Religion is not for the weak” – Swami Vivekananda


Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (Photo credit: On Being)

“Religion is not for the weak” – Swami Vivekananda

via Atanu Dey on India‘s Development

An article on Swami Vivekananda in the Wall Street Journal of 30th March titled, “What Did J.D. Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, and Sarah Bernhardt Have in Common?”

makes for delightful reading. What they had in common was their devotion to Swami Vivekananda, the man who introduced Vedanta and yoga to America.

I did not know that. But anyway, it’s the sort of positive article about a Hindu monk that would give conniptions to the leftist “secular intellectuals” in India.

But the Wall Street Journal does not suffer from the knee-jerk negative reflex of the main stream English language media in India;

the latter would recoil with horror at the mere thought of publishing a laudatory piece about a proud Hindu. Wouldn’t that be tantamount to endorsing — horror of horrors — Hindutva?

Yoga is popular in the US and in many non-Muslim parts of the world. Why it is not popular in the Islamic world is interesting (and more about that later.) An excerpt from the WSJ article:

Although all but forgotten by America’s 20 million would-be yoginis, clad in their finest Lululemon, Vivekananda was the Bengali monk who introduced the word “yoga” into the national conversation.

In 1893, outfitted in a red, flowing turban and yellow robes belted by a scarlet sash, he had delivered a show-stopping speech in Chicago.

The event was the tony Parliament of Religions, which had been convened as a spiritual complement to the World’s Fair, showcasing the industrial and technological achievements of the age.

On its opening day, September 11, Vivekananda, who appeared to be meditating onstage, was summoned to speak and did so without notes.

“Sisters and Brothers of America,” he began, in a sonorous voice tinged with “a delightful slight Irish brogue,” according to one listener, attributable to his Trinity College–educated professor in India. “It fills my heart with joy unspeakable…”

Then something unprecedented happened, presaging the phenomenon decades later that greeted the Beatles (one of whom, George Harrison, would become a lifelong Vivekananda devotee).

The previously sedate crowd of 4,000-plus attendees rose to their feet and wildly cheered the visiting monk, who, having never before addressed a large gathering, was as shocked as his audience. “I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world,” he responded, flushed with emotion.

“I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.”

I feel a kinship to Swami Vivekananda–which arises not merely from my being a Bengali and a Hindu like he was. It’s more of an intellectual kinship that transcends space and time.

Swami ji had the power to move people spiritually and emotionally. I knew that George Harrison was influenced by Indian thought but I did not know that the path lay through Vivekananda:

“No doubt the vast majority of those present hardly knew why they had been so powerfully moved,” Christopher Isherwood wrote a half century later, surmising that a “strange kind of subconscious telepathy” had infected the hall, beginning with Vivekananda’s first words, which have resonated, for some, long after.

Asked about the origins of “My Sweet Lord,” George Harrison replied that “the song really came from Swami Vivekananda, who said, ‘If there is a God, we must see him. And if there is a soul, we must perceive it.’ ”

The teachings of Vedanta are rooted in the Vedas, ancient scriptures going back several thousand years that also inform Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

The Vedic texts of the Upanishads enshrine a core belief that God is within and without—that the divine is everywhere.

The Bhagavad Gita (Song of God) is another sacred text or gospel, whereas Hinduism is actually a coinage popularized by Vivekananda to describe a faith of diverse and myriad beliefs.

Vivekananda’s genius was to simplify Vedantic thought to a few accessible teachings that Westerners found irresistible. God was not the capricious tyrant in the heavens avowed by Bible-thumpers, but rather a power that resided in the human heart.

“Each soul is potentially divine,” he promised. “The goal is to manifest that divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.” And to close the deal for the fence-sitters, he punched up Vedanta’s embrace of other faiths and their prophets.

Christ and Buddha were incarnations of the divine, he said, no less than Krishna and his own teacher, Ramakrishna.

