Tuesday June 18, 2013
As the followers of Sant Kabir (1440 - 1518) get ready to celebrate Kabir Jayanti or the birth anniversary of the great Indian mystical saint poet on Sunday, June 23, 2013, let's have a look at the life and teachings of Kabir.
Born near Benaras or Varanasi, of Muslim parents, in c.1440, he became in early life a disciple of the celebrated 15th century Hindu ascetic Guru Ramananda. Hindus called him Kabir Das, but it is impossible to say whether Kabir was Brahmin or Sufi, Vedantist or Vaishnavite. He is, as he says himself, "at once the child of Allah and of Ram."
He may or may not have submitted to the traditional education of the Hindu or the Sufi contemplative and never adopted the life of an ascetic. Side by side with his interior life of adoration, its artistic expression in music and words, he lived the sane and diligent life of a craftsman. Kabir was a weaver, a simple and unlettered man, who earned his living at the loom.
A beautiful legend tells us that after his death his Muslim and Hindu disciples disputed the possession of his body; which the Muslims wished to bury, the Hindus to burn. As they argued together, Kabir appeared before them. Read Full Article
Read Kabir's Dohas: Rabindranath Tagore's translation of Kabir
Photo: A temple dedicated to Kabir at Kabirwad, Gujarat
Monday June 17, 2013
The River Ganges or Ganga is perhaps the holiest river in any religion. Though equally polluted, it bears immense significance to the Hindus. Besides being a sacred river, Ganga is also worshiped as a deity in Hinduism and respectfully referred to as 'Gangaji' or 'Ganga Maiya' (Mother Ganga).
Hindus believe that rituals performed by the river Ganga multiply in their blessedness. The land over which Ganga flows is regarded as hallowed ground. It is believed that those who die around this river reach the heavenly abode with all their sins washed away.
Every summer, the Ganga Dussehra or Ganga Dashami festival (June 18, 2013) venerates the auspicious occasion of the descent of the sacred river on earth from heaven. On this day, a dip in the holy river invoking the Goddess is said to cleanse all sins. A devotee worships by lighting incense and lamp, and offers sandalwood, flowers, and milk. Fishes and other aquatic animals are fed flour balls. Read Full Article...
Monday June 10, 2013
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) recently released their 9th annual human rights report, entitled Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2012, aimed at giving voice to Hindu minorities that have "suffered indignity and injustice in silence" in many countries around the world.
The report provides detailed accounts of human rights violations and discriminatory laws in nine countries and one state in India where Hindus constitute a minority. Hindus in South Asia, and many of the twenty million Hindus living outside of India, are subject to discrimination, terror, murder, sexual violence, forced conversions, ethnic cleansing, temple destruction, socio-political ostracization, and economic and political marginalization.
HAF's latest report marked a departure from previous years' reports and featured a new format, categorizing countries based on the extent of their human rights violations, while including expanded coverage of Hindu refugee populations from Bhutan and Pakistan.
It has been reorganized to divide countries covered into three categories: Egregious Violators, Countries of Serious Concern, and Monitored Countries. Egregious Violators include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Pakistan. In the category of Countries of Serious Concern are Bhutan, the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir, and Sri Lanka. And finally, the three nations of Fiji, Saudi Arabia, and Trinidad & Tobago compose the Monitored Countries. Read Full Article
Tuesday June 4, 2013
Do you believe in the healing powers of gemstones? Most people today are apprehensive about gem therapy and gemology. According to Vedic astrology, gemstones are related to various planets. They have healing powers that can produce a balancing effect to counter specific diseases, correcting physical, mental and spiritual defects, based on astro-charts.
Did you know that our fingers are related to one of the five elements? The Garuda Purana, an ancient Vedic text, talks about gemology. According to this ancient science, the pinky corresponds to earth, the ring finger to water, the middle finger to air, the index finger to ether, and the thumb to fire. The planets correspond to this system as well: Mercury - earth, the sun or moon - water, Saturn - air, and Jupiter - ether. No specific planet rules the fire.
Gem therapy is one area where Vedic astrology meets Ayurveda. This article by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, D.Sc., tells you all that you need to know about how you can benefit from gemstones... Read Full Article