https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLvr80ZrCqo A daughter's journey distilling the nectar of the stories she heard as a child. Weaving ancient texts in the fabric of modern life. Rediscovering the land of her childhood. Where religion is synonymous with the celebration of life. Journeying from the Himalayas to the Peninsular India. Through rivers, mountains, forests, caves. She meets many practitioners. Each conversation reveals unfathomable depths to the seemingly simple rituals. The nature of life. Why we are born. Why we die. What is change. And what amidst this constant flux - joy, sorrow; success, failure; love, hate - is the One ... constant, unchanging, unmoving. This cinematic journey creates an experiential rendering of one of the Earth's oldest spiritual traditions. Come...
Deepavali as a festival of lights is connected to the most ancient symbolism of India, the movement from darkness to light as the essence of our lives. In this regard, there is a famous Vedic prayer: Asato ma sad gamaya Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya Mrtyor ma amritam gamaya Lead us from non-being to being Lead us from darkness to light Lead us from death to immortality This famous Upanishadic chant precedes the special verses that teach Aham Brahmasmi, or “I am Brahman”, expressing the unity of the individual soul with the supreme universal reality – one of the most profound statements of spiritual realisation in the history of the world. Let us try to understand it. Non-being or asat is that which in not enduring, which is transient and ultimately momentary. Sat is that
Often these days in debates on religion and violence, it is not uncommon to hear statements like “all religions are equally bad” (or equally good). I contest this apologetic statement which is designed to reduce pressure from religions to wean themselves away from terrorism and violent value systems. I also propose case that all ‘indic religions’ (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) have value systems that encourage “seeking” as opposed to “being told” about revealed divine laws — thus inculcating an ability to accept dissent and engage in debate for spiritual growth and learning. This is opposite of how Abrahamic religions’ value systems are designed —they dictate to the individual, revealed inviolate laws of the creator via his prophets and as captured in usually one holy book.
India has its ethos rooted in a rather liberal idea of God. At the root of Hinduism is is an idea of a ‘Brahman’ which cannot be translated to God in English. The idea of Brahman is that of a certain ‘consciousness’ that pervades all that we see manifest in the Universe (and is the cause for all that exists). With this idea it was easy for the Rg Vedic seers to proclaim — “Truth is ONE; Sages call ‘it’ by many names”. Said in other words, “just as all rivers lead to the ocean, all religions lead to the same Creator”. “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti”: Truth is one, sages call it by various names. This is the central theme based on which has the entire foundation of the Indian civilization, it’s endless religions and sects, and it’s culture been built. This is a “core value” system tha