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The late Dashrath Manjhi (1934-2007) is now fondly called Dashrath baba by the villagers of a small hamlet called Gehlor in the Gaya district of Bihar. But this was not the case earlier. There was a time when he was ridiculed, taunted, and discouraged, even by the members of his own family. Why? Because he decided to carve a road through the mountain that separated his village from the nearest town.
Among Vedic practitioners, Tulasi "The Incomparable One", is vital in the worship of Lord Vishnu. As Vrinda Devi she arranges the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in the forests of Vrindavan. Devotees always offer food to the Lord accompanied by a leaf from Tulasi. In addition, Vaishnavas chant on and wear sacred beads made of her wood, and in some traditions anoint their body with sacred clay in the form of her leaf.
If you were to travel to Lithuania you might encounter some traditional houses adorned with the motif of two horse heads. You might take this as a simple design but it is in fact a small clue to Lithuania's deep and ancient Vedic past. Traditionally, the Vedic peoples of Lithuania worshipped the Ašvieniai, the divine horse twins, related to the goddess Ūsinis. They are said to pull the Sun Chariot through the sky. The Lithuanian people continue to adorn their roof tops with the symbol of the divine horse twins in order to receive protection for the household.
Those who are of a flabby and phlegmatic constitution only, should practise at first these six Kriyas to prepare themselves for the practice of Pranayama and their success comes in easily. These six Kriyas are: 1. Dhauti, 2. Basti, 3. Neti, 4. Trataka, 5. Nauli and 6. Kapalabhati.
In 1938 the Nazis sent an expedition to Tibet in search of occult treasures. During this trek, the lead scientist, Ernst Schäfer stole an iron deity depicting a man in seated posture. On the deity's chest was the sacred swastika and in his hand he held an unknown object.
In County Meath, Ireland, on the Hill of Tara sits a mysterious stone known as the Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny). According to The Annals of the Four Masters, an ancient document written by Franciscan Monks between 1632-1636 AD, this stone was brought to Ireland by the Tuatha Dé Danann, a supernaturally gifted people. Some speculate it was they who brought the power to make bronze to Ireland. They were the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland.
Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi is a powerful Devi who is said to have destroyed Sarabheswara's arrogance. Sarabheswara is an ugra avatar of Lord Siva. She is also known as Narasimhika [in Kalisahasranama Stotram], "She who is the Ferocious Half Human Half Lion of Courage". It is said that when Narashimhika shakes her Lion's Mane, she throws the stars into disarray. She is enveloped as bliss in the letter "Ksham". In the Rig Veda khila kAndam a suktam named Pratyangira sUktam occurs.
There are four Bhedas (piercing of divisions) viz., Surya, Ujjayi, Sitali and Basti. Through these four ways, when Kumbhaka is near or about to be performed, the sinless Yogi should practise the three Bandhas. The first is called Mula Bandha. The second is called Uddiyana, and the third is Jalandhara. Their nature will be thus described. Apana which has a downward tendency is forced up by contracting and drawing the anus upwards. This process is called Mula Bandha. When Apana is raised up and reaches the sphere of Agni (fire), then the flame of Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu. The Agni and Apana come to or commingle with Prana in a heated state. Through this Agni, which is very fiery arises in the body the flaming of fire which rouses the sleeping Kundalini.
‘Kapala’ is a Sanskrit word; it means skull. ‘Bhati’ means to shine. The term ‘Kapalabhati’ means an exercise that makes the skull shine. This Kriya cleanses the skull. So this is taken as one of the Shat-Karmas (six cleansing processes in Hatha Yoga). Sit on Padmasana. Keep the hands on knees. Close the eyes. Perform Puraka and Rechaka rapidly. This should be practised vigorously. One will get perspiration profusely. This is a good form of exercise. Those who are well-versed in Kapalabhati, can do Bhastrika very easily.
Have you ever noticed that when you are surprised by incredible news you tend to hold your breath? It is a natural reaction. This can also work backwards, i.e., if you can control your breathing, you can control your mind. This is the basic principle behind "pranayama" - the technique of yogic breathing exercises. Though on a gross level you are trying to gain control over your breathing, in essence subconsciously you are trying to gain control over your very prana (the vital life force). Prana means "life force" and "yama" means "practice". So, pranayama is the science of gaining control over vital life force beginning with gaining control over your breath.
The aspirant should assume his meditative posture, close his eyes gently, and allow the breath to flow smoothly and easily. One next draws upon his imagination to create an attractive image that symbolizes his highest spiritual ideal or concept. He places this image in his heart, where he surrounds the image with an ocean of light, and holds it there, mentally visualizing it. Any beautiful image may be visualized according to the imaginative capacity of the practitioner.
Some of the original visualizations described in the scriptures are so elaborate that it would require many pages to describe a single image. One must build one's mental image as perfectly and completely as possible, and meditate on this alone. One must remain constant in selecting one image and not change from one image to another. Neither should he change his meditative posture from one day to the next.
