Hinduism Simplified

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MOST RELIGIONS DO IDOL WORSHIP?

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on May 20, 2010 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Acknowledgements: Swami Vivekananda 


Many Hindus use idols of God as symbols of God. Hindus take lot of criticism for this by those who don’t understand the logic behind it. Hindus don’t worship idols. They worship God in front of an idol to make it easy to focus on God and to visualize God. We use symbols in everyday of our lives. Don’t we keep family portraits at homes and offices? Do we consider them as pieces of paper with some color? No! We keep them to remind our families, the love and the responsibilities which go with them. Generally Hindu temples have idols of God. They do not represent some clay or stone or metal that they are made of. They represent various forms of God to make it easy for a common person to feel connected with God. They only represent media to experience God. Swami Vivekananda, one of the all time great great Saints of Hinduism who made the common people understand Hinduism once said, ‘Jaise drishti (vision), vaise srishti (creation)’. That means creation will be how your vision is. If you see God in an idol you see God, but if you see stone in an idol that is all you see in you. That is the case in everything and everybody in life. A live human being can be seen as bunch of flesh or a living being with emotions and divine qualities. If you see an ordinary person in your mother you will only see a person in her. If you see God in your mother like how Hinduism teaches you, you will see a divine God with motherly features in her. God’s idols command the same degree of respect God earns. Prayer by large group of people in front of God’s idol in a background of chanting of Mantras, devotional music and fragrance of sandalwood creates appropriate mood and environment for praying. If one closely examines what people all over the world in different religions do, it appears that most religions worship and see god in idols or icons. Anybody who wears God’s symbol or keeps such icons or photos in their house such as a Holy Cross, pendant with Jesus Christ’s image or Mother Mary’s image (e.g. Guadalupe among Christians from Mexico) or any ornament with a religious sign worships idols.


If anybody keeps a family portrait in their house or office, that person believes in iconism whether he/she admits it or not. Anybody who wears a T shirt with an image of God or that of a person they respect is actually practicing iconism. If a worshipping place (Temple, Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Gurudwara, etc) looks like a worshipping place and different from an office building, I am sorry to point out that all those people who go there practice iconism. Out of respect and for hygienic reasons Hindus don’t wear shoes or sandals in the prayer area. To prevent distraction and out of respect to God and people, Hindus are expected to wear decent dress in the temples.


Many Hindu families dedicate one area or a separate room in the house for prayer and some build a mini temple inside the house. Worshipping in front of an idol is not a compulsion for Hindus. It is a choice. None of the scriptures talk about using idols. It was created to make it simple for ordinary human beings to feel God with the normal sensory organs such as the eyes. If a person can worship God without the help of an idol (Formless God, i.e., Nirguna Brahman), he does not have to use an idol. He can just worship Formless God. Swami Vivekananda in fact has said that one can be an atheist and still be a Hindu as long as one believes in the ideals of Hindu philosophy. However majority of the normal human beings need some symbol to help concentrate on God and that is a universal phenomenon.


To summarize, there is nothing wrong in worshipping in front of God’s idols. It is important to appreciate one of the basic tenets of Hinduism, ‘Tat (that) Tvam (thou or you) Asi (that)’ which means ‘You are that divine reality’. In other words there is divinity in everything and everybody.

Yoga, Meditation, Non-Dualism and Nirvaana Shatakam

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on February 22, 2009 at 6:36 PM Comments comments (1)

Nirvana Shatkam Lyrics

 

(written by: Adi Shankaracharya)

Nirvana Shatakam (Nirvanasatakam or Nirvana Sathakam) is one of the rare stotras composed by Adi Shankaracharya (Adi Sankara Bhagawat Pada). In this beautiful stotra Adi Sanka identifies himself with Lord Shiva and there by explains his Advaita philosophy of Oneness or non dualism. Shatakam is a Sanskrit word which literally means Six and the Nirvana Shatkam Sloka comprises of Six Stanzas. Nirvanasatakam Stotram repeats the word ?Shivoham? which literally means ?I am Shiva?.

