Stories about buddhism

Preserving Takht-i-Bahi: why the old and the new must walk hand in hand

Before arriving at the historic ruins of Takht-i-Bahi (also called Takh’ Bahi), a former Buddhist monastic complex and an Indo-Parthian archaeological site, one passes through its namesake village. A narrow and fractured two-way road snakes through, with shops on either side, offering consumer and plastic goods. Quite unfortunately, there are no hints or traces of the village’s shared history, pride or even association to the neighbouring site’s religious, historic and cultural significance. Instead, open drains, unregulated parking, hanging wires, peeled paint strips and half-torn posters on buildings are a common sight that greet visitors. Photo: Tayeba ...

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My wanderlust took me to Cambodia, the museum of horrors and mass graves

Back in April this year, I felt really low and sort of depressed, as I kept getting a strong urge to visit a new place, somewhere I’d never been before. I made my way to Google and found that Cambodia offers e-visas for Pakistani citizens. Thus, I ended up applying for a visa on a whim sometime in the evening, and found it waiting for me when I checked my inbox in the morning; the whole process taking only seven hours to complete. My wife and I took a connecting flight, which gave us a six-hour layover in Bangkok. Thankfully the ...

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He was only a Buddhist by salutations, just like we are only Muslims by virtue of rituals

If you visit the Tiananmen Square at any given day, you’ll see hoards of people flocking around in large groups. Some can be seen led by a guide, others trying to find an inlet to the tunnels that lead to the main square, turning the entire landmark into a beehive. Besides being the womb of the People’s Republic of China where Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, the square also houses the Chairman’s mausoleum. On my 10 day visit to China, I found the Tiananmen Square to be the most religious of all spaces. It ...

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They are tortured, beaten up with sticks and metal gears, set on fire and boiled ALIVE

Disclaimer: The pictures in this post are graphic. Please use discretion. A dog is a man’s best friend. This might be a common saying, but not as much in China where dogs are barbarically butchered and eaten for the sake of a festival celebration. This annual celebration is held in the city of Yulin, Guangxi, where the festivalgoers eat lychees and dog meat for over 10 days starting from June 21st till June 30th. The festival is commonly known as the Yulin dog meat festival. One of the stalls at the Yulin dog meat festival.Photo: Twitter [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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Religion and feminism: Why women in India are fighting for a place in temples

It’s time we remove the decadent practices that discriminate against people belonging to marginalised sections of society, especially women, from entering religious places of worship. On January 26, while most Indians celebrated the participation of an all-women’s contingent during India’s Republic Day Parade, 400 strong women activists did what has never been done before: they forcefully tried to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra to break an age old custom that prevents women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The attempt was a symbolic act to assert women’s rights and fight patriarchy. Indian women have for long struggled to attain gender equality, and ...

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Why do Muslims play victims of free-speech but make excuses for apostasy and blasphemy?

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), as reported by The Express Tribune on September 1, 2015, initiated a nationwide campaign to ‘create awareness about the religion (Islam)’ by displaying billboards that, as ICNA spokesman Nadeem Baig stated, hopes to,“raise awareness about the faith and to dispel myths about the Muslim Americans”. The billboards contain messages such as how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) supports ‘peace, social justice and women’s rights’. Photo: Islamic Circle of North America Facebook page Yahoo News also covered ICNA’s crusade and the comments section got flooded by anti-Muslim vitriol. Such comments demonstrate that Islam has a poor image in ...

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Katas Raj Temple: Bringing religions and histories together

There is a Brahmanical story which says that Shiva was so inconsolable over the death of his wife Sati that the tears literally ‘rained from his eyes’ and ultimately transformed into a holy pool outside the Katas Raj Temple. It is said that Shiva and Sati spent some of their marital life here. The holy temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is mentioned in Mahabharta as well. The fascinating part is that these are several temples built on a single piece of land close to one another. This complex is situated in Katas village, 40 kilometres from the Chakwal district of Punjab. Recently, ...

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The Rohingya of Burma is the Shia of Pakistan

This is possibly one of the least highlighted human rights violations that has and continues to take place in the day and age when communication and cyber systems dominate our lives and nothing seems to escape an ordinary person’s attention. This is probably the most dragging, prolonged episode of persecution and genocide in modern history, the worst of its kind since the holocaust even. I’m talking about the Rohingya catastrophe – a story of blatant hatred, spite and animosity. Regrettably, I never dug deep enough into the origin of the Rohingyas. I did, however, come across an article called The Muslim Rohingya ...

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Why is Barack Obama’s religion our business?

Sitting by the television this morning, going about my morning rituals of brewing coffee and toasting bread for a quick breakfast, I came across CNN running a blurb, advertising a documentary series titled Finding Jesus. I couldn’t resist mumbling to myself, “Jesus Christ, really? Is this 2015 or 1515? Are we living in times when mankind was still groping in the dark, trying to outline the philosophical basis of divergent faiths or hoping to find the Supreme Being using some historical, hypothetical evidence to prove that all the luminaries of religions did indeed exist?” Why will an established news network like ...

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Preaching Islam on the pitch

What was Ahmed Shehzad thinking? One blogger in Pakistan quipped perhaps the cricketer was trying to secure the sports ministry in a future Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-led government. But retorts aside, what is most troubling about the incident is that it hasn’t seemed to result in any trouble for Shehzad, who is clearly unfazed by the entire episode. Coupled with Tillakaratne Dilshan’s casual response and his decision to remain silent over Shehzad’s completely needless evangelism, Shehzad may easily get away for what he shouldn’t. Whether the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will choose to impose any sort of penalty on the ...

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