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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Where Is God

Where Is God

 

·        If God is in Infinity and therefore beyond us, how can we know God?

·        If God is infinite can there be such a thing as one perfect religion or best religion for everyone?

·        How do you decide which religion or spiritual discipline is good, bad or not so good?

·        Should God be symbolized as Spirit/Energy, as male God, Mother God? or how?  What is the best symbolism to you and why?

·        Almost all religions, certainly most, espouse love.  Why then has so much evil occurred in the name of God?

·        If you are God in the yoga/Buddhist sense of the word, then should you still pray?  Or just work on being God or finding the Self/God within?  Should you work only on no duality or should you work on the dual vision also?

·        Which is more important, finding your own Enlightenment, or helping? others?  If tending to others interferes with your meditation and God presence, should you ignore them or should you tend to them, even though they disturb your inner state?

·        If God is within each person (as well as all creation). Why is God, so difficult to find?  Shouldn't this be easy?

·        What is the purpose of mystical experiences; visions, voices, dreams, revelations and such. Are they good in any way or bad?

·        If you had to spend the rest of your life on an island with people how would you like them to be?  Describe the kind of people you could bear spending the rest of your life with on an island.

·        When you see God face to face how will God look?  When you die and go to Heaven, what will you see?  Explain what you think you will see.

 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Why-Coconut

Why Do We Offer Coconut?

 

In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a coconut, it is also offered on occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. a pot (kalash) full of water adorned with mango leaves and a coconut on top is worshiped on important occasions and used to receive revered guests.

 

It is offered in the sacrificial fire while performing hom. The coconut is broken and placed before the Lord. It is later distributed as prasad. It is offered to please the Lord or to fulfill our desires.

 

There was a time when animal sacrifice (bali) was practiced, symbolizing the offering of our animalistic tendencies to the Lord. Slowly this practice faded and the coconut was offered instead. The fiber covering of the fried coconut is removed except for the tuft on the top. The marks on the coconut make it look like the head of a human being. The coconut is broken, symbolizing the breaking of the ego. The juice within representing the inner tendencies (vaasanas) if offered along with the white kernel - the mind, to the Lord. A mind thus purified by the touch of the Lord is used as prasad (a holy offering).

 

In the traditional, abhishekh ritual done in all temples and many homes, several materials are poured over the deity like milk, curd, honey, tender coconut water, sandal paste, holy ash etc. Each material has a specific significance of bestowing certain benefits on worshippers. Tender coconut water is used since it is believed to bestow spiritual growth on the seeker.

 

The coconut also symbolizes selfless service. Every part of the coconut tree - the truck, leaves, fruit, coir etc. is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil etc. It takes in salty water and converts it into sweet nutritive water that is especially beneficial to the sick people. It is also used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and applications.

 

The marks on the coconut are even thought to represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva and therefore it is considered to be a means to fulfill our desires.

Lotus Flower

Why Do We Consider The Lotus As Special?

 

The Lotus is India's national flower and rightly so. Not long ago, the lakes and ponds of India were full of many hued lotuses.

 

The lotus is the symbol of truth, auspiciousness and beauty (satyam, shivam, sundaram). The Lord is also that nature and therefore, His various aspects are compared to a lotus(i.e.. lots-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of heart etc.). Our scriptures and ancient literature extol the beauty of the lotus. Art and architecture also portray the lotus in various decorative motifs and paintings. Many people have names of or related to the lotus: Padma, Pankaja, Kamal, Kamala, Kamalakshni etc. The Goddess of wealth, Laxmi, sits on a lotus and carries one in Her hand.

 

The lotus blooms with the rising sun and closes at night. Similarly, our minds open up and expand with the light of knowledge. The lotus grows even in slushy areas. It remains beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances. The lotus leaf never gets wet although it is always in water. It symbolizes the man of wisdom (gyani who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrow and change. The lotus posture, padmaasana is recommended when one sits for meditation.

