikh Abdullah’s administration), churning out publicity and articles both in Delhi and in Kashmir. One day in 1952, things went catastrophically wrong. BPL had a huge argument with his old friend Sheikh Abdullah, who was about to make a speech ratifying the plebiscite.

Kabir said, “My father warned him that India would never accept such a move and that Sheikh Abdullah would be jailed. He was also afraid that a plebiscite would deepen the split already existing in the state and would destroy the work that he, Mummy, and others had been carefully building up over the fragile early years to promote harmony and improve the living conditions of all the people. Kashmir had a huge Muslim majority, but anti-Pakistan feeling was also very high In Kashmir. That was what my father was working with, especially with his counterpropaganda. His ultimate commitment and hope was that Kashmir would be joined to secular India, with its democratic principles. Sadly the best of friendships ended in a bitter battle.”

The minute his argument with Sheikh Abdullah was over, BPL went home, packed up all his household goods and his family, and within twenty-four hours had moved everyone to Delhi. He could no longer stay in a Kashmir that he felt was heading for trouble, and in the employ of a man whose policies he no longer believed in. His prediction was right. In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed as prime minister, arrested on charges of conspiracy against the state, and jailed for eleven years. In Delhi, BPL never stopped petitioning for his release.


-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


Image
Mohammed Abdullah Sheikh
Sheikh Abdullah on a 1988 stamp of India
3rd Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
25 February 1975 – 26 March 1977
Succeeded by Governor's rule
In office
9 July 1977 – 8 September 1982
Preceded by Governor's rule
Succeeded by Farooq Abdullah
2nd Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
5 March 1948 – 9 August 1953
Preceded by Mehr Chand Mahajan
Succeeded by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad
Member of Constituent Assembly of India
In office
9 December 1946 – 24 January 1950
President of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference
In office
October 1932 – August 1981
Personal details
Born 5 December 1905[1]
Soura, Jammu and Kashmir, British India
Died 8 September 1982 (aged 76)[1]
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Political party Jammu & Kashmir National Conference
Spouse(s) Begum Akbar Jahan Abdullah
Children Farooq Abdullah, Suraiya Abdullah Ali
Alma mater Islamia College Lahore
Aligarh Muslim University[2]

Mohammed Abdullah Sheikh (5 December 1905 – 8 September 1982) was a Kashmiri politician who played a central role in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost Indian state. The self-styled "Sher-e-Kashmir" (Lion of Kashmir), Abdullah was the founding leader of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference and the 2nd Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He agitated against the rule of the Maharaja Hari Singh and urged self-rule for Kashmir.[3]

He served as the 2nd Prime Minister of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir after its accession to India in 1947[4] and was later jailed and exiled. He was dismissed from the position of Prime Ministership on 8 August 1953 and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was appointed as the new Prime Minister. The expressions ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat’ and ‘Prime Minister’ were replaced with the terms ‘Governor’ and ‘Chief Minister’ in 1965.[5] Sheikh Abdullah again became the Chief Minister of the state following the 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord and remained in the top slot till his death on 8 September 1982.[6]

Early life

Abdullah Sheikh was born in Soura, a village on the outskirts of Srinagar, eleven days after the death of his father Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahim. His father was a middle class manufacturer and trader of Kashmiri shawls. He was a descendent of a Hindu named Ragho Ram, who was converted to Islam in 1722 by the saint Rashid Balkhi and after conversion changed his name to Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, as per Abdullah's autobiography Atish-e-Chinar.[7]

According to Abdullah Sheikh, his step brother mistreated his mother and his early childhood was marked by utter poverty. His mother was keen that her children should receive proper education and, so, as a child, he was first admitted to a traditional school or Maktab where he learnt the recitation of the Quran and some basic Persian texts like Gulistan of Sa'di, Bostan, Padshanama, etc. Then in 1911 he was admitted to a primary school where he studied for about two years.

