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  1. Well it's only been recently that I've been learning about Him. I see my religion as based on the Upanishads (especialy the major ones), where he is only breifly mentioned:"To such a man who has wiped away all his stains Lord Sanat-kumara points out the way to cross beyond darkness. It is he whom people refer to as Skanda." ~Chandogya Upanishad 7.26.2 In this way I sort of see him as the Guru, not nesecairaly a human guru, but what ever stirs and awakens your Atman to self-realization. He is associated with light (as his brother Ganesha is associated with sound and OM) and is said to have sprung forth from Lord Shiva's third eye. That's pretty much all I know, except for some of his iconography; He's associated with the spear and his vehicle is the peacock.
  2. Mabey this will help alittle: <table> <caption>Solar Months of the Indian Religious Calendar</caption> <tr> <td></td> <td>Sun's Longitude</td> <td>Approx. Duration</td> <td>Approx. Greg. Date</td> </tr> <tr> <td></td> <td>deg min</td> <td>d</td> <td></td> </tr> <tr bgcolor=#C5C6A9 background="http://mail.webexhibits.org/calendars/i/bg2.jpg"> <td>1. Vaisakha</td> <td>23 15</td> <td>30.9</td> <td>Apr. 13</td> </tr> <tr> <td>2. Jyestha</td> <td>53 15</td> <td>31.3</td> <td>May 14</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor=#C5C6A9 background="http://mail.webexhibits.org/calendars/i/bg2.jpg"> <td>3. Asadha</td> <td>83 15</td> <td>31.5</td> <td>June 14</td> </tr> <tr> <td>4. Sravana</td> <td>113 15</td> <td>31.4</td> <td>July 16</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor=#C5C6A9 background="http://mail.webexhibits.org/calendars/i/bg2.jpg"> <td>5. Bhadrapada</td> <td>143 15</td> <td>31.0</td> <td>Aug. 16</td> </tr> <tr> <td>6. Asvina</td> <td>173 15</td> <td>30.5</td> <td>Sept. 16</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor=#C5C6A9 background="http://mail.webexhibits.org/calendars/i/bg2.jpg"> <td>7. Kartika</td> <td>203 15</td> <td>30.0</td> <td>Oct. 17</td> </tr> <tr> <td>8. Margasirsa</td> <td>233 15</td> <td>29.6</td> <td>Nov. 16</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor=#C5C6A9 background="http://mail.webexhibits.org/calendars/i/bg2.jpg"> <td>9. Pausa</td> <td>263 15</td> <td>29.4</td> <td>Dec. 15</td> </tr> <tr> <td>10. Magha</td> <td>293 15</td> <td>29.5</td> <td>Jan. 14</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor=#C5C6A9 background="http://mail.webexhibits.org/calendars/i/bg2.jpg"> <td>11. Phalgura</td> <td>323 15</td> <td>29.9</td> <td>Feb. 12</td> </tr> <tr> <td>12. Caitra</td> <td>353 15</td> <td>30.3</td> <td>Mar. 14</td> </tr> </table>
  3. Bhagavad-Gita 8.20,21: <big>".....beyond this unmanifested, there is another Unmanifested, the undying reality, which does not disolve although all beings dislove. This Indestructable and Unmanifested is the Supreme Goal: This is Brahman, this is the state of perfection from which there is no rebirth."</big> (As it is: Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is. That which the Vedāntists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns — that is My supreme abode.) Not only does this identify the true nature of the Lord as an Unmanifest that is higher than the Nirguna or Saguna aspects of Brahman (that is the true unmanifest and personal God of Advaitins, not the impersonal Nirguna Brahman that non-Advaitins wrongly accuse us of worshiping), but it also says that beings dislove and don't come back once they reach that Unmanifest Supreme Brahman negating any ideal of "eternal atman fragments" doctrine that some schools preach. Jaya Govinda Gopala!
  4. He's much more than just the God of war. He's the one I called Kumara in the other thread. He is called by many names: Karttikeya, Skanda, Sanat-Kumara, Murugan, Subrahmanya, Shanmukha. He's the God of the hills, God of southern Indian (Tamil) culture, he is the one that helps the yogi across to the far shore, freedom from samsara (in this capacity he is often thought of as an incarnation of Shiva). Here's the Murugan Bhakti super site http://murugan.org/ (11 Skanda-Kumara sites combined), a weath of information.
  5. Well, Here is a summarized version of the Padma Purana http://www.geocities.com/absolut_ism/padmapurana.htm (I don't know if it contains Shiva-Gita or not). Here's the Shiva Samhita http://www.geocities.com/absolut_ism/sivasamhita.htm And a couple more from that site: Summarized Linga Purana http://www.geocities.com/absolut_ism/lingapurana.htm Shiva Sutras http://www.geocities.com/absolut_ism/sivasutra.htm Rudra Gita http://www.geocities.com/absolut_ism/rudragita.htm
  6. You are very welcome. I'm always glad to share whatever knowlege I have. I love all the faces of God, but I think the Shiva tradition is particularly rich. I also am drawn to his sons Ganesha and Kumara (which I see as aspects of Him). That picture is from my freind who lives in Goa. It looks even biger in the photos with people standing in front.
