This is the second part of a series entitled The Debt I Owe to Yoga, subtitled Have you worked your limbs today? Part one was an introduction to yoga, some of its cultural impact, a brief history, and how it has affected me personally.
To explain the spiritual significance and the totality of what yoga really is one must, of necessity visit Patanjali. It was he who classified yoga at approximately 200-400 BCE, (some documents say 150 BCE) because by that time the practice, had gone into all different directions. He organized it into a format known as the Yoga Sutras. His “eight limbs” of yoga still inform the practice today and discuss posture, breathing, meditation and correct living. He is known as “the father of modern yoga.”
Nithin Sridhar has created a master piece. He has many meaningful thoughts on Hinduism that he packs into this book, Musings of Hinduism. His basic premise is that of the philosophical concept of Vedanta or non-duality, which essentially means to know and to merge with what is real. For instance, since, Brahman being the highest reality, from which we came, we will eventually again merge with Continue reading “Musings of Hinduism By Nithin Sridhar A Book Review”
Read a short inspirational story about relationship.
Anger is the flip side of acceptance, the opposite of peace. It becomes a problem when anger harms you or people around you. It can damage your health and relationships.
A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked.‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’
Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’
‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’ asked the saint.
Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, “When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.”
What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small.
The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’
He looked at his disciples and said. ‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’
A most auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar. Lord Vishnu and Lord Kuber endow great wealth and prosperity on devotees on this day
The word “Akshaya” means imperishable or eternal – that which never diminishes. Initiations made or valuables bought on this day are considered to bring success or good fortune. Buying gold is a popular activity on Akshaya Tritiya, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. Gold and gold jewelry bought and worn on this day signify never diminishing good fortune. Indians celebrate weddings, begin new business ventures, and even plan long journeys on this day. https://www.thoughtco.com/akshaya-tritiya-1770185
One of my favorite Akshaya Tritiya stories is the Krishna-Sudama Legend where his poor Brahmin childhood friend Sudama came over to his palace to request from him a loan or small grant . As an offering, poor Sudama brought all that he had which was a handful of beaten rice. So, he was actually ashamed to give it to his friend, but Krishna took the rice and happily received it. Krishna was following the practice of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ that ‘the guest is like God’ and he therefore treated Sudama like a king. His poor friend was so heartened by the warmth and hospitality shown by Krishna, that he could was too ashamed to ask for the financial favor after all. When Sudama returned to his home, it had been transformed into a palace! He found his family dressed in royal clothing and all of the contents were new and expensive. Sudama knew that it was a boon from Krishna, who blessed him with more than the wealth he actually intended to ask for. Therefore, Akshaya Tritiya is associated with material gains and wealth acquisition. I might also add generosity.
On this day world leaders are to perform Puja at the picture of Vaibhav-Lakshmi for their subjects which should make the subjects happy as well as prosperous. We should remember though to make sure to invoke Lord Vishnu because Goddess Lakshmi is his divine energy (shakti). So to not invite him to our worship on this day will not allow us the maximum benefit of the principle of Lakshmi-tattva”
These Vedas are so easy to like. Really now who among us has not prayed a prayer close to if not this?
A prayer for influence at deliberative and religious meetings
1 In concord may Prajapati’s two daughters, Gathering and As-
sembly, both protect me.
May every man I meet respect and aid me. Fair be my words,
O Fathers, at the meetings. 2 We know thy name, O Conference: thy name is interchange of
Let all the company who join the Conference agree with me. 3 Of these men seated here I make the splendour and the lore
Indra, make me conspicuous in all this gathered company. 4 Whether your thoughts are turned away, or bound and fastened
here or there,
We draw them hitherward again: let your mind firmly rest on me
I owe yoga a remarkable debt. It is the vehicle by which I arrived at my spiritual home. It changed my life both physically and metaphysically, leaving me with a deep sense of gratitude and reverence. Once I began to delve into the subject, I was amazed at its breadth and depth. There are many works available for the seeker who wants to probe beyond the scope of this introduction. Topics include among others, spiritual history, scientific origins, types of practice, and even a new Western fad, “doga”, practicing yoga with one’s dog. (Part one of a series)
A prayer to Pūshan for protection and the recovery of lost property
1 Pūshan was born to move on distant pathways, on roads remote
from earth, remote from heaven.
To both most lovely places of assembly he travels and returns
with perfect knowledge. 2 Pūshan knows all these realms: may he conduct us by ways that
are most free from fear and danger.
Giver of blessings, glowing, all heroic, may he the wise and
watchful go before us. 3 We are thy praisers here, O Pūshan: never let us be injured under thy protection. 4 From out the distance, far and wide, may Pūshan stretch his
right hand forth. Let him drive back our lost to us, let us return with what is lost.
Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, , at sacred-texts.com
Pushan is also known as Puchan and is a protector and multiplier of cattle and of human possessions in general. If you have ever lost anything that you valued you may have prayed for his help, or maybe you didn’t ask for his assistance but he helped you anyway, which is why he is a God. IH
A prayer for preservation from mental sin and evil promptings
1 Sin of the Mind, avaunt! begone! Why sayest thou what none
Go hence away, I love thee not. Go to the forests and the trees.
My heart is in our homes and cows. 2 Whatever wrong we have committed, sleeping or waking, by
ill-wish, dislike, or slander,
All these offences, which deserve displeasure, may Agni take
from us and keep them distant. 3 Indra and Brāhmanaspati! whatever foolish deed we plan,
May provident Angirasa preserve us from the sin and woe.
Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, , at sacred-texts.com
Swami Vivekananda went out into the world to spread Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s message. In 1893, he was invited to the World Parliament of Religions, in Chicago. As a representative of Hinduism he gave several speeches to great acclaim within the Parliament and the world at large. He is credited with playing a big part in bringing an understanding of Hinduism to the Western mindset.
Points to Ponder
All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
Who makes us ignorant? We ourselves. We put our hands over our eyes and weep that it is dark.
The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.