However, their family barber Mohammed Ramzan prevailed upon his uncle to send him back to school. He had to walk the distance of ten miles to school and back on foot but in his own words the joy of being allowed to obtain a school education made it seem a light work. He passed his Matriculation examination from Punjab University in 1922.[8]

Higher studies

After matriculation he obtained admission in Shri Partap College, the leading college of Kashmir. He also went to the Prince of Wales College in Jammu.[1] Then he took admission in Islamia College, Lahore and graduated from there. In 1930, he obtained an M.Sc. in Chemistry from Aligarh Muslim University.[1] During his college days he was an eye witness of the protests of the workers of the Government Silk Factory during the Silk Factory Workers Agitation and the sight of workers agitating for their rights made a deep impression on him and was an important factor in motivating him to struggle for the rights of the people of the Jammu and Kashmir State.[9]

Political activism

Image
Kashmiri polymath and lawyer Molvi Abdullah. His lectures motivated Abdullah Sheikh and other educated Muslim youth to struggle for justice and fundamental rights

As a student at Aligarh Muslim University,[2] he came in contact with and was influenced by persons with liberal and progressive ideas. He became convinced that the feudal system was responsible for the miseries of the Kashmiris and like all progressive nations of the world Kashmir too should have a democratically elected government.

Muslim Conference

Abdullah Sheikh and his colleagues were greatly influenced by the lectures of a Kashmiri polymath and lawyer Molvi Abdullah.[10] Molvi Abdullah's son Molvi Abdul Rahim, Abdullah Sheikh and Ghulam Nabi Gilkar were the first three educated Kashmiri youth to be arrested during the public agitation of 1931.[11]

Image
Abdullah Sheikh with other leaders of 1931 agitation. Sitting R to L: Sardar Gohar Rehman, Mistri Yaqoob Ali, Sheikh Abdullah, Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas. Standing R: Molvi Abdul Rahim, L:Ghulam Nabi Gilkar

Kashmir's first political party the Kashmir Muslim Conference with Abdullah Sheikh as President, Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas as general secretary, and Molvi Abdul Rahim as Secretary was formed on 16 October 1932. In his presidential address Abdullah Sheikh categorically stated that the Muslim Conference had come into existence to struggle for the rights of all oppressed sections of the society and not Muslims alone. It was not a communal party and would struggle for the rights of the oppressed, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, with the same fervor. He reasserted that the struggle of Kashmiris was not a communal struggle.[12]

In March 1933 the Muslim Conference constituted a committee which included Molvi Abdullah and nine other members for the purpose of establishing contacts with non-Muslim parties and exploring the possibility of forming a joint organisation. Those nine members were Khwaja Saad-ud-din Shawl, Khwaja Hassan Shah Naqshbandi, Mirwaiz Kashmir, Molvi Ahmad-Ullah, Mirwaiz Hamadani, Agha Syed Hussain Shah Jalali, Mufti Sharif-ud-din, Molvi Atiq-Ullah and Haji Jafar Khan. According to Abdullah Sheikh this effort was not successful because of the unfavourable reception of the idea by the non-Muslim parties.[13] Abdullah Sheikh campaigned to change the name of the Muslim Conference to National Conference, under the influence of among others Jawaharlal Nehru. After a prolonged and vigorous campaign a special session of the Muslim Conference held in June 1939 voted to change the name of the party to National Conference. Of the 176 members attending the session, 172 members voted in favour of the resolution.[14] According to Abdullah Sheikh the support of Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas of Jammu was very important in motivating the members to vote for this change.[15]

Electoral politics

As a result of the 1931 agitation, the Maharajah appointed a Grievances Commission with an Englishman B.J. Glancy as President who submitted its report in March 1932.[16] Subsequently, a Constitutional Reforms Conference also presided over by B.J. Glancy recommended the setting up of an elected Legislative Assembly (Praja Sabha). Consequently, a Praja Sabha with 33 elected and 42 nominated members elected on the basis of separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims was established in 1934.[17] Women and illiterate men without sufficient property, or title, or annual income of less than Rupees four hundred did not have the right to vote. Roughly less than 10% (according to Justice Anand only 3%) of the population were enfranchised.[18]

Even after the formation of Praja Sabha in 1934 as recommended by the Commission real power continued to remain in the hands of the Maharajah.[19]

Seventeen years later in 1951, the government of Kashmir with Sheikh Abdullah as Prime Minister held elections to a Constituent Assembly on the basis of universal adult suffrage. Sheikh Abdullah's Government had been accused of rigging in these elections to the Constituent Assembly.[20]

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Sheikh Abdullah with Nehru and Badshah Khan (centre) at Nishat Garden in 1945

Sheikh Abdullah was introduced to Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937 and as he too was a leader of the Indian National Congress was demanding similar rights for people of British India[21] and had formed The All India States Peoples Conference[22] for supporting the people of Princely States in their struggle for a representative government the two became friends and political allies.