  7. Hey Apep, Suprised to hear from me on this? Lol. Okay well there are 28 Saiva Agamas (I don't know what they are individualy called), 6 (I think) Saiva Puranas, and 14 Saiva Upanishads. These Upanishads are as follows: Aksha Malika Upanishad Kalagni Rudra Upanishad Kaivalya Upanishad Dakshinamurti Upanishad Pancha Brahma Upanishad Rudra Hridaya Upanishad Jabali Upanishad Rudraksha Jabala Upanishad Atharvasikha Upanishad Atharvasiras Upanishad Ganapati Upanishad Brihad Jabala Upanishad Bhasma Jabala Upanishad Sarabha Upanishad <blockquote>100 ft. tall SHIVA statue at Murdeshwar (near Goa).</blockquote
  8. Most festivals and holidays go on a lunar calander so they won't fall on the same day of the gregorian callender every year. Shivaratri (a.k.a. Mahashivaratri) was almost exactly a month ago this year (Feb. 26). It falls on the 13th day of the dark half of Phalgun (February-March).The name means "the night of Shiva". There is some celebration during the day but mainly it is observed at night on until daylight the next day. Arudra Darshan I know falls around the end of December, but I'm not shure where in the lunar cycle it's supposed to be.
  9. I'm afraid I don't know too much about it, I'm a Smartist and Advaitist myself. Here's what I do know though; Like Jndas said there is a branch that is very active in the west; They are represented by the Hinduism Today magazine http://www.hinduismtoday.com/ , the Saiva Siddhanta Church http://www.himalayanacademy.com/ssc/ , and the Himalayan Acadamy http://www.himalayanacademy.com/ Other than that I don't know much about it's origins or any differnt factions except that it's supposed to be very old. That original link I gave you has some good info on Siddhanta, it's belifes and scriptures. About the philosophy it says: "It is midway between Sankara’s Advaita and Ramanuja’s Visishtadvaita" So mabey when you are looking up these two philosophers that will help you out too.
  10. Your welcome, There are different types of Saivism out there: In Kashmir Saivism worship is based on the Agamas and Tantras, this is also known as the right handed Tantric path; the Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy is a Shiva-bhakta movement from south India; In the Smarta sect Shiva is one of six main dieties that you may worship as a representation Brahman, your deity of choice (or that your drawn too) is called your Ishta-deva. Hope that helps in your searches. <marquee behavior="alternate" scrollamount="4" scrolldelay="108"><big>OM Namah Shivaya!!</big></marquee>
  11. Here's that article: <center>Anatta -The Concept of No-Self in Buddhism- by Thanissaro Bhikkhu </center> One of the first stumbling blocks that Westerners often encounter when they learn about Buddhism is the teaching on Anatta, often translated as no-self. This teaching is a stumbling block for two reasons. First, the idea of there being no self doesn't fit well with other Buddhist teachings, such as the doctrine of Karma and Rebirth: If there's no self, what experiences the results of Karma and takes rebirth? Second, it doesn't fit well with the predominate Judeo-Christian background, which assumes the existence of an eternal soul or self as a basic presupposition: If there's no self, what's the purpose of a spiritual life? Many books try to answer these questions, but if you look at the Pali Canon -- the earliest extant record of the Buddha's teachings -- you won't find them addressed at all. In fact, the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer. When later asked why, he said that to hold either that there is a self or that there is no self is to fall into extreme forms of wrong view that make the path of Buddhist practice impossible (Samyutta Nikaya XLIV.10). Thus the question should be put aside. To understand what his silence on this question says about the meaning of Anatta, we first have to look at his teachings on how questions should be asked and answered, and how to interpret his answers. The Buddha divided all questions into four classes: -Those that deserve a categorical (straight yes or no) answer. -Those that deserve an analytical answer, defining and qualifying the terms of the question. -Those that deserve a counter-question, putting the ball back in the questioner's court. -Those that deserve to be put aside. The last class of question consists of those that don't lead to the end of suffering and stress. The first duty of a teacher, when asked a question, is to figure out which class the question belongs to, and then to respond in the appropriate way. You don't, for example, say yes or no to a question that should be put aside. If you are the person asking the question and you get an answer, you should then determine how far the answer should be interpreted. The Buddha said that there are two types of people who misrepresent him: -Those who draw inferences from statements that shouldn't have inferences drawn from them. -Those who don't draw inferences from those that should. These are the basic ground rules for interpreting the Buddha's teachings, but if we look at the way most writers treat the Anatta doctrine, we find these ground rules ignored. Some writers try to qualify the no-self interpretation by saying that the Buddha denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self, but this is to give an analytical answer to a question that the Buddha showed should be put aside. Others try to draw inferences from the few statements in the discourse that seem to imply that there is no self, but it seems safe to assume that if one forces those statements to give an answer to a question that should be put aside, one is drawing inferences where they shouldn't be drawn. So, instead of answering "no" to the question of whether or not there is a self -- interconnected or separate, eternal