Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Akshardham Sanatanam, Adbhutam, Adbhutam

Akshardham Sanatanam, Adbhutam Adbhutam

The amazing 'Akshardham Sanatanam', a Light & Sound Show of 15 minutes presents the journey of 25 years (1992-2017) of Akshardham Temple is an incredible immersive experience. Using the frontal 9 sections and the upper divisions of the temple into one screen and creating 3D effects is really a breathtaking blend of art, images, videos' projection-mapping, laser-lighting, soundscapes and advanced effects. It is an elevating, surreal sensory experience. Akshardham has witnessed all the seasons: the flowers of spring, showers of monsoon and may in future receive snowfall. The Bhavya Akshardham on earth and the Divya Akshardham (abode of Divya Tejomaya Satchidanand) in the sky were presented so beautifully following the description of Akshardham in the Bhajana of Swami Nishkulanand. One won't like to move when the show ends. Feel to remain in it (na kshayati iti akshar:) forever.

Akshardham was thought and willed by Brahmswaroop Yogiji Maharaj while sitting under a Banian Tree in 1970 and was conceptualised and built by Brahaswaroop Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It was inaugurated in November 1992. The creator has left the world on 13 August 2016, but his creation is the Lighthouse of his teachings for millions of BAPS followers and visitors.

Akshardham is not only a building of stones but a revival of the stone architecture of India. The art that was almost dead after the foreigners rule, got life. Few Sompura workers have been multiplied in many to revive this work of art. It is a building beyond stones, a place connect this world with that world, a inspiration place for the millions. We are our stone, chisel and sculptor. We have to build a temple within. To identify our internal enemies and remove them. Each one of us is a stone in raw form and the purpose of life is to carved out a beautiful statue out of it using the chisel of good virtues. We are the sculptor of our temple. How beautifully we make it is in our hand only. Akshardham is a place that inspires the millions to carve their own statues following good virtues of life.

The temple stood firm without a single crack during 7.7 moment magnitude scale Kutch earthquake on 26 January 2001. Instead, the team of Sadhus and Haribhaktas served the victims of earthquake in Kutch for months and provided them with food, relief materials and rehabilitation works. It didn't react to the attack of two armed attackers who killed 30 people and injured more than 80 on 24 September 2002. But see the Sthitpagyata of Bapa Pramukh Swami Maharaj, he told people "not to react". We are not judge, the judge is the God. Our happiness is in the happiness of others. We can't become happy by making others unhappy. He told to give up division of castes and creeds. We can't give pain to others. Our role is to bring happiness in others life. When a person dies, what is his caste and what is his address? All identity vanish. All are equal and are the same. The 90 seconds video of Pramukh Swami presented in the show is the summary of the teachings of BAPS. He was a great teacher, rightly described by late 11th President of India Dr Abdul Kalam. One Hindu and another Musalman, but spirituality united them together as Guru and Disciple. Dr Abdul Kalam has explained his spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami in his book 'Transcendece'.

Feel tempted to visit the show? Hurry up. It's just 15 minutes screened on the Gandhinagar  Akshardham Mandir every evening from 6.30 to 9.00 pm at regular intervals and open till 29 October 2017.

Jai Swaminarayan.

25 October 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Two Highways to attain Salvation

Two Highways to attain Salvation 

There are many ways to realise the Brahman, but two ways are the highways. It is true that when the journey of the five senses ends, the journey of the Brahman begins. But to break the net of the Maya, the 6th sense of thinking has a big role to play. But after the runway is crossed, it has to be dropped too. 

The visible universe or the invisible base are the manifestations of the Brahman or the Brahman Himself but under the influence of Maya we are unable to realise the unity of Oneness. The fun of the drama will end if all the characters couldn't differentiate their roles with each other. The drama, the Samsara will end itself. 

Which are these two highways?