National Conference

He introduced a resolution in the working committee of the Muslim Conference for changing its name to National Conference on 24 June 1938 to allow people from all communities to join the struggle against the autocratic rule of the Maharaja.[23] Meanwhile, he along with his liberal progressive friends, many of whom were not Muslim like Kashyap Bandhu, Jia Lal Kilam, Pandit Sudama Sidha, Prem Nath Bazaz and Sardar Budh Singh drafted the National Demands[24] the forerunner of the famous Naya Kashmir (New Kashmir) Manifesto (which was a charter of demands for granting a democratic constitution committed to the welfare of the common people of Kashmir)[25]

He presented these demands to the Maharajah in a speech on 28 August 1938.[26] The Maharajah was not willing to accept these demands and so he along with many of his companions was arrested for defying prohibitory orders and sentenced to six months imprisonment and a fine. His arrest provoked a public agitation in which volunteers called Dictators (so called because they had the authority to defy laws that was forbidden for normal law-abiding party members) courted arrest. This agitation was called off on the appeal of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He was released after serving his sentence on 24 February 1939 and accorded a grand reception by the people of Srinagar on his return. Speeches were made at the reception stressing the importance of unity among Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.[27] Subsequently the resolution for changing the name of Muslim Conference to National Conference was ratified with an overwhelming majority by the General Council of the Muslim Conference on 11 June 1939 and from that date Muslim Conference became National Conference.[28]

Quit Kashmir agitation

In May 1946 Sheikh Abdullah launched the Quit Kashmir agitation against the Maharajah Hari Singh and was arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment but was released only sixteen months later on 29 September 1947.[29] According to prominent columnist and writer A. G. Noorani, Quit Kashmir was ill-timed and illogical. (See Tehreek e Hurriyat e Kashmir By Rashid Taseer (Urdu) volume 2-page 29 for "National Demands" discussion and see Chapter 12-page 310-313 regarding presentation of "Naya Kashmir" Manifesto to Maharaja Hari Singh. Full text of "Naya Kashmir" manifesto is given from page 314 to 383. English translation of this text is available at Wikisource. Also see relevant chapters from Atish e Chinar regarding 1931 agitation (Chapters 9, 10 and 11) Glancy Commission (Chapter 15) formation of Muslim Conference (Chapter 18) meeting with Nehru (Chapter 23), reasons for change in name of Muslim Conference to National Conference (Chapter 24) and becoming president of All India States Peoples Conference (Chapter 31). His arrest and subsequent release following the Quit Kashmir agitation is discussed in Chapter 34-page 372-389.) [30]

Head of Government

Head of emergency administration


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Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah (right), chosen to head interim government in Kashmir, confers with Sardar Patel, deputy premier of India

Maharaja Hari Singh appealed to Lord Mountbatten of Burma the Governor-General of India for Indian military aid. In his Accession Offer dated 26 October 1947 which accompanied The Instrument of Accession duly signed by him on 26 October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh wrote "I may also inform your Excellency's Government that it is my intention at once to set up an interim Government and ask Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in this emergency with my Prime Minister."[31][32]

Lord Mountbatten accepted the accession after a meeting of the Defence Committee on 26 October 1947. In accepting the accession unconditionally he wrote, "I do hereby accept this Instrument of Accession. Dated this twenty seventh day of October, nineteen hundred and forty seven".[33] In the covering letter to Hari Singh, he wrote "In consistence with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State, it is my Government's wish that, as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and its soil cleared of the invader, the question of the State's accession should be settled by a reference to the people".[34] Also in his letter to the Maharaja Lord Mountbatten wrote "My Government and I note with satisfaction that your Highness has decided to invite Sheikh Abdullah to form an Interim Government to work with your Prime Minister." The support of Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a key factor in getting Sheikh Abdullah appointed as Head of the emergency administration by the Maharaja.[35]

