Harmonious relations between all religion

Q: These days there is a sitcom being shown about Lord Buddha on the TV. In that, they have shown that the King of Magadha (a kingdom in ancient India) and his Vedic priests had plotted a conspiracy against Lord Buddha. Can you please tell how true this is?

Guruji : See, it is quite possible that they may have conspired against Lord Buddha. But at the same time, many Brahmins also became the disciples of Lord Buddha. And if you watch or read further, you will come to know that his own brother and some of his disciples actually tried to attack him as well.

The people who make these sitcoms actually add more drama and extra spice to these stories to make them popular and increase the viewership, and to also kindle some emotions within you. But there is absolutely no need for you to believe these stories as they are portrayed. It has been more than 2500 years since Lord Buddha walked the earth. There have been so many versions and tales written about His life and his nature, time and again. It is very difficult to comment upon how much of what is shown on TV is true, and how much of it is just imagination.

Some people have written these things out of ignorance and little knowledge. In some Hindu scriptures like the Mahabharata, it has been written that it is a great fortune to die under the foot of an elephant. In some, it is forbidden to enter a Jain temple.

The Jain temples have been made very beautifully, with a lot of decoration, carvings and sculptures of Lord Mahavira, and were very attractive to those who visited them.

The idols were decorated with different jewels and precious stones, and people visiting the temple would make various kinds of offerings. People naturally would get attracted to these temples and visit them. To discourage this, someone out of ignorance added to the texts of the scriptures that it is better to die by falling under an elephant’s foot than to visit a Jain temple. These are all baseless things.

Similarly in Buddhism, it is preached not to revere Lord Shiva. The Buddhists pray to Lord Avalokiteshwara instead. The Buddhists have created replicas of the male and female demigods that we have in Hinduism, with very similar forms and imagery, but with different names.  Some people have even shown in paintings that the demigods in Buddhism have vanquished the deities revered in Hinduism by defeating them in battle. By making up such false stories, they conspired to make one religion go against the other; to establish it’s supremacy over the other. But these kind of gimmicks did not last for long because people are very intelligent and found out the truth.

There were such harmonious relations between the Hindus and Jains, and there was never any disparity between Hinduism and Buddhism in the past also. Even though some people did try to create an atmosphere of conflict, but they never succeeded. Why is this so? Since the ancient times, there has been such strength and stability in the Vedic tradition which has always helped in bringing people together so that everyone moves forward and makes progress together.

Om Namah Shivay

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शिव-तत्त्व-1

शान्तं पद्मासनस्थं शशधरमुकुटं पञ्चवक्त्रं त्रिनेत्रं

शूलं वज्रं च खड्गं परशुमभयदं दक्षभागे वहन्तम् |

नागं पाशं च घंटा प्रलयहुतवहं साङ्कुशं वामभागे

नानालंकारयुक्तं स्फटिकमणिनिभं पार्वतीशं नमामि ||

“जो शान्तस्वरूप हैं, कमल के आसनपर विराजमान हैं, मस्तकपर चन्द्रमा का मुकुट धारण करनेवाले हैं, जिनके पांच मुख हैं, तीन नेत्र हैं, जो अपने दाहिने भाग की भुजाओं में शूल, वज्र, खड्ग, परशु और अभयमुद्रा धारण करते हैं तथा वामभाग की भुजाओं में सर्प, पाश, घंटा, प्रलयाग्नि और अंकुश धारण किये रहते हैं, उन नाना अलंकारों से विभूषित एवं स्फटिकमणि के समान श्वेतवर्ण भगवान् पार्वतीपति को नमस्कार करता हूँ |”

शिव-तत्व बहुत गहन है | मुझ-सरीखे साधारण व्यक्ति का इस तत्त्वपर कुछ लिखना एक प्रकार से लड़कपन के समान है | परन्तु इसी बहाने उस विज्ञानानंदघन महेश्वर की चर्चा हो जायेगी, यह समझकर अपने मनोविनोद के लिए कुछ लिख रहा हूँ | विद्वान् महानुभाव क्षमा करें | श्रुति, स्मृति, पुराण, इतिहास आदि में सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति का भिन्न-भिन्न प्रकार से वर्णन मिलता है | इसपर तो यह कहा जा सकता है कि भिन्न-भिन्न ऋषियों के पृथक्-पृथक् मत होनेके कारण उनके वर्णन में भेद होना सम्भव है; परन्तु पुराण तो अठारहों एक ही महर्षि वेदव्यास के रचे हुए माने जाते हैं, उनमें भी सृष्टि की उत्त्पत्ति के वर्णन में विभिन्नता ही पायी जाती है | शैवपुराणों में शिवसे, वैष्णवपुराणों में विष्णु, कृष्ण या राम से और शाक्तपुराणों में देवी से सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति बतलायी गयी है इसका क्या कारण है ? एक ही पुरुष द्वारा रचित भिन्न-भिन्न पुराणोंमें एक ही ख़ास विषय में इतना भेद क्यों ? सृष्टि के विषय में ही नहीं, इतिहासों और कथाओं का भी पुराणों में कहीं-कहीं अत्यंत भेद पाया जाता है | इसका क्या हेतु है ?