 

A lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma originated from it to create the world. Hence, the lotus symbolizes the link between the creator and the supreme Cause. It also symbolizes Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma.

 

The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.

 

From the above, we can well appreciate why the lotus in India's national flower and so special to Hindus.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Matrimonial Vaastu

दाम्पत्य तकरार और वास्तु

 

कभी-कभी पति-पत्नी के मध्य अकारण हो रहे झगड़ों का कारण वास्तु दोष भी हो सकता है। सुखमय दाम्पत्य जीवन प्रत्येक गृहस्थ की कल्पना होती है। इसके बिना सभी सुख बेकार माने जाते हैं। दाम्पत्य जीवन के मतभेदों को वास्तु शास्त्र के माध्यम से बिना किसी तोड़-फोड़ के दूर कर सकते हैं।

 

* भवन के उत्तर-पूर्व में शौचालय है तो निश्चय ही पति-पत्नी में मतभेद पैदा हो जाएँगे।

* अगर पूर्व-दक्षिण का कोना बढ़ा हुआ है या इस क्षेत्र में खाली जगह पड़ी है। तो भी मतभेद पैदा हो सकते हैं।

* यदि मकान के उत्तर-पूर्व की दिशा, दक्षिण-पश्चिम की दिशा में अंतर है, तो पति-पत्नी की नहीं पटेगी।

* उत्तर-पूर्व की दिशाओं के कोने को ढँक दिया है तो पति-पत्नी में आपस में प्रेम कम रहता है।

* किसी भवन का फर्श टूटा-फूटा हो अथवा शयन-कक्ष का फर्श टूटा हो या फर्श की ढलान एक सी नहीं हो तो पति-पत्नी में विवाद होने लगता है।

* शयन-कक्ष के द्वार के सम्मुख पलंग हो तो किसी तीसरे को लेकर झगड़ा होने लगता है।

* शयन कक्ष के दरवाजे के सामने कोई खंभा या कमरे का कोना आता है तो भी आपस में झगड़ा होता है।

* शयन कक्ष में बीम अथवा समतल छत हो तो उसके नीचे सोने के लिए पलंग नहीं लगाना चाहिए। इससे आपस में तनाव पैदा हो जाएगा।

* अगर दम्पति में मतभेद हो तो शयन कक्ष के दक्षिण को जागृत करना होगा। इससे भी मतभेद समाप्त हो जाते हैं।

* शयन कक्ष में पति-पत्नी की संयुक्त फोटो वायव्य कोण में लगाएँ या रखें। अकेले फोटो लगाएँ, इससे आपस में झगड़ा होगा।

* शयन कक्ष में पूजा घर नहीं बनाना चाहिए। यदि एक ही कमरा है तो पूजा घर के सामने हमेशा पर्दा लगाना चाहिए।

* यदि घर में स्थान कम हो, बैठक के रूप में अपने शयन कक्ष को प्रयोग करना आवश्यक हो, तो शयन कक्ष में परदा लगाकर अतिथियों का कक्ष बनाना चाहिए।

Why Worship Tulsi ?

Why Do We Worship Tulsi ?

 

Either in the front, back or central courtyard of most Indian homes there is a tulsi-matham an altar bearing a tulsi plant. In the present day apartments too, many maintain a potted tulsi plant. The lady of the house lights a lamp, waters the plant, worships and circumambulates it. The stem, leaves, seeds, and even the soil, which provides it a base, are considered holy. A tulsi leaf is always placed in the food offered to the Lord. It is also offered to the Lord during poojas especially to Lord Vishnu and His incarnations.

 

In Sanskrit, tulanaa naasti athaiva tulsi - that which is incomparable (in its qualities) is the tulsi. For Hindus, it is one of the most sacred plants. In fact it is known to be the only thing used in worship which, once used, can be washed and reused in pooja - as it is regarded so self-purifying.