As a consequence, Sheikh Abdullah was appointed head of an emergency administration by an order issued by the Maharaja which was undated except for the mention October 1947 in place of the date. He took charge as Head of the Emergency Administration on 30 October 1947.[36]

He raised a force of local Kashmiri volunteers to patrol Srinagar and take control of administration after the flight of the Maharaja along with his family and Prime Minister Meher Chand Mahajan to Jammu even before the Indian troops had landed. This group of volunteers would serve as the nucleus for the subsequent formation of Jammu and Kashmir Militia.[37] This, Sheikh Abdullah hoped, would take over the defence of Kashmir after the Indian army was withdrawn. This was articulated in his letter to Sardar Patel dated 7 October 1948 in which he wrote, "With the taking over of the State forces by the Indian Government, it was agreed that steps would be taken to reorganise and rebuild our army so that when the present emergency is over and the Indian forces are withdrawn the State will be left with a proper organised army of its own to fall back upon."[38] (Sheikh Abdullah has alleged that most of the Muslim soldiers of the Militia were either discharged or imprisoned before his arrest in 1953.[39] The Militia (dubbed as Dagan Brigade) was converted from a State Militia to a regular unit of the Indian Army on 2 December 1972 and redesignated the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry)[40]

Sheikh Abdullah spoke at the UN Security Council on 5 February 1948 thus: "The (tribal) raiders came to our land, massacred thousands of people — mostly Hindus and Sikhs, but Muslims, too — abducted thousands of girls, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims alike, looted our property and almost reached the gates of our summer capital, Srinagar."[41]

Prime minister

Image
Sheikh Abdullah receiving Nehru in Srinagar, 1947.

Sheikh Abdullah took oath as Prime Minister of Kashmir on 17 March 1948.[42]

Return to activism

Arrest and release


On 8 August 1953 he was dismissed as Prime Minister by the then Sadr-i-Riyasat (Constitutional Head of State) Dr. Karan Singh, son of the erstwhile Maharajah Hari Singh, on the charge that he had lost the confidence of his cabinet (not the house).[43] He was denied the opportunity to prove his majority on the floor of the house[44] and his dissident cabinet minister Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was appointed as Prime Minister.[45] Sheikh Abdullah was immediately arrested and later jailed for eleven years, accused of conspiracy against the State in the infamous "Kashmir Conspiracy Case".[46]

According to Sheikh Abdullah his dismissal and arrest were engineered by the central government headed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.[30] He has quoted B.N. Mullicks' statements in his book "My Years with Nehru"[47] in support of his statement.[30] A.G. Noorani writing in Frontline supports this view, as according to him Nehru himself ordered the arrest.[48] On 8 April 1964 the State Government dropped all charges in the so-called "Kashmir Conspiracy Case".[49] Sheikh Abdullah was released and returned to Srinagar where he was accorded an unprecedented welcome by the people of the valley".[50]

After his release he was reconciled with Nehru. Nehru requested Sheikh Abdullah to act as a bridge between India and Pakistan and make President Ayub to agree to come to New Delhi for talks for a final solution of the Kashmir problem. President Ayub Khan also sent telegrams to Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah with the message that as Pakistan too was a party to the Kashmir dispute any resolution of the conflict without its participation would not be acceptable to Pakistan. This paved the way for Sheikh Abdullah's visit to Pakistan to help broker a solution to the Kashmir problem.[51]

Sheikh Abdullah went to Pakistan in spring of 1964. President Ayub Khan of Pakistan held extensive talks with him to explore various avenues for solving the Kashmir problem and agreed to come to Delhi in mid June for talks with Nehru as suggested by him. Even the date of his proposed visit was fixed and communicated to New Delhi.[52] On 27 May while he was en route to Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir news came of the sudden death of Nehru and the Sheikh after addressing a public rally at Muzaffarabad returned to Delhi.[53] On his suggestion President Ayub Khan sent a high level Pakistani delegation led by his Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto along with him to take part in the last rites of Jawaharlal Nehru.[54]

After Nehru's death in 1964, he was interned from 1965 to 1968 and exiled from Kashmir in 1971 for 18 months. The Plebiscite Front was also banned. This was allegedly done to prevent him and the Plebiscite Front which was supported by him from taking part in elections in Kashmir.[55]