First, the easy one, aham brahmasmi! अहं ब्रह्मास्मि ।

Easy? We all carry I, the ego. Therefore, it is not difficult to define I. But when you apply I in all, the miracle happens. All around you become I. You, they, he, she, it, everything become I. All the Creatures, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, the Stars, the Galaxies, the Universes become I. Then with whom do you attach or detach? With whom do you love or hate? You will realise that all forms are you. All creators, all positions, all wealth, all joys, all sorrows, all happiness, all sufferings, everything is You, the expansion of your I only. You are the centre of the universe, and around you, it is all your creation, emerge and submerge with each of your breath. Your drop I became Ocean I. 

The only condition is to remove the I, the ego. Difficult? Lol.

The second highway is much easier. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman. सर्वम् खल्विदं ब्रह्म ।

All around you including yourself is nothing but the Brahman himself. All the Creatures, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, the Stars, the Galaxies, the Universes; all are Brahman. Your drop I merges into the Ocean of All. No I exist here. All become Brahman. The Bindu (drop, I, ego) disappears and Ocean remains. 

Bindu, Sindhu, Hindu... wake up, the purpose of your life is not in Bricks but in realisation of the SELF, the Brahman, the Lord of the Universe. 

22 October 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi Vivah is an important festival of Hindus. All auspicious events including marriages begin from the eleventh day of bright fortnight of Kartik (Dev Uthi Ekadashi). Tulsi Vivah performed at Hindu Homes and Temples on any of these 5 days between bright Kartik ekadashi to purnima (Dev Diwali).

Tulsi (holy basil) is a great medicinal plant identified by our Rishis and placed it in front of all Hindu Homes with religious support. It's a herbal antibiotic protect us from many infections. It protects the family from germs, coughs, cold, fever and viral infections. A great medicine for oral care and respiratory disorders. Keeping in view the ultra-disinfectant and germicidal properties of this legendary herb, wise people then devised these customs to bring people into contact with this plant every day, so that they may keep safe from day-to-day infections. We the moderns, search for medicines in chemicals but our ancestors were wiser keeping them handy in form of live plants in front of the home. Not confirmed but heard that Tulsi plant prevents the snakes to come near the house.

The religious story is interesting. Vrinda, a wife of demon Jalandhar, worshipped Lord Vishnu and made her husband invincible. As usual after that, Devas were unable to defeat Jalandhar. Lord Vishnu came to their rescue, he took form of Jalandhar and violated Vrinda and destroyed her chastity. Jalandhar then was killed by Lord Shiva. When Vrinda came to know about the truth, she cursed Lord Vishnu and made him black stone (we call Shaligram) and burnt herself with her husband's funeral. She then born as Tulsi (plant) with whom Shaligram, the Lord Vishnu married.

Religious belief apart, Tulsi is one of the most effective herbs useful in curing many diseases. All of us should plant Tulsi in front of the house or those living in flats can keep it in a pot, water it everyday and keep the family safe from fever, cough, viral and any upper respiratory infections. Tea with Tulsi is a great start of the day.

And to transfer Hindu culture to next generation, do celebrate Tulsi Vivah during eleventh to fifteenth days of Bright fortnight of Kartik. This year, it will come on November 1, 2017.

Happy New Year Vikram Samvat 2074.

20 October 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017



ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||

The hymn is a Shanti Path, appears in two main Upanishads - Ishavasyam and BrihadaaraNyakam. Both these are part of Shukla-Yajurveda. It is to attain Peace that everyone is searching for by understanding the true meaning of Jeeva, Jagata and God. A journey from Avidhya (ignorance) to Vidhya (knowledge).

The word used by the Rishi in the hymn is Purna, referring the Brahman and His manifests the material Universe. Purnam adaha (that/unmanifested), Purnam idam (this/manifested). It may be translated as infinite, but in numerical terms it kills the essence of the hymn.

"Brahman is one, not numerically, but in essence. Numerical oneness would either exclude multiplicity or would be a plural- istic and divisible oneness with the Many as its parts. That is not the unity of Brahman, which can neither be diminished nor increased, nor divided." - Maharshi Arbindo

Isha Upanishad is a koh-I-noor of the Upanishads. It is the smallest Upanishads of 18 hymns only, but sums up the Ocean of wisdom in few lines, the Spirituality of Hinduism, the purpose of life, the brotherhood of all living beings.

