Monthly Archives: April 2007

Hymns from atharva veda

1.Link here 

This, the 42nd volume of the the Sacred Books of the East, is an anthology of representative hymns from the Arthrva-veda, the fourth Veda. This selection is grouped thematically, so the hymns are not in numeric order.

2.Link here 

This is the Ralph T.H. Griffith translation of the Atharvaveda. The Atharvaveda is a Vedic-era collection of spells, prayers, charms, and hymns. There are prayers to protect crops from lightning and drought, charms against venomous serpents, love spells, healing spells, hundreds of verses, some derived from the Rig veda, all very ancient.

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What is devotion?

SIVANANDA DAILY READING


WHAT IS DEVOTION?

Make use of this precious human birth for the achievement of this
supreme purpose – God-realisation. Pray to the Lord to make you
desireless. But have one strong desire and let it be for attaining
self-realisation. Through a life of devotion, service, purification,
charity, sadhana (spiritual practice) and meditation attain the
highest self-realisation and dwell in the supreme peace and bliss
(paramananda) .

Devotion is supreme love of the Lord, supreme attachment to the
Lord. The notion of God means an absolutely perfect being, who has
all the possible attributes, including the attribute of existence;
so God must exist. The existence of God cannot be proved by rational
arguments. It is purely a question of faith and refers to the
intuitive side of man.

The deepest craving, the deepest aspiration in man is for eternal
happiness, eternal knowledge and eternal truth. Man should search
for some supernatural entity which can satisfy his deepest
aspirations.

As we explain everything within nature by the law of cause and
effect, so also the nature as a whole must be explained. It must
have some cause. This cause must be different from the effect. It
must be some supernatural entity, i.e. God. Nature is not a mere
chance collection of events, a mere jumble of accidents, but an
orderly affair. The planets move regularly in their orbits, seeds
grow into trees regularly. Seasons succeed each other in order. Now,
nature cannot order itself. It requires the existence of an
intelligent being, i.e. God, who is responsible for it.

Everything in nature has some purpose. It fulfils some function or
other. Certainly every object by itself cannot choose a function for
itself. Their different functions ought to have been planned or
designed by a single intelligent being or God. You cannot explore or
probe into the Lila (sportive play) of God. You must accept it with
faith and reverence.

What is the nature of God? God is love and love is God. God is the
source for this world, body, mind, prana and senses. God gives light
to the mind, sun, moon and stars. God is your only redeemer, refuge.
God is your real father, mother, guru, friend and relative.

God is the only reality. God is the dispenser of fruits of actions.
God is the designer and architect of the universe. God is immanent
and transcendent. God is unchanging, undecaying and imperishable.
God is the supreme goal, beauty, truth.

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Thought for the day

Without Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Right conduct), Shanti (Peace) and Prema (Love), the accumulation of knowledge is a barren achievement. Without them, all Karma (actions), even acts of charity and Seva (serving others) are ineffective. Without them, positions of authority to which one is raised become positions of persecution. Without these values, no good act or meritorious achievements can yield fruit.

– Baba

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Hindu thought on the beginning and end of universe

Thanks to Hindu Blog, MightyBroke

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Visit to Vanamali Devi

From AplacecalledAnanda

My favorite part of our audience was her answer to this question, and her follow-up answer:

“Would you tell us something about your life story?”

Her response: “I’m trying to forget this body [in other words, transcend the ego], and you ask me to talk about it?” Everyone laughed.

And there was a follow-up question:

“How do you forget yourself [transcend the ego]?”

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Mukkuruni Vinayaka Shrine

From the “Lost treasures of Chidambaram

Possibly the most interesting photo from the collection is the one of the Mukkuruni Vinayaka temple in south-west corner of the fourth prakara. The photo presents us with a gem of Early Chola architecture with the West Gopuram or gateway of the Nataraja temple in the background. This shrine no longer exists in this form. Actually there are no structures in the temple today that can be dated with any certainty to before the 12th century. The photo and what it shows us represents an unexpected window on the past. The shrine is shown from the south-east. It displays features typical for the architecture of the Early Chola period, as well as several unique and unusual features.  

At present the Mukkuruni Vinayaka shrine is a modern building constructed of polished granite. It can be dated with all probability to the late 19th century. This Vinayaka represents the Trimurti. Therefore this shrine has three stupi on the top of the shikharam or cupola. Mukkuruni means three (munru) times four measures (kuruni). On special occasions an offer consisting of three modaka made of four measures (kuruni) of rice are given as nivedya or food offer.

The Early Chola Mukkuruni Vinayaka temple consists of the shrine’s garbhagriha and ardhamandapam with three pavilions or shrines added at a later date.

The shrine can be identified as an Early Chola construction on the basis of the following characteristics.
(1) The ground-plan and lay-out.
(2) The profile of the kapota.
(3) The shape and decoration of the kudus.
(4) The shape of the podigai or corbel.
(5) The shape and decoration of the shikhara.

But it also confronts us with several unique features.
(1) A rectangular garbhagriha and shikhara rounded off at the corners and topped by three stupi.
(2) An ekatala building with several characteristics of a dvitala: a hara with shala and karnakutis.
(3) The ekatala and dvitala characteristics synthesized by integrating the griva niche into the hara.
 

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Living tradition of the Sphinx of India

Click here to visit the site 

        Purushamriga as caryatid in the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram 

In people’s minds the sphinx is mostly connected with the ancient civilizations of Greece and Egypt. But many depictions are also found in Mesopotamia and other parts of the Near East, and around the Mediterranean. Sphinxes are also found in medieval churches, and were popular with neo-classical architects and sculptors. It may come as a surprise that a mythological being just like a sphinx is also part of Indian art and tradition. This fact has thus far gone unnoticed and unrecognized.

The sphinx of India is known as purushamriga , which means human-beast in Sanskrit. Depictions in various styles from different historical periods are found all over the South Asian subcontinent. Carved in stone and wood, cast in metal, or painted, the sphinx-purushamriga adorns and guards many Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments. Not only is it part of the artistic heritage, but it also still plays a significant role in the living traditions and in ritual.

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