After Indo-Pakistan war and creation of Bangladesh

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Sheikh Abdullah addressing a mammoth gathering at Lal Chowk Srinagar in 1975

In 1971, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence was proclaimed on 26 March by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and subsequently the Bangladesh Liberation War broke out in erstwhile East Pakistan between Pakistan and Bangladesh joined later by India, and subsequently war broke out on the western border of India between India and Pakistan, both of which culminated in the creation of Bangladesh. Sheikh Abdullah watching the alarming turn of events in the subcontinent realised that for the survival of this region there was an urgent need to stop pursuing confrontational politics and promoting solution of issues by a process of reconciliation and dialogue rather than confrontation. Critics of Sheikh hold the view that he gave up the cherished goal of plebiscite for gaining Chief Minister's chair. He started talks with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for normalising the situation in the region and came to an accord called 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord with Indira Gandhi, then India's Prime Minister, by giving up the demand for a plebiscite in lieu of the people being given the right to self-rule by a democratically elected Government (as envisaged under article 370 of the Constitution of India) rather than the puppet government which till then ruled the State.[56]

Return to power

Image
Sheikh Abdullah's funeral procession

He assumed the position of Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. The Central Government and the ruling Congress Party withdrew its support so that the State Assembly had to be dissolved and mid term elections called.[57]

The National Conference won an overwhelming majority in the subsequent elections and re-elected Sheikh Abdullah as Chief Minister.[58] He remained as Chief Minister till his death in 1982.

Abdullah, described as a six feet four inches (1.93 m)[59][60][61] to six feet six inches (1.98 m) tall man,[62] was fluent in both Kashmiri and Urdu. His biography in Urdu entitled Atish-e-Chinar was written by the noted Kashmiri author M.Y. Taing and published after Sheikh Abdullah's death. It is often referred to as his autobiography as Taing claimed that he only acted as an amanuensis.[63] It is based on extensive interviews that Taing had with Sheikh Abdullah and provides valuable information on Sheikh Abdullah's family background, early life, ringside glimpses of happenings in Kashmir at a crucial juncture in its history, and his viewpoint about the political events in Kashmir in which he himself played a central role.[64]

After his death his eldest son Dr. Farooq Abdullah was elected as the Chief Minister of the State.

Personal life

In 1933 he married Akbar Jahan, the daughter of Michael Harry Nedou, of Slovak and Brisith descent, and his Kashmiri wife Mirjan.[65] Michael Harry Nedou was himself the proprietor of a hotel at the tourist resort of Gulmarg[66] (The writer Tariq Ali claims that Akbar Jehan was previously married in 1928 to an Arab Karam Shah who disappeared after a Calcutta newspaper Liberty reported that he was actually T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)[67] a British Intelligence officer. He claims that Akbar Jehan was divorced by her first husband in 1929.)[68]

Commentaries

Pakistani view


The government of Pakistan in 1947 viewed Abdullah and his party as agents of Nehru and did not recognise his leadership of Kashmir.[69] He spoke against Pakistani government in United Nations by comparing it with Hitler's rule, and he also endorsed Indian stand on Jammu and Kashmir. However, there was a change in Pakistan's viewpoint with the passage of time. When he visited Pakistan in 1964 he was awarded a tumultuous welcome by the people of Pakistan. Among the persons who received him was Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas his once colleague and later bitter political enemy who earlier in his book Kashmakash had denounced Sheikh Abdullah as a turncoat and traitor. Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas embraced him and in his speech described him as one of the greatest leaders of the subcontinent and a great benefactor of the Muslims of the subcontinent.[70][71] President Ayub Khan and his then Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto discussed the Kashmir problem with him. The government of Pakistan treated him as a state guest.[72] Sheikh Abdullah had the rare distinction of having poems in his praise written by three major Pakistani Urdu poets namely Hafeez Jullundhri, Josh and Faiz Ahmed Faiz who admired his lifelong struggle against injustice and for democratic rights of the common man.[73]

See also

• List of Kashmiris
• History of Jammu and Kashmir
• Kashmir conflict
• Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)
• Kashmiriyat – a socio-cultural ethos of religious harmony and Kashmiri consciousness.
• Political Parties in Kashmir in 1947
• List of topics on the land and the people of "Jammu and Kashmir"
• Kashmir Conspiracy Case
• List of political families