 

As one story goes, Tulsi was the devoted wife of Shankhachuda, celestial being. She believed that Lord Krishna tricked her into sinning. So she cursed Him to become a stone (shaaligraama). Seeing her devotion and adherence to righteousness, the Lord blessed her saying that she would become the worshipped plant, tulsi that would adorn His head. Also that all offerings would be incomplete without the tulsi leaf - hence the worship of tulsi.

 

She also symbolizes Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. Those who wish to be righteous and have a happy family worship the tulsi. Tulsi is married to the Lord with all pomp and show as in any wedding. This is because according to another legend, the Lord blessed her to be His consort.

 

Satyabhama once weighed Lord Krishna against all her legendary wealth. The scales did not balance till a single tulsi leaf was placed along with the wealth on the scale by Rukmini with devotion. Thus the tulsi played the vital role of demonstrating to the world that even a small object offered with devotion means more to the Lord than all the wealth in the world.

 

The tulsi leaf has great medicinal value and is used to cure various ailments, including the common cold.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Enjoy Meditation

Enjoy Meditation

 

 

Meditation is the natural process of withdrawing attention from environmental, physical, and mental processes and consciously directing it inward to a chosen focus of attention.

 

But not many people know how to practice meditation for personal benefit and spiritual growth.

 

The beneficial side-effects of regular meditation practice include stress reduction, strengthening of the body's immune system, more orderly thinking, improvement in powers of concentration, and a slowing of the biological ageing process.

 

For these reasons, meditation practice is recommended by an increasing number of doctors as a harmless way for patient-clients to be more responsible for their own total well-being.

 

The primary purpose of meditation practice, however, is to bring forth clear states of awareness that will make authentic spiritual growth easier to experience.

 

Cultivation of inner contentment prevents us from getting swept away by circumstances. Engaging in self- examination and self-discipline is important in order to clear away any of the psychological conflicts that might pose a problem.

 

Study of 'lower' or secular knowledge helps us function effectively in the world. Many get educated so that they can live more effectively.

 

But also important is the acquisition of higher knowledge or metaphysics to inquire about God, cosmic mind, manifestation of universes, our relationship with God — why are we here, and for what purpose? Then the formal practice of meditation begins.

 

First, decide to practice meditation for at least 30 minutes a day. Sit upright in a comfortable chair or assume a cross-legged posture on the floor.

 

Hold your head erect, with attention flowing into the area situated in the front region of the brain which is related to creativity, will-power, and discernment.

 

Next, inhale and exhale deeply once or twice to elicit physical relaxation. Remain still for a few minutes until you feel calmly poised.

 

If you have a devotional temperament, invoke the presence and blessings of God or your favorite deity or object of worship. If you have a guru, reverentially acknowledge him or her.

 

Make a conscious effort to be aware of your natural breathing rhythm. When inhalation occurs, mentally recite a chosen word or mantra such as God, peace, joy, or any other pleasant word that is agreeable to you.

 

When you exhale, feel happy and peaceful. Feel the sound of the mantra spontaneously emerging into your mind and awareness.

 

Continue this procedure without any anxiety about the results of practice. When a state of mental calmness is experienced, disregard your breathing, listening only to the mantra.

 

Eventually, allow even the mantra to fade away and rest in a state of mental peace and clarity of awareness for a while, until you feel inclined to conclude the session.

 

For optimum results, meditate once or twice a day. Do this for at least 30 days before trying to evaluate the results.

 

When you are proficient in the practice of meditation, you could extend the session by calmly contemplating the essence of your being — your true Self — and your relationship with the Infinite. Or you may just sit longer in that calm state until you feel fulfilled.

 

When engaged in daily activities and relationships, endeavor to maintain a state of mental calmness and Self-awareness.

 

Cultivate cheerfulness and optimism. Maintain your emotional balance. Adhere to wholesome routines of activity and rest.

 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle: choose a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Let all of your thoughts, feelings, and actions be wholesome and constructive.

 

You will then be empowered to live enjoyably, effectively, and successfully.

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