A photograph from the 1870’s showing tens of thousands of bison skulls. They were mass slaughtered by the U.S. Army to make room for cattle and force Native American tribes into starvation.
“Far from inciting feelings of disgust or horror, the slaughter of bison was seen by European settlers as a means to wealth, a healthy pastime, and most chilling of all, as a way to end the primary source of sustenance for the Plains Indians and so drive them from their land.”
Sanskrit has ninety-six words for love; ancient Persian has eighty, Greek three, and English only one. This is indicative of the poverty of awareness or emphasis that we give to that tremendously important realm of feeling. Eskimos have thirty words for snow, because it is a life-and death matter to them to have exact information about the element they live with so intimately. If we had a vocabulary of thirty words for love … we would immediately be richer and more intelligent in this human element so close to our heart. An Eskimo probably would die of clumsiness if he had only one word for snow; we are close to dying of loneliness because we have only one word for love. Of all the Western languages, English may be the most lacking when it come to feeling.
★ Map Drawings by Ed Fairburn ★
Unfortunately, some of my Senate colleagues do not believe in trusting women with their reproductive organs. It’s amazing to me that they do not trust women with a choice, but they trust them with a child.
There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.
Selfie on Flickr.
We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.
Being born a woman is my awful tragedy. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.
Navadurga: The Nine Forms of Goddess Durga
1. Durga Shailputri
This name literally means ‘daughter of the mountain’. She is considered as the daughter of the Himalayas. In her previous life, she was Sati-Bhavani, the daughter of Daksha and the wife of the God Shiv. Daksha once organised a yagna and did not invite Shiv and his wife there as they had married against his wishes. However, Sati showed up at the place. When Daksha saw her, he insulted Shiv. Sati refused to listen to these insults and jumped into the sacred fire of the yagna.
This is the second form of the goddess Durga. Her name is derived from ‘Brahma’ which means penance. According to one story, she was playing with her friends when the sage Narad approached her. He told her that she would marry her husband from her previous life but she would have to do penance for him first. On hearing this, she vowed that she would not marry anyone else except the man who had been her husband previously. Also, she did penance for a long period of time before she finally got married.
She is the third form of the goddess and she represents bravery. She is depicted as having three eyes and ten hands, each one bearing a different type of weapon. Her skin is golden colour and the sound of her bell terrifies demons as well as all enemies.
This is the fourth form, who resides in the solar system. She is said to have created the entire universe, merely by her laughter. She shines brightly in all the directions, like the rays of the sun. She has eight hands, seven of which bear weapons. The eighth hand holds a string of beads.
5. Skanda Mata
This is the fifth form. Her name means she is the mother of Skanda, the leader of the army of gods. He is the son of Shiv and Durga as Parvati Hemvati. She is a deity of fire, with three eyes and four hands. She is depicted as being seated on a lotus, with Skanda seated on her lap.
The sixth form of Durga refers to the daughter of Katyayan. According to a story, Katyayan was a member of the Katya lineage. He undertook penance so that his daughter would be born divine. His prayers were answered and Durga took the form of his daughter Katyayani. She has eight hands, each one holding a different type of weapon.
Kalratri is the seventh form of goddess Durga and her name literally means ‘dark night’. Her skin colour is black and her hair is left free. Her eyes are large and she breathes fire. Her mount is a corpse and she is said to make her devotees fearless. She is sometimes also referred to as Shubhamkari.
8. Maha Gauri
This is the eighth form of Durga, who is represented by an eight year old child. Her clothes and skin are pure white in colour and she rides on a bull. She has four hands, of which one holds a trishul as a weapon. It is said that when her body became dirty due to the dust, Shiv used the waters of the Ganges to clean the dust from her body.
Siddhidatri is the ninth form of the Durga. It is said that Shiv obtained all the eight ‘siddhis’ or spiritual powers when he worshipped this form. She has four hands and rides on a lion. This is the form that all people pray to in order to achieve spiritual elevation.
“A man reaps the fruits of the actions he has performed.”
Fifteen rape victims have formed martial arts movement and are prepared to confront abusers if no one listens to their complaints…A GROUP of women are fighting back against the sickening culture of rape which they say infects India. Fifteen determined females – all victims themselves – have trained in martial arts and are prepared to hand out rough justice if no one listens to their complaints. And the movement, called the Red Brigade, is growing rapidly following the gang rape and murder of medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey that horrified the world.In a nation where a woman is reportedly raped every 20 minutes, the group’s leader Usha Vishwakarma said: “We are fighting back – and the boot is now on the other foot.” Member Sufia Hashmi, 17, said: “We’ve caught a lot of men recently. I joined because men always used to pass comments on me and touch my body but now we beat them and they run.”Like the other members in the northern city of Lucknow, 25- year-old Usha has first-hand experience of the daily dangers women face in the huge nation – a teacher tried to rape her when she was 18. She said: “He grabbed me and tried to open my trousers. I kicked him in the crotch and ran.” Usha complained to staff but they told her to forget it and allowed her attacker to carry on teaching. She said: “Many parents tell girls to quit school so there will be no sexual violence. But we said no – this has to stop. We decided to form a group to fight for ourselves, not just complain.”MORE
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