इस प्रश्नपर मूल तत्त्व की ओर लक्ष्य रखकर गम्भीरता के साथ विचार करनेपर यह स्पष्ट मालुम हो जाता है कि सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति के क्रम में भिन्न-भिन्न श्रुति, स्मृति और इतिहास-पुराणों के वर्णनमें एवं योग, सांख्य, वेदान्तादि शास्त्रों के रचयिता ऋषियों के कथन में भेद रहनेपर भी वस्तुतः मूल सिद्धांत में कोई ख़ास भेद नहीं है | क्योंकि प्रायः सभी कोई नाम-रूप बदलकर आदि में प्रकृति-पुरुष से ही सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति बतलाते हैं | वर्णन में भेद होने अथवा भेद प्रतीत होने के निम्नलिखित कई कारण हैं—

१—मूल-तत्त्व एक होनेपर भी प्रत्येक महासर्ग के आदि में सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति का क्रम सदा एक-सा नहीं रहता; क्योंकि वेद, शास्त्र और पुराणों में भिन्न-भिन्न सर्ग और महासर्गों का वर्णन है, इससे वर्णन में भेद होना स्वाभाविक है |

२—महासर्ग और सर्ग के आदि में भी उत्पत्ति-क्रम में भेद रहता है | ग्रंथों में कहीं महासर्ग का वर्णन है तो कहीं सर्ग का, इससे भी भेद हो जाता है |

३—प्रत्येक सर्ग के आदि में भी सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति का क्रम सदा एक-सा नहीं रहता, यह भी भेद होने का एक कारण है |

४—सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति, पालन और संहार के क्रम का रहस्य बहुत ही सूक्ष्म और दुर्विज्ञेय है, इसे समझाने के लिए नाना प्रकार के रूपकों से उदाहरण-वाक्यों द्वारा नामरूप बदलकर भिन्न-भिन्न प्रकार से सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति आदि का रहस्य बतलाने की चेष्टा की गयी है | इस तात्पर्य को न समझने के कारण भी एक दूसरे ग्रन्थ के वर्णन में विशेष भेद प्रतीत होता है |

ये तो सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति आदि के सम्बन्ध में वेद-शास्त्रों में भेद होने के कारण हैं |

Om Namah Shivay

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We’re Angels With Only One Wing

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can fly only by embracing each other, says Luciano De Crescenzo. Though incomplete, by reaching out and connecting with others we can do wonderful things for each other, for the world.

I will share a story here that the 16th century Jewish mystic, Rabbi Isaac Luria, would often tell. In the beginning there was only the holy darkness, the `Ein Sof ‘, the source of life. In order to make the human world, God had to contract, to withdraw into God’s Self, to make a space. Into that space, the place of the human world, God sent forth 10 holy vessels which held His divine light.

Had they all arrived intact, the world would have been perfect. But the vessels were too fragile to contain such a powerful, divine light.

They shattered, and all the holy sparks were scattered all over the place ­ like sand, like seeds, like stars, falling into all events and all people where they mostly remain deeply hidden until this very day . very day .

This then, is our sacred task ­ to gather the sparks, no matter where they are hidden.

It is possible to do this because each person comes into being with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world.

The thing is that the nature of the wide dispersal of light makes it a collective task, involving all people; we must actively participate in this work of restoration or repair of our world that is called `tikkun olam’ in Hebrew.

From another tradition of another time, a story of the West African trickster character Anansi says much the same thing. Long ago, Anansi had all the wisdom in the world stored in a huge pot that Nyame, the Sky God, had given him. Every day , Anansi looked in the pot, and learned different things. The pot was full of wonderful ideas and skills. Actually , Anansi had been instructed to share it with everyone, but he greedily thought, “No way will I share the treasure with everyone; I will keep all the wisdom for myself.” So, he planned to hide this from others, on top of a very tall tree. He wound thick vines to make some strong rope, tying it firmly around the pot, and then around his waist so that the pot hung in front of him.  He then started to climb the tree. He struggled as he climbed because the pot of wisdom kept getting in his way , bumping against his stomach.