The first hymn of the Isha Upnishad starts with Ishavasya idam sarvam. Isha-Ishwar (the Lord of Universe) is enveloped/covered/inhabited in everything of this world of movement universe. Divinity is attached to the visible world with the word, ishavasya idam sarvam, the divine consciousness in space and time. Therefore, it allows the use of worldly matters without claiming ownership (ten tyakten bhunjitha, ma kashya sviddhanam)

HE is everywhere and present in everyone, exists by movement and would be dissolved by cessation of movement. The visible world is material one but the base of the material world is not material. The visible world founded on the unfounded HE. The motion of the visible world creates opposition of unity and multiplicity, division of time and space, ignorance of the real foundation of the unity in the Brahman. The movement of the world divides us in finiteness but the Lord (Isha) unites us in oneness of the world of infinity, the Purna.

This world, the visible, the manifestation of the Brahman, exists and ceased with movement is Purna because it is founded on the infinite Brahman. That world, the invisible, unmanifested, the foundation of the visible world is also Purna, the infinite Brahman. If this visible infinite world is taken away from the invisible infinite, infinite remains. Infinity, unbroken status is not disturbed in either of the situation. Everywhere and in everyone, HE, the Almighty, the Brahman, the infinite exists.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||

Therefore, enjoy this world with detachment.

ॐ ईशा वास्यमिदँ सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ।।

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ||

पूर्णानंद ।
18 October 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Deepawali Parva Mubarak

Deepawali Parva Mubarak

Diwali Parva has started. Hindus will celebrate Deepawali in memories of arrival of Rama in Ayodhya after winning war with Rawana. Jains will celebrate it in memories of attaining Nirvana by Mahavir Swami. Buddhist will celebrate it in memories of Samrat Ashoka accepted Buddhism. Shikhs will celebrate in memories of acquittal of Guru Hargobind from prison. 

The Parva is celebrated during the last week of Krishna Kartik (in north India) and Krishna Ashwini (in Gujarat). Dwadashi, Dhanteras (trayodashi), Kali chaudas (chaturdashi) and Deepavali (lighting lamps during the night of Amavasya). 

But more important these three days are the Sadhana Parva for millions of Indians. Three major power of the Almighty God, Vaishanavi Devi: Maha Sarasvati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali (Parvati) are worshipped during the Parva. On Vag/k Baras (dwadashi), people worship the goddess of education Maha Sarasvati chanting mantra aum ऐं नम: ।. On Dhan Teras (trayodashi), people worship the goddess of money Maha Lakshmi chanting mantra aum ह्रीं श्रीं महालक्ष्म्यै नम: । On Krishna Chaturdashi people worship Maha Kali (Parvati-Padmavati) chanting mantra ह्रीं श्रीं महाकाल्यै नम: । Chaturdashi is the greatest night of Sadhana for the Tantriks. And on no moon night (anavasya) on Deepawali, the worship of the Almighty by lighting lamps, to remove darkness around us. 

Gujarat will celebrate it's New Year of Vikram Samvat 2074 on first day of Kartik Shukla and Bhai Duj on Krishna Shukla dwitiya. Devas will wake up on Kartik Shukla ekadashi and they will celebrate Dev Deepawali on Kartik Shukla Purnima. People in Jonsar Bavar in Uttarakhand will celebrate their Deepawali on Dev Deepawali because their farm activities rest 15 days later compared to the plains. 

Happy Deepawali and Happy New Year Vikram Samvat 2074 to all.