Swami Vivekananda was valued for what he represented — Indian thought — and recognized by some of the brightest minds in America. One of them was Nicola Tesla. A few years ago I came across a wonderful documentary on Tesla. (I will dig up the reference later.) There I got to know that Swami Vivekananda and Tesla had met.

[Sahah] Bernhardt, in fact, introduced him to the electromagnetic scientist Nikola Tesla, who was struck by Vivekananda’s knowledge of physics. Both recognized they had been pondering the same thesis on energy—in different languages.

Vivekanand was keenly interested in the science supporting meditation, and Tesla would cite the monk’s contributions in his pioneering research of electricity. “Mr. Tesla was charmed to hear about the Vedantic prana and akasha and the kalpas [time],”

Vivekananda wrote to a friend. “He thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go to see him next week to get this mathematical demonstration. In that case Vedantic cosmology will be placed on the surest of foundations.” For the monk from Calcutta, there were no inconsistencies between science, evolution and religious belief.

Faith, he wrote, must be based upon direct experience, not religious platitudes.

As I said before, the WSJ piece is quite delightful. But I have one tiny disagreement. It is this:

Vivekananda’s influence bloomed well into the mid-20th century, infusing the work of Mahatma Gandhi, Carl Jung, George Santayana, Jane Addams, Joseph Campbell and Henry Miller, among assorted luminaries.

And then he seemed to go into eclipse in the West. American baby boomers—more disposed to “doing” than “being”—have opted for “hot yoga” classes over meditation.

At some point, perhaps in the 1980s, an ancient, profoundly antimaterialist teaching had morphed into a fitness cult with expensive accessories.

The claim that Vivekananda “infusing the work of Mahatma Gandhi” is untenable. Swami Vivekananda exhorted people to be strong, while Gandhi’s call to Indians (and anyone else who would care to listen) was passivity and resignation. Gandhi told people to surrender passively in the face of evil. India has indeed followed Gandhi’s path and rejected Swamiji’s. Examples of that would fill volumes but let me just point out one simple instance.

Auranzeb was one of the many tyrannical rulers of India who slaughtered Indians wholesale. One of the major thoroughfares of the capital of India prominently bears his name.

One can understand that Pakistan celebrates those who invaded and subjugated India but it is absolutely puzzling to see India do so. Why?

The answer must be because Indians are weak. I believe that the day that Indians throw off the yoke of subjugation will be the day that India embarks on the path to emancipation and freedom.

Weak people don’t have the freedom to take what is best and what is good for them. Instead they are forced to take whatever is least threatening to their overlords.

The English language main stream media of India is what it is because it is filled with weak people doing what they are allowed to do by the neo-colonial rulers of India. An article praising Swami Vivekananda would be unthinkable in the Indian MSM.

Imagine if Vedanta and yoga were to be introduced as part of the curriculum in Indian schools. You bet there would be howls of protests from all corners of India.

Vedanta and yoga — what Swamiji meant by the word “religion” — are not for the weak. The intellectuals and seekers of the West who came in contact with Vivekananda and the message he embodied were strong. They freely drank deep from the well of Indian wisdom.

. . . Christopher Isherwood and his friend Aldous Huxley, who wrote the introduction to the 1942 English-language edition of “The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,” a firsthand account (originally published in India in 1898) described by Huxley as “the most profound and subtle utterances about the nature of Ultimate Reality.” Nikhilananda, Salinger’s guru, did the translation, with assistance from Huxley, Joseph Campbell and Margaret Wilson, the daughter of the late president.

Huxley and Isherwood were introduced to Vedanta in the Hollywood Hills in the late 1930s by their countryman, the writer Gerald Heard. In a fitting counterpart to the New York Center, the Hollywood Vedanta society was likewise run by a scholarly and charismatic monk, Prabhavananda, who initiated the English trio of writers.

Like Nikhilananda, Prabhavananda was a magnet for the intelligentsia, and his lectures often attracted the likes of Igor Stravinsky, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and W. Somerset Maugham (and led to his writing “The Razor’s Edge”). Inspired by Isherwood—who briefly lived at the center as a monk—Greta Garbo asked if she too might move in. Told that a monastery accepts only men, Garbo became testy. “That doesn’t matter!” she thumped. “I’ll put on trousers.”