Anansi’s young son watched as his father struggled up the tree. Mischievously , he called out: “Don’t you realise that if you tie the pot to your back instead, it will be easier to cling to the tree and climb? And I thought you hold all the wisdom! Anansi became angry . “The young one thinks he knows more than I, and here I am with the pot of all wisdom!” Seeing him slowing down, his son called out with the same advice again. In a fit of anger, Anansi flung down the pot which shattered, and pieces of wisdom flew in every direction, far and wide.

People found and gathered up the bits that scattered everywhere. Some found large pieces; some found tiny bits. That is why to this day no one person can have all the world’s wisdom.
People everywhere need each other in order to be truly wise.

Om Namah Shivay

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Gyaneshwari Geeta-5

Dhritarashtra said:

1. In the holy plain of Kurukshetra have gathered eager for battle, mine and Pandu’s sons; what did they do, O Sanjaya?

Dhritarashtra, blinded by his filial affection, asked Sanjaya, “Tell me the news of Kurukshetra (81-85). To that Holy Land, Pandu’s sons and mine have gone in order to wage a war; what they have been doing all this while, tell me all very quickly.”

Sanjaya said:

2. Seeing the army of the Pandavas arrayed in battle, King Duryodhana approached his teacher (Drona) and said these words:

3. Behold this vast army of the Pandavas, O teacher, arrayed by the son of Drupada, (Dhrishtadyumna),thy clever pupil. At that time, Sanjaya said, the Pandava army had gone berserk as if the Death-god had opened his jaws at the time of dissolution. Now that the compact army of the Pandavas is surging forward like spurting poison, who can control it? Or like the submarine fire fanned by the squall of dissolution, drying up the seas and reaching up to the sky, so the irresistible Pandava army, organised into different arrays, looked dreadful (86-90). Duryodhana held the Pandava army in contempt in the same way as the lion thinks nothing much of a herd of elephants. He then approached Dronacharya and said to him, “Please see how this army of the Pandavas
is surging forward. Its different arrays look like walking forts and they have been organised by the clever son of Drupada (Dhrishtadyumna), who has been instructed by you in the art
of war. Look how cleverly he has arrayed this vast army here (91-95).

4. Here are valiant bowmen, peers of Bhima and Arjuna in battle, Yuyudhana (Satyaki), Virata and Drupada, a mighty warrior. Besides there are here great warriors skilled in the art of weaponry and well-versed in the duties of a warrior. They are peers of Bhima and Arjuna in strength, daring and valour. I shall tell you their names on this occasion. Here is the great warrior Satyaki, Virata is here too, as also Drupada, the great car-warrior.

5. Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana and the heroic king of Kashi, Purujit Kuntibhoja and Shaibya, foremost among men,

6. And Yudhamanyu the strong, Uttamauja the brave, Subhadra’s boy and Draupadi’s sons, great warriors all. Look at Chekitana, Dhristaketu, the heroic Kashiraja, Uttamauja and Shaibya, the Lord of kings. Here is Kuntibhoja, Yudhamanyu, King Purujit and others, see them all (96-100). Here is Abhimanyu, who gladdens the heart of Subhadra, a second Arjuna; look at him, so said Duryodhana to Drona. Besides here are the sons of Draupadi, and other car-warriors, countless in number, have also gathered here.

7. Know further, O noblest of the twice-born, the captains of my army, the more distinguished among us; these I name to you for your information.

8. Your good self, Bhishma and Karna and Kripa, ever victorious in battle, Ashvatthama and Vikarna and also Bhurishrava, son of Somadatta. Now I shall take this occasion to tell you the names of prominent warriors in our army. I shall briefly mention only a few of them, those that are chief among us, including yourself. Here are Bhishma, son of Ganga, like unto the sun in lustre and valour, and Karna, who is to the enemies like a lion to the elephants (101-105). If either of them were to so resolve, he could destroy the world. And Kripacharya here alone is able to perform that task. Here is heroic Vikarna and over there is Ashvatthama, of whom even the god of death ever stands in awe. Here are son of Somadatta, Bhurishrava, ever victorious in war,

9. And there are many other heroes, ever ready to risk their lives for my sake, armed with many kinds of weapons, all of them skilled in warfare.and many other warriors whose valour even God Brahma cannot fathom, they are skilled in the science of arms and missiles, why say more! all missiles became current in the world from them only. They are full of valour and peerless in the world and they have espoused my cause with all their heart. Just as a faithful wife thinks only of her husband and none else, these warriors think of me to be their all. They are such great and good loyal servants that they care less for their lives in the execution of their task. Skilful in warfare, they are renowned for their feats of war; why say all this? The warriors’ code came into vogue from them only. So there are all-round warriors in our army too. How can one count them?

Om Namah Shivay

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Amazing Facts about Skin

Don’t take your skin for granted – it’s an amazing organ and it deserves some serious respect! Here are the most amazing facts about human skin.