Mano budhya ahankara chithaa ninaham,
Na cha srothra jihwe na cha graana nethrer,
Na cha vyoma bhoomir na thejo na vayu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham.

Neither am I mind, nor intelligence ,
Nor ego, nor thought,
Nor am I ears or the tongue or the nose or the eyes,
Nor am I earth or sky or air or the light,

But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,

Yes ,I am definitely Shiva.
I am not mind, intellect, thought, or ego;
Not hearing, taste, smelling or sight; Not ether or earth, fire or air.
I am the Self comprised of Consciousness and Bliss,
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.
Na cha praana samgno na vai pancha vaayur,
Na vaa saptha dhathur na va pancha kosa,
Na vak pani padam na chopa stha payu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham.

Neither am I the movement due to life,
I am not that which is called Prana
Na me dwesha raghou na me lobha mohou,
Madho naiva me naiva matsarya bhava,
Na dharmo na cha artha na kamo na moksha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham.
I never do have enmity or friendship,
 I have no aversion or clinging, greed or delusion;
Neither do I have vigour nor feeling of competition,
No envy or pride, duty or purpose;
 Na punyam na paapam na soukhyam na dukham,
Na manthro na theertham na veda na yagna,
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhoktha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham.
Never do I have good deeds or sins or pleasure or sorrow,

Nor am I the five airs (five subtle elements : ether, air, fire, water and earth), nor am I the seven elements,
Nor am I the five internal organs/sheaths,
Nor am I voice or hands or feet or other organs,
But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,

I am the Self comprised of Consciousness and Bliss
Yes ,I am definitely Shiva
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Neither do I have assets, or money or passion or salvation,
No desire, no freedom.


But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
I am the soul of Knowledge and Bliss
Yes ,I am definitely Shiva

 

I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

and Bliss I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

 

I am not virtue or vice, not pleasure or pain;
Neither do I have holy chants or holy water or holy books or fire sacrifice,
I am neither food or the consumer who consumes food,
I am not enjoying, enjoyable, or enjoyer.
As I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
I am the soul of Knowledge and Bliss
Yes ,I am definitely Shiva
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na mruthyur na sankha na me jathi bhedha,
Pitha naiva me naiva matha na janma,
Na bhandhur na mithram gurur naiva sishya,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham.


I do not have death or doubts or distinction of caste,
I have no death or fear, no distinction of caste;

I do not have either father or mother or even birth,
And I do not have relations or friends or teacher or students,
As I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
I am the soul of Knowledge and Bliss
Yes ,I am definitely Shiva
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.


Aham nirvi kalpi nirakara roopi,
Vibhuthwascha sarvathra sarvendriyanaam,
Na cha sangatham naiva mukthir na meya
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham.

I am one without doubts , I am without form,
 I am changeless, formless, and through all-pervasiveness omnipresent;

Due to knowledge I do not have any relation with my organs,
I am not touched by attachment of senses;
And I am always redeemed,
I am not freedom nor knowable.
And I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
I am the soul of Knowledge

Yes ,I am definitely Shiva

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY NEW YEAR WISHES FOR 2009

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on January 1, 2009 at 11:38 AM Comments comments (0)

'Jyoti se jyoti jaga te chalo, Pyar ki Ganga baha te chalo'

This is from Sant Jnaneshwar. This was also sung in a Hindi movie by Mukesh. The meaning of this very immense.

'You move on by lighting a lamp with a lamp, Move on flowing a (Ganga) river of (divine) love'.

Light is an amazing sign. Light gives more light is we use it light other sources of light. Sharing knowledge has similar effect. It just improves others' knowledge which just spreads. That is the beauty of teaching and preaching. It multiplies. it removes the ignorance of the world. If all the ignorance of the world is removed there will peace, love and bliss in the world. World will be Heaven (Vaikunta).

OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI

Future of Hinduism in the world

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on January 1, 2009 at 11:17 AM Comments comments (0)

Some of my friends are worried about the future of Hinduism in the world since Hindus don't convert people to Hinduism, but other major religions have conversion as the major mission. I have a different take on this. If Hindus are educated about the richness of Hinduism and if Hindus are proud of being Hindus I feel that future is very bright. Hindus are also major players in the Medical schools and Madical practices, Law schools, Information Technogy and many other fields in many parts of the world. When all the Hindu students graduate they will be major powers in all these fields. It is upto them to take leadership roles. Hindus may not be the majority, but they will have the power like Jews have now. Jews are easier to coexist since we share many values with them. They have very high family values and they don't convert people into their religion.

What the Hindus need to do is to make sure Hinduism is taught to the younger generation without putting down other religions. People should be taught the major tenets of Hinduism, 'World is one family (Vasudeva Kutumbakam)', 'There is divinity in Everything and Everybody (Aham Brahmasmi or Tat Tvam asi)', 'Let the whole world be healthy (Lokaa Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu)', 'Mother, Father, Guest and Teacher are Gods (Matr devobhava, Pitr devobhava, Atithi devobhava, Acharya devobhava)', 'There there be universal Peace (Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti)'. I wish I can sponsors to distribute my book, 'Hinduism Simplified' to all the Hindu families. I could do that if I can get people to pay for the printing cost.

Happy New Year. OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

THE NEED FOR GOD KRISHNA OR GODDESS KAALI COMING TO THE EARTH

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on December 8, 2008 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Yada yadaa hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata. Abhyutthanam adharmasya tada-atmanang srijamyaham.
Whenever there is a decline of Dharma and the purpose of life forgotten, I (the Lord) manifest Myself by My Divine Yogamaya keeping My nature under control.
Paritranaya sadhunang vinashaya cha dushkritam. Dharma samsthapa narthaya sanbhavami yuge yuge.
To protect the virtuous, to destroy evil and to re-establish Dharma I am born in various ages.

This is what Lord Krishna told Prince Arjuna in Bhagvad Gita before the historic war, Maha Bharata started in his attempt to convice arjuna his purpose in the earth and Arjuna's duty to fight the violent war against injustice when non-violent means failed. India, Hindus of the world and for that every human being in the world needs a Goddess Kaali or a Arjuna and Krishna combo. Historically examples of God coming to the earth to establish Dharma are Buddha, Mahaveer, Jesus Christ, Jagadgurus Adi Shankaracharya, Madhwacharya, Ramanujacharya, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Narayana, Chaitanya Maha Prabhu, M K Gandhi, Dr M L King, Chinmayananda, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amma Amritanandamayi and Ram Dev Maharaj. The living people among these are Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amma Amritanandamayi and Ram Dev Maharaj. They all are great in what they are doing among people who can reaon things out. But terrorists are beyond reasoning when it comes to establishing peace. Hence the world needs a true Krishna or Kaali to establish Dharma and save the world from the terrorist's barbarism. It is time for Narendra Modi, L K Advani and/or A B Vajpeyi to play these roles. How about Vajpeyi to play Krishna and Narendra Modi, Arjuna?

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti! Jai Sri Krishna! Jai Mata Di!

How come Congress I won in Delhi after the Mumbai attacks?

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on December 8, 2008 at 10:17 PM Comments comments (0)
I am surprised that Ms Sheila Dikshit from Congress I won in Delhi despite the security lapses and lack of decission making under the Congress I leadership. There may be other good reasons why people chose Congress I. Some reasons which come to my mind are 1. Sheila Dikshit may have done more good than bad, 2. BJP leadership in Delhi may not be that assuring, 3. People may be thinking that BJP if comes to power may wage a war against Pakistan which people do not want. I think the third reason is more likely. 

Should India Wage War Against Pakistan?