Notes

1. Hoiberg, Dale H. (2010) p 22-23
2. Tej K. Tikoo (19 July 2012). Kashmir: Its Aborigines and Their Exodus. Lancer Publishers. pp. 185–. ISBN 978-1-935501-34-3. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
3. Guha, Ramachandra. "Opening a window in Kashmir." Economic and Political Weekly (2004): 3905-3913.
4. Lamb, Alastair. The Myth of Indian Claim to Jammu and Kashmir: A Reappraisal. World Kashmir Freedom Movement.
5. Noorani, A.G. Article 370 : a constitutional history of Jammu and Kashmir (1. publ. ed.). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198074083.
6. Rakesh Ankit, "Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah of Kashmir, 1965–1975: From Externment to Enthronement." Studies in Indian Politics 6.1 (2018): 88-102 online.
7. Hussain 2013, pp. 8–9.
8. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 1–14.
9. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 36.
10. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 67.
11. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 94.
12. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 156–160.
13. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 163.
14. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 239.
15. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 238.
16. Justice A.S. Anand (2006), p28
17. Regulation No1. of Samvat1991 (22 April 1934)
18. Justice A.S. Anand (2006), p30
19. Justice A.S. Anand (2006), p36
20. APHC: White Paper on Elections In Kashmir
21. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 226–227.
22. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 228.
23. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 232.
24. Rasheed Taseer (1973) vol2, p29
25. Rasheed Taseer (1973) vol2, p314-383
26. Rasheed Taseer (1973) vol2, p25
27. Rasheed Taseer (1973) vol2, p25-40
28. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 237.
29. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 327–389.
30. Abdullah & Taing (1985, pp. 566–567)
31. Maharaja Hari Singh's letter requesting Indian Assistance against tribal raids. Satp.org (26 October 1947). Retrieved on 2018-12-07.
32. Accession Of Jammu And Kashmir State To India. Text Of Letter Dated 26 October 1947 From Hari Singh, The Maharaja Of Jammu & Kashmir to Lord Mountbatten, The then Governor General of India.
33. Acceptance Of Accession By The Governor General Of India. Jammu-kashmir.com (26 October 1947). Retrieved on 2018-12-07.
34. Rediff On The NeT Special: The Real Kashmir Story. Rediff.com (2 June 1999). Retrieved on 7 December 2018.
35. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 462–464.
36. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 431.
37. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 413–414.
38. Sandeep Bamzai (2006), p73
39. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 567.
40. PIB Press release Press Information Bureau Govt of India 16 September 2004
41. "Excerpts of Sheikh Abdullah's February 5, 1948, speech in the UN Security Council". http://www.satp.org. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
42. Sandeep Bamzai (2006), p252
43. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 593–594.
44. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 607.
45. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 600.
46. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 711–717.
47. B.N. Mullick (1972)
48. A.G. Noorani (2006)
49. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 752.
50. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 755–757.
51. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 774–778.
52. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 782.
53. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 786.
54. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 787.
55. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 817–825.
56. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 827–838.
57. Noorani, A. G. (16 September 2000), "Article370: Law and Politics", Frontline, 17 (19)
58. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 860–882.
59. C. Bilqees Taseer, The Kashmir of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, p. 330
60. Korbel 1966, p. 17.
61. Russel Brines, The Indo-Pakistani conflict, p. 67
62. Hugh Tinker, "Accursed Paradise" in New Society, Volume 6, p.25
63. Abdullah & Taing 1985, Preface.
64. Hussain 2013, p. 2.
65. Nyla Ali Khan. "Retrieving Lost Histories". http://www.counterpunch.org. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
66. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 193.
67. Mubashhir Hassan (2008)
68. Tariq Ali (2003), p 230
69. Sandeep Bamzai (2006), p242.
70. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 783.
71. The WEEKLY "AAINA" 15 July 1970, p19
72. Abdullah & Taing 1985, p. 779.
73. Abdullah & Taing 1985, pp. 265–268.