Henry Miller, who made headlines with his torrid and banned “Tropic of Cancer,” visited with Prabhavananda at the Hollywood center, devoured a small library of Vedanta books and settled down in Big Sur in 1944. Throughout his memoir, “The Air Conditioned Nightmare,” Miller invokes Vivekananda as the great sage of the modern age and the consummate messenger to rescue the West from spiritual bankruptcy.

The supreme irony is that India itself needs rescuing from spiritual bankruptcy — all the while when India itself has the world’s largest stock of spiritual capital safely locked away. As they say in Hindi, दिये के नीचे अँधेरा (“it’s dark right under the lamp”.) Perhaps centuries of slavery has robbed Indians of the discriminating faculty and the intelligence to recognize true wealth and wisdom.

Isherwood’s commitment to Vedanta, like Salinger’s, was unswerving and lifelong. Over the next 20 years, he co-translated with Prabhavananda the Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali’s “Yoga Aphorisms” and Shankara’s “Crest Jewel of Discrimination,” and was the author of several books and tracts on Vivekananda and Ramakrishna.

Alright, I have quoted enough from the WSJ piece. It’s a fairly long piece and I recommend it in its entirety. Here’s one last bit from it.

India has scheduled a yearlong party to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Vivekananda’s birth, beginning on January 12, 2013. There will be plenty of readings of his four texts on yoga as a spiritual discipline. Nine volumes chronicle his talks, writings and ruminations, from screeds against child marriage to Milton’s “Paradise Lost” to his pet goats and ducks. But if there were a single takeaway line that boils down his teachings to one spiritual bullet point, it would be “You are not your body.” This might be bad news for the yoga-mat crowd. The good news for beleaguered souls like Salinger was Vivekananda’s corollary: “You are not your mind.”

[Read more on Swami Vivekananda in this blog.]

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Vedas became omniform for all periods of time


The Rig Veda is one of the oldest religious te...

Image via Wikipedia

By Prem Sabhlok

Via e-mail

Swami Viveknanda had said that religion is a spiritual science. Many contemporary gurus, swamis, pujaris and priests are not able to explain the concept of spiritual science. But most of them agree that the Vedas are the supreme scriptures of Hindus. The Bhagavad-Gita mentions that study of Vedas is the highest virtue. Adi Granth Sahib says Asankh grantha mukhi Vedpatha. There are innumerable scriptures but Vedic study is the supreme.

Sad-Darshana (six schools of Indian philosophy),  based on Vedic metaphysics and Vedic Ishta theory-paths, aim at welfare of mankind. They have made it amply clear that to know the concept of religion as spiritual science, the study of the Vedas is essential. To avoid spread of pious forgeries in the society, Swami Dayananda had suggested study and propagation of Vedic knowledge for the Aryans (noble people).

After the study of the Vedas through English translation of mantras, riks, hymns and even some verses, it was apparent the religion as spiritual science is dharma and it is an institution of social, moral, ethical and spiritual uplift of mankind. It is based on certain principles of spiritual science relating to Rta (cosmic laws of Nature), ideal mosaic society where people follow four divine professions (chatvar varnas) allotted through the Vedic education system based on merit, ability and aptitude and certainly not by birth.

The concept of guru —  Gu means darkness and Ru means to dispel —  dispeller of inner and outer darkness as a preceptor, the cosmic delusion (maya), the difference between soul, manifested soul, spirit and their respective roles, prakrti (divine Nature), the ineffable and formless Supreme Reality Brahman, the cosmic word “Om” (Shabd Brahma) cause of origin of the universe, physical sciences and scientific temper and many other subjects and concepts have been explained in the context of dharma as spiritual science.

In the social aspect of dharma, the Vedas refer to healthy community life through sabha and vidhta, local self-governance, iddm nan mmam — enlightened liberalism (nothing for self all for society), etc.