17 October 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ramayana Ballet by Muslims

Ramayana Ballet by Muslims

If Ramlila is played by Hindus is not a big news because it is a common practice for centuries. But if it is played by Muslims, surely it is a good news to share across the country. A cultural troop of 49 Muslim students of Kabumi & Faculty of Art and Design Education, University of Education Bandung, Indonesia played the Ramayana Ballet, the dance drama with gamelan orchestra in Ahmedabad on 30 September 2017. It was played in three parts: first was dialogues of Rama, Lakshman and Anoman gathered the soldiers to find out Sinta; second was dialogue of Rahwana and Sinta in the country of Alengkadirja, and the dialogue of Anuman and Sinta; and the third was the dialogue of Rama and Anoman, Anoman report of Queen Sinta. It is one of the best examples of story telling in Indonesia. Lanka was called Alengka, Sita as Smita and Hanuman as Anoman. It was such a beautiful play performed by these youths that the audience didn't move during the whole ballet. The players, their dance style, the presentation, the dangdut and tabla beat music, the costumes, the play; all were beautiful. It was interesting to note that all the actors and all actresses remained on stage during the whole play. Each one of them used to perform the dance play under the focus of light as per their turn and others were sitting in silence without any movement on the stage. Using the mask and costume some were changing their role as monkey of Rama or the soldiers of Rahwana. Alengka fire was presented so well with saffron clothes that as if it is under real fire. This art form was performed in Hindu temples in Indonesia. The Muslim girls otherwise to wear Hijab to cover their heads in the presence of adult males, performed Ramlila without Hijab. 

They sung Indonesian, Hindi sand Gujarati songs beautifully with the music of Angklung. Angklung is a musical instrument made from varying number of bamboo tubes attached to a frame. The tubes are carved to have resonant pitch when struck and are tuned to octaves, similar to American handbells. The base of the frame is held in one hand, whilst the other hand shakes the Instrument. This causes a repeating note to sound. The performers play one or more sound but altogether produce complete melodies.

The Consule General of Indonesia to India Mr. Saut Siringoringo was feeling proud explaining the religious harmony in his country. It won't be surprised to see a Muslim man named Muhammad Krishna in Indonesia. The event concluded with a tasty vegetarian Indonesian dinner to complete the feel of Indonesia in Ahmedabad.,

Ramayana and Mahabharata are the popular epics and play an important role in culture and history of Indonesia. We all look at Sri Lanka as Lanka of Ramayana, the island fortress capital of legendary demon king Ravana and try to find out Ramsetu near Dhanuskoti. But Simhala and Lanka were two different islands as per the narrations in Ramayana, Mahabharata, Shrimad Bhagvat, Markandey Purana and other books. 

Somebody referring Suryasiddhanta, checked the location of Lanka: "Situated upon the line which passes through the haunt of the demons (rakshasa) and the mountain which is the seat of the gods, are Rohitaka and Avanti, as also the adjacent lake.” It means Lanka was located on equator (no longitude, no latitude). Ceylon is 7 degree north of equator. The real Lanka was a distance 100 yojanas (1250 kms) across the ocean as described in Valmiki Ramayana (Sri Lanka is just 100 kms across the ocean). It means Lanka was placed left on the equator line of Indonesia, presently under water as part of Maldives Islands, submerged due to rise in sea water level over the years. 

The island Bali is named after famous character Bali, the King of Kishkindha, who was killed by Rama from behind to win the friendship and help of Subgriva, the younger brother of Bali. Java (Yavadwipa) has mentioned in Ramayana, where Sungriva send his men to search Sita. 

If present Bali island is accepted as the original place of Kushkindha kingdom, the entire ownership of Hanuman, Sugriva, Angad, Nal, Neel, the monkey forces; transfers to Bali and Indonesia. The facial look of the people those areas may be like monkeys, therefore, they might had been identified as monkeys. But then the place of Ayodhya also changes, because it was impossible to travel such a long distance from India to Indonesia and Maldives and return in that short span of time. 

Ramayana was a very popular epic of ancient era, therefore, it's characters and places are found all around the India Ocean. Indonesia initially inhabited by Indians Hindus and Buddhist and Japanese Buddhists and was ruled by Hindu and Buddhist kings, now is a country of Muslims but maintains proudly it's rich cultural heritage of Hinduism. Many of their names are Hindus. Many of their names of streets, roads, cross roads, buildings are Hindu. A statue of Krishnopadesam (Arjuna and Krishna are riding a chariot) was erected in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia. Hundreds of Hindu temples exist. It's great leader Sukarno's name come from Karna of Mahabharata as his father was attracted to the character of Karna. His daughter was named Meghavati. Their currency Rupiah carry picture of Ganesha. 

Indonesia meaning India. Indians must learn from Indonesia. At least the meaning of Secularism.

14 October 2017
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