Archive for the 'Cultures' Category

Nirvana defined in a poem

Nirvana Shatikam (also reffered to as Atma Shatakam) is a poem of six stanzas. It was written by Adi Shankara, an Indian Philosopher, who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta (non-dualistic philosophy). Shatikam means six and Nirvana means liberation. Thus, its a hymn of six verses on liberation, each of which resembles a jewel in the garland of Vedanta. The first three lines of each of the first five stanzas negate all that is not Atma/Consciousness, while the last line strongly affirms what Atma is.

Stanza 1:

Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham

Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre

Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

Translation:

I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of inner self.

I am not the five senses. I am beyond that.

I am not the ether, nor the earth, nor the fire, nor the wind.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

Stanza 2:

Na Cha Prana Sangyo Na Vai Pancha Vayu

Na Vaa Sapta dhatur Na Vaa Pancha Koshah

Na Vak Pani Padam Na Chopastha Payu

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

Translation:

Neither can I be termed as energy, nor five types of breath.

Neither the seven material essences, nor the five coverings.

Neither am I the five instruments of elimination, procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

Stanza 3:

Na Me Dvesha Ragau Na Me Lobha Mohau

Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya Bhavah

Na Dharmo Na Chartho Na Kamo Na Mokshah

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

Translation:

I have no hatred or dislike, nor affiliation or liking.

I have no greed, nor delusion, nor pride or haughtiness, nor feelings of envy or jealousy.

I have no duty, nor any money, nor any desire, nor even liberation.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

Stanza 4:

Na Punyam Na Papam Na Saukhyam Na Dukham

Na Mantro Na Teertham Na Veda Na Yajnaha

Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

Translation:

I have neither merit, nor demerit, I do not commit sins or good deeds, nor have happiness or sorrow, pain or pleasure.

I do not need mantras, holy places, scriptures, rituals or sacrifices.

I am none of the triad of the observer or one who experiences, the process of observing or experiencing, or any object being observed or experienced.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

Stanza 5:

Na Mrityu Na Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedah

Pita Naiva Me Naiva Mata Na Janma

Na Bandhur Na Mitram Gurur Naiva Shishyah

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

Translation:

I do not have fear of death, as I do not have death, I have no separation from my true self, no doubt about my existence, nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth.

I have no father or mother, nor did I have a birth.

I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

Stanza 6:

Aham NirvikaLpo Nirakara Roopo

Vibhut Vaakhya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanam

Sada Me Samatvam Na Mukthir Na Bandhah

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

Translation:

I am all pervasive, I am without any attributes, and without any form.

I have neither attachment to the world, nor to liberation.

I have no wishes for anything because I am everything, everywhere, every time, always in equilibrium.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

Source | wikipedia

Download complete pdf version here

India – Life meets Vibrance

TED talks: Shashi Tharoor on India

Pictures Source|Credits: boston.com

Lord Krishna

Indian Hindu devotees pay their respects after pouring milk water onto an idol of Hindu God Lord Krishna

Lord Ganesha

Devotees carry a statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh

Lord Ganesha

Idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganesha

Rhinoceros

A rhinoceros which strayed in Kalcheni village

Hindu Goddess Durga

Hindu Goddess Durga at a workshop in Siliguri

Jhulelal Chaliha

People carry earthen water pots as they take part in a Jhulelal Chaliha

Protestors

Protestors challenge the police during a victory rally in Jammu

A policeman throws stones

A policeman throws stones at protestors during a victory rally in Jammu

Catholic nuns from the Missionaries of Charity

Catholic nuns from the Missionaries of Charity order sing hymns for a special prayer during the eleventh anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa

A damaged church, seen in the village of Raikia

A damaged church, seen in the village of Raikia

Theyyam dancer

A Theyyam dancer waits to perform during festivities marking the start of the annual harvest festival of "Onam"

Villagers

Villagers wade through a flooded road near Mithapur village, 67 km (42 miles) west of Ahmedabad

Indian Air Force helicopter

A man is airlifted onto an Indian Air Force helicopter at a flood-affected village in the eastern Indian state of Bihar

Jankinagar

A flood-affected man waits for food in a flood relief camp at Jankinagar village of Purniya district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, September 6, 2008. Authorities battling a massive deluge in Bihar

Border Security Force

An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier holds position inside a bulletproof vehicle

Refugees in Bihar

Refugees from flooded areas extend their hands to fetch food packets distributed by National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel at Raghunathpur area, Madhepura district of India's northeastern state of Bihar, on September 5, 2008

Workers arrange bottles of drinking water before an air-drop in flood-affected areas at Purniya air force station in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, September 3, 2008

Muslim women react to the camera at a makeshift flood relief camp in Araria district town in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, September 7, 2008

A Hindu woman has her hand painted with henna during the Teej festival in the northern Indian city of Allahabad September 2, 2008. Hindu women fast and pray for the good health and long life of their husbands during the Teej festival

Forestry workers look on as a male Royal Bengal Tiger leaps off a boat into the water after being released back into the wild in The Chamta Forest District of The Sunderbans, in India

