Monday, July 16"Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara" - Taittiriya Upanishad

Month: August 2016

Understanding God or Brahman – Reflections  from Vedanata (Taittriya Upanishad)

Understanding God or Brahman – Reflections from Vedanata (Taittriya Upanishad)

Advaita, Hinduism, Indic Religions, Spiritual Traditions Swami Sarvpriyananda discusses the concept of God from the Taittitriya Upanishad, Sholka 2:1. Actually, a better term to use for Hindus is Brahman, instead of God. God has become such a loaded word, thanks to Hinduism ceding too much ground to Abrahamic religions. The idea of God that you will experience here is neither the comforting nor the fiercely judgemental idea of God of  Islam, Christianity. Enter this talk with an open mind, without defense, without expectations of reaffirming your current ideas of God, and the Swami will take you on a journey of re-defining your relationship with the Creator as well as the created. This is an absolutely brilliant talk, seeped in tough logic. Stay with it. You will be hooked. --- Some notes -
Who am I: Reflections from the Mandukya Upanishad

Who am I: Reflections from the Mandukya Upanishad

Advaita, Hinduism, Indic Religions, Spiritual Traditions
Speaking from my own experience this talk brought the Mandukya Upanishad alive for me. Turiya, the fourth state, by which all the other three -- Waking, Dreaming, Blank/Deep Sleep state -- become manifest. The analogy Swami draws here with the Bangle, Necklace, Ring with Gold as its essence describes the state of Turiya -- pure consciousness -- really well. Boldly, the Swami proclaims that such deep reflection on "Who am I" has not been dealt with in any religion of the world. Must, must watch! Start with an open mind for the first 30 mins -- you'll be hooked.

What Yoga is and is not – Q&A

Spiritual Traditions, Yoga
Excerpts of Q&A from the article "What Yoga is and is not" by Prof Bharat Gupt written originally for India Facts. Reproduced with permission. Q: (by a Greek poet.). I am very moved and happy to be here. I ask your advice rather than a question. Yoga has a country, it sprang from a certain tradition.  I am aware of the fact that it is not limited to it. But please tell me, for someone who wants to delve more seriously, more in depth into yoga and serve it better, is it advisable or necessary to delve into Eastern philosophy and Hindu religion? BG: Studying Hinduism will bring its own reward. But even after studying it, there is little chance that one understands Yoga. Nothing shall mean much unless one does some practical Yoga. I can say from my own experience, as I have done

Introduction to Hinduism

Hinduism, Indic Religions
Hinduism, a religious tradition of Indian origin, comprising the beliefs and practices of Hindus. The word Hindu is derived from the river Sindhu, or Indus. Hindu was primarily a geographical term that referred to India or to a region of India (near the Sindhu) as long ago as the 6th century BC. The word Hinduism is an English word of more recent origin. Hinduism entered the English language in the early 19th century to describe the beliefs and practices of those residents of India who had not converted to Islam or Christianity and did not practice Judaism or Zoroastrianism. In the case of most religions, beliefs and practices come first, and those who subscribe to them are acknowledged as followers. In the case of the Hindu tradition, however, the acknowledgment of Hindus came first, a...

What is Hinduism?

Hinduism, Indic Religions
An encyclopedia article should have a definition at the outset, but this requirement presents unique difficulties in the case of Hinduism. This difficulty arises from Hinduism’s universal worldview and its willingness to accept and celebrate diverse philosophies, deities, symbols, and practices. A religion that emphasizes similarities and shared characteristics rather than differences has a difficult time setting itself apart—unless this very quality is considered its defining feature. This is not to say that there are no beliefs and practices that may be identified as Hindu, but rather that the Hindu tradition has concerned itself largely with the human situation rather than the Hindu situation. Instead of basing its identity on separating Hindu from non-Hindu or believer from nonbelie

An Indic Contribution Towards an Understanding of the Word “Religion”

The word religion is now part of global discourse specially as it is carried out through the medium of English. The word, however, is Western in origin which raises the question:  Does a Western word, when used in global discourse, reflect the global religious reality or does it in the process of reflecting it, also distort it? It is contended in the paper that such in fact is the case—that when the word is used to represent the religions of Indian origin, the religions of the Far East and the indigenous religions—it in fact distorts reality. The basis for making such a claim is the following. The word “religion” came into secular use in the nineteenth century and has since been freely used in the public sphere as if it were a neutral word, which could be impartially applied to all t
Need I belong to only one religion?

Need I belong to only one religion?

The word religion as used in the standard form carries three connotations: (1) That a religion is conclusive, that is to say it is the one and only true religion; (2) That a religion is exclusionary, that is to say, those who don’t follow it are excluded from salvation and (3) That a religion is separative, that is to say, in order to belong to it one must not belong to another. In each of these three ways the notion of dharma, which is the original Indian concept, is very different from the notion of religion. In the essay, Prof. Sharma, points out that these three notions of religion are not a universal idea and by and large do not express the reality of what are called Eastern religions [1]. For instance, the conclusive and separative notion of religion implies that one

Lyrics of a song from the Jain tradition

Indic Religions, Jainism
There are no celestial beings I know of There is no God either Neither heaven nor hell Neither a preserver, nor an owner of this universe Neither a creator, nor a destroyer There is only the law of causality I take responsibility for my actions and their consequences The smallest of creatures have a life-force just like mine May I always have such compassion May I never cause any harm to anybody The truth is multi-faceted And there are many ways to reach it May i find balance in this duality I pray, may my Karma of ignorance be shed May my true self be liberated from the cycle of life and death And attain Moksha! ~ lyrics taken from the movie “Ship of Theseus”. Published originally at Reproduced with permission....