Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Benefits of living a sattvic lifestyle (vihara)... meditation most important...

Namaste friends... today I want to discuss the benefits of living a sattvic lifestyle (or vihara).  I found these pointers on a google search and find this to be a nice summary of the basics:
A Sattvic Life
– waking in the hours of Brahma Mahurt (the hour of totality, 1-2 hours before Surya (the sun) rises
– gentle exercise daily
daily meditation (twice for Vedic Vihara:morning/evening)
– a considered approach and routine to eating; eating at the same time each day, and eating sitting and not engaged in other activities and gratitude for what we are enjoying
– getting to bed early
– development of Sattvic states of mind; calm, positivity, enthusiasm, joy, happiness, honesty, humility, flexibility, moderation, balance, gratitude
– being engaged in conscientious hard work that contributes good in the world
Of course,  I believe that daily meditation (twice for Vedic vihara  in morning and evening) is the  most important component of the sattvic lifestyle.
Wishing you a most sattvic vihara...

--Dr Carolyn Heising [PHOTO:  On the Ganges (Maa Ganga) on India trip no. 3, June 2011]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Diwali 2014... may the light of the season bring you much happiness...

Happy Diwali 2014... may the light of the season bring you much happiness...
Let`s light the lamp of love
let`s drive away the darkness of malice
let`s fill our heart with compassion
let  there be peace in the world
let's  light the lamp of divine humanism
let  there be no demon of negativity
let`s light the lamp

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Intensity of meditation is of the greatest importance...

"Spiritually I have contacted you many times,
and your devotion has taken vibrations from me lots of times.
The physical contact and letter, too, are not always necessary,
for if the devotee with deep mental concentration broadcasts to his guru,
the guru receives and likewise silently sends forth the help needed....
Your difficulty lies in no other thing
but that you must reach greater depths in meditation.
Be happy to meditate; but never be satisfied
so that you think you have reached the end,
and so fail to make deeper efforts in meditation.
You must remember, that intensity in meditation
is of the greatest importance."
- Paramahansa Yogananda,
Letter to a Disciple,
SRF Magazine Spring 2002

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lord Shiva is the source of the entire universe...

Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants boons, bestows grace and awakens wisdom in His devotees. The symbolism discussed below includes major symbols that are common to all pictures and images of Shiva venerated by Hindus. Since the tasks of Lord Shiva are numerous, He cannot be symbolized in one form. For this reason the images of Shiva vary significantly in their symbolism.
The unclad body covered with ashes: the unclad body symbolizes the transcendental aspect of the Lord. Since most things reduce to ashes when burned, ashes symbolize the physical universe. The ashes on the unclad body of the Lord signify that Shiva is the source of the entire universe which emanates from Him, but He transcends the physical phenomena and is not affected by it.
Matted locks: Lord Shiva is the Master of yoga. The three matted locks on the head of the Lord convey the idea that integration of the physical, mental and spiritual energies is the ideal of yoga.
Ganga: Ganga (river Ganges) is associated with Hindu mythology and is the most sacred river of Hindus. According to tradition, one who bathes in Ganga (revered as Mother Ganga) in accordance with traditional rites and ceremonies on religious occasions in combination with certain astrological events, is freed from sin and attains knowledge, purity and peace. Ganga, symbolically represented on the head of the Lord by a female (Mother Ganga) with a jet of water emanating from her mouth and falling on the ground, signifies that the Lord destroys sin, removes ignorance, and bestows knowledge, purity and peace on the devotees.
The crescent moon: is shown on the side of the Lord's head as an ornament, and not as an integral part of His countenance. The waxing and waning phenomenon of the moon symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end. Since the Lord is the Eternal Reality, He is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon is only one of His ornaments, and not an integral part of Him.
Three eyes: Lord Shiva, also called Tryambaka Deva (literally, "three-eyed Lord"), is depicted as having three eyes: the sun is His right eye, the moon the left eye and fire the third eye. The two eyes on the right and left indicate His activity in the physical world. The third eye in the center of the forehead symbolizes spiritual knowledge and power, and is thus called the eye of wisdom or knowledge. Like fire, the powerful gaze of Shiva's third eye annihilates evil, and thus the evil-doers fear His third eye.
Half-open eyes: when the Lord opens His eyes, a new cycle of creation emerges and when He closes them, the universe dissolves for creation of the next cycle. The half-open eyes convey the idea that creation is going through cyclic process, with no beginning and no end. Lord Shiva is the Master of Yoga, as He uses His yogic power to project the universe from Himself. The half-open eyes also symbolize His yogic posture.
Kundalas (two ear rings): two Kundalas, Alakshya (meaning "which cannot be shown by any sign") and Niranjan (meaning "which cannot be seen by mortal eyes") in the ears of the Lord signify that He is beyond ordinary perception. Since the kundala in the left ear of the Lord is of the type used by women and the one in His right ear is of the type used by men, these Kundalas also symbolize the Shiva and Shakti (male and female) principle of creation.
Snake around the neck: sages have used snakes to symbolize the yogic power of Lord Shiva with which He dissolves and recreates the universe. Like a yogi, a snake hoards nothing, carries nothing, builds nothing, lives on air alone for a long time, and lives in mountains and forests. The venom of a snake, therefore, symbolizes the yogic power.
A snake (Vasuki Naga): is shown curled three times around the neck of the Lord and is looking towards His right side. The three coils of the snake symbolize the past, present and future - time in cycles. The Lord wearing the curled snake like an ornament signifies that creation proceeds in cycles and is time dependent, but the Lord Himself transcends time. The right side of the body symbolizes the human activities based upon knowledge, reason and logic. The snake looking towards the right side of the Lord signifies that the Lord's eternal laws of reason and justice preserve natural order in the universe.
Rudraksha necklace: Rudra is another name of Shiva. Rudra also means "strict or uncompromising" and aksha means "eye." Rudraksha necklace worn by the Lord illustrates that He uses His cosmic laws firmly -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rishikesh.... transports us to spiritual bliss...

by Prof. Dr. Ram Sharma
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[A Religious Place in India]

Lord Shiva stopped the pace,
of Holy Ganges in his hair in this place,
so it was named Rishikesh [hair of a saint]
Laxman Jhula [swing] stands firm,
to cross the devotees to Neelkanth [holy temple]
Ram Jhula makes the pilgrimage more confirmed,
Neel Dhara [blue stream] dances wayward,
Gita Bhawan is far more forward,
Swarg Ashram is more holy,
to shelter the persons totally,
Holy Ganges enlightens us,
by its holy touch of purity,
it bears the essence of several medicinal plants,
its Gangajal is our grant,
jingling of bells, sounds of shells,
chanting of mantras, in the holy dells,
Transports us to spiritual
Go there once, Don`t miss.
- See more at: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm


Friday, October 3, 2014

Dasha Hara... remove ten bad qualities within us...

Dasha Hara is a Sanskrit word which means removal of ten bad qualities within us:
Kama vasana (Lust)
Krodha (Anger)
Moha (Attachment)
Lobha (Greed)
Mada (Over Pride)
Matsara (Jealousy)
Swartha (Selfishness)
Anyaaya (Injustice)
Amanavta (Cruelty)
Ahankara (Ego)
It's also known as 'Vijaydashami' which means Vijaya over these ten bad qualities.
Happy Dussehara!