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aGnani11 last won the day on December 23 2014

aGnani11 had the most liked content!

About aGnani11

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  1. We need to suspend these idle debates. Follow a Guru whom you feel is truly humble, and has attained self-realization and God-realization. If no such Guru is available, then find the Guru within yourself. No need to "believe" in people. Paramatman is manifest in each individual Atman, and that is all that is necessary. Instead of debating over who is right/wrong, let's discuss spiritual tenets. Why not discuss the spiritual discipline Swaminarayan speaks of in Gadhada II-13, when he describes the divine light of Purushottam Narayan? Or of the methods of withdrawing one's thought from the exterior to the interior? Or of the technique he prescribes in Vach. Sarangpur-13 for the systematic process of self-realization and attaining 'Shunya' or 'no-thought'? To me, these are far more important questions that need to be answered than "BAPS are an offshoot" or "your Acharya is corrupt". Please, life is short and moksha isn't exactly a piece of cake. It's exactly these types of immature dialogue that is plaguing all of Hinduism. Let's understand that we have far more similarities than we do differences. Lets keep it that way! OM SHANTI.
  2. The words of the Swaminarayan arti are somewhat different because they are based on manuscripts that sadhu scholars of BAPS uncovered. Sadhus of BAPS actually discussed them with the scholars of the Bhuj mandir and have come to a consensus that the manuscript is indeed original and words like "Narayan Nar Bhraataa" were originally written as "Narayan Sukh Daataa" and "Charane shish dharya" is actually "Charane chitta dharya". Those are pretty much the main differences, and they are based strictly on the manuscripts that were discovered. Trust me, it would be sacriligious to just change an original work of a great sadguru sadhu of Swaminarayan. But the words are based on hard evidence of scripts, not through the conjecture of lesser minds. OM SHANTI.
  3. I'm not sure what Sri Krishna or Srila Prabhupada says regarding this, but Swami Sahajananda (Swaminarayana) instructed his disciples that after awaking before sunrise on the day of dvadasi, and after bathing and performing morning puja and meditation, you should break fast with lemon juice and light fruits after offering them to God. Most monks of the Swaminarayana tradition break the ekadasi by eating khichadi (a creamy blend of rice and dal).
  4. Jay Sri Narayana, I have heard of the mystical origins of Ragas. Narad Rishi, according to the Puranas, was a master of the diverse range of Ragas that correspond to different human emotions. In the system of astanga-yoga, the anAhata-cakra is associated with the anAhat-sabda, which is a divine sound that the yogi can hear when performing deep meditation using the ekagrahta technique. Singing kirtan/bhajans and chanting God's mantras in Raga can also boost the power it has on you. Raga is a beautiful way of professing pure bhakti towards God. The various Ragas do have a divine origin, so I think it's important that we discuss what Ragas mean to you. Do you prefer to sing ragas? Even singing the Omkaar in ragas can have profound effect on your ability to meditate and do bhakti. What does everyone think?
  5. I've always been against the 'guest' policy. It's okay to be controversial; it's only not okay to be both controversial and blasphemous. Posts that are both these things usually come from anonymous guests, but not all guests post like this.
  6. I would think this means to chant his name with reverence of his full glory. This would include chanting the Mahamantra, calling him by various names to describe his various aspects of greatness, and remembering the divine play of God.
  7. Sahajanand Swami is is original sadhu name, given to him by his guru Ramanand Swami, a respected Vaishnav sadhu of the late 18th century. After he prescribed the Swaminarayan mantra, he became known throughout Gujarat, Kutch, and Rajasthan as Swaminarayan. Also, I'm not familiar with idols of Radha and Krishna or Shiva and Parvati being smaller than the idols of Akshar and Purushottam. Every Swaminarayan mandir I've been to has equality in size, with Akshar-Purushottam being in the central shrine. As for the Akshardham mandir in Delhi, they are golden because Swaminarayan Bhagwan is our istadeva. The divine couples of Radha and Krishna and Shiva and Parvati are there to show that we are based in the philosophy of the unity of Akshar and Purushottam, or Brahman and Parabrahman, i.e. the Servant-Master relationship between Bhakta and Bhagwan.
  8. Number 2, you are using the practices of the followers of various religions to define what those respective religions say about eating meat. Christ had instructed his followers explicitly to limit their consumption of meat on certain holy days. What does this mean? Eating meat is impure. Why do Muslims eat halal meat? Eating meat is a cardinal sin, and so to "make-up" for it, they eat halal. If consuming meat wasn't adverse, halal meat wouldn't be necessary. As for the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, you may be correct, but the law of good/bad/neutral karma still prevails throughout the entire world of Hinduism. Killing/consuming animals also have adverse effects on your ability to meditate (i.e. the yama and niyama stages of astanga-yoga). There's no question that the world's religions at least covertly look down upon eating meat.
  9. Happy Aparā Ekādashi (fast, 11th day of the dark half of the month of Vaisākh) to all those who observe it today! What does everyone think about the practice of fasting? The Gita says that fasting is indeed a form of tapas which results in good karma/merit. Although the goal for all jivas is to become karma-yogis, fasting does indeed help purify both the body, by allowing the body to cleanse itself without any ingestion, and the mind, by keeping the intrinsic qualities of food items from polluting the mind. Maybe someone with a little more knowledge on food's effects on the inner faculties of the mind can help explain the benefits of fasting? OM SHāNTI!