Sources

• Ankit, Rakesh. "Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah of Kashmir, 1965–1975: From Externment to Enthronement." Studies in Indian Politics 6.1 (2018): 88-102 online
• Guha, Ramachandra. "Opening a window in Kashmir." Economic and Political Weekly (2004): 3905-3913. online
• Abdullah, Sheikh; Taing, M. Y. (1985), Atish-e-Chinar (in Urdu), Srinagar: Shaukat Publications Often referred to as Sheikh Abdullah's autobiography. It has not been copyrighted in deference to Sheikh Abdullah's wishes.
• Hussain, Syed Taffazull (23 November 2013) [first published in 2009], Sheikh Abdullah – A Biography: The Crucial Period 1905–1939, Indianopolis: WordClay, ISBN 978-1-60481-309-8
• Korbel, Josef (1966), Danger in Kashmir, Princeton University Press
References[edit]
• A.G. Noorani (2000), "Article370: Law and Politics". Frontline Volume 17 – Issue 19, 16–29 September, (Discusses illegality of Central Govt and Parliament's Actions in amending Article 370 without concurrence of Constituent Assembly of Kashmir)
• A.G. Noorani (2006), "Nehru's legacy in foreign affairs". Frontline Volume 23 – Issue 15 :: 29 July 11 August 2006 (Discusses Nehru's role in arrest of Sheikh Abdullah and erosion of Article 370)
• B.N. Mullick (1972): My Years with Nehru (Provides evidence of Nehru's role in dismissal and arrest of Sheikh Abdullah. B.N. Mullick was head of Indian Intelligence Bureau at the time of his arrest)
• Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdullah, Sheikh Muhammad". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
• Justice A.S. Anand (2006) The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Universal Law Publishing Co. ISBN 81-7534-520-9
• Mubashir Hassan (18 July 2008), "The Nedous and Lawrence of Arabia", The Nation (Pakistan), archived from the original on 9 January 2009, retrieved 22 July 2008
• Rasheed Taseer (1973): Tareekh e Hurriyat e Kashmir (URDU). Muhafiz Publications Srinagar Volume 2 gives an account of events in Kashmir from 1932 to 1946 as seen by a local journalist.
• Sandeep Bamzai (2006): Bonfire of Kashmiryat Rupa & Co. New Delhi. ISBN 81-291-1060-1
• Tariq Ali (2003): The Clash of Fundamentalism. Verso Books. London. ISBN 978 1 85984 457 1
• Syed Taffazull Hussain (2009): Sheikh Abdullah – A biography:The Crucial Period 1905–1939. Wordclay. Indianapolis.IN. ISBN 978-1-60481-309-8 (Annotated 2015 edition with 38 References and 650 footnotes is available at http:// books.google.co.in.It has chapters on The Kashmir Committee, Jinnah's first visit to Kashmir, and describes errors of omission and commission in Atish e Chinar all for the first time.)
• APHC: White Paper On Elections in Kashmir (undated): (retrieved on 5 November 2008)
• Hussain Haqqani (2005): Pakistan Between Mosque and Military. Vanguard Books. Lahore. ISBN 969-402-498-6
• Baba Pyare Lal Bedi, Freda Marie (Houlston) Bedi (1949): Sheikh Abdullah: his life and ideals
• Ravinderjit Kaur (1998): "Political Awakening In Kashmir. South Asia Books. ISBN 978-8-17024-709-8
• Brenda M King (2005): "Silk and empire"Manchester University Press ISBN 978-07190-6701-3. Describes Sir Thomas Wardle's role in establishing modern filatures in Kashmir and his dream of making Kashmir a competitor for China and Japan in the international silk market.

External links

• Newspaper clippings about Sheikh Abdullah in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:20 am

Freda Bedi & Jetsunma Jamyang Drolma
by The Yogini Project
2015

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During our interview with Jamyang Drolma in the course of our filming for our film Women On The Path in Nepal back in Spring 2015 …

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Jamyang Drolma somewhat bashfully admitted to having been recognized as the reincarnation of Freda Bedi, Sister Palmo as she was known upon being ordained, the first women to receive full bhikshuni ordination in over 1000 years back in the early 1970s on the insistent urging of HH the 16th Karmapa. This is a rare occurrence of a recognized female tulku (reincarnation of an accomplished being) and the first we know of of a Tibetan being recognized as rebirth of a Westerner, and a woman at that!