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on December 4, 2008 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The whole world is looking at India in anticipation of what it is going to do next. The answer is easy! India has to do everything to curtail unscrupulous vandalism. The question is how! Should India wage a war against Pakistan? The answer is that India should wage war actively against terrorism. Not only that India should eliminate the demons, but it has to abolish the terrorism training centers. There is lot to learn from the USA. India should not repeat the mistakes US did. Despite being one of the most prosperous countries in the world, despite being the only superpower, the Iraq war is not a sweeping victory. However, one has to appreciate the successes as well. US has not seen terrorist attack in its soil since 9/11/2001. What the Iraq and Afganistan war has done is move the terrorists' targets away from the US. It has created more enemies to the US and more enemies to humanity. All in all I don't see American war against Afganistan and Iraq as successes. It created more terrorists, it killed many lives, it created a huge economic burden on US and if you see the world as one country, the number of terrorist attacks have not really gone own. If the rich US could not succeed, what makes one think that India will not suffer from a war?

Do I think India should war war against Pakistan after knowing that it is going to cost lot of lives and money? I think we should not fight a conventional war against Pakistan. I think India should call it a war for universal peace. India should fight the terrorists in Pakistan, not Pakistan as a country since Pakistan failed to curtail terrorism by the their terrorists. Moreover they are training terrorists outside Pakistan including in India. Besides attacking terrorists in Pakistan, the bigger and more important issue is India should attack the terrorist training sites in India. In order to avoid moderate muslims from revolting, India should not call it attack on muslims, just call it attack on terrorists. But it is very important to do this in each part of the country to achieve a decissive victory and create fear in the minds of terrorists. Have a zero tolerance policy and do it from one end of the country to the other. Let it not happen in the whole country simultaneously to avoid a civil war. But creating fear among the local miscreants is very very important since usually there are local miscreants behnd every majot attack.

Does India need proof to show to Pakistan? What non-sense? The whole world knows that Pakistan is horbouring terrorists. Mother India! Go ahead and go for a sweep. But be smart. Be the Mother Durga for the world and save the world from terrorism. It is time for the Hindustan to grow back as the super power that it was 2000 years ago. Jai Hind!

Mumbai Attacks

Posted by thirdeyemeditation on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 PM Comments comments (0)

It is a disgrace to humanity, disgrace to liberty of every soul and an expression of cowardice. It is a shame that people cannot learn to coexist in this world. The real truth is coexistence is the default state and the necessity. The world is so big that every big faction in this world will have to continue. Hindus have survived emergence of every new faith in this world and have watched the extinction of many faiths such as the Greek, Roman, Mayan and Egyptian faiths. Being a Dharmic religion, Hinduism is here to stay and teach Dharma to rest of the world. Lord Krishna came to this earth as a human being over 5000 years ago to establish Dharma. He said that he would come whenever Lack of Ethics (Adharma) dominates in the world to reestablish Dharma. Before that, Durga came to the earth to establish Dharma when Adharma prevailed. The big question is will Lord Krishna or Goddess Durga come to the earth again to establish Dharma? I have no doubt that God will establish Dharma in this world soon.

The next question is what name will the Lord Krishna carry when he shows up as a human being? We, I think, have seen that the non-violent means of establishing Dharma have failed. So this is not the right time for people like Gandhiji and Dalai Lama to establish Dharma. I doubt that Manmohan Singh has enough in him left to cut it. Hats off the Economist in him. But we have not seen the Sardar, the fighter in him. This is the time for Lord Krishna or Goddess Kaali or Lord Hanuman to show up. Despite their controversies, I see that courage in Narenda Modi and Lal Krishna Advani. Barrack Obama, probably has it in him too. Kaal (time) will decide. World has to wait for the regime to change in India and Mr Obama to become the official President of the US. That means another 6-8 months of wait! What does Mr Manmohan Singh have to do? At least he has to prevent more attacks on innocent citizens. He has to create some fear in the minds of terrorists.


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