  10. It's very obvious that a vegetarian lifestyle is advocated by all of God's religions. Eating flesh is condemned in every holy text. It's just that consuming meat is more or less overtly condemned in some traditions compared to others. The statement "You are what you eat" is absolutely true, and for a spiritual aspirant to seek the path of God and eat meat is like a person aspiring to be an athlete while eating hamburgers. Sure, meat can be healthy and protein-rich, but so can vegetables. Don't worry, faithful bhaktas, the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle is steadily sweeping across the USA and the world. I live in Chicago and there are very few shops/restaurants that do not cater to the vegetarian taste. Om Shanti!
  11. Dear respected Bhakta, Whomever you were talking to is probably only one out of many that "dislikes" the faithful of ISKCON. I am a disciple of Swaminarayan, and I have three very close friends whom I love very much who are followers of Srila Prabhupada. There shouldn't be any hostility between us. We both originate from the Visitadvaita system of Sri Ramanuja. The followers of Swaminarayan (Swami Sahajananda) believe him to be the last of the several incarnations of the divine. Swaminarayan himself affirmed the divinity of Sri Krishna. The bhakti tradition, however, advocates accepting an personal istadeva and offering pure bhakti towards Him as the mode of worship to God Supreme. Sri Krishna Bhagwan strictly advocated understanding the present-day manifestation of God, thus, the followers of Swaminarayan did the same, and accepted Swaminarayan as the manifestation of the divine. This acceptance of Swaminarayan to be God didn't come out of nowhere. There are many instances where he said, both overtly and covertly, that he was the Lord of Akshardham. He performed leelas and attracted literally millions of followers from Gujarat, Kutch, and Rajasthan through both his attractive personality and profound knowledge of the Shrutis and Smrutis. During his teenage years, he took upon the role of a great yogi, mastering astanga-yoga and travelling through the entire length and width of India as a yogi searching for ashramas that exhibited a pure understanding of Vedic philosophy. He found such a place in the sampradaya of Swami Ramananda, a respected Vaishnav acharya in Gujarat. Historically, Swami Sahajananda also made a significant impact on the social scene by condemning superstitious practices, uplifting women's rights, and eradicating the barriers built up by the caste system. The followers of Swaminarayan have no wish to become hostile with the faithful of other sects of Hinduism. We are a happy bunch who happily celebrate festivals that are universal to the broad traditions of the Sanatana Hindu Dharma. Currently, there are several sects within the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, the most significant being: 1. Vadtal diocese, headed by Acharya Rakeshprasadji, 2. Ahmedabad diocese, headed by Koshalendraprasadji, and 3. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, headed by Pramukh Swamiji. om shanti.
  12. Jay Sri Narayana, I'm interested in photo documenting the primary Hindu holy cities, beginning with Haridvara. Does anyone know a precise route most people take when going for the darsana of these cities and their presiding mandirs? Difficulty of route is not an issue as I am willing to walk for several miles if needed. I know the path of devotional love to God is all that is required, but these cities of Haridvara, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath, etc. have immense historical significance on Vedic India. I am fascinated by these places because they are highly important for practicing spiritual disciplines.
  13. Jay Sri Narayana, I have a question about the historical figure of Lord Krishna. What date(s) do scholars (both Hindu scholars and Western) accept Krishna to have lived? Hindu smrutis believe him to have lived several thousand years ago, but I am wondering about the anthropological study of Krishna as an actual human being who walked the earth. When did he live? When was the Bhagavat Gita written?
  14. I am currently engaged in a heated debate with my Sikh friend about the practice of murti pujan, or Idol worship. Sikhs, as you may know, are strictly against the worship of any idol, statue, or even physical object. Guru Nanak forbade his disciples in worshipping idols because idols are seen as still part of maya. How can I argue to defend murti pujan? What analogies/references can I use that justifies the bhakti/devotion to idols of God? Thanks!! -- OM SHANTI.
  15. I will answer the question as directly as possible. Swaminarayana (Swami Sahajananda, 1781 - 1830 CE) has declared Himself in various parts of his spoken Vachanamritam as well as a kirtan composed by Himself ("Maha balavanta Maya Tamaari") that He is the source of infinite avataars and he is an incarnation of Purushottam Narayana. Swaminarayana himself was very affectionate towards Sri Krishna and thus advocated the bhakti of Krishna because of the fact that Vaishnavism was the predominant movement at the time. He stressed the fact that pure bhakti to your ishtadev reigns supreme in the age of Kal. His monk disciples themselves were profound scholars, poets, and Sanskritists and were firmly fixated on the divine image of Krishna. After coming into the contact of Swaminarayana, they saw the same divinity as in Krishna himself, via his personality, social reformation, deep knowledge as shown in the Vachanamritam, and his personal history of mastering ashtanga yoga in a mere 4 months and performing the most severe austerities and tapas in the Himalayas and across the entire length of India. No human being or even an experienced yogi could practice such intense tapas, but Swaminarayana did it as an act of leela. If you honestly sit down and study the life of Swaminarayana, you will eventually see that there is very little difference between his authenticity and Lord Krishna's. Also, please do not reply to this message with profanities, insults, or unnecessary remarks. I acknowledge the fact that most of ISKCON followers resent Swaminarayana. I am not here to advocate Swaminarayan. I am here to read/participate in discussions of Hindu philosophy, practice, and culture.
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