The following rare video appears to be the only known video recording of Tirupati Balaji that we have come across. We are not aware of how the video was made or who made the video. The video was originally seen being shared on facebook. The common idea that deities should not be filmed has nothing to do with scripture as cameras did not exist in the times that our scriptures were written. It has always been permitted to paint and draw pictures of deities, and these representations of the deities are considered one with the deity by the devotees.
It is reasonable to assume that a digital photo or film of the deity, which is nothing but colored pixels, is likewise an authorized manner in which to preserve and remember the form of the Lord. This is our own personal view. Since such technologies did not exist in the past, there is no way to know what the scriptural conclusion would be in this regard. Also we should note that even the TTD shows videos of the utsava murtis (smaller festival deities) of Tirupati Balaji daily on television. If it is right to film the utsava murti, then it is equally fine to film the mula vigraha (main deity of Balaji).
Shaolin monks and disciples follow a unique practice among Buddhists in that they greet each other using only their right hand. This greeting is a tradition which dates back to Da Mo and his disciple, Hui Ke.
In 495 AD, the Indian monk Ba Tuo, or Buddhabhadra, came to China teaching a form of Buddhism known as Xiao Sheng Buddhism. He was given land at the foot of Shaoshi mountain by Emperor Shao Wen and founded the Shaolin Temple on this land.
In and around Quanzhou, a bustling industrial city, there are shrines that historians believe may have been part of a network of more than a dozen Hindu temples and shrines. For the residents of Chedian, a few thousand-year-old village of muddy by-lanes and old stone courtyard houses, she is just another form of Guanyin, the female Bodhisattva who is venerated in many parts of China. But the goddess that the residents of this village pray to every morning, as they light incense sticks and chant prayers, is quite unlike any deity one might find elsewhere in China. Sitting cross-legged, the four-armed goddess smiles benignly, flanked by two attendants, with an apparently vanquished demon lying at her feet.
The cultural relations between India and China can be traced back to very early times. There are numerous references to China in Sanskrit texts, but their chronology is sketchy. The Mahabharata refers to China several times, including a reference to presents brought by the Chinese at the Rajasuya Yajna of the Pandavas; also, the Arthasastra and the Manusmriti mention China. According to French art historian Rene Grousset, the name China comes from "an ancient" Sanskrit name for the regions to the east, and not, as often supposed, from the name of the state of Ch'in," the first dynasty established by Shih Huang Ti in 221 B.C.
The birth of Shri Datta, Who incarnated on the full moon day (pournima) of the Hindu lunar month of Margashirsha, is celebrated as Datta Jayanti. In the previous eras, the atrocities of demonic forces increased tremendously; hence, Shri Dattatreya incarnated in different forms and destroyed the demons. On Datta Jayanti, Shri Datta’s principle is 1,000 times more active on Earth as compared to any other day. By worshipping Shri Datta with full devotion, one can derive maximum benefit of the Datta principle.
Ancient peoples linked cattle, fertility and abundance. This was reflected in their spiritual practices, and in many parts of the world people worshipped a Cow Goddess or a goddess who protected cows.
Hathor, the Egyptian Goddess, was known as the gentle cow of heaven. She was said to give a plentiful supply of milk to the baby Pharaoh thus making him into a divine being. She was depicted as the winged cow of creation who gave birth to the universe.
The text of the Gupta Lalitambika desribes Goddess Chinnamasta as follows: "She who is the embodiment of virtue, love, humanness, anger, valiancy, terror, odiousness, mysticism, humor and tranquility all put together." It is quite a neat description of the Goddess. The name by itself connotes 'one with the severed head'. She is refered as Prasanda Chandika and comes 6th in line of the ten Mahavidyas. There is mention of the Goddess in not only Hindu texts but also Buddhist Tantric scriptures. She is also called Vajreshwari and is likened to the thunderbolt of Lord Indra. Her eyes are expressive and some devotees also call her Indrani. Those who follow her become inspired and courageous.
Chhattisgarh state department of archaeology and culture plans to seek help from Nasa and Isro for research on 10,000 year old rock paintings depicting aliens and UFOs in Charama region in Kanker district in tribal Bastar region. According to archaeologist JR Bhagat, these paintings have depicted aliens like those shown in Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Located about 130km from Raipur, the caves come under village Chandeli and Gotitola.
A retired history professor who has written articles arguing that stories from the Ramayan and the Mahabharat are truthful accounts of events that took place has been named chief of the ICHR, the government agency to promote historical research. Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, whose interests include Vedic literature, Sanatana Dharma and Bharatiya Sanskriti, set the tone for his three-year tenure after taking charge on Saturday.
Latest Files from Downloads Section
Nov 26 2014 07:00 PM The book "Arcana Paddhati: The Process of Deity Worship" in English in PDF format. Explains the process and procedures for worshipping the deity according to the system followed by ISKCON.
Sep 24 2014 06:40 AM The "Vaishnava Song Book" of ISKCON in English in PDF format.
Sep 24 2014 06:30 AM The book "Navadvip Dham Mahatmya" by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur in English in PDF format.
Sep 24 2014 06:25 AM The book "Kindly Help Me" in English in PDF format.
Sep 24 2014 05:03 AM The book "Hare Krishna Transformed" by E. Burke Rochford Jr in English in PDF format.