or not -- the Buddha felt that the question was misguided to begin with. Why? No matter how you define the line between "self" and "other," the notion of self involves an element of self-identification and clinging, and thus suffering and stress. This holds as much for an interconnected self, which recognizes no "other," as it does for a separate self. If one identifies with all of nature, one is pained by every felled tree. It also holds for an entirely "other" universe, in which the sense of alienation and futility would become so debilitating as to make the quest for happiness -- one's own or that of others -- impossible. For these reasons, the Buddha advised paying no attention to such questions as "Do I exist?" or "Don't I exist?" for however you answer them, they lead to suffering and stress. To avoid the suffering implicit in questions of "self" and "other," he offered an alternative way of dividing up experience: the four Noble Truths of stress, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation. Rather than viewing these truths as pertaining to SELF or OTHER, he said, one should recognize them simply for what they are, in and of themselves, as they are directly experienced, and then perform the duty appropriate to each. Stress should be comprehended, its cause abandoned, its cessation realized, and the path to its cessation developed. These duties form the context in which the Anatta doctrine is best understood. If you develop the path of virtue, concentration, and discernment to a state of calm well-being and use that calm state to look at experience in terms of the Noble Truths, the questions that occur to the mind are not "Is there a self? What is my self?" but rather "Am I suffering stress because I'm holding onto this particular phenomenon? Is it really me, myself, or mine? If it's stressful but not really me or mine, why hold on?" These last questions merit straightforward answers, as they then help you to comprehend stress and to chip away at the attachment and clinging -- the residual sense of self-identification -- that cause it, until ultimately all traces of self-identification are gone and all that's left is limitless freedom. In this sense, the Anatta teaching is not a doctrine of no-self, but a not-self strategy for shedding suffering by letting go of its cause, leading to the highest, undying happiness. At that point, questions of self, no-self, and not-self fall aside. Once there's the experience of such total freedom, where would there be any concern about what's experiencing it, or whether or not it's a self? -Thanissaro Bhikkhu-
  12. <Center>Why a Hindu Accepts Christ and Rejects Churchianity By Swami Abhedananda (A direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa) Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta.</center> A Hindu distinguishes the religion of the churches from the religion of Jesus Christ. Speaking from the Hindu standpoint, the religion that the churches uphold and preach today, that has been built around the personality of Jesus the Christ, and which is popularly known as Christianity, should be called ‘Churchianity’, in contradistinction to that pure religion of the heart that was taught by Jesus the Christ and practised by his disciples. The religion of Christ or true Christianity had no dogma, no creed, no system, and no theology. It was a religion of the heart, a religion without any ceremonial, without ritual, without priest-craft. It was not based upon any book, but upon the feelings of the heart, upon direct communion of the individual soul with the heavenly Father. On the contrary, the religion of the church is based upon a book, believes in dogmas, professes a creed, has an organized system for preaching it, is backed up by theologies, performs rituals, practises ceremonials, and obeys the commands of a host of priests. .......................................More: http://www.hinduism.co.za/jesus.htm What do you think? Does your sect or personal veiw reflect this? I already know what some of you think. But I'm just trying to get a general consensus of what this group thinks (no need to go off on any rants about "proofs" against this or that, just your opinion if you care to give it.
  13. *sigh* Just pointing out your flawed logic on that point. I never said I believed one way or the other. For the record though it's clear that the bible as we have it today is a compiled and revised work of sayings from Yeshua mixed with Greek mythology and philosophy and early church dogma.
  14. I said 'blanket' statements. You know, like extreme generalization or stereotyping. And saying that they all derive their belief from the bible is another blanket statement that isn't true in all cases. There were in existance before the Roman church-state decide what was acceptable teachings and doctrine many other sects and scriptures. In fact at the same time they decide which ones were specificly unaccepted and listed them. Now, while the majority of Christians in the world today probably accept the "connonical" bible, there are traditions from that time period still in existance today that developed outside of the Roman church-states reach. There are also neo-gnostic Christians, Universalist Christians who worship under the same roof and right next to Buddhist's, Wiccans and other neo-pagans, and Hindu's; How can you say there is no Christian tolerance? Just because the majority of them are the most intollerant people in the world doesn't make it a quality shared amonges every sect and individual.
  15. Adi Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu represnt the six major schools of Vedanta. All of these except Adi Shankara are Vaishnava sects. Kapila was the great sage of Sankhya philosophy.
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