A mask is shown being put on the back of honey collector Madhusudhan Mondal's head, in Bali, a village in the Sundarbans, India, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008

The Satellite Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, India's first moon mission craft is seen from behind glass at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) center in Bangalore on September 18, 2008

A view of the illuminated Golden Temple, Sikhs holiest shrine, in Amritsar, India, Monday, Sept. 1, 2008. This year, Sikhs mark the 404th anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs

Hindu devotees, try to form a human pyramid to break an earthen pot filled with honey, milk and curd, as part of festivities to celebrate Janmashthmi, or the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008

Young Indian devotees of Hindu God Lord Krishna attempt to make a seven-tier human pyramid in the 'dahi-handi' (curd-pot) contest in Mumbai on August 24, 2008, as part of celebrations of "Janmashtami" which marks the birth of Hindu God Lord Krsna

Why do we make sex so important?

“So we are deprived of freedom outwardly and inwardly, for generations upon generations we have been told what to do. And the reaction to that: I’ll do what I want. Which is also limited, based on your pleasure, on your desire, on your capacity and so on, so on. So where there is no freedom all round, both outwardly and inwardly, and specially inwardly, then we have only one source which is called sex – is that right? Why do we give it importance? Do you give importance – equal importance, to being free from fear? No. Equal energy, vitality, thought to ending sorrow? No. Why don’t you? Why only this? Because that is the easiest thing to have. The other demands all your energy, which can only come when you are free. So naturally human beings throughout the world have given this thing such tremendous importance in life. And when you give something, which is a part of life, tremendous importance then you are destroying yourself. Life is whole, not just one part – right? If you give importance to everything then this becomes rather – more or less unimportant. And the monks and all those people have denied all this and turned their energy – at least they think they have turned their energy, to god. But the thing is boiling in them, you can’t suppress nature. But when you give that thing only, all importance, then you are corrupt! You understand?”

– J. Krishnamurti (July 1980)
Third Question & Answer Meeting in Saanen

Duality of consciousness

Link: Picture

Frog in a well = Human in a religion

A short audio clip of Swami Vivekananda: (Sept. 15, 1893)

Audio Clip

Text:

I will tell you a little story. You have heard the eloquent speaker who has just finished say, “Let us cease from abusing each other,” and he was very sorry that there should be always so much variance.

I think I should tell you a story which would illustrate the cause of this variance. A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course, the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not, but, for our story’s sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with an energy that would do credit to our modern bacteriologists. In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another flog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.

“Where are you form?”
“I am from the sea.”
“The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?” and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
“My friend,” said the frog of the sea, “how do you compare the sea with your little well?”
Then the frog took another leap and asked, “Is your sea so big?”
“What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!”
“Well, then,” said the frog of the well, “nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out.”

That has been the difficulty all the while.

I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. l have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Read more @ theuniversalwisdom.org
Picture: Link

Beef and Hinduism (think inside the box)

I always wondered why majority of modern-day Hindus refused to eat beef but would not be hesitant to eat any other kind of meat. Why this hypocrisy? Well following is an interesting conversation between a Christian Cardinal and Krsna-Conscious Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada.

Modern version of Hinduism allows eating certain meats but then it isn’t true Hinduism. Similarly as “thou shall not kill” is a religious commandment, but maintaining state-of-the-art slaughter houses is in direct defiance with it. Killing any breathing organism for pleasure of tongue is the biggest sin, and we are committing this sin everyday. Killing a life is killing a life… Nature doesn’t differentiate which life is killed specifically. And the force that guides nature is Karma. Yes, Karma is a bitch… for it reciprocates these sinful killings among humanity as violence, blood-shed, wars, hatred, racism, the list can go on…

In my previous post I tried to bring across the point of how we have manufactured our religions to fit our modern lifestyle. Wake up my fellow beings and try thinking in the box for the answers are right in front of us.

21st Century Religions… Manufactured Religions?

True religion is defined when you combine the following: (one) Knowing God (two) Loving it unconditionally.

Unfortunately in the modern age of material dependence humans have forgotten the need to seek the truth/know God. Humans have learned to label themselves with artificial barriers and divide themselves as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists etc. and the irony; all religions teach the exact same thing or as some would prefer philosophy. But majority of them fail to even read or know about their beautiful and true religion. They rather follow certain principles which adjust with little or no sacrifice in their current way of living. That is modern religion. True religion is when you follow your religions teachings word to word or are even just putting an effort to but just completely giving up certain aspects and picking what suits best is wrong and thats manufacturing religion, that in its true sense is fake religion.

When you drop a drop of water in the ocean can you differentiate that drop from the rest? Well that ocean is God/Krsna/Allah/Buddha/Jesus (insert any name whatever you seem fit that will appease your material need to be different and better from the rest) and the drop of water is you. What I am trying to say is you are part of God, God is in you… you just have to remind yourself.

Ignorance is the biggest sin, I don’t know everything and I am still learning but that’s what human life is all about .. an opportunity to seek, to learn. Try to follow the religion your parents thought you or seek another if you must… but remember don’t lose your ability to have faith for that’s the key.