As we discover more of the remarkable life and achievements of Freda Bedi in her recent biography, The Revolutionary Life Of Freda Bedi, it is just another of exceptionally diverse accomplishments and firsts by this special being, regarded as an emanation of Tara by the Tibetans. Beyond her earlier life campaigning for Indian Independence, a British woman who came to be at the heart of Gandhi’s non-violent movement, Freda was there just as the Tibetans fled from exile from their occupied homeland in 1959, taking care of 1000s in the first refugee camps, saving many lives. She was the first to meet Chogyam Trungpa as he arrived with Akong Rinpoche into India, later spiritually adopting them both, then founding a Young Lamas Home School for the first wave of young tulkus to enter the modern world. As such, she was so instrumental to the coming of these great lamas and the Dharma to the west. All called her “Mummy-la” for this nurturing mother-like role she had in their lives, in fact for their culture in its time of need. She went on to found the first Tibetan monastic establishment outside of Tibet, a nunnery at that, and later indeed becoming a heart student of HH 16th Karmapa, becoming the first fully ordained bhikshuni as above. In the finale to her activities and accomplishments, she played an instrumental role in HH Karmapa and the Dharma coming to the West (instigating the initial visit and accompanying, teaching and even granting empowerments on each visit) in the mid 1970s. It seems now that even death did not deter her.

It was sheer serendipity that led our small film crew, filming yoginis in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal at the time, to be introduced suddenly to Jamyang Drolma, the very day before she was to be enthroned as a Jetsunma by Tulku Sang Ngak Rinpoche in Pharping, Nepal, after completing over 9 years of shedra (comprehensive advanced study) and 7 years of retreat. A vivid presence, very strong but remarkably humble, Jamyang Drolma remarked on her being empowered as a Jetsunma more on the effect that it would have on others in facilitating the transmission of the Dharma – that the enthronement creates the positive conditions for the genuine Dharma she has to share to be heard.

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It was a fascinating encounter, with an immediate warm, almost psychic connection. Multiple times during the course of her speaking in Tibetan (ie her actual words had yet to be understood), a question would occur to be asked, which when our Tibetan translator translated the words spoken was revealed to be precisely answered by her in the moment the question occurred in the mind, before the question could even be asked! Both sides remarked after on how wonderful the connection and the interview had been.

From page 178 of The Revolutionary Life Of Freda Bedi:

“But Freda’s story may not end there, however.

Two years after her death, in 1979, rumors began to spread that Freda had reincarnated as a Tibetan girl, Jamyang Dolma Lama, the daughter of His Eminence Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, a respected holder enthroned by the Sixteenth Karmapa. Born in Tibet, Beru Khyentse Rinpoche had known Freda Bedi well, and had set up his own center in Bodhgaya.

In 1995, when she was sixteen years old, Jamyang Drolma Lama, now a nun, was officially recognized by her father and other lamas as the reincarnation of Freda Bedi, aka Sister Kechog Palmo. Since then she has undertaken a nine-year intensive study program at Ngagyur Nyingma Nunnery High Institute, and on February 28, 2015, completed a six-and-a-half-year retreat. Fully qualified to teach, she is destined to take care of her father’s nunneries in both India and Tibet, and, like Freda, to travel around the world to spread the Buddha’s teaching for the benefit of all sentient beings.

For some, like Pema Zangmo [Freda’s long time devoted attendant], there is no doubt that Freda has reappeared on the earth in a new body. “Mummy-la has come back as a Tibetan girl. I heave no doubts. She came to see me at my nunnery and I recognized her immediately and her me. She took my hand, gave me a katag (white ceremonial scarf), and cried. She is very beautiful. When I look at her, I see Mummy-la, not the face but the nature is the same. Just before she died, Mummy-la told me to keep in touch with Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, as the connection was very auspicious,” she said portentously, hinting that Freda had already determined her next birth.”


Coming to discover so much about Freda Bedi recently through the release of her biography, it sends new light on our auspicious, effortless encounter with Jetsunma Jamyang Drolma. Almost sending shivers down the spine. We now long to meet and see Jetsnuma again soon, and be a channel for the dharma that she embodies – both insight and compassion – to be shared.

For a glimpse of Jetsunma’s enthronement and some heart advice, see…
The Enthronement of Jetsunma Jamyang Drolma

To support our production of this interview, visit here…
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Sarva Mangalams!
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