1. Our Skin Constantly Sheds Cells

Your skin sheds up to 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells every minute of the day! That’s up to 4kg of skin per year! Can you imagine if we never took showers what will your skin look like? We need to make sure we exfoliate your skin every day, allowing our new fresh skin to shine through. The average person will lose around 48 kgs of skin by the age 70.

2. Our Skin is the Largest Organ in the Body

Did you know skin is the largest organ in our body? It can weigh up to 3.5 kgs and cover 2 square meters of skin, about the size of a blanket in an adult! What’s more, it makes up about 16% of our body weight.

3. There are 45 miles of nerves in our skin.

What’s more, electric impulses travel at a speed of almost 250 mph through those nerves. That’s amazing.

4. Our Skin Is Responsible for a Lot of Dust

In a lifetime the average person sheds enough skin cells to fill an entire two story house.

5. Our Skin Rejuvenates Itself

Every month, the entire outer surface of your skin is replaced – a ‘new you’ every four weeks! That’s almost 2000 new skins in a lifetime!

6. Skin is thickest at the soles of the feet (3mm) and thinnest on the eyelids (1 mm)

7. Your skin performs a range of different functions

Which include physically protecting your bones, muscles and internal organs, protecting your body from outside diseases, allowing you to feel and react to heat and cold and using blood to regulate your body heat.

Om Namah Shivay

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Indian Institute of Science

And so, the story goes that Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata was once, travelling to Germany.

As he stood there, at the door of his First Class Cabin in the Steam-liner, he noticed a lot of activity on the lower decks of the Ship. On enquiring, he learnt that a great Indian Saint Shri Swami Vivekananda was on board the same ship.

Out of genuine respect and curiosity J.N. Tata decided to pay a visit to the great saint.

Swami Vivekananda had of-course heard about the respected industrialist.

As the conversation grew J.N. Tata explained that he was on his way to Germany.

“I have with me sacks of soil : From various parts of India. I am taking these samples of soil to Germany. I wish to know if Iron can be extracted profitably from any of these districts.” said J.N. Tata to the Saint.

To which Swami Vivekananda replied, “Well, Sir, Even if these sacks contain Iron-rich soil, do you honestly believe that the Germans will tell you the TRUTH??? You must understand that none of the European Nations wish to see a Strong / Steel-Rich / Economically Independent India. The soil is probably rich in Iron-ore but the sad truth is all you will get from your enquiries across Europe is Disbelief and Pessimistic reactions.”

Needless to say, having interacted with several Europeans J.N. Tata knew this to be true.

Swami Vivekananda continued,
“Why don’t you start an excellent / up-to-date Research Facility and College here in India??? Why don’t you train some good Indian Youngsters to identify soil and conduct these tests and find ways of profitably extracting metals??? It may seem like a wasteful ; burdensome expenditure right now, But in the long run- It will save you many trips to Europe and you can have the assurance of knowing the Truth quickly- rather than taking multiple opinions due to Doubt”.

As he could clearly sense J.N. Tata’s mood was in acquiescence he further elaborated, “Seek an audience with the Maharaja of Mysore H.R.H. Wodeyar. Though a subordinate of the British, he will definitely help you in every way he can. H.R.H. Wodeyar has been generous enough to sponsor my own trip to Chicago to attend the Parliament of Religions”.

As soon as he returned to India, J.N. Tata headed straight for Mysore. And indeed H.R.H. Chamraja Wodeyar did not disappoint him. The King granted 370 acres of land for the setting up of the Research Facility and College that J.N. Tata had envisioned and it was named THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE. Soil Mechanics and Metallurgy were the First Departments to be Set-up.

Om Namah Shivay

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Why to Convert the Bad into Good?

Our nature is to help. Our nature is to bring light. Our nature is to bring comfort to others, and make everyone feel happy. We can’t be in anyway different from that.

If you ask alum, ‘Why do you clean the water?’ It will say, ‘It is in my nature’.

If you ask Sun, ‘Why do give light to people?’ It will say, ‘That is my nature’.

If you ask a star, ‘Why you twinkle in sky? It doesn’t help anybody’. It will say, ‘That it is in my nature, to twinkle’.

So it is our nature to help others, and to bring comfort to life.

Every individual is in search of happiness. Even people who are doing bad things, are doing it in search of happiness. It is just that they don’t know that they won’t get it. If they knew that they won’t get happiness by doing bad things, they would never do it. They are doing all the wrong things simply because they do not know that they won’t be able to get happiness out of it. So it is our job to make them aware, ‘See, if you keep doing all these wrong things, you are only going to get more miserable. It is better that you do good things, then you will be happy’. 

Om Namah Shivay

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