Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Chaitanya was born of Vaishnava (devotees of Lord Vishnu) parents, Sachi Mata and Jagannatha Misra in Navadwip, Bengal, India in the year of 1486. His whole life was dedicated to the teachings of Lord  Krishna.  Even as a young boy in school, he taught that every letter of the alphabet relates directly to Lord Krishna. He would challenge scholars much older then himself to discussion on the Vedas. He would be undefeated, later taking his opponents as his disciples to help him spread the pure cult of Bhakti Yoga. 

In his middle years, Chaitanya took sanyasa and traveled freely throughout South India, rejecting the impersonalistic interpretation of the Vedas and favoring pure loving service to the personality Lord Krishna. With raised hands and regular dancing, Chaitanya went from town to town singing the names of Lord Krishna with great ecstatic love. He converted thousands of followers to the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Rama and introduced public kirtans called sankirtan or walking kirtans.

Among the Vaishnava community, Chaitanya was considered a direct incarnation of Lord Krishna. His purpose in coming was to teach that the highest religious principle for the age of Kali was to constantly chant the holy names of the Lord. By following the four regulative principles, namely no meat eating, no illicit sex, no intoxication and no gambling, and regular chanting of Hare Krishna, a living entity could fully revive his dormant God consciousness.
He taught that all living beings are separated parts and parcels of the Lord, originally endowed with a unique transcendental relationship. When the living entity is in contact with the material world, that pure devotional relationship is covered by Maya and exhibited as love for the body and extended bodily attachments. But when the living entity becomes freed from Maya by the practice of  bhakti-yoga, he regains his real identity as an eternal loving servant of the Lord and at the time of death, he returns to Godhead. These teachings are identical to the teachings of Lord Krishna, spoken in the Bhagavad-Gita five thousand years earlier. 

Monday, 26 September 2011

Our Beloved Amma

Mata Amritanandamayi was born as Sudhamani in the small village near Quilon (Kollam) in Kerala on September 27, 1953 to a fishing family. She had to end her education at the age of nine to take care of her siblings. She is said to have had many mystical experiences even as a child.

Mata Amritanandamayi is a highly revered spiritual leader of India to have millions of followers not only in India but also abroad. She is much reputed as ‘The Hugging Saint’ or ‘ Amma ' meaning mother. She is well known for her humanitarian activities. Ma Amritanandamayi offers a hug to everyone who approaches her.

She spread the message of love and compassion to the world. Her Devotees and the people who have visited her experience the positive aura around her. Even if you go to her with a troubled mind and mind heavy with troubles after meeting her one would feel as if the burdens were taken away by the loving and comforting embrace of the Mother.

Mata Amritanandamayi received several awards and recognitions for her humanitarian activities and has helped millions of people through her Charitable Organization all over the World. Some of these activities include providing food, shelter for the homeless, medical aid, hospitals, pension to widows, educational institutions, orphanages, home for the aged, helping victims of natural disasters etc.

Amma embracing the world

Amma was deeply affected by the profound suffering she witnessed. According to Hinduism, the suffering of the individual is due to his or her own karma - the results of actions performed in the past. Amma accepted this concept, but she refused to accept it as a justification for inaction. Amma contemplated the principle of karma until she revealed an even more profound truth, asking a question which she continues to ask each of us today.  "If it is one man's karma to suffer, isn't it our dharma (duty) to help ease his suffering and pain?"
With this simple yet profound conviction - that each of us has a responsibility to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate - Amma moved forward with confidence in her life of service and compassionate care for all beings, uniquely expressed by the motherly embrace she offers to all who seek solace in her arms.
In Amma's community, it was not permissible for a 14-year-old girl to touch others, especially men. But despite adverse reactions by her parents, Amma followed her heart, later explaining, "I don't see if it is a man or a woman. I don't see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering."
Amma says that love expressed is compassion, and compassion means accepting the needs and sorrows of others as one's own. More than 20 years ago, the administrators of a local orphanage confessed to Amma that they were out of funds. They told Amma that before long, they would have no choice but to turn the children out on the street. Amma diverted the money that had been saved to build her ashram's first prayer hall and used it to assume the care for the orphans instead. With this, Embracing the World was born.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Isha Foundation - Inner Engineering Video

Inner Engineering is offered as an intensive program for personal growth. The program and its environment establish the possibility to explore the higher dimensions of life and offers tools to re-engineer one's self through the inner science of yoga. Once given the tools to rejuvenate, people can optimize all aspects of health, inner growth and success. For those seeking professional and personal excellence, this program offers keys for meaningful and fulfilling relationships at work, home, community, and most importantly, within one's self.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Three modes (gunas)

According to Vedic scriptures all variety of species of life is created by a combination of three basic modes of material energy, in Sanskrit called gunas. Here is again seen a limitation of other languages because they lack suitable synonym. Closest is probably the Latin word modus. Guna is therefore a kind of modus operandi (means of functioning) of material energy. They are called:
- sattva-guna (harmony, goodness)
- raja-guna (activity, passion)
- tama-guna (inertia, ignorance)
Bodies of individual species can be compared to various apartments or houses of different sizes, shapes and colors temporarily inhabited by embodied soul. Bodily forms limit (under the control of three modes) its freedom of movement and activities as well as possibilities of individual enjoyment.

Gunas Diagram

The Development and Disappearance of Self