With regard to the moral aspect hydra-headed corruption with nine heads and 99 sources of entry in the human body is mentioned and solution thereof to eliminate corruption.

On the ethical aspect of dharma, trivarga (three kinds of value systems are explained) and as regard spiritual side of dharma harmonized divine, spiritual and material knowledge (para jnan) is explained in great details.

After study of the Vedas, I wrote Glimpses of Vedic Metaphysics as a part of Vedic spiritual science. Hence the book is by a commoner for the common human beings and seekers of Vedic knowledge, who may not have time to study over 17,000 mantras/riks in all the four Vedas, but are keen to know what these shrutis contain. The Atharva Veda clearly mentions when soul was provided to the human beings, the Vedas were revealed (hence shrutis).

Thus the Vedas became omniform for all periods of time. The study of the Vedas can save simple, honest and God-loving people from the pious forgeries of “leaders of hope” like miracles, breaking unity into diversity of cults/sects or even declaring Veda mantras have secret divine power.

Instead of publishing the book and commercially pricing it, I opted for putting it on the Internet for online reading and even taking print at no cost. It is available on http://www.sabhlokcity.com/metaphysics. The book can be accessed through google.com, yahoo.com, lulu.com search for the book or just Vedic Metaphysics.

ધર્મ અને વીજ્ઞાન- સંદેશ ખૂબ સરસ છે


A poem by unknown writer, If any one knows about author please write to me and credit shall be given to original author.

ધર્મ અને વીજ્ઞાન- સંદેશ ખૂબ સરસ છે –

મોકલેલું આ જોડકણાં જેવું ગીત આમ કાવ્યની દૃષ્ટિએ તો સામાન્ય છે.

પણ એનો સંદેશ ખૂબ સરસ છે એટલે તમને મોકલું છું.

અંધશ્રદ્ધા છે આંધળી, વહેમને વંટોળે વહે;
અતીશ્રદ્ધા છે અવળચંડી,વેવલાપણાંનાંવાવેતર કરે..

યુરોપે અટપટાં યંત્રો શોધી ફીટ કર્યાં ફૅક્ટરીમાં;
આપણે સીદ્ધીયંત્રો બનાવી, ફીટ કર્યાં ફોટામાં.

પશ્ચીમે ઉપગ્રહ બનાવી, ગોઠવી દીધા અંતરીક્ષમાં;
આપણે ગ્રહોના નંગ બનાવી, મઢી દીધા અંગુઠીમાં.

જાપાન વીજાણુ યંત્રો થકી, સમૃદ્ધ બન્યું જગમાં;
આપણે વૈભવલક્ષ્મીનાં વ્રતો કરી, ગરીબી રાખી ઘરમાં.

અમેરીકા વૈજ્ઞાનીક અભીગમથી બળવાન બન્યો વીશ્વમાં;
આપણે ધાર્મીક કર્મકાંડો થકી, કંગાળ બન્યા દેશમાં.

પશ્ચીમે પરીશ્રમ થકી, સ્વર્ગ ઉતાર્યું આ લોકમાં;
આપણે પુજાપાઠ–ભક્તી કરી, સ્વર્ગ રાખ્યું પરલોકમાં.

ઍડવર્ડ જેનરે રસી શોધી, શીતળા નાબુદ કર્યા જગમાં;
આપણે શીતળાનાં મંદીર બાંધી, મુર્ખ ઠર્યા આખા જગમાં.

પર્યાવરણ–પ્રદુષણથી જયારે જગત આખું છે ચીંતામાં;
આપણે વૃક્ષો જંગલો કાપી, લાકડાં ખડક્યાં ચીતામાં..

વાસ્તુશાસ્ત્રનો દંભ ને વળગાડ, લોકોને પીડે આ દેશમાં;
ફાલતુશાસ્ત્ર છે એ, છેતરાશો નહીં, ઠગનારા ઘણા છે આ દેશમાં.

સાયંટીફીકલી બ્લડ ચૅક કરી, ઍંગેજમેન્ટ કરે પશ્ચીમમાં,
સંતાનોને ફસાવી જન્મકુંડળીમાં, લગ્નકુંડાળાં થાય આ દેશમાં.

લસણ–ડુંગળી–બટાકા ખાવાથી પાપ લાગે આ દેશમાં,

આખી ને આખી બેન્ક ખાવા છતાં પાપ ન લાગે આ દેશમાં.

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Agenda to kill Ancient Hindu Ayurveda.


This just came across my desk and I agree with content and message and behind the ugly face truth of Sonia Gandhi and her foreign hidden agenda to kill ancient Hindu knowledge of Aayurveda and Medicine.

Narendra modI can send Man Mohan Singh and his cabinet to jail at any time

અપ્રમાણિત દવાઓની આયાતદ્વારા આચરવામાં આવતા બેસુમાર નકલી એનકાઉન્ટરઃ
આરોપી: મનમોહન સિંહની કેબીનેટ

નરેન્દ્ર મોદી ચાહે તો કોઈ પણ ઘડીએ મનમોહન ની પૂરી કેબીનેટને જેલભેગી કરી શકે છે.

વિષયઃ
અસંદિગ્ધરીતે સંદિગ્ધ, અસરહીન અને અપ્રમાણિત એવી “ARV એન્ટી-રિટ્રો-વાઈરલ” નામની એક વિદેશી દવાને અબજો રુપીયાના ખર્ચે આયાત કરવાનું અને તેને ફરજીયાત રીતે ઉપયોગ કરાવવાનું કેન્દ્રીય સરકારનું કાવતરું. જો આ કાવતરામાં સામેલ ન થાઓ તો દંડિત કરવાનું કાવતરું.

મનમોહન અને તેની કેબીનેટ કહે છે “એચ. આઈ. વી. પોઝીટીવ”ને એઈડ ગણો અને બીજી માન્ય ચિકીત્સા પદ્ધતિને અવગણી અમારી વિશ્વ સ્તરે અમાન્ય થયેલી દવાનો ફરજીયાત તમારા દર્દી ઉપર ઉપયોગ કરો અને તેને મારો. જો તેમ ન કરવું હોય તો તો જેલમાં જાઓ. કારણ કે અમારે બીન જરુરી દવા આયાત કરી અમારા ગજવા ભરવા છે અને જે અમને સાથ ન આપે તેમને દંડવા છે.

કેસ સંદર્ભઃ As Central Government is killing this innocent Indian
people in this fake HIV AIDS encountering: Mrs. Jakia Nasim
 SLP 1088/2008 should be discharged as per Law of Natural
Justice.

“એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ એ એઇડ નથી. એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ એ એઈડ થવાની શક્યતા બતાવે છે. “એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ”નો ઉપચાર કરવાથી તે મટી શકે છે. અને તેથી એઈડ થી બચી શકાય છે.

નેચરોપથી એ ગાંધીજી દ્વારા વિશ્વસ્ત અને સરકાર માન્ય ઉપચાર પ્રણાલી છે. અને નેચરોપથી દ્વારા થતા ઉપચારો વડે એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ નો પણ ઉપચાર કરી શકાય છે. આ વાત સરાકારી દસ્તાવેજોમાં ઉપલબ્ધ છે.

પણ કેન્દ્ર સરકાર કે જેણે નેચરોપથીને માન્યતા આપી છે તે છતાં પણ એચ આઈ વી પોઝિટીવને એઈડ ગણે છે.

જે કોઇ બાળક એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ સાથે જન્મે તેને માટે જરુરી નથી કે તેને એઈડ થશે. સામાન્યરીતે જે બાળક એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ સાથે જન્મ્યું હોય તે અઢાર માસમાં એચ આઈ વી નેગેટીવ થઈ જાય છે. છતાં પણ તેને એઈડની સારવાર ચાલુ કરી દેવાય છે.

ARV એન્ટી-રિટ્રો-વાઈરલ નામની દવા બધા જ એચ આઈ વી પોઝીટીવ દર્દીઓને અપાય છે. અને સરકારના નેશનલ એઈડ કન્ટ્રોલ ઓર્ગેનાઈઝેશન દ્વારા આ ARV અપાય છે.
હવે આ ARV એ કોઈ અધિકૃત દવા છે જ નહીં. અને તેનાથી દર્દીઓ બચે છે તે પણ સાબિત થયું નથી તો પણ સરકાર કે જેણે નેચરોપથીની સારવારને માન્યતા આપી છે તો પણ તેને અવગણીને જે દવાને (ARV) ને વિશ્વમાં ક્યાંય પણ માન્યતા મળી નથી તેમજ વિશ્વ આરોગ્ય સંસ્થા એ જે દવાને નકારી છે તે દવાનો કેન્દ્ર સરકાર અને નેશનલ એઈડ કન્ટ્રોલ ઓર્ગેનીઝેશન ARV બનાવતી કંપનીની મીલીભગત થી ARVનો ઉપચારમાં વપરાશ કરી મોટું સડયંત્ર ચલાવી રહી છે. ARV દવા સપ્લાય કરતી કંપનીનું ત્રણ થી પાંચ અબજ રુપીયા વડે ગજવું ભરાય છે અને લગભગ ૨૦૦૦ વયસ્ક લોકો અને ૨૦૦ જેટલા બાળકો રોજ મરે છે. એટલે આ કામ તો કાયદાની દૃષ્ટિએ ગુનાઈત જ થયું કહેવાય.

વળી આ અધુરું હોય તેમ જે ચિકિત્સકો યોગ જેવી નેચરોપથીની ચિકિત્સા દ્વાર ઉપચાર કરે છે તેમને આ કેન્દ્ર સરકાર કોર્ટ કચેરીમાં ખડા કરે છે અને સજા કરી દંડાવે છે.”

પબ્લીક ઈન્ટરેસ્ટ લીટીગેશન ના સંદર્ભમાં આ સાથે પેપર બીડ્યા છે. તેમાં સરકારી સર્ક્યુલર ના સંદર્ભ પણ સામેલ છે.

શિરીષ મોહનલાલ દવે
———————–

શ્રી બાબુભાઇ ઠક્કર શું કહે છે?
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Interpretations on Gita: A scholarly study


Aum calligraphy. Aum (Om) Hindu Symbol

Image via Wikipedia

Interpretations on Gita: A scholarly study
By Dr Vaidehi Nathan
The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse, Nagappa Gowda K, Oxford University Press, Pp 286(HB), Rs 695.00

BHAGAVAD Gita the eternal text has been explored and re-interpreted by men since it was originally penned by the great sage Vyasa. Each one has found his/her own meanings and answers from the Gita to quests and queries on life and beyond.

The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse by Nagappa Gowda K. has analysed the contemporary understanding of Gita by leaders in 19th- 20th century. Six men have been selected who wrote dissertations on or referred extensively to Gita. They are Bankimchandra Chatterjee, Balgangadhar Tilak, Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and BR Ambedkar. These are all men who influenced the course of the nation — some politically, some spiritually. “The nationalist engagement with the Gita was both emotional and intellectual, since nationalism expressed itself, whether sui generis or as a response-product of engagement with colonialism, at those levels. Locating the source of nationalism in the Gita was a way of rejecting the Western claim that nationalist impulse and ideology were its exclusive gift” says Gowda.

While Bankimchandra saw the Gita as a call for action, for Tilak, as revealed in Gita Rahasya, the appeal was the notion of sthitaprajna, the rejection of sanyasa and a direction for active engagement with life. For Aurobindo, who turned into sage after rejecting active political life, Gita was a text of supreme spirituality, demanding nothing less than total surrender. Gandhi on other hand found in Gita “supreme endorsement of the notions such as non-violence, Swadeshi, Svadharma and Satyagraha.”

interpreted Gita as an embodiment of national culture in true sense. Vinoba Bhave found svadharma as the central theme of Gita. Ambedkar saw Gita in a very different light. He thought it was a text that was trying to revive and justify “the Old Order with a new set of arguments as emanating from the mouth of God.”

Nagappa Gowda says that the Gita came back as a much discussed text of Hinduism because of the interest shown by the westerners in it. According to him, the Europeans, triggered by their eagerness to explore the Indian culture and religion sought out the “native informants.” “The native informants were the Brahmins – a small, literate monopoly class in the country, who thus became the sole spokespersons of religion. Brahmanical religion became the Hindu religion, and Brahmanical texts became the official Hindu texts.

Of them Shree Krishna and his Song Celestial seemed to merit the Semitic notion of a revealed religion… Thus, in the eighteenth century, we see both the orientalist and missionary discourses nudging the Bhagavadgita and its author to the centrestage of attention and engagement.”

Tilak used Gita in the political context. He exalts an all-India-Hinduism, playing down the differences of sect and caste. For Vivekananda the message is beyond India, in a world canvas and it is apolitical. He regards the truth in Gita as universal and not historical, says Gowda adding nishkam karma was the essence of the monk’s message from Gita.

Sri Aurobindo has written extensively on Gita. He wrote 24 essays on the first six chapters, twelve essays on the next six chapters and twelve on the remaining six. The first six chapters, he felt dealt with the notion of karma and its relation with jnana.

Gandhi delivered 218 lectures on the Gita at the Satyagraha Ashram, Ahmedabad over a period of nine months in 1926. He was introduced to the Gita by Edwin Arnold, to an English translation called Song Celestial, when he was twenty years old.

He said, “Only he can interpret the Gita correctly who tries to follow its teaching in practice…it may be a profound one, but in my view the realisation of its profound quality depends on the depth of one’s sincerity in putting its teaching into practice.”

Ambedkar on the other hand saw it as a reiteration of the caste system. The reviving debate on it he said was an attempt at ‘replying’ to the Buddhist preaching, by re-establishing the ‘relevance’ of the caste categorisation. After reading the views on others on the Gita, reading Ambedkar’s gives a feeling of ‘let down.’

One wonders if there was any relevance for his inclusion into this book. For, Ambedkar takes a limited, narrow and constrained attitude towards the text that is widely seen as enlightening, egalitarian and ennobling.

Nagappa Gowda says that the reason why Gita gelled well in the nationalist discourse is that it laid great stress on karma yoga and “undermined the asceticism of the Upanisadic persuasion and emotionalism and devotionalism of the bhakti persuasion.” And also it was seen as upholding a deep commitment to equality.

Gita has been a text of all times. From Adi Shankara, even before him and down the generations men have delved into this changeless doctrine and applied it and explained it as it revealed itself to them.

It has an appeal that has transcended time and space. Nagappa Gowda by contextualising the Gita on the matrix of national movement has given a new perspective worth pursuing. Gowda is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Government Women’s First Grade College and Post Graduate Centre, Ajjarakadu, Udupi.

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Importance of drinking enough water constantly.


http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-reasons-to-drink-more-water-that-you-may-not-know.html

We hear about importance of drinking enough water constantly. On the flip side, there has been a growing trend in the media lately that the commonly recommended eight cups of water daily is a myth, which is technically accurate, but not the whole story. Whether you need eight cups of water daily, or four or ten, most people are not getting the message that whatever their particular water needs are, they aren’t meeting them.

And even dietitians, nutritionists, and medical professionals are contributing to the problem by informing people that they get enough water in their diet in the form of fruits and vegetables. That might be true for some people, but after assessing the diets of countless people, I assure you that isn’t the case for most people.

Plus, have you ever noticed that when you throw vegetables in a pan and turn on the heat you’ll see liquid in the pan soon afterward, and then shortly after that you’ll see steam rising from them? That’s because you’re literally cooking the water out of the vegetables.

Researchers estimate that half of the world’s population is chronically dehydrated. And in America, that level is even higher at 75 percent of the population.

More than two-thirds of your body weight is water. Without adequate water your body’s biochemical and electrical (yes electrical, read on!) processes begin to break down. The list of reasons your body needs water is as plentiful as the functions in your body, so due to space limitations, here are 10 good reasons to drink more water:

1. Your blood is over 80 percent water and needs water to make healthy new blood cells.

2. Your bones are over 50 percent water and, you guessed it, need water to make healthy new bone cells.

3. Drinking more water actually helps lessen pain in your body by getting your lymphatic system moving. The lymphatic system is a network of nodes, tubes, vessels, and fluid that move waste out of your tissues. It requires water to function properly.

4. Water helps to eliminate wastes and toxins from your body through thelymphatic system, kidneys, and intestines.

5. Water lubricates your joints and helps reduce joint pain and protect against wear and tear.

6. Water regulates your metabolism so if you’re overweight chances are you may need more water.

7. Water balances body temperature.

8. Water helps to ensure adequate electrical functioning so your brain and nervous system function properly. Your brain and nervous system send out electrical signals to function properly. Researchers estimate that your brain gives off about the same amount of electricity as a 60 watt light bulb. So, there’s some truth to the image of a light bulb going on when someone has a good idea.

9. Water alleviates dehydration (and I’ve already mentioned that most people are chronically dehydrated).

10. Every cell and organ in your body requires adequate water to function properly.

So, one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your health is to start drinking more pure water every day. Be sure to drink water an empty stomach or you’ll simply be diluting your digestive enzymes and making your digestion less effective.

And, choose purified water as much as possible (but get yourself a BPA-free water bottle so you won’t pollute the planet with all those plastic water bottles. In wealthy, developed nations with plentiful access to water, we really have no excuses for not drinking enough water.

Adapted with permission of the author from the upcoming book, The Phytozyme Cure.

What is Yantra (यन्त्र) ? The Sanskrit Word


What is Yantra (यन्त्र)  ? The Sanskrit Word
  • Yantra (यन्त्र) is the Sanskrit word for “instrument” or “machine”. Much like the word “instrument” itself, it can stand for symbols.Yantra function as revelatory conduits of cosmic truths. Yantra, as instrument and spiritual technology,it is prototypical and esoteric concept mapping machines or conceptual looms. Certain yantra are he……ld to embody the energetic signatures of, for example, the Universe, consciousness, ishta-devata. Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially “thought forms” representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.

    Symbols employed in yantrasShapes and patterns commonly employed in yantra include squares, triangles, circles and floral patterns but may also include more complex and detailed symbols, for instance:

    The lotus flower typically represent chakras, with each petal representing a psychic propensity (or vritti) associated with that chakra
    A dot, or bindu, represents the starting point of creation or the infinite, unexpressed cosmos
    The şaţkoņa (Sanskrit name for a symbol identical to the star of David) composed of a balance between:
    An upwards triangle denoting action (or service), extroversion, masculinity or Shiva
    A downwards triangle denoting introversion, meditativeness, goddess energy or Shakti

    Geometric element meanings:

    Circle = Energy of the element water
    Square = Energy of the element earth
    Triangle = Energy of the element fire
    Diagonal lines = Energy of the element air
    Horizontal line = Energy of the element water
    Vertical line = Energy of the element fire
    Point = Energy of the element ether

    As an astrological deviceYantra may be used to represent the astronomical position of the planets over a given date and time. It is considered auspicious in Hindu{Sanatan Dharm} mythology. These yantras are made up on various objects i.e. Paper, Precious stones, Metal Plates and alloys. It is believed that constantly concentrating on the representation helps to build fortunes, as planets have their peculiar gravity which governs basic emotions and karma. These yantras are often made on a particular date and time according to procedures defined in the vedas.

    This one above is Shri Yantra

     

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