Ganesha idols handmade with love and ‘bakthi’

vinayagaMADURAI: Kasturi amma’s Ganeshas are simple, earthy, eco-friendly and hand-made with love and bhakti. A month before Ganesh Chaturthi, 80-year-old Kasturi observesviratham and starts collecting mud and sand for making the Ganesha idols.

“The clay is a mixture of half-a-dozen ingredients such as elephant poop, sieved river sand, karambai mann and sometimes hay. It takes a fortnight to get ready,” says Kasturi. Continue reading

Peace needs private sector support, social and political will

peaceCOMMENT, NEW DELHI: Over the last fortnight, we have had a ground attack on Palestine killing over 1,000 people, a Malaysia airlines plane being shot down, in which more than 300 died, and ISIS declared Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to convert, pay tax, or die.

The numbers of the World Bank estimation of 1.5 billion people around the world living in conflict countries which means one out of seven people live in conflict just got escalated even more. Continue reading

Kedarnath pilgrim route suspended due to bad weather

rishikeshroadDEHRAUN: With the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway blocked at Doliyadevi near Fata and intermittent rains continuing, district authorities on Thursday decided to keep the Kedarnath yatra suspended till July 26.

The highway to Kedarnath as well as Guptkashi-Kalimath motor road is blocked by boulders following landslips and nearly half a dozen places in Kedar valley are being lashed by moderate showers. Continue reading

Philosopher Al-Ghazali’s alchemy of happiness

AL GHAZALIWISDOM COMMENT: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111 A.D.) was not only one of the great Islamic philosophers, he is also considered to be, after the Prophet Muhammad, the foremost authority on Islamic theology and jurisprudence.

What most people don’t know, however, is that al-Ghazali wrote extensively on the topic of happiness. Indeed, his monumental Revival of the Religious Sciences, which runs over 6000 pages and 4 volumes, was reprised as a shorter text in Persian, labeled the Alchemy of